Re: [OPE-L] Oil Sands

From: Paul Cockshott (wpc@DCS.GLA.AC.UK)
Date: Wed Jan 25 2006 - 04:54:09 EST

As far as I can tell from references in Science and New Scientist
to them, there have been no significant breakthroughs.

There are inherent chemical and thermodynamic considerations here.

-----Original Message-----
From: OPE-L [mailto:OPE-L@SUS.CSUCHICO.EDU] On Behalf Of Jerry Levy
Sent: 24 January 2006 14:45
Subject: Re: [OPE-L] Oil Sands

>  From my reading of literature on the oil sands during the 1975 oil
> crisis my recollection was that the high costs came from  the work
> that had to be done to extract the oil from the sands, and the greater
> degree of refining needed. As I understand it, oil sands or shales
> need to be baked in a process analogous to the reforming of coal
> into oil. It is this baking that is costly.
> It also means that a significant part of the energy in the oil sands
> has to be expended in the processing itself. Another cost comes
> from the relatively lower hydrogen content of the oil and possibly
> its high sulphur content. This makes it less suitable for the
> light oils need for cars, but it remains suitable for heavy fuel oil.

Hi Paul C,

Haven't there been any technological breakthroughs in the
extraction of the oil from the sands and the refining process since
the mid-1970s?

In solidarity, Jerry

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