Controversy about importing fuel from Canada’s vast oil sands has been swirling for some time. It is an issue environmentalists seized on with great hope when President Barack Obama came into office, given his pledges to work to reduce the country’s carbon footprint and the fact that oil from tar sands, as environmentalists refer to it, has a higher carbon intensity than that from traditional crude.
But the weakness in the US economy, high unemployment and rising petrol prices have combined to give the oil industry the edge. Indeed, even back in 2009, the Obama administration approved a pipeline to carry oil-sands fuel from Canada into the US, saying its action was designed to send “a positive economic signal in a difficult economic period”. The Keystone pipeline also was approved.
The first BP AGM since the oil spill, and the first one with Bob Dudley at the helm, has come to a close. With the various disputes and controversies surrounding the company at the moment, did Mr Dudley come out of it with his reputation enhanced? And what about the other parties represented? Here is our take:
In this week’s readers’ Q&A session, Amrita Sen, oil analyst at Barclays Capital, answers your questions.
In this second of two posts, she discusses drilling in the US, national oil subsidies and growing demand from the Middle East.
Earlier, she answered questions on whether speculation is driving up the oil price, whether such an increase could trigger another recession and when “peak oil” might occur.
(NB – Because of a very high volume of questions, we were not able to tackle every question submitted. Apologies if yours was not answered.)
Next week, Michael Bromwich, director of the US oceans regulator, will be answering your offshore-drilling queries. Email questions to email@example.com by the end of Sunday, April 10th.
But for now, over to Amrita:
In this week’s readers’ Q&A session, Jack Gerard, head of the API, the voice of the US oil industry, answers your questions.
In the first of two posts, he discusses the importance of energy efficiency, why drilling curbs should be eased and where the world will find new sources of oil.
In the second post, published above, he discusses peak oil, the potential of natural gas, and what the API’s lobbying achieves.
Next in the hotseat is Magued Eldaief, the head of GE’s UK energy business. He ill be answering your questions next Friday, January 21st. Send in your questions for consideration by the end of Sunday, January 16th to firstname.lastname@example.org.
But for now, over to Jack:
Image by Shell
Many thanks for all your questions for Yvo de Boer, former head of the UN climate change department and current advisor to KPMG. His answers will appear on this site on Friday, December 10th.
Next week, the person in the hotseat will be Peter Voser, the boss of one of the world’s biggest oil companies, Shell. This is your chance to ask him anything you want, from the controversy surrounding oil sands, to why Shell thinks gas is so important, to the prospects for drilling in the Gulf following the BP spill.
Email all your questions to email@example.com by the end of Monday, December 13th.
Is oil sands (or tar sands, as environmentalists like to call the fuel from Canada’s tar-like bitumen) really not as bad for the environment as traditional crude oil?
At first brush, the latest report on the controversial subject, this time from the well-respected IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates, might have left me with that impression. The headline reads, “Oil Sands Greehouse Gas Emissions are Lower than Commonly Perceived.”
But a backlash by environmentalists, including the Natural Resources Defense Council, made me take a closer look at what was being said. And even CERA is not saying that oil from oil sands is less carbon intensive than traditional crude.