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Sample records for basin oil sand

  1. Geochemical evidence for a Cretaceous oil sand (Bima oil sand) in the Chad Basin, Nigeria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bata, Timothy; Parnell, John; Samaila, Nuhu K.; Abubakar, M. B.; Maigari, A. S.

    2015-11-01

    Paleogeographic studies have shown that Earth was covered with more water during the Cretaceous than it is today, as the global sea level was significantly higher. The Cretaceous witnessed one of the greatest marine transgressions in Earth's history, represented by widespread deposition of sands directly on underlying basement. These sand bodies hold much of the world's heavy oil. Here, we present for the first time, geochemical evidence of a Cretaceous oil sand (Bima oil sand) in the Chad Basin, Nigeria. Bima oil sand is similar to other Cretaceous oil sands, predominantly occurring at shallow depths on basin flanks and generally lacking a seal cover, making the oil susceptible to biodegradation. The bulk properties and distribution of molecular features in oils from the Bima oil sand suggest that they are biodegraded. Sterane maturity parameters and the trisnorhopane thermal indicator for the oils suggest thermal maturities consistent with oils generated as conventional light oils, which later degraded into heavy oils. These oils also show no evidence of 25-norhopane, strongly suggesting that biodegradation occurred at shallow depths, consistent with the shallow depth of occurrence of the Bima Formation at the study locality. Low diasterane/sterane ratios and C29H/C30H ratios greater than 1 suggest a carbonate source rock for the studied oil. The Sterane distribution further suggests that the oils were sourced from marine carbonate rocks. The C32 homohopane isomerization ratios for the Bima oil sand are 0.59-0.60, implying that the source rock has surpassed the main oil generation phase, consistent with burial depths of the Fika and Gongila Formations, which are both possible petroleum source rocks in the basin.

  2. Pyrolysis of Uinta Basin Oil Sands in fluidized bed and rotary kiln reactors

    SciTech Connect

    Nagpal, S.; Fletcher, J.V.; Hanson, F.V.

    1995-12-31

    A pilot-scale fluidized bed reactor (FBR) was used to pyrolyze the mined and crushed ore from the PR Spring oil sands deposit which is located in the Uinta Basin of Utah. Liquid yields of approximately 80 wt% of the bitumen fed to the reactor were obtained. This compares to 55-70 wt% obtained from smaller laboratory scale fluidized bed reactors and a pilot-scale rotary kiln. The product yields and distributions exhibited no discernable trends with reactor temperature or solids retention time. The liquid products obtained from the pilot-scale fluidized bed reactor were upgraded compared to the bitumen in terms of volatility, viscosity, molecular weight, and metals (Ni and V) content. The nitrogen and sulphur contents of the total liquid products were also reduced relative to the bitumen. A comparison of oil sands pyrolysis yields from a pilot scale FBR and a rotary kiln of the same diameter (15.2 cm) was made. Under similar pyrolysis conditions, the rotary kiln produced a slightly more upgraded product but at lower total liquid yields. Kinetic modeling of the various reactors indicates that the pilot-scale FBR product distributions may be explained using a simplified two-reaction scheme. It is proposed that secondary cracking is suppressed in the large diameter FBR due to elimination of slugging and the superior quality of fluidization in the reactor. More experimental studies with the rotary kiln and an economic evaluation will be required before concluding which reactor is preferred for the thermal recovery process.

  3. Extracting Oil From Tar Sands

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ford, L. B.; Daly, D.

    1984-01-01

    Recovery of oil from tar sands possible by batch process, using steam produced by solar heater. In extraction process, solar heater provides steam for heating solvent boiler. Boiling solvent removes oil from tar sands in Soxhlet extractor.

  4. Thermal Properties of oil sand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    LEE, Y.; Lee, H.; Kwon, Y.; Kim, J.

    2013-12-01

    Thermal recovery methods such as Cyclic Steam Injection or Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) are the effective methods for producing heavy oil or bitumen. In any thermal recovery methods, thermal properties (e.g., thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity, and volumetric heat capacity) are closely related to the formation and expansion of steam chamber within a reservoir, which is key factors to control efficiency of thermal recovery. However, thermal properties of heavy oil or bitumen have not been well-studied despite their importance in thermal recovery methods. We measured thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity, and volumetric heat capacity of 43 oil sand samples from Athabasca, Canada, using a transient thermal property measurement instrument. Thermal conductivity of 43 oil sand samples varies from 0.74 W/mK to 1.57 W/mK with the mean thermal conductivity of 1.09 W/mK. The mean thermal diffusivity is 5.7×10-7 m2/s with the minimum value of 4.2×10-7 m2/s and the maximum value of 8.0×10-7 m2/s. Volumetric heat capacity varies from 1.5×106 J/m3K to 2.11×106 J/m3K with the mean volumetric heat capacity of 1.91×106 J/m3K. In addition, physical and chemical properties (e.g., bitumen content, electric resistivity, porosity, gamma ray and so on) of oil sand samples have been measured by geophysical logging and in the laboratory. We are now proceeding to investigate the relationship between thermal properties and physical/chemical properties of oil sand.

  5. Reconnaissance examination of selected oil-sand outcrops in Wyoming

    SciTech Connect

    Ver Ploeg, A.

    1986-08-01

    Numerous surface occurrences of oil sands and oil seeps have been reported in the geologic literature for Wyoming. Seventy-eight reported occurrences are listed in Wyoming Geological Survey Open-File Report 82-5. Most of the listed deposits are taken from old references with vague descriptions and locations. Field reconnaissance examinations of selected oil-sand occurrences were conducted to describe them better and to assess their potential economic importance. A reconnaissance geologic map of each examined deposit was constructed, and the deposits were sampled and described. Ten occurrences were described during the 1984 and 1985 field seasons. The oil-sand occurrences were all sandstone reservoirs ranging from Pennsylvanian to Tertiary. Based on these reconnaissance examinations, only three occurrences appeared to be potentially significant. The Rattlesnake Hills occurrence, west of Casper, is an asymmetrical anticline with oil-impregnated sands in the Mesaverde Formation, Frontier Formation, and, most extensively, the Muddy Sandstone. Other formations in the structure contain minor amounts of oil staining. The Muddy Creek occurrence, southwest of Rawlins, contains oil-impregnated sandstones in the lower Wasatch Formation. This stratigraphically controlled trap dips to the west into the Washakie basin. The Conant Creek occurrence, southeast of Riverton, includes stratigraphically controlled oil sands in the relatively flat Wagon Bed Formation.

  6. The extraction of bitumen from western oil sands: Volume 1. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Oblad, A.G.; Dahlstrom, D.A.; Deo, M.D.; Fletcher, J.V.; Hanson, F.V.; Miller, J.D.; Seader, J.D.

    1997-11-26

    The program is composed of 20 projects, of which 17 are laboratory bench or laboratory pilot scale processes or computer process simulations that are performed in existing facilities on the University of Utah campus in north-east Salt Lake City. These tasks are: (1) coupled fluidized-bed bitumen recovery and coked sand combustion; (2) water-based recovery of bitumen; (3) oil sand pyrolysis in a continuous rotary kiln reactor; (4) oil sand pyrolysis in a large diameter fluidized bed reactor; (5) oil sand pyrolysis in a small diameter fluidized bed reactor; (6) combustion of spent sand in a transport reactor; (7) recovery and upgrading of oil sand bitumen using solvent extraction methods; (8) fixed-bed hydrotreating of Uinta Basin bitumens and bitumen-derived hydrocarbon liquids; (9) ebullieted bed hydrotreating of bitumen and bitumen derived liquids; (10) bitumen upgrading by hydropyrolysis; (11) evaluation of Utah`s major oil sand deposits for the production of asphalt, high-energy jet fuels and other specialty products; (12) characterization of the bitumens and reservoir rocks from the Uinta Basin oil sand deposits; (13) bitumen upgrading pilot plant recommendations; (14) liquid-solid separation and fine tailings thickening; (15) in-situ production of heavy oil from Uinta Basin oil sand deposits; (16) oil sand research and development group analytical facility; and (17) process economics. This volume contains an executive summary and reports for five of these projects. 137 figs., 49 tabs.

  7. The extraction of bitumen from western oil sands: Volume 2. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Oblad, A.G.; Dahlstrom, D.A.; Deo, M.D.; Fletcher, J.V.; Hanson, F.V.; Miller, J.D.; Seader, J.D.

    1997-11-26

    The program is composed of 20 projects, of which 17 are laboratory bench or laboratory pilot scale processes or computer process simulations that are performed in existing facilities on the University of Utah campus in north-east Salt Lake City. These tasks are: (1) coupled fluidized-bed bitumen recovery and coked sand combustion; (2) water-based recovery of bitumen; (3) oil sand pyrolysis in a continuous rotary kiln reactor; (4) oil sand pyrolysis in a large diameter fluidized bed reactor; (5) oil sand pyrolysis in a small diameter fluidized bed reactor; (6) combustion of spent sand in a transport reactor; (7) recovery and upgrading of oil sand bitumen using solvent extraction methods; (8) fixed-bed hydrotreating of Uinta Basin bitumens and bitumen-derived hydrocarbon liquids; (9) ebullieted bed hydrotreating of bitumen and bitumen derived liquids; (10) bitumen upgrading by hydropyrolysis; (11) evaluation of Utah`s major oil sand deposits for the production of asphalt, high-energy jet fuels and other specialty products; (12) characterization of the bitumens and reservoir rocks from the Uinta Basin oil sand deposits; (13) bitumen upgrading pilot plant recommendations; (14) liquid-solid separation and fine tailings thickening; (15) in-situ production of heavy oil from Uinta Basin oil sand deposits; (16) oil sand research and development group analytical facility; and (17) process economics. This volume contains reports on nine of these projects, references, and a bibliography. 351 refs., 192 figs., 65 tabs.

  8. Clean and Secure Energy from Domestic Oil Shale and Oil Sands Resources

    SciTech Connect

    Spinti, Jennifer; Birgenheier, Lauren; Deo, Milind; Facelli, Julio; Hradisky, Michal; Kelly, Kerry; Miller, Jan; McLennan, John; Ring, Terry; Ruple, John; Uchitel, Kirsten

    2015-09-30

    This report summarizes the significant findings from the Clean and Secure Energy from Domestic Oil Shale and Oil Sands Resources program sponsored by the Department of Energy through the National Energy Technology Laboratory. There were four principle areas of research; Environmental, legal, and policy issues related to development of oil shale and oil sands resources; Economic and environmental assessment of domestic unconventional fuels industry; Basin-scale assessment of conventional and unconventional fuel development impacts; and Liquid fuel production by in situ thermal processing of oil shale Multiple research projects were conducted in each area and the results have been communicated via sponsored conferences, conference presentations, invited talks, interviews with the media, numerous topical reports, journal publications, and a book that summarizes much of the oil shale research relating to Utah’s Uinta Basin. In addition, a repository of materials related to oil shale and oil sands has been created within the University of Utah’s Institutional Repository, including the materials generated during this research program. Below is a listing of all topical and progress reports generated by this project and submitted to the Office of Science and Technical Information (OSTI). A listing of all peer-reviewed publications generated as a result of this project is included at the end of this report; Geomechanical and Fluid Transport Properties 1 (December, 2015); Validation Results for Core-Scale Oil Shale Pyrolysis (February, 2015); and Rates and Mechanisms of Oil Shale Pyrolysis: A Chemical Structure Approach (November, 2014); Policy Issues Associated With Using Simulation to Assess Environmental Impacts (November, 2014); Policy Analysis of the Canadian Oil Sands Experience (September, 2013); V-UQ of Generation 1 Simulator with AMSO Experimental Data (August, 2013); Lands with Wilderness Characteristics, Resource Management Plan Constraints, and Land Exchanges

  9. Draft Genome Sequences of Campylobacterales (Epsilonproteobacteria) Obtained from Methanogenic Oil Sands Tailings Pond Metagenomes

    PubMed Central

    Tan, BoonFei

    2014-01-01

    Draft genome sequences of two Campylobacterales (Sulfurospirillum sp. strain SCADC and Sulfuricurvum sp. strain MLSB [Mildred Lake Settling Basin]) were obtained by taxonomic binning of metagenomes originating from an oil sands tailings pond. Both genomes contain soxABXYZ genes involved in sulfur oxidation, highlighting their potential roles in sulfur cycling in oil sands tailings ponds. PMID:25323712

  10. Petrophysical Analysis of Oil Sand in Athabasca

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    cheong, S.; Lee, H.

    2013-12-01

    Oil sands are the major unconventional energy sources which have great reserves in Alberta, Canada. Recovery techniques such as CSS (Cyclic Steam Stimulation) and SAGD (Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage) enabled to develop deeper bitumen about several hundred meter depth. Before applying CSS and SAGD, reservoir heterogeneity of mud barriers or shale breccias should be clarified to establish injection and production wells successfully. We conducted the integrated petro-physical analysis for oil sands deposits in Athabasca by correlating well logs with seismic data. From 33 well logs and 3D seismic, we have made P-wave impedance by recursive inversion. Target formations of our analysis were the top of Wabiskaw member. Using inverted impedance and multi-attributes, porosity volume was derived at a target depth. Porosity of time slice 375 ms ranged 20 ~ 40 % stretching porous sand body from NE to SW direction. Characteristics of porosity distribution may be useful to design optimum oil sands recovery in Athabasca.

  11. Microbial processes in the Athabasca Oil Sands and their potential applications in microbial enhanced oil recovery.

    PubMed

    Harner, N K; Richardson, T L; Thompson, K A; Best, R J; Best, A S; Trevors, J T

    2011-11-01

    The Athabasca Oil Sands are located within the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin, which covers over 140,200 km(2) of land in Alberta, Canada. The oil sands provide a unique environment for bacteria as a result of the stressors of low water availability and high hydrocarbon concentrations. Understanding the mechanisms bacteria use to tolerate these stresses may aid in our understanding of how hydrocarbon degradation has occurred over geological time, and how these processes and related tolerance mechanisms may be used in biotechnology applications such as microbial enhanced oil recovery (MEOR). The majority of research has focused on microbiology processes in oil reservoirs and oilfields; as such there is a paucity of information specific to oil sands. By studying microbial processes in oil sands there is the potential to use microbes in MEOR applications. This article reviews the microbiology of the Athabasca Oil Sands and the mechanisms bacteria use to tolerate low water and high hydrocarbon availability in oil reservoirs and oilfields, and potential applications in MEOR. PMID:21853326

  12. Mine Drainage and Oil Sand Water.

    PubMed

    Wei, Xinchao; Wolfe, F Andrew; Li, Yanjun

    2015-10-01

    Mine drainage from the mining of mineral resources (coal, metals, oil sand, or industrial minerals) remains as a persistent environmental problem. This review summarizes the scientific literature published in 2014 on the technical issues related to mine drainage or mine water in active and abandoned coal/hard rock mining sites or waste spoil piles. Also included in this review is the water from oil sand operations. This review is divided into the four sections: 1) mine drainage characterization, 2) prediction and environmental impact, 3) treatment technologies, 4) oil sand water. Many papers presented in this review address more than one aspect and different sections should not be regarded as being mutuallyexclusive or all-inclusive. PMID:26420092

  13. New production techniques for alberta oil sands.

    PubMed

    Carrigy, M A

    1986-12-19

    Low world oil prices represent a serious threat to expanded commercial development of the Canadian oil sands in the near term, as they do to all of the higher cost alternatives to crude oil such as oil shales and coal liquefaction. Nonetheless, research and field testing of new technology for production of oil from oil sands are being pursued by industry and government in Alberta. New production technology is being developed in Canada to produce synthetic oil from the vast resources of bitumen trapped in the oil sands and bituminous carbonates of northern Alberta. This technology includes improved methods of mining, extraction, and upgrading of bitumen from near-surface deposits as well as new drilling and production techniques for thermal production of bitumen from the more deeply buried reservoirs. Of particular interest are the cluster drilling methods designed to reduce surface disturbance and the techniques for horizontal drilling of wells from underground tunnels to increase the contact of injection fluids with the reservoir. PMID:17816505

  14. Lateral fluid flow in a compacting sand-shale sequence: South Caspian basin.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bredehoeft, J.D.; Djevanshir, R.D.; Belitz, K.R.

    1988-01-01

    The South Caspian basin contains both sands and shales that have pore-fluid pressures substantially in excess of hydrostatic fluid pressure. Pore-pressure data from the South Caspian basin demonstrate that large differences in excess hydraulic head exist between sand and shale. The data indicate that sands are acting as drains for overlying and underlying compacting shales and that fluid flows laterally through the sand on a regional scale from the basin interior northward to points of discharge. The major driving force for the fluid movement is shale compaction. We present a first- order mathematical analysis in an effort to test if the permeability of the sands required to support a regional flow system is reasonable. The results of the analysis suggest regional sand permeabilities ranging from 1 to 30 md; a range that seems reasonable. This result supports the thesis that lateral fluid flow is occurring on a regional scale within the South Caspian basin. If vertical conduits for flow exist within the basin, they are sufficiently impermeable and do not provide a major outlet for the regional flow system. The lateral fluid flow within the sands implies that the stratigraphic sequence is divided into horizontal units that are hydraulically isolated from one another, a conclusion that has important implications for oil and gas migration.-Authors

  15. Extraction of oil from oil sands using thermoresponsive polymeric surfactants.

    PubMed

    Yang, Bingqing; Duhamel, Jean

    2015-03-18

    Several thermoresponsive block copolymers constituted of a poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) and a poly(2-(2-methoxyethoxy) ethyl methacrylate) (PMEO2MA) block were prepared by atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) and their ability to extract oil from oil sands was evaluated. The chemical composition of the PEG113-b-PMEO2MAX block copolymers was determined by (1)H NMR and gel permeation chromatography (GPC) with X-values ranging between 48 and 80. Aqueous solutions of block copolymers showed a cloud point of 34 ± 1 °C as determined by turbidimetry and dynamic light scattering (DLS) measurements. DLS experiments indicated that these polymers formed stable block copolymer micelles due to association of the PMEO2MA blocks at temperatures greater than 45 °C with a unimodal distribution of hydrodynamic diameters. Since characterization of the block copolymer solutions as a function of temperature indicated the formation of hydrophobic domains in water for T > 45 °C, extractions of oil from oil sands with the block copolymers were conducted at T = 45 and 50 °C. At these temperatures, 15 mL of a 1 mg/mL PEG113-b-PMEO2MA77 aqueous solution extracted 100% of the oil trapped in 1 g of oil sand if 60 mg of toluene was added to the mixture. When the extraction was conducted under the same experimental conditions without block copolymer, a poor oil recovery of less than 30% was achieved. Starting with a 1 mg/mL block copolymer concentration, the block copolymer aqueous solution could be recycled up to five successive extractions while maintaining satisfying oil recovery. Each extraction cycle led to a 22% mass loss of block copolymer, certainly due to association with the toluene, oil, and sand particles. Together these experiments demonstrate that thermoresponsive block copolymers can be powerful aids to enhance the oil recovery of oil sands. PMID:25719623

  16. Getty mines oil sands in California

    SciTech Connect

    Rintoul, B.

    1983-11-01

    A large deposit of oil-laden diatomaceous earth in the McKittrick oil field 40 miles west of Bakersfield, California, has resisted all efforts at production by standard means. Getty Oil Co. is in the pilot phase of a project to recover the Diatomite's oil by an open pit mining operation. It also could have significant implications for other California oil fields, possibly setting the stage for the mining of oil sands in shallow fields like Kern River, S. Belridge, and Lost Hills to maximize oil recovery. A report on the project is summarized. The Diatomite is estimated to have 500 million bbl of oil in reserves, of which 380 million bbl are recoverable. The estimated amount of recoverable oil exceeds the McKittrick field's cumulative production of 240 million bbl. A pilot plant was built to test solvent extraction method of recovering heavy oil. The multistep process involves a series of 6 extractors. The Lurgi retorting plant employs a 2-step heating process to separate hydrocarbons from crushed ore.

  17. Oil sands treatment utilizing the Taciuk direct thermal processor

    SciTech Connect

    Taciuk, W.

    1982-01-01

    The Athabasca Oil Sands reserves of heavy oil represent a major source of energy for the future. As conventional oil becomes more expensive a larger percentage of the oil sands can be economically mined by open pit mining methods which allow much higher oil recovery rates than those obtained by in situ methods. This work discusses the initial and planned development stages of the Taciuk Direct Thermal Processor System for treatment of mined oil sands. As the name implies, this processor accepts as-mined oil sands feed, produces a thermally cracked oil product that can be directly pumped to remote refineries, and produces a damp, oil free, tailings sand that can be conveyed back to the mined out areas. Processor units in increments of 8000 to 12,000 bpd output can be economically constructed and operated by lease holders. Approximate yield projections, as well as general capital and operating cost comments are included.

  18. Policy Analysis of the Canadian Oil Sands Experience

    SciTech Connect

    None, None

    2013-09-01

    For those who support U.S. oil sands development, the Canadian oil sands industry is often identified as a model the U.S. might emulate, yielding financial and energy security benefits. For opponents of domestic oil sands development, the Canadian oil sands experience illustrates the risks that opponents of development believe should deter domestic policymakers from incenting U.S. oil sands development. This report does not seek to evaluate the particular underpinnings of either side of this policy argument, but rather attempts to delve into the question of whether the Canadian experience has relevance as a foundational model for U.S. oil sands development. More specifically, this report seeks to assess whether and how the Canadian oil sands experience might be predictive or instructive in the context of fashioning a framework for a U.S. oil sands industry. In evaluating the implications of these underpinnings for a prospective U.S. oil sands industry, this report concentrates on prospective development of the oil sands deposits found in Utah.

  19. Oil sands operations as a large source of secondary organic aerosols

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liggio, John; Li, Shao-Meng; Hayden, Katherine; Taha, Youssef M.; Stroud, Craig; Darlington, Andrea; Drollette, Brian D.; Gordon, Mark; Lee, Patrick; Liu, Peter; Leithead, Amy; Moussa, Samar G.; Wang, Danny; O’Brien, Jason; Mittermeier, Richard L.; Brook, Jeffrey R.; Lu, Gang; Staebler, Ralf M.; Han, Yuemei; Tokarek, Travis W.; Osthoff, Hans D.; Makar, Paul A.; Zhang, Junhua; L. Plata, Desiree; Gentner, Drew R.

    2016-06-01

    Worldwide heavy oil and bitumen deposits amount to 9 trillion barrels of oil distributed in over 280 basins around the world, with Canada home to oil sands deposits of 1.7 trillion barrels. The global development of this resource and the increase in oil production from oil sands has caused environmental concerns over the presence of toxic compounds in nearby ecosystems and acid deposition. The contribution of oil sands exploration to secondary organic aerosol formation, an important component of atmospheric particulate matter that affects air quality and climate, remains poorly understood. Here we use data from airborne measurements over the Canadian oil sands, laboratory experiments and a box-model study to provide a quantitative assessment of the magnitude of secondary organic aerosol production from oil sands emissions. We find that the evaporation and atmospheric oxidation of low-volatility organic vapours from the mined oil sands material is directly responsible for the majority of the observed secondary organic aerosol mass. The resultant production rates of 45–84 tonnes per day make the oil sands one of the largest sources of anthropogenic secondary organic aerosols in North America. Heavy oil and bitumen account for over ten per cent of global oil production today, and this figure continues to grow. Our findings suggest that the production of the more viscous crude oils could be a large source of secondary organic aerosols in many production and refining regions worldwide, and that such production should be considered when assessing the environmental impacts of current and planned bitumen and heavy oil extraction projects globally.

  20. Oil sands operations as a large source of secondary organic aerosols.

    PubMed

    Liggio, John; Li, Shao-Meng; Hayden, Katherine; Taha, Youssef M; Stroud, Craig; Darlington, Andrea; Drollette, Brian D; Gordon, Mark; Lee, Patrick; Liu, Peter; Leithead, Amy; Moussa, Samar G; Wang, Danny; O'Brien, Jason; Mittermeier, Richard L; Brook, Jeffrey R; Lu, Gang; Staebler, Ralf M; Han, Yuemei; Tokarek, Travis W; Osthoff, Hans D; Makar, Paul A; Zhang, Junhua; Plata, Desiree L; Gentner, Drew R

    2016-06-01

    Worldwide heavy oil and bitumen deposits amount to 9 trillion barrels of oil distributed in over 280 basins around the world, with Canada home to oil sands deposits of 1.7 trillion barrels. The global development of this resource and the increase in oil production from oil sands has caused environmental concerns over the presence of toxic compounds in nearby ecosystems and acid deposition. The contribution of oil sands exploration to secondary organic aerosol formation, an important component of atmospheric particulate matter that affects air quality and climate, remains poorly understood. Here we use data from airborne measurements over the Canadian oil sands, laboratory experiments and a box-model study to provide a quantitative assessment of the magnitude of secondary organic aerosol production from oil sands emissions. We find that the evaporation and atmospheric oxidation of low-volatility organic vapours from the mined oil sands material is directly responsible for the majority of the observed secondary organic aerosol mass. The resultant production rates of 45-84 tonnes per day make the oil sands one of the largest sources of anthropogenic secondary organic aerosols in North America. Heavy oil and bitumen account for over ten per cent of global oil production today, and this figure continues to grow. Our findings suggest that the production of the more viscous crude oils could be a large source of secondary organic aerosols in many production and refining regions worldwide, and that such production should be considered when assessing the environmental impacts of current and planned bitumen and heavy oil extraction projects globally. PMID:27251281

  1. Devonian salt dissolution-collapse breccias flooring the Cretaceous Athabasca oil sands deposit and development of lower McMurray Formation sinkholes, northern Alberta Basin, Western Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Broughton, Paul L.

    2013-01-01

    The sub-Cretaceous paleotopography underlying giant Lower Cretaceous Athabasca oil sands, northern Alberta, has an orthogonal lattice pattern of troughs up to 50 km long and 100 m deep between pairs of cross-cutting lineaments. These structures are interpreted to have been inherited from a similar pattern of dissolution collapse-subsidence troughs in the underlying Middle Devonian salt beds. Removal of more than 100 m of halite salt fragmented the overlying Upper Devonian strata into fault blocks and collapse breccias that subsided into the underlying dissolution troughs. The unusually low 1:2 to 1:3 thickness ratios of halite salts to the overlying strata resulted in the Upper Devonian strata collapse-subsidence into underlying salt dissolution troughs being more cataclysmic during the first phase of salt removal. The second phase of slower but complete salt removal between the earlier troughs resulted in a more gradual subsidence of the overlying strata. This obliterated the earlier pattern of giant cross-cutting dissolution troughs bounded by major lineaments. The collapse breccia fabrics underlying the earlier troughs differ from those from areas between the troughs. Collapse breccias underlying the large troughs often have crushed fabrics distributed in zones that rapidly pinched out between fault blocks. Breccias between troughs developed as giant mosaics of detached carbonate blocks that formed breccia pipe complexes. Multiple sinkholes up to 100 m deep aligned along multi-km linear valley trends that dissected the sub-Cretaceous paleotopography. These sinkhole trends formed orthogonal patterns inherited from underlying lattice of NW-SE and NE-SW salt structured lineaments. These cross-cutting sinkhole trends have a smaller 5 km scale reticulate pattern similar to the giant 50 km scale pattern of collapse-subsidence troughs. Other sinkholes developed as lower McMurray strata sagged when underlying Devonian fault blocks and breccia pipes differentially

  2. Western Gas Sands Project: stratigrapy of the Piceance Basin

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, S.

    1980-08-01

    The Western Gas Sands Project Core Program was initiated by US DOE to investigate various low permeability, gas bearing sandstones. Research to gain a better geological understanding of these sandstones and improve evaluation and stimulation techniques is being conducted. Tight gas sands are located in several mid-continent and western basins. This report deals with the Piceance Basin in northwestern Colorado. This discussion is an attempt to provide a general overview of the Piceance Basin stratigraphy and to be a useful reference of stratigraphic units and accompanying descriptions.

  3. Oil sands tailings leachability and toxicity evaluation

    SciTech Connect

    Gulley, J.R.; Hamilton, H.R.; Taylor, B.

    1995-12-31

    Fine tailings disposal and reclamation is a major issue facing the oil sands mining and extraction industry. Government regulations dictate that reclamation must return the site to a level of self-sustaining biological capability which approximates the natural condition. A two-phase laboratory program has been completed to investigate the suitability of alternative reclamation materials. For the first phase of the study, chemical and toxicological analyses were carried out on 13 different reclamation and reference materials (solid phase and extractions). Seedling emergence, nematode maturation, algal growth and bacterial luminescence for leachate samples showed a range of sensitivities in response to the tested materials, although phytotoxicity tests were generally the most sensitive. With the exception of one test material, high toxicity ratings were consistent with that expected from the chemical data. The second phase of the study focused on the evaluation of chemical and toxicological conditions in leachate water generated using bench-scale column percolation tests. Leachate water equivalent to 10 pore volume replacements was generated and temporal variations in toxicity and chemistry monitored. Similar to phase 1 findings, phytotoxicity tests were the most sensitive tests to leachate waters. For most materials tested, most toxicity was removed after 2--3 porewater replacements. More persistent toxicity was noted for samples containing bitumen (e.g., fine tails and oil sands). No clear correspondence was noted between chemical concentrations and toxicity in leachate waters.

  4. Supercritical-Fluid Extraction of Oil From Tar Sands

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Compton, L. E.

    1982-01-01

    New supercritical solvent mixtures have been laboratory-tested for extraction of oil from tar sands. Mixture is circulated through sand at high pressure and at a temperature above critical point, dissolving organic matter into the compressed gas. Extract is recovered from sand residues. Low-temperature super-critical solvents reduce energy consumption and waste-disposal problems.

  5. Paleontological overview of oil shale and tar sands areas in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming.

    SciTech Connect

    Murphey, P. C.; Daitch, D.; Environmental Science Division

    2009-02-11

    In August 2005, the U.S. Congress enacted the Energy Policy Act of 2005, Public Law 109-58. In Section 369 of this Act, also known as the ''Oil Shale, Tar Sands, and Other Strategic Unconventional Fuels Act of 2005,'' Congress declared that oil shale and tar sands (and other unconventional fuels) are strategically important domestic energy resources that should be developed to reduce the nation's growing dependence on oil from politically and economically unstable foreign sources. In addition, Congress declared that both research- and commercial-scale development of oil shale and tar sands should (1) be conducted in an environmentally sound manner using management practices that will minimize potential impacts, (2) occur with an emphasis on sustainability, and (3) benefit the United States while taking into account concerns of the affected states and communities. To support this declaration of policy, Congress directed the Secretary of the Interior to undertake a series of steps, several of which are directly related to the development of a commercial leasing program for oil shale and tar sands. One of these steps was the completion of a programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) to analyze the impacts of a commercial leasing program for oil shale and tar sands resources on public lands, with an emphasis on the most geologically prospective lands in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. For oil shale, the scope of the PEIS analysis includes public lands within the Green River, Washakie, Uinta, and Piceance Creek Basins. For tar sands, the scope includes Special Tar Sand Areas (STSAs) located in Utah. This paleontological resources overview report was prepared in support of the Oil Shale and Tar Sands Resource Management Plan Amendments to Address Land Use Allocations in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming and PEIS, and it is intended to be used by Bureau of Land Management (BLM) regional paleontologists and field office staff to support future projectspecific analyses

  6. Aging effects on oil-contaminated Kuwaiti sand

    SciTech Connect

    Al-Sanad, H.A.; Ismael, N.F.

    1997-03-01

    Large quantities of oil-contaminated sands resulted from the destruction of oil wells and the formation of oil lakes in Kuwait at the end of the Gulf Wa/r. A laboratory testing program was carried out to determine the geotechnical properties of this material and the effect of aging on their properties. Tests included direct shear, triaxial, and consolidation tests on clean and contaminated sand at the same relative density. The influence of aging was examined by testing uncontaminated sand after aging for one, three, and six months in natural environmental conditions. The results indicated increased strength and stiffness due to aging and a reduction of the oil content due to evaporation of volatile compounds. The factors that influence the depth of oil penetration in compacted sand columns were also examined including the type of oil, relative density, and the amount of fines.

  7. Process and apparatus for recovery of oil from tar sands

    SciTech Connect

    Brewer, J.C.

    1982-11-30

    A crude oil product is extracted from a tar sand by first crushing the tar sand as mined and then fine grinding the crushed material in a grinding mill in the presence of a cleansing liquid, such as an aqueous solution of a caustic. The resulting slurry is passed into suitable extractor-classifier equipment, such as that shown in U.S. Pat. No. 3,814,336, in which a body of cleansing liquid is maintained. Agitation of the slurry in such maintained body of cleansing liquid substantially completes removal of the bituminous matter from the sand, and the resulting crude oil and cleansing liquid phase is discharged separately from the sand solid phase. The liquid phase is treated for the removal of residual sand particles and for the separation of residual cleansing liquid from the crude oil. The cleansing liquid so recovered is recycled and the crude oil is passed to further processing or for use as such.

  8. Geotechnical properties of oil-contaminated Kuwaiti sand

    SciTech Connect

    Al-Sanad, H.A.; Eid, W.K.; Ismael, N.F.

    1995-05-01

    Large quantities of oil-contaminated sands resulted from exploded oil wells, burning oil fires, the destruction of oil storage tanks, and the formation of oil lakes in Kuwait at the end of the Gulf War. An extensive laboratory testing program was carried out to determine the geotechnical characteristics of this material. Testing included basic properties, compaction and permeability tests, and triaxial and consolidation tests on clean and contaminated sand at the same relative density. Contaminated specimens were prepared by mixing the sand with oil in the amount of 6% by weight or less to match field conditions. The influence of the type of oil, and relative density was also investigated by direct shear tests. The results indicated a small reduction in strength and permeability and an increase in compressibility due to contamination. The preferred method of disposal of this material is to use it as a stabilizing material for other projects such as road construction.

  9. Oil shale, tar sand, coal research advanced exploratory process technology, jointly sponsored research

    SciTech Connect

    Speight, J.G.

    1992-01-01

    Accomplishments for the past quarter are presented for the following five tasks: oil shale; tar sand; coal; advanced exploratory process technology; and jointly sponsored research. Oil shale research covers oil shale process studies. Tar sand research is on process development of Recycle Oil Pyrolysis and Extraction (ROPE) Process. Coal research covers: coal combustion; integrated coal processing concepts; and solid waste management. Advanced exploratory process technology includes: advanced process concepts;advanced mitigation concepts; and oil and gas technology. Jointly sponsored research includes: organic and inorganic hazardous waste stabilization; CROW field demonstration with Bell Lumber and Pole; development and validation of a standard test method for sequential batch extraction fluid; PGI demonstration project; operation and evaluation of the CO[sub 2] HUFF-N-PUFF Process; fly ash binder for unsurfaced road aggregates; solid state NMR analysis of Mesaverde Group, Greater Green River Basin, tight gas sands; flow-loop testing of double-wall pipe for thermal applications; characterization of petroleum residue; shallow oil production using horizontal wells with enhanced oil recovery techniques; surface process study for oil recovery using a thermal extraction process; NMR analysis of samples from the ocean drilling program; in situ treatment of manufactured gas plant contaminated soils demonstration program; and solid state NMR analysis of naturally and artificially matured kerogens.

  10. Food web structure in oil sands reclaimed wetlands.

    PubMed

    Kovalenko, K E; Ciborowski, J J H; Daly, C; Dixon, D G; Farwell, A J; Foote, A L; Frederick, K R; Costa, J M Gardner; Kennedy, K; Liber, K; Roy, M C; Slama, C A; Smits, J E G

    2013-07-01

    Boreal wetlands play an important role in global carbon balance. However, their ecosystem function is threatened by direct anthropogenic disturbance and climate change. Oil sands surface mining in the boreal regions of Western Canada denudes tracts of land of organic materials, leaves large areas in need of reclamation, and generates considerable quantities of extraction process-affected materials. Knowledge and validation of reclamation techniques that lead to self-sustaining wetlands has lagged behind development of protocols for reclaiming terrestrial systems. It is important to know whether wetlands reclaimed with oil sands process materials can be restored to levels equivalent to their original ecosystem function. We approached this question by assessing carbon flows and food web structure in naturally formed and oil sands-affected wetlands constructed in 1970-2004 in the postmining landscape. We evaluated whether a prescribed reclamation strategy, involving organic matter amendment, accelerated reclaimed wetland development, leading to wetlands that were more similar to their natural marsh counterparts than wetlands that were not supplemented with organic matter. We measured compartment standing stocks for bacterioplankton, microbial biofilm, macrophytes, detritus, and zoobenthos; concentrations of dissolved organic carbon and residual naphthenic acids; and microbial production, gas fluxes, and aquatic-terrestrial exports (i.e., aquatic insect emergence). The total biomass of several biotic compartments differed significantly between oil sands and reference wetlands. Submerged macrophyte biomass, macroinvertebrate trophic diversity, and predator biomass and richness were lower in oil sands-affected wetlands than in reference wetlands. There was insufficient evidence to conclude that wetland age and wetland amendment with peat-mineral mix mitigate effects of oil sands waste materials on the fully aquatic biota. Although high variability was observed within

  11. Oil in the Malvinas Basin

    SciTech Connect

    Galeazzi, J.S.

    1996-08-01

    The Malvinas Basin is petroliferous. The main source rocks are Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous outer shelf to basinal shales known as the Pampa Rincon and Lower Inoceramus formations. Main reservoirs are fluvial and shallow-marine sandstones of the coeval Springhill Formation. On the western flank of the basin, 17 wells drilled the Cenozoic and Mesozoic column. Three of these wells discovered hydrocarbons within the Springhill Formation, and one discovered oil in Early Paleogene sandstones. Additionally, some wells recorded shows at different levels within the stratigraphic succession. A detailed overview of the drilled portion of the basin permitted the construction of a sequence stratigraphic framework, and yielded clues on a complex history of deformation. Interpretation of facies and stratal stacking and termination patterns determined that the main reservoir and source rocks were deposited in a ramp-style depositional setting. They represent the lower transgressive phase of a Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous megasequence deposited during the early sag stage of the basin. Alternative reservoirs to the Springhill sandstones include early Paleogene glauconitic sandstones and carbonates, and Miocene deep-water turbidites. Structural trap styles include normal fault features of Jurassic to Early Cretaceous age, and compressional and inverted positive structures due to Neogene compression. Possible combination and stratigraphic traps include: little tested onlap pinchout of Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous and Paleogene sandstones and untested erosionally truncated Paleogene sandstones; Early Paleogene carbonate buildups and Miocene deep-water turbidite mounds. The understanding of the geology of the western Malvinas Basin is the key to success of exploration in the huge frontier surrounding areas.

  12. Oil shale, tar sand, coal research, advanced exploratory process technology jointly sponsored research

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-01-01

    Accomplishments for the quarter are presented for the following areas of research: oil shale, tar sand, coal, advanced exploratory process technology, and jointly sponsored research. Oil shale research includes; oil shale process studies, environmental base studies for oil shale, and miscellaneous basic concept studies. Tar sand research covers process development. Coal research includes; underground coal gasification, coal combustion, integrated coal processing concepts, and solid waste management. Advanced exploratory process technology includes; advanced process concepts, advanced mitigation concepts, and oil and gas technology. Jointly sponsored research includes: organic and inorganic hazardous waste stabilization; development and validation of a standard test method for sequential batch extraction fluid; operation and evaluation of the CO[sub 2] HUFF-N-PUFF Process; fly ash binder for unsurfaced road aggregates; solid state NMR analysis of Mesa Verde Group, Greater Green River Basin, tight gas sands; flow-loop testing of double-wall pipe for thermal applications; characterization of petroleum residue; shallow oil production using horizontal wells with enhanced recovery techniques; and menu driven access to the WDEQ Hydrologic Data Management Systems.

  13. Creating new landscapes and ecosystems: the Alberta Oil Sands.

    PubMed

    Johnson, E A; Miyanishi, K

    2008-01-01

    Extraction of oil from the Alberta Oil Sands through surface mining involves the removal of the overburden and oil sand to a depth of up to 100 m and over extremely large areas. While the operation of the bitumen processing plants has serious environmental impacts on downstream habitats, this article focuses on the reclamation of areas from which the oil sands have been removed, processed, and returned. This reclamation following closure of the mines will entail the complete re-creation of landforms and ecosystems at a landscape scale, with the goal of producing suitable habitats for plants, animals, and people. Such projects will require a reasonable understanding of the geophysical and ecological processes that operate at a wide range of scales. Some information is provided on the climate, hydrology, vegetation, and land use (past and current) of the Oil Sands area, situated within the Boreal Plain ecozone, to provide a framework for discussion of issues to be addressed in, and proposed guidelines for, such large-scale reclamation. Although none of the mines has yet closed, numerous consultant reports have been produced with recommendations for various aspects of such reclamation projects (e.g., wetland hydrology, vegetation, wildlife habitat). The scientific basis of such reports is found to vary with respect to depth of understanding of the relevant processes. PMID:18566092

  14. Oil shale, tar sand, coal research, advanced exploratory process technology, jointly sponsored research

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-01-01

    Progress made in five research programs is described. The subtasks in oil shale study include oil shale process studies and unconventional applications and markets for western oil shale.The tar sand study is on recycle oil pyrolysis and extraction (ROPE) process. Four tasks are described in coal research: underground coal gasification; coal combustion; integrated coal processing concepts; and sold waste management. Advanced exploratory process technology includes: advanced process concepts; advanced mitigation concepts; and oil and gas technology. Jointly sponsored research covers: organic and inorganic hazardous waste stabilization; CROW field demonstration with Bell Lumber and Pole; development and validation of a standard test method for sequential batch extraction fluid; PGI demonstration project; operation and evaluation of the CO[sub 2] HUFF-N-PUFF process; fly ash binder for unsurfaced road aggregates; solid state NMR analysis of Mesaverde group, Greater Green River Basin, tight gas sands; flow-loop testing of double-wall pipe for thermal applications; shallow oil production using horizontal wells with enhanced oil recovery techniques; NMR analysis of sample from the ocean drilling program; and menu driven access to the WDEQ hydrologic data management system.

  15. Sand-rich submarine fans, Mio-Pliocene of Santa Monica Basin, offshore California: Untapped exploration targets

    SciTech Connect

    May, J.A.; McMillen, K.J.

    1996-01-01

    Santa Monica Basin lies directly west of Los Angeles Basin, one of the world's most prolific oil provinces. Published literature suggests that Santa Monica Basin was starved of coarse clastics during the late Miocene through Pliocene. However, seismic sequence stratigraphy indicates that deposition of sand-rich fans alternated with mixed-load systems throughout the Delmontian and Repettian stages. Seismic sequences and facies are calibrated to seismic and well data from Beta Oil Field, in San Pedro Basin to the south. Eustasy evidently played a dominant role in controlling sedimentation. Variations in tan lithology, thickness, and basinward extent correspond to worldwide changes in sea level. Regional erosion surfaces apparently signify drops in sea level. Overlying thick seismic packages display hummocky to chaotic seismic facies separated by high- to low-amplitude continuous reflections. These configurations are interpreted as inner- to mid-fan channels separated by overbank deposits in sand-rich lowstand fans. High-amplitude basinwide reflections bound the tops of the sand-rich intervals, and likely represent condensed sections formed during sea-level rises. Thin seismic intervals above the condensed sections display downlap, and are interpreted as interbedded sandstones and shales of prograding highstand fans. Sediment input to Santa Monica Basin, based on seismic-facies and isochron patterns, was predominantly from the (present-day) north, with subordinate input from the east. High-amplitude eustatic variations dominated deposition and sequence development even in this tectonically active basin Previously unidentified sand-rich fans are present, and have not been drilled.

  16. Sand-rich submarine fans, Mio-Pliocene of Santa Monica Basin, offshore California: Untapped exploration targets

    SciTech Connect

    May, J.A.; McMillen, K.J.

    1996-12-31

    Santa Monica Basin lies directly west of Los Angeles Basin, one of the world`s most prolific oil provinces. Published literature suggests that Santa Monica Basin was starved of coarse clastics during the late Miocene through Pliocene. However, seismic sequence stratigraphy indicates that deposition of sand-rich fans alternated with mixed-load systems throughout the Delmontian and Repettian stages. Seismic sequences and facies are calibrated to seismic and well data from Beta Oil Field, in San Pedro Basin to the south. Eustasy evidently played a dominant role in controlling sedimentation. Variations in tan lithology, thickness, and basinward extent correspond to worldwide changes in sea level. Regional erosion surfaces apparently signify drops in sea level. Overlying thick seismic packages display hummocky to chaotic seismic facies separated by high- to low-amplitude continuous reflections. These configurations are interpreted as inner- to mid-fan channels separated by overbank deposits in sand-rich lowstand fans. High-amplitude basinwide reflections bound the tops of the sand-rich intervals, and likely represent condensed sections formed during sea-level rises. Thin seismic intervals above the condensed sections display downlap, and are interpreted as interbedded sandstones and shales of prograding highstand fans. Sediment input to Santa Monica Basin, based on seismic-facies and isochron patterns, was predominantly from the (present-day) north, with subordinate input from the east. High-amplitude eustatic variations dominated deposition and sequence development even in this tectonically active basin Previously unidentified sand-rich fans are present, and have not been drilled.

  17. Oil migration pattern in the Sirte Basin

    SciTech Connect

    Roohi, M.; Aburawi, R.M.

    1995-08-01

    Sirte Basin is an asymmetrical cratonic basin, situated in the north-central part of Libya. It covers an area of over 350,000km{sup 2} and is one of the most prolific oil-producing basins in the world. Sirte Basin is divided into large NW-SE trending sub-parallel platforms and troughs bounded by deep seated syndepositional normal faults. A very unique combination of thick sediments with rich source rocks in the troughs vs. thinner sediments with prolific reservoir rocks on the platforms accounts for the productivity of the basin. Analysis of oil migration pattern in the Sirte Basin will certainly help to discover the remaining reserves, and this can only be achieved if the important parameter of structural configuration of the basin at the time of oil migration is known. The present paper is an attempt to analyse the time of oil migration, to define the structural picture of the 4 Basin during the time of migration and to delineate the most probable connecting routes between the hydrocarbon kitchens and the oil fields.

  18. Geologic and hydrologic controls on coalbed methane: Sand wash basin, Colorado and Wyoming. Topical report, August 1, 1991-April 30, 1993

    SciTech Connect

    Kaiser, W.R.; Scott, A.R.; Hamilton, D.S.; Tyler, R.; McMurry, R.G.

    1993-08-01

    Contents: tectonic evolution, stratigraphic setting, and coal fracture patterns of the sand wash basin; stratigraphy and coal occurrence of the upper cretaceous mesaverde group, sand wash basin; coal rank, gas content, and composition and origin of coalbed gases, mesaverde group, sand wash basin; hydrologic setting of the upper mesaverde group, sand wash basin; stratigraphy and coal occurrence of the paleocene fort union formation, sand wash basin; coal rank, gas content, and composition and origin of coalbed gases, fort union formation, sand wash basin; hydrologic setting of the fort union formation, sand wash basin; and resources and producibility of coalbed methane in the sand wash basin.

  19. Field observations of artificial sand and oil agglomerates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dalyander, Patricia (Soupy); Long, Joseph W.; Plant, Nathaniel G.; McLaughlin, Molly R.; Mickey, Rangley C.

    2015-01-01

    Oil that comes into the surf zone following spills, such as occurred during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DWH) blowout, can mix with local sediment to form heavier-than-water sand and oil agglomerates (SOAs), at times in the form of mats a few centimeters thick and tens of meters long. Smaller agglomerates that form in situ or pieces that break off of larger mats, sometimes referred to as surface residual balls (SRBs), range in size from sand-sized grains to patty-shaped pieces several centimeters (cm) in diameter. These mobile SOAs can cause beach oiling for extended periods following the spill, on the scale of years as in the case of DWH. Limited research, including a prior effort by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) investigating SOA mobility, alongshore transport, and seafloor interaction using numerical model output, focused on the physical dynamics of SOAs. To address this data gap, we constructed artificial sand and oil agglomerates (aSOAs) with sand and paraffin wax to mimic the size and density of genuine SOAs. These aSOAs were deployed in the nearshore off the coast of St. Petersburg, Florida, during a field experiment to investigate their movement and seafloor interaction. This report presents the methodology for constructing aSOAs and describes the field experiment. Data acquired during the field campaign, including videos and images of aSOA movement in the nearshore (1.5-meter and 0.5-meter water depth) and in the swash zone, are also presented in this report.

  20. Preliminary examination of oil bonding at sand surfaces and its influence on hot water separation

    SciTech Connect

    Hupka, J.; Budzich, M.; Miller, J.D.

    1991-12-31

    The efficiency of water-based separation of oil from sand particles is dependent on the nature of the oil-sand association and a preliminary examination of this bonding has been completed. The degree of hydration of the sand surface at the time of contact with oil was related to the subsequent efficiency of the oil-sand separation process. Variables which influence hot water separation were correlated by multiple linear regression, and a second order experimental model was obtained. The processing temperature appeared to be the most significant variable, followed by digestion time and pH. Oil-coated sand particles which had intrinsic water left on their surface during sample preparation were easily processed in hot water separation experiments, and 64 to 90% of the oil was removed. On the other hand, only 1 to 23% separation and oil recovery was possible when a calcinated sand-oil mixture was used.

  1. Preliminary examination of oil bonding at sand surfaces and its influence on hot water separation

    SciTech Connect

    Hupka, J.; Budzich, M.; Miller, J.D.

    1991-01-01

    The efficiency of water-based separation of oil from sand particles is dependent on the nature of the oil-sand association and a preliminary examination of this bonding has been completed. The degree of hydration of the sand surface at the time of contact with oil was related to the subsequent efficiency of the oil-sand separation process. Variables which influence hot water separation were correlated by multiple linear regression, and a second order experimental model was obtained. The processing temperature appeared to be the most significant variable, followed by digestion time and pH. Oil-coated sand particles which had intrinsic water left on their surface during sample preparation were easily processed in hot water separation experiments, and 64 to 90% of the oil was removed. On the other hand, only 1 to 23% separation and oil recovery was possible when a calcinated sand-oil mixture was used.

  2. Tectonic evolution and oil and gas of Tarim basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yuzhu, Kang; Zhihong, Kang

    According to the new results achieved in the past ten years and more, using mobilism and the theory of polycycle by Huang Jiqing (1977, 1984), the formation of the basement of the Tarim basin and its characteristics are summarized. The prototype basins formed since Sinian times are classified into rift basin, continental marginal basin, cratonic basin, foreland basin and others. The Tarim basin is regarded as a huge oil- and gas-bearing basin superposed by prototype basins of different ages. The tectonic characteristics of these basins including tectonic movements, tectonic migrations, faults and trap types are summarized. In addition, structural control over oil and gas and oil-forming features are analysed.

  3. Ecotoxicological impacts of effluents generated by oil sands bitumen extraction and oil sands lixiviation on Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata.

    PubMed

    Debenest, T; Turcotte, P; Gagné, F; Gagnon, C; Blaise, C

    2012-05-15

    The exploitation of Athabasca oil sands deposits in northern Alberta has known an intense development in recent years. This development has raised concern about the ecotoxicological risk of such industrial activities adjacent to the Athabasca River. Indeed, bitumen extraction generated large amounts of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) which are discharged in tailing ponds in the Athabasca River watershed. This study sought to evaluate and compare the toxicity of OSPW and oil sands lixiviate water (OSLW) with a baseline (oil sands exposed to water; OSW) on a microalgae, Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata, at different concentrations (1.9, 5.5, 12.25, 25 and 37.5%, v/v). Chemical analyses of water-soluble contaminants showed that OSPW and OSLW were enriched in different elements such as vanadium (enrichment factor, EF=66 and 12, respectively), aluminum (EF=64 and 15, respectively), iron (EF=52.5 and 17.1, respectively) and chromium (39 and 10, respectively). The toxicity of OSPW on cells with optimal intracellular esterase activity and chlorophyll autofluorescence (viable cells) (72h-IC 50%<1.9%) was 20 times higher than the one of OSW (72h-IC 50%>37.5%, v/v). OSLW was 4.4 times less toxic (IC 50%=8.5%, v/v) than OSPW and 4.5 times more toxic than OSW. The inhibition of viable cell growth was significantly and highly correlated (<-0.7) with the increase of arsenic, beryllium, chromium, copper, lead, molybdenum and vanadium concentrations. The specific photosynthetic responses studied with JIP-test (rapid and polyphasic chlorophyll a fluorescence emission) showed a stimulation of the different functional parameters (efficiency of PSII to absorb energy from photons, size of effective PSII antenna and vitality of photosynthetic apparatus for energy conversion) in cultures exposed to OSPW and OSLW. To our knowledge, our study highlights the first evidence of physiological effects of OSPW and OSLW on microalgae. PMID:22387878

  4. Variation of bee communities on a sand dune complex in the Great Basin: Implications for sand dune conservation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sand dunes across the Mojave and Great Basin Deserts house rich bee communities. The pollination services these bees provide can be vital in maintaining the diverse, and often endemic, dune flora. These dune environments, however, are threatened by intense off-highway vehicle (OHV) use. Conservati...

  5. Oils and source rocks from the Anadarko Basin: Final report, March 1, 1985-March 15, 1995

    SciTech Connect

    Philp, R. P.

    1996-11-01

    The research project investigated various geochemical aspects of oils, suspected source rocks, and tar sands collected from the Anadarko Basin, Oklahoma. The information has been used, in general, to investigate possible sources for the oils in the basin, to study mechanisms of oil generation and migration, and characterization of depositional environments. The major thrust of the recent work involved characterization of potential source formations in the Basin in addition to the Woodford shale. The formations evaluated included the Morrow, Springer, Viola, Arbuckle, Oil Creek, and Sylvan shales. A good distribution of these samples was obtained from throughout the basin and were evaluated in terms of source potential and thermal maturity based on geochemical characteristics. The data were incorporated into a basin modelling program aimed at predicting the quantities of oil that could, potentially, have been generated from each formation. The study of crude oils was extended from our earlier work to cover a much wider area of the basin to determine the distribution of genetically-related oils, and whether or not they were derived from single or multiple sources, as well as attempting to correlate them with their suspected source formations. Recent studies in our laboratory also demonstrated the presence of high molecular weight components(C{sub 4}-C{sub 80}) in oils and waxes from drill pipes of various wells in the region. Results from such a study will have possible ramifications for enhanced oil recovery and reservoir engineering studies.

  6. Groundwater balance estimation and sustainability in the Sandıklı Basin (Afyonkarahisar/Turkey)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aksever, Fatma; Davraz, Ayşen; Karaguzel, Remzi

    2015-06-01

    The Sandıklı (Afyonkarahisar) Basin is located in the southwest of Turkey and is a semi-closed basin. Groundwater is widely used for drinking, domestic and irrigation purposes in the basin. The mismanagement of groundwater resources in the basin causes negative effects including depletion of the aquifer storage and groundwater level decline. To assure sustainability of the basin, determination of groundwater budget is necessary. In this study, the water-table fluctuation (WTF) and the meteorological water budget (MWB) methods were used to estimate groundwater budget in the Sandıklı basin (Turkey). Conceptual hydrogeological model of the basin was used for understanding the relation between budget parameters. The groundwater potential of the basin calculated with MWB method as 42.10 × 106 m3/year. In addition, it is also calculated with simplified WTF method as 38.48 × 106 m3/year.

  7. Alberta's economic development of the Athabasca oil sands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steinmann, Michael

    This dissertation examines the 61-year evolution of public policies pertaining to development of Alberta's non-conventional source of crude oil. The Athabasca oil sands contain an estimated 1.5 trillion barrels and provide for a safe continental supply. The Provincial Government first sponsored this undertaking in 1943. The period from then to 1971 was one of a transition from a wheat economy to a natural-resource economic base. A stable government emerged and was able to negotiate viable development policies. A second period, 1971 to 1986, was marked by unstable world conditions that afforded the Alberta government the ability to set terms of development with multi-national oil firms. A 50% profit-sharing plan was implemented, and basic 1973 terms lasted until 1996. However, 1986 was a critical year because the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reduced prices, causing the Alberta economy to lapse into recession. During a third period, 1986 to 1996, the Alberta Government was unable to adapt quickly to world conditions. A new leadership structure in 1996 made major changes to create ongoing fiscal and development policies. That history provides answers to two primary research questions: How do public policies affect the behaviors of the modern corporation and visa versa? What are the implications for development theory? Two sources of information were used for this study. First, it was possible to review the Premier's files located in the Provincial Archives. Materials from various government libraries were also examined. Some 7,000 documents were used to show the evolution of government policymaking. Second, interviews with leaders of oil companies and federal research facilities were important. Findings support the thesis that, to facilitate oil sands development, government and the private sector have closely collaborated. In particular, revenue policies have allowed for effective R&D organization. Relying on intensive technological

  8. Effects of beach sand properties, temperature and rainfall on the degradation rates of oil in buried oil/beach sand mixtures.

    PubMed

    Rowland, A P; Lindley, D K; Hall, G H; Rossall, M J; Wilson, D R; Benham, D G; Harrison, A F; Daniels, R E

    2000-07-01

    Lysimeters located outdoors have been used to evaluate the decomposition of buried oily beach sand waste (OBS) prepared using Forties light crude oil and sand from different locations around the British coast. The OBS (5% oil by weight) was buried as a 12-cm layer over dune pasture sub-sand and overlain by 20 cm of dune pasture topsoil. Decomposition rates of oil residues averaged 2300 kg ha(-1) in the first year and the pattern of oil decomposition may be represented by a power curve. Oil decomposition was strongly related to the temperature in the OBS layer, but was also significantly affected by rainfall in the previous 12 h. The CO(2) flux at the surface of the treatment lysimeters followed the relationship [log(10) CO(2) (mg C m(-2) h(-1))=0.93+0.058x OBS temp. (degrees C)-0.042x12 h rain (mm)]. There was considerable variation in the rate of oil decomposition in sands collected from different sites. Sand from Askernish supported most microbial activity whilst sand from Tain was relatively inactive. The decomposition process appeared to cease when the sand became saturated with water, i.e. temporarily anaerobic. However, decomposition recommenced when the soil dried out. The fastest rate of decomposition occurred in sand from one of the two sites predicted to have high populations of hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria. Larger particle size and higher Ca content may also be significant factors governing the rate of decomposition. PMID:15092918

  9. Evaluation of Oil Sands Projects and Their Expansion Rate Using Real Options

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kobari, Laleh

    The rapidly expanding oil sands of western Canada, the third largest reserves in the world, are creating serious challenges, such as ecological harm, labour shortages, and extensive natural gas consumption. This thesis develops three practical real options models to evaluate the feasibility of oil sands projects and to estimate the optimal rate of oil sands expansion, while accounting for the stated concerns. (Abstract shortened by UMI.).

  10. Quantifying Sources of Methane in the Alberta Oil Sands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baray, S.; Darlington, A. L.; Gordon, M.; Hayden, K.; Li, S. M.; Mittermeier, R. L.; O'brien, J.; Staebler, R. M.; McLaren, R.

    2015-12-01

    In the summer of 2013, an aircraft measurement campaign led by Environment Canada with participation from university researchers took place to investigate the sources and transformations of gas pollutants in the Alberta oil sands region close to Fort McMurray, Alberta. Apart from its ability to change the radiative forcing of the atmosphere, methane is also a significant precursor to the formation of formaldehyde, an important radical source. Thus, emissions of methane from facilities need to be understood since they can have air quality implications through alteration of the radical budget and hence, the oxidation capacity of the air mass. Methane was measured, along with other gases, via a cavity ring-down spectroscopy instrument installed on the Convair-580 aircraft. In total, there were 22 flights with 82 hours of measurements in the vicinity of oil sands facilities between August 13 and September 7, 2013. Various tools have been used to visualize the spatial and temporal variation in mixing ratios of methane and other trace gases in order to identify possible sources of methane. Enhancements of methane from background levels of 1.9 ppm up to ~4 ppm were observed close to energy mining facilities in the oil sands region. Sources of methane identified include open pit mining, tailings ponds, upgrader stacks and in-situ mining operations. Quantification of the emission rates of methane from distinct sources has been accomplished from box flights and downwind screen flights by identifying the ratios of trace gases emitted and through use of the Top-down Emission Rate Retrieval Algorithm (TERRA). Methane emission rates for some of these sources will be presented.

  11. Depositional environment of source beds of high-wax oils in Assam Basin, India

    SciTech Connect

    Saikia, M.M.; Dutta, T.K.

    1980-03-01

    The high-wax Assam oils are found in sand-shale rocks of Tertiary age. The association of the oils with coal and carbonaceous sediments suggests a nearshore or paralic environment in which substances relatively rich in wax and aromatic components were deposited. Sharp variations in wax content from field to field in the Assam basin indicate that little or no migration of oil occurred. Oligocene organic mudstones and shales, rather than the open-marine Eocene Jaintia formation, are the probable source rocks for these syngenetic oils. 1 figure, 2 tables.

  12. Sulfur Biogeochemistry of an Oil Sands Composite Tailings Deposit.

    PubMed

    Warren, Lesley A; Kendra, Kathryn E; Brady, Allyson L; Slater, Greg F

    2015-01-01

    Composite tailings (CT), an engineered, alkaline, saline mixture of oil sands tailings (FFT), processed sand and gypsum (CaSO4; 1 kg CaSO4 per m(3) FFT) are used as a dry reclamation strategy in the Alberta Oil Sands Region (AOSR). It is estimated that 9.6 × 10(8) m(3) of CT are either in, or awaiting emplacement in surface pits within the AOSR, highlighting their potential global importance in sulfur cycling. Here, in the first CT sulfur biogeochemistry investigation, integrated geochemical, pyrosequencing and lipid analyses identified high aqueous concentrations of ∑H2S (>300 μM) and highly altered sulfur compounds composition; low cell biomass (3.3 × 10(6)- 6.0 × 10(6) cells g(-1)) and modest bacterial diversity (H' range between 1.4 and 1.9) across 5 depths spanning 34 m of an in situ CT deposit. Pyrosequence results identified a total of 29,719 bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequences, representing 131 OTUs spanning19 phyla including 7 candidate divisions, not reported in oil sands tailings pond studies to date. Legacy FFT common phyla, notably, gamma and beta Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, and Chloroflexi were represented. However, overall CT microbial diversity and PLFA values were low relative to other contexts. The identified known sulfate/sulfur reducing bacteria constituted at most 2% of the abundance; however, over 90% of the 131 OTUs identified are capable of sulfur metabolism. While PCR biases caution against overinterpretation of pyrosequence surveys, bacterial sequence results identified here, align with phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) and geochemical results. The highest bacterial diversities were associated with the depth of highest porewater [∑H2S] (22-24 m) and joint porewater co-occurrence of Fe(2+) and ∑H2S (6-8 m). Three distinct bacterial community structure depths corresponded to CT porewater regions of (1) shallow evident Fe((II)) (<6 m), (2) co-occurring Fe((II)) and ∑H2S (6-8 m) and (3) extensive ∑H2S (6-34 m) (Uni

  13. Sulfur Biogeochemistry of an Oil Sands Composite Tailings Deposit

    PubMed Central

    Warren, Lesley A.; Kendra, Kathryn E.; Brady, Allyson L.; Slater, Greg F.

    2016-01-01

    Composite tailings (CT), an engineered, alkaline, saline mixture of oil sands tailings (FFT), processed sand and gypsum (CaSO4; 1 kg CaSO4 per m3 FFT) are used as a dry reclamation strategy in the Alberta Oil Sands Region (AOSR). It is estimated that 9.6 × 108 m3 of CT are either in, or awaiting emplacement in surface pits within the AOSR, highlighting their potential global importance in sulfur cycling. Here, in the first CT sulfur biogeochemistry investigation, integrated geochemical, pyrosequencing and lipid analyses identified high aqueous concentrations of ∑H2S (>300 μM) and highly altered sulfur compounds composition; low cell biomass (3.3 × 106– 6.0 × 106 cells g−1) and modest bacterial diversity (H' range between 1.4 and 1.9) across 5 depths spanning 34 m of an in situ CT deposit. Pyrosequence results identified a total of 29,719 bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequences, representing 131 OTUs spanning19 phyla including 7 candidate divisions, not reported in oil sands tailings pond studies to date. Legacy FFT common phyla, notably, gamma and beta Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, and Chloroflexi were represented. However, overall CT microbial diversity and PLFA values were low relative to other contexts. The identified known sulfate/sulfur reducing bacteria constituted at most 2% of the abundance; however, over 90% of the 131 OTUs identified are capable of sulfur metabolism. While PCR biases caution against overinterpretation of pyrosequence surveys, bacterial sequence results identified here, align with phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) and geochemical results. The highest bacterial diversities were associated with the depth of highest porewater [∑H2S] (22–24 m) and joint porewater co-occurrence of Fe2+ and ∑H2S (6–8 m). Three distinct bacterial community structure depths corresponded to CT porewater regions of (1) shallow evident Fe(II) (<6 m), (2) co-occurring Fe(II) and ∑H2S (6–8 m) and (3) extensive ∑H2S (6–34 m) (Uni

  14. Influence of Oil Saturation Upon Spectral Induced Polarization of Oil Bearing Sands

    EPA Science Inventory

    The presence of oil in an unconsolidated granular porous material such as sand changes both the resistivity of the material and the value of the phase shift between the low-frequency current and the voltage. The resistivity and the phase angle can be written as a complex-valued r...

  15. Diagenesis of an 'overmature' gas reservoir: The Spiro sand of the Arkoma Basin, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Spotl, C.; Houseknecht, D.W.; Burns, S.J.

    1996-01-01

    The Spiro sand is a laterally extensive thin sandstone of earliest Atokan (Pennsylvanian) age that forms a major natural gas reservoir in the western Arkoma Basin, Oklahoma. Petrographic analysis reveals a variety of diagenetic alterations, the majority of which occurred during moderate to deep burial. Early diagenetic processes include calcite cementation and the formation of Fe-clay mineral peloids and coatings around quartz framework grains. These clays, which underwent transformation to well-crystallized chamosite [polytype Ib(?? = 90??)] on burial, are particularly abundant in medium-grained channel sandstones, whereas illitic clays are predominant in fine-grained interchannel sandstones. Subsequent to mechanical compaction, saddle ankerite precipitated in the reservoir at temperatures in excess of 70??C. Crude oil collected in favourable structural locations during and after ankeritization. Whereas hydrocarbons apparently halted inorganic diagenesis in oil-saturated zones, cementation continued in the underlying water-saturated zones. As reservoir temperatures increased further, hydrocarbons were cracked and a solid pyrobitumen residue remained in the reservoir. At temperatures exceeding ???140-150??C, non-syntaxial quartz cement, ferroan calcite and traces of dickite(?) locally reduced the reservoir quality. Local secondary porosity was created by carbonate cement dissolution. This alteration post-dated hydrocarbon emplacement and is probably related to late-stage infiltration of freshwater along 'leaky' faults. The study shows that the Spiro sandstone locally retained excellent porosities despite deep burial and thermal conditions that correspond to the zone of incipient very low grade metamorphism.

  16. Nature and significance of trace elements in oil sands and heavy oils

    SciTech Connect

    Jacobs, F.S.U.

    1982-01-01

    The occurrence, distribution, and nature of 30 trace elements in oil sands were investigated using solvent extraction, chromatography, IR spectroscopy, UV-visible spectroscopy, NMR spectroscopy, and instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA). Asphaltenes extracted from oil sands and crude oils were separated by sequential elution solvent chromatography (SESC). The relative weight distribution of SESC fractions is similar for all asphaltenes irrespective of their original source or method of preparation. The extent of substitution of aromatic protons, the number, location, and type of heteroatom determine the SESC fraction in which a compound elutes. Trace metals occur in asphaltenes by bonding either to defect sites of the aromatic sheet structures (e.g. V, Ni, Co, Cr) or to the substituent heteroatoms (e.g. Mo, Ga). Selenium occurs as organoselenium compounds of varying molecular sizes while As is apparently combined in relatively simpler molecules such as aryl or alkyl arsines.

  17. Heterotrophic Potentials and Hydrocarbon Biodegradation Potentials of Sediment Microorganisms Within the Athabasca Oil Sands Deposit

    PubMed Central

    Wyndham, R. C.; Costerton, J. W.

    1981-01-01

    Techniques for the enumeration and the determination of the potential activity of disturbed sediment mixed populations at control sites and sites within the Athabasca oil sands formation were applied to August and December samples. These techniques included the determination of general heterotrophic potential for the assimilation and respiration of glutamate, which indicated no oil sand-related changes in the sediments but which indicated a significant seasonal change. Enumeration by epifluorescence direct counts, oil sand hydrocarbon plate counts, and most-probable-number determinations of [14C]hexadecane and [14C]-naphthalene degraders indicated that only the plate count was sensitive to increased numbers of oil sand-related hydrocarbon-oxidizing microorganisms within the oil sands deposit. Unlike the most probable number determinations of [14C]hexadecane and [14C]naphthalene degraders, however, the biodegradation potential results of these substrates indicated a significant increase in activity at oil sands sites. These biodegradation potentials also showed a marked seasonal fluctuation. Although the biodegradation potentials and the endogenous hydrocarbon plate counts indicated an oil sand-adapted mixed sediment population, the results of these techniques did not correlate well with the concentrations of bituminous hydrocarbons in the sediments. The results suggest that a general capability for hydrocarbon oxidation exists in the Athabasca River system and that this capability is enhanced within the natural bounds of the Athabasca oil sands. Images PMID:16345737

  18. Nearshore dynamics of artificial sand and oil agglomerates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dalyander, P. Soupy; Plant, Nathaniel G.; Long, Joseph W.; McLaughlin, Molly R.

    2015-01-01

    Weathered oil can mix with sediment to form heavier-than-water sand and oil agglomerates (SOAs) that can cause beach re-oiling for years after a spill. Few studies have focused on the physical dynamics of SOAs. In this study, artificial SOAs (aSOAs) were created and deployed in the nearshore, and shear stress-based mobility formulations were assessed to predict SOA response. Prediction sensitivity to uncertainty in hydrodynamic conditions and shear stress parameterizations were explored. Critical stress estimates accounting for large particle exposure in a mixed bed gave the best predictions of mobility under shoaling and breaking waves. In the surf zone, the 10-cm aSOA was immobile and began to bury in the seafloor while smaller size classes dispersed alongshore. aSOAs up to 5 cm in diameter were frequently mobilized in the swash zone. The uncertainty in predicting aSOA dynamics reflects a broader uncertainty in applying mobility and transport formulations to cm-sized particles.

  19. Trace metals in heavy crude oils and tar sand bitumens

    SciTech Connect

    Reynolds, J.G.

    1990-11-28

    Fe, Ni, and V are considered trace impurities in heavy crude oils and tar sand bitumens. In order to understand the importance of these metals, we have examined several properties: (1) bulk metals levels, (2) distribution in separated fractions, (3) size behavior in feeds and during processing, (4) speciation as a function of size, and (5) correlations with rheological properties. Some of the results of these studies show: (1) V and Ni have roughly bimodal size distributions, (2) groupings were seen based on location, size distribution, and Ni/V ratio of the sample, (3) Fe profiles are distinctively different, having a unimodal distribution with a maximum at relatively large molecular size, (4) Fe concentrations in the tar sand bitumens suggest possible fines solubilization in some cases, (5) SARA separated fractions show possible correlations of metals with asphaltene properties suggesting secondary and tertiary structure interactions, and (6) ICP-MS examination for soluble ultra-trace metal impurities show the possibility of unexpected elements such as U, Th, Mo, and others at concentrations in the ppB to ppM range. 39 refs., 13 figs., 5 tabs.

  20. Heavy and tar sand oil deposits of Europe

    SciTech Connect

    Cornelius, C.D.

    1984-09-01

    Several hundred heavy and extra-heavy oil and natural bitumen occurrences from 26 European countries (including European Turkey and the western borderlands of the USSR) were compiled. The definitions used for heavy crude oils and natural bitumens, as proposed by or prepared with the UNITAR/UNDP information center, were applied. Information on stratigraphy, lithology, and depth as well as on gravity, viscosity, and gas and water content, is given. Deposits are characteristically distributed along the flanks of the basins or within the separating uplifts. Nevertheless, they are found from the surface down to depths of 3000 m (9800 ft). Up to now, big accumulations have been exploited in Albania and Sicily, but they have been discovered also in the British North Sea, France, Spain, and West Germany. In carbonates, they were mostly encountered in fractures of synsedimentary or tectonic origin. The accumulations are the result of either intrusion of immature heavy oil from a source rock or of the immigration of mature oil, which was biodegraded afterward. In many cases, there have been at least two separate migration/accumulation events. In some cases paleoseepages did supply a source rock with asphaltic material or became an effective seal of a later hydrocarbon accumulation.

  1. Cation exchange capacity (Qv) estimation in shaly sand reservoirs: case studies in the Junggar Basin, northwest China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Liang; Mao, Zhi-Qiang; Sun, Zhong-Chun; Luo, Xing-Ping; Deng, Ren-Shuang; Zhang, Ya-Hui; Ren, Bing

    2015-10-01

    Cation exchange capacity (Qv) is a key parameter in resistivity-based water saturation models of shaly sand reservoirs, and the accuracy of Qv calculation is crucial to the prediction of saturations of oil and gas. In this study, a theoretical expression of Qv in terms of shaly sand permeability (Kshaly-sand), total porosity (ϕt), and salinity of formation water (S) is deduced based on the capillary tube model and the physics volume model. Meanwhile, the classical Schlumberger-Doll research (SDR) model has been introduced to estimate Kshaly-sand. On this basis, a novel technique to estimate Qv from nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) logs is proposed, and the corresponding model is also established, whose model parameters are calibrated by laboratory Qv and NMR measurements of 15 core samples from the Toutunhe formation of the Junggar Basin, northwest China. Based on the experimental data sets, this technique can be extended to reservoir conditions to estimate continuous Qv along the intervals. The processing results of field examples illustrate that the Qv calculated from field NMR logs are consistent with the analyzed results, with the absolute errors within the scope of  ±0.1 mmol cm-3 for the majority of core samples.

  2. Reevaluation of Stevens sand potential - Maricopa depocenter, southern San Joaquin basin, California

    SciTech Connect

    Kolb, M.M.; Parks, S.L. )

    1991-02-01

    During the upper Miocene in the Southern San Joaquin basin surrounding highlands contributed coarse material to a deep marine basin dominated by fine grained silicious bioclastic deposition. these coarse deposits became reservoirs isolated within the silicious Antelope Shale Member of the Monterey Formation. In the southern Maricopa depocenter these Stevens sands are productive at Yowlumne, Landslide, Aqueduct, Rio Viejo, San Emidio Nose, Paloma, and Midway-Sunset fields, and are major exploration targets in surrounding areas. In the ARCO Fee lands area of the southern Maricopa depocenter, Stevens sands occur as rapidly thickening lens-shaped bodies that formed as channel, levee, and lobe deposits of deep-marine fan systems. These fans were fed from a southerly source, with apparent transport in a north-northwesterly direction. Sands deflect gently around present-day structural highs indicating that growth of structures influenced depositional patterns. Correlations reveal two major fan depositional intervals bounded by regional N, O, and P chert markers. Each interval contains numerous individual fan deposits, with many lobes and channels recognizable on three-dimensional seismic data. In addition to these basinal sand plays presently being evaluated, ARCO is pursuing a relatively new trend on Fee lands along the southern basin margin, where correlation to mountain data reveals Stevens sands trend into the steeply dipping beds of the mountain front. This area, the upturned Stevens,' has large reserve potential and producing analogies at Metson, Leutholtz, Los Lobos, and Pleito Ranch fields.

  3. Western Gas Sands Project: production histories of the Piceance and Uinta basins of Colorado and Utah

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, S.; Kohout, J.

    1980-11-20

    Current United States geological tight sand designations in the Piceance and Uinta Basins' Western Gas Sands Project include the Mesaverde Group, Fort Union and Wasatch Formations. Others, such as the Dakota, Cedar Mountain, Morrison and Mancos may eventually be included. Future production from these formations will probably be closely associated with existing trends. Cumulative gas production through December 1979, of the Mesaverde Group, Fort Union and Wasatch Formations in the Piceance and Uinta Basins is less than 275 billion cubic feet. This contrasts dramatically with potential gas in place estimates of 360 trillion cubic feet. If the geology can be fully understood and engineering problems surmounted, significant potential reserves can be exploited.

  4. Sand remobilization enhanced complexity to mounded geometry, Early Tertiary deep water sand reservoirs, Balder Oil Field North Sea

    SciTech Connect

    Bergslien, D.; Rye-Larsen, M.; Jenssen, A.I.

    1996-12-31

    Sand remobilization played a major role in generating the high relief mounded geometries that trap oil in the early Tertiary reservoirs at Balder Field in Norwegian North Sea blocks 25/10 and 25/11. The thick massive submarine-fan sandstones were shed from the East Shetland Platform and deposited from high density turbidity currents. These thick massive sandstones lie in the distal portions of the fan system on the northwestern margin of the Utsira High. An intricate interaction between deposition and soft sediment deformation processes generated the complex cluster of thick mounded sand geometries comprising the Balder oil field. Slumping, sliding and sand remobilization with associated sand injections into overlying shales were the dominant deformation processes that mainly occurred during the early Eocene. The field is comprised of three reservoirs, the Paleocene Heimdal and Hermod Formations and the Early Eocene Balder Formation. The sandstones, which have excellent reservoir properties, share a common pressure system and oil-water contact. This is probably related to the soft-sediment deformation and associated sand injections establishing cross-stratal communication.

  5. Sand remobilization enhanced complexity to mounded geometry, Early Tertiary deep water sand reservoirs, Balder Oil Field North Sea

    SciTech Connect

    Bergslien, D.; Rye-Larsen, M.; Jenssen, A.I. )

    1996-01-01

    Sand remobilization played a major role in generating the high relief mounded geometries that trap oil in the early Tertiary reservoirs at Balder Field in Norwegian North Sea blocks 25/10 and 25/11. The thick massive submarine-fan sandstones were shed from the East Shetland Platform and deposited from high density turbidity currents. These thick massive sandstones lie in the distal portions of the fan system on the northwestern margin of the Utsira High. An intricate interaction between deposition and soft sediment deformation processes generated the complex cluster of thick mounded sand geometries comprising the Balder oil field. Slumping, sliding and sand remobilization with associated sand injections into overlying shales were the dominant deformation processes that mainly occurred during the early Eocene. The field is comprised of three reservoirs, the Paleocene Heimdal and Hermod Formations and the Early Eocene Balder Formation. The sandstones, which have excellent reservoir properties, share a common pressure system and oil-water contact. This is probably related to the soft-sediment deformation and associated sand injections establishing cross-stratal communication.

  6. [Research on Oil Sands Spectral Characteristics and Oil Content by Remote Sensing Estimation].

    PubMed

    You, Jin-feng; Xing, Li-xin; Pan, Jun; Shan, Xuan-long; Liang, Li-heng; Fan, Rui-xue

    2015-04-01

    Visible and near infrared spectroscopy is a proven technology to be widely used in identification and exploration of hydrocarbon energy sources with high spectral resolution for detail diagnostic absorption characteristics of hydrocarbon groups. The most prominent regions for hydrocarbon absorption bands are 1,740-1,780, 2,300-2,340 and 2,340-2,360 nm by the reflectance of oil sands samples. These spectral ranges are dominated by various C-H overlapping overtones and combination bands. Meanwhile, there is relatively weak even or no absorption characteristics in the region from 1,700 to 1,730 nm in the spectra of oil sands samples with low bitumen content. With the increase in oil content, in the spectral range of 1,700-1,730 nm the obvious hydrocarbon absorption begins to appear. The bitumen content is the critical parameter for oil sands reserves estimation. The absorption depth was used to depict the response intensity of the absorption bands controlled by first-order overtones and combinations of the various C-H stretching and bending fundamentals. According to the Pearson and partial correlation relationships of oil content and absorption depth dominated by hydrocarbon groups in 1,740-1,780, 2,300-2,340 and 2,340-2,360 nm wavelength range, the scheme of association mode was established between the intensity of spectral response and bitumen content, and then unary linear regression(ULR) and partial least squares regression (PLSR) methods were employed to model the equation between absorption depth attributed to various C-H bond and bitumen content. There were two calibration equations in which ULR method was employed to model the relationship between absorption depth near 2,350 nm region and bitumen content and PLSR method was developed to model the relationship between absorption depth of 1,758, 2,310, 2,350 nm regions and oil content. It turned out that the calibration models had good predictive ability and high robustness and they could provide the scientific

  7. Influence of oil saturation upon spectral induced polarization of oil-bearing sands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmutz, M.; Revil, A.; Vaudelet, P.; Batzle, M.; Viñao, P. Femenía; Werkema, D. D.

    2010-10-01

    The induced polarization model developed recently by Revil and Florsch to understand the complex conductivity of fully saturated granular materials has been extended to partial saturation conditions. It is an improvement over previous models like the Vinegar and Waxman model, which do not account explicitly for the effect of frequency. The Vinegar and Waxman model can be considered as a limiting case of the Revil and Florsch model in the limit where the distribution of relaxation times is very broad. The extended model is applied to the case of unconsolidated sands partially saturated with oil and water. Laboratory experiments were performed to investigate the influence of oil saturation, frequency, grain size, and conductivity of the pore water upon the complex resistivity response of oil-bearing sands. The low-frequency polarization (below 100 Hz) is dominated by the polarization of the Stern layer (the inner part of the electrical double layer coating the surface of the grains in contact with water). The phase exhibits a well-defined relaxation peak with a peak frequency that is dependent on the mean grain diameter as predicted by the model. Both the resistivity and the magnitude of the phase increase with the relative saturation of the oil. The imaginary (quadrature) component of the complex conductivity is observed to decrease with the oil saturation. All these observations are reproduced by the new model.

  8. Appraisal of the tight sands potential of the Sand Wash and Great Divide Basins. Final report, June 1989--June 1991

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-08-01

    The volume of future tight gas reserve additions is difficult to estimate because of uncertainties in the characterization and extent of the resource and the performance and cost-effectiveness of stimulation and production technologies. Ongoing R&D by industry and government aims to reduce the risks and costs of producing these tight resources, increase the certainty of knowledge of their geologic characteristics and extent, and increase the efficiency of production technologies. Some basins expected to contain large volumes of tight gas are being evaluated as to their potential contribution to domestic gas supplies. This report describes the results of one such appraisal. This analysis addresses the tight portions of the Eastern Greater Green River Basin (Sand Wash and Great Divide Subbasins in Northwestern Colorado and Southwestern Wyoming, respectively), with respect to estimated gas-in-place, technical recovery, and potential reserves. Geological data were compiled from public and proprietary sources. The study estimated gas-in-place in significant (greater than 10 feet net sand thickness) tight sand intervals for six distinct vertical and 21 areal units of analysis. These units of analysis represent tight gas potential outside current areas of development. For each unit of analysis, a ``typical`` well was modeled to represent the costs, recovery and economics of near-term drilling prospects in that unit. Technically recoverable gas was calculated using reservoir properties and assumptions about current formation evaluation and extraction technology performance. Basin-specific capital and operating costs were incorporated along with taxes, royalties and current regulations to estimate the minimum required wellhead gas price required to make the typical well in each of unit of analysis economic.

  9. Enhancement of the TORIS data base of Appalachian basin oil fields. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    1996-01-31

    The Tertiary Oil Recovery Information System, or TORIS, was developed by the Department of Energy in the early 1980s with a goal of accounting for 70% of the nation`s original oil in place (OOIP). More than 3,700 oil reservoirs were included in TORIS, but coverage in the Appalachian basin was poor. This TORIS enhancement project has two main objectives: to increase the coverage of oil fields in the Appalachian basin; and to evaluate data for reservoirs currently in TORIS, and to add, change or delete data as necessary. Both of these objectives have been accomplished. The geological surveys in Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia have identified 113 fields in the Appalachian basin to be included in TORIS that collectively contained 80% of the original oil in place in the basin. Furthermore, data in TORIS at the outset of the project was checked and additional data were added to the original 20 TORIS oil fields. This final report is organized into four main sections: reservoir selection; evaluation of data already in TORIS; industry assistance; and data base creation and validation. Throughout the report the terms pool and reservoir may be used in reference to a single zone of oil accumulation and production within a field. Thus, a field is composed of one or more pools at various stratigraphic levels. These pools or reservoirs also are referred to as pay sands that may be individually named sandstones within a formation or group.

  10. Advanced characterisation of organic matter in oil sands and tailings sands used for land reclamation by Fourier transform-ion cyclotron resonance-mass spectrometry (FT-ICR-MS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noah, M.; Vieth-Hillebrand, A.; Wilkes, H.

    2012-04-01

    The Athabasca region of northern Alberta, Canada, is home to deposits of oil sands containing vast amounts (~ 173 billion barrels) of heavily biodegraded petroleum. Oil sands are recovered by surface mining or by in situ steam injection. The extraction of bitumen from oil sands by caustic hot water processing results in large volumes of fluid tailings, which are stored in on-site settling basins. There the tailings undergo a compaction and dewatering process, producing a slowly densifying suspension. The released water is recycled for extraction. The fine tailings will be reclaimed as either dry or wet landscapes. [1] To produce 1 barrel of crude oil, 2 tons of oil sand and 2 - 3 tons of water (including recycled water) are required. [2] Open pit mining and the extraction of the bitumen from the oil sands create large and intense disturbances of different landscapes. The area currently disturbed by mining operations covers about 530 km2 and the area of tailing ponds surpasses 130 km2. An issue of increasing importance is the land remediation and reclamation of oil sand areas in Canada and the reconstruction of these disturbed landscapes back to working ecosystems similar to those existing prior to mining operations. An important issue in this context is the identification of oil sand-derived organic compounds in the tailings, their environmental behaviour and the resulting chances and limitations with respect to land reclamation. Furthermore the biodegradation processes that occur in the tailings and that could lead to a decrease in hazardous organic compounds are important challenges, which need to be investigated. This presentation will give a detailed overview of our compositional and quantitative characterisation of the organic matter in oil sand, unprocessed and processed mature fine tailings samples as well as in tailings sands used as part of land reclamation. The analytical characterisation is based on the extraction of the soluble organic matter, its

  11. A geochemical reconstruction of oil generation in the Barrow Sub-basin of Western Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Volkman, John K.; Alexander, Robert; Kagi, Robert Ian; Noble, Rohinton A.; Woodhouse, Carry Wayne

    1983-12-01

    A suite of crude oils and petroleum source rock extracts from the Barrow Sub-basin of Western Australia have been analysed for biological marker compounds by capillary GC-MS, and for volatile hydrocarbons by whole oil capillary GC. These analyses were used to calculate values for twenty-three biomarker parameters in order to assess aspects of source type, maturity, migration and biodegradation of the hydrocarbons. The crude oils had a source in the Upper Jurassic Dingo Claystone formation. These hydrocarbons accumulated in the reservoir sands and in some cases were biodegraded. Several accumulation and biodegradation episodes have been recognised while the basin continued to subside, which resulted in a suite of oils showing marked differences in composition.

  12. Integration of High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor Technology with Oil Sands Processes

    SciTech Connect

    L.E. Demick

    2011-10-01

    This paper summarizes an evaluation of siting an HTGR plant in a remote area supplying steam, electricity and high temperature gas for recovery and upgrading of unconventional crude oil from oil sands. The area selected for this evaluation is the Alberta Canada oil sands. This is a very fertile and active area for bitumen recovery and upgrading with significant quantities piped to refineries in Canada and the U.S Additionally data on the energy consumption and other factors that are required to complete the evaluation of HTGR application is readily available in the public domain. There is also interest by the Alberta oil sands producers (OSP) in identifying alternative energy sources for their operations. It should be noted, however, that the results of this evaluation could be applied to any similar oil sands area.

  13. Performance of a constructed fen peatland: Reclamation of oil sands landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Price, J. S.

    2013-12-01

    Wetlands cover >60% of the landscape in the Athabasca oils sands development region. These are predominantly fen peatlands, that rely to varying extent on base-rich surface- and/or ground-water derived from adjacent mineral lands. Large areas of peatland are removed by surface stripping to access the bitumen. Reclamation of post-mined landscapes to peatland has not previously been attempted. Groundwater modeling was used to guide design choices on the optimal geometry, placement (layering) and hydraulic properties of locally available materials; these include processed tailings sand, as well peat and forest soils from newly developed lease areas. The constructed system comprises a ~3 ha fen with 2 m of peat and an adjacent upland specifically designed to supply the requisite water to maintain suitable hydrological conditions. The upland is primarily tailings sand covered by a forest soil. The constructed fen/upland system was set within a ~30 ha basin that was reclaimed using standard techniques and materials, and supplements water inputs to the designed system. Both fen and upland were placed at water contents well below equilibrium levels, so there was concern about the wetland function during the years following construction. However, in its first year following construction (2013), a higher than normal snowpack flooded the system, but by surface inflow rather than seepage from the upland. Ground-ice in the fen limited the general infiltration and percolation of meltwater into the peat, although fortuitously a localized recharge pipe developed through thermal erosion and substantially recharged the fen. Water was redistributed beneath the fen through a highly permeable sublayer (petroleum coke) designed for this purpose, and created artesian pressures. Backflow into the upland also resulted, although much of the upland remains well below design water contents. Modification of the upland soils by plowing, and development of local recharge basins, is expected to

  14. Impacts of Oil Shale Development on Education in the Uintah Basin. A Report on a Community Based Approach to Education Planning in Communities Facing Rapid Growth.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lindberg, Denise P.

    Three counties in eastern Utah's Uintah Basin face the likelihood of rapid growth because of planned oil shale and tar sands development in the area. This seven-part report describes a federally-funded, community-based project to plan for expected impacts of the energy developments on Uintah Basin education. After an introductory overview, the…

  15. Tracing biogeochemical and microbial variability over a complete oil sand mining and recultivation process.

    PubMed

    Noah, Mareike; Lappé, Michael; Schneider, Beate; Vieth-Hillebrand, Andrea; Wilkes, Heinz; Kallmeyer, Jens

    2014-11-15

    Recultivation of disturbed oil sand mining areas is an issue of increasing importance. Nevertheless only little is known about the fate of organic matter, cell abundances and microbial community structures during oil sand processing, tailings management and initial soil development on reclamation sites. Thus the focus of this work is on biogeochemical changes of mined oil sands through the entire process chain until its use as substratum for newly developing soils on reclamation sites. Therefore, oil sand, mature fine tailings (MFTs) from tailings ponds and drying cells and tailings sand covered with peat-mineral mix (PMM) as part of land reclamation were analyzed. The sample set was selected to address the question whether changes in the above-mentioned biogeochemical parameters can be related to oil sand processing or biological processes and how these changes influence microbial activities and soil development. GC-MS analyses of oil-derived biomarkers reveal that these compounds remain unaffected by oil sand processing and biological activity. In contrast, changes in polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) abundance and pattern can be observed along the process chain. Especially naphthalenes, phenanthrenes and chrysenes are altered or absent on reclamation sites. Furthermore, root-bearing horizons on reclamation sites exhibit cell abundances at least ten times higher (10(8) to 10(9) cells g(-1)) than in oil sand and MFT samples (10(7) cells g(-1)) and show a higher diversity in their microbial community structure. Nitrate in the pore water and roots derived from the PMM seem to be the most important stimulants for microbial growth. The combined data show that the observed compositional changes are mostly related to biological activity and the addition of exogenous organic components (PMM), whereas oil extraction, tailings dewatering and compaction do not have significant influences on the evaluated compounds. Microbial community composition remains relatively

  16. Ecohydrology applications to ecosystem reconstruction after oil-sand mining

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mendoza, Carl; Devito, Kevin

    2014-05-01

    Oil-sand deposits in northeast Alberta, Canada comprise some of the world's largest oil reserves. Open-pit mining of these resources leads to waste-rock piles, tailings ponds and open pits that must be reclaimed to "equivalent landscape capability", with viable forests and wetlands, using only native vegetation. Understanding ecohydrological processes in natural systems is critical for designing the necessary landforms and landscapes. A challenge is the cold, sub-humid climate, with highly variable precipitation. Furthermore, there are competing demands, needs or uses for water, in both quantity and quality, for reclamation and sustainability of forestlands, wetlands and end-pit lakes. On average there is a potential water deficit in the region, yet wetlands cover half of the undisturbed environment. Water budget analyses demonstrate that, although somewhat unpredictable and uncontrollable, the magnitude and timing of water delivery largely control water storage and conservation within the landscape. The opportunity is to design and manipulate these reconstructed landscapes so that water is stored and conserved, and water quality is naturally managed. Heterogeneous geologic materials can be arranged and layered, and landforms sculpted, to minimize runoff, enhance infiltration, and promote surface and subsurface storage. Similarly, discharge of poor quality water can be minimized or focused. And, appropriate vegetation choices are necessary to conserve water on the landscape. To achieve these ends, careful attention must be paid to the entire water budget, the variability in its components, interconnections between hydrologic units, in both space and time, and coupled vegetation processes. To date our knowledge is guided primarily by natural analogues. To move forward, it is apparent that numerous priorities and constraints, which are potentially competing, must be addressed. These include geotechnical and operational requirements, material limitations or excesses

  17. Using infrastructure optimization to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from oil sands extraction and processing.

    PubMed

    Middleton, Richard S; Brandt, Adam R

    2013-02-01

    The Alberta oil sands are a significant source of oil production and greenhouse gas emissions, and their importance will grow as the region is poised for decades of growth. We present an integrated framework that simultaneously considers economic and engineering decisions for the capture, transport, and storage of oil sands CO(2) emissions. The model optimizes CO(2) management infrastructure at a variety of carbon prices for the oil sands industry. Our study reveals several key findings. We find that the oil sands industry lends itself well to development of CO(2) trunk lines due to geographic coincidence of sources and sinks. This reduces the relative importance of transport costs compared to nonintegrated transport systems. Also, the amount of managed oil sands CO(2) emissions, and therefore the CCS infrastructure, is very sensitive to the carbon price; significant capture and storage occurs only above 110$/tonne CO(2) in our simulations. Deployment of infrastructure is also sensitive to CO(2) capture decisions and technology, particularly the fraction of capturable CO(2) from oil sands upgrading and steam generation facilities. The framework will help stakeholders and policy makers understand how CCS infrastructure, including an extensive pipeline system, can be safely and cost-effectively deployed. PMID:23276202

  18. PAH Measurements in Air in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Yu-Mei; Harner, Tom; Li, Henrik; Fellin, Phil

    2015-05-01

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) measurements were conducted by Wood Buffalo Environmental Association (WBEA) at four community ambient Air quality Monitoring Stations (AMS) in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR) in Northeastern Alberta, Canada. The 2012 and 2013 mean concentrations of a subset of the 22 PAH species were 9.5, 8.4, 8.8, and 32 ng m(-3) at AMS 1 (Fort McKay), AMS 6 (residential Fort McMurray), AMS 7 (downtown Fort McMurray), and AMS 14 (Anzac), respectively. The average PAH concentrations in Fort McKay and Fort McMurray were in the range of rural and semirural areas, but peak values reflect an industrial emission influence. At these stations, PAHs were generally associated with NO, NO2, PM2.5, and SO2, indicating the emissions were from the combustion sources such as industrial stacks, vehicles, residential heating, and forest fires, whereas the PAH concentrations at AMS 14 (∼35 km south of Fort McMurray) were more characteristic of urban areas with a unique pattern: eight of the lower molecular weight PAHs exhibited strong seasonality with higher levels during the warmer months. Enthalpies calculated from Clausius-Clapeyron plots for these eight PAHs suggest that atmospheric emissions were dominated by temperature-dependent processes such as volatilization at warm temperatures. These findings point to the potential importance of localized water-air and/or surface-air transfer on observed PAH concentrations in air. PMID:25844542

  19. The extraction of bitumen from western oil sands. Quarterly report, July--September, 1993

    SciTech Connect

    Oblad, A.G.; Bunger, J.W.; Dahlstrom, D.A.; Deo, M.D.; Fletcher, J.V.; Hanson, F.V.; Miller, J.D.; Seader, J.D.

    1993-11-01

    This report cites task number followed by a brief statement of each task and the action taken this quarter. The tasks are: NEPA environmental information statement; coupled fluidized-bed bitumen recovery and coked sand combustion; water-based recovery of bitumen; rotary kiln process for recovery of bitumen and combustion of coke sand; recovery of bitumen from oil sands using fluidized bed reactors and combustion of spent sands in transport reactors; recovery of bitumen from oil sand and upgrading of bitumen by solvent extraction; catalytic and thermal upgrading of bitumens and bitumen-derived liquids; evaluation of Utah`s major oil sand deposits for the production of asphalt, high energy jet fuels, and other specialty products; development of mathematical models for bitumen recovery and processing; completion of the cost estimation study of the pilot plant restoration; development studies of equipment for three-product gravity separation of bitumen and sand; development studies of disposal of sand by conveying or pumping of high solids concentration sand-water slurries; and environmental studies of the North Salt Lake pilot plant rehabilitation and eventual operation and those environmental problems associated with eventual commercial products.

  20. Biodegradation of MC252 oil in oil:sand aggregates in a coastal headland beach environment.

    PubMed

    Elango, Vijaikrishnah; Urbano, Marilany; Lemelle, Kendall R; Pardue, John H

    2014-01-01

    Unique oil:sand aggregates, termed surface residue balls (SRBs), were formed on coastal headland beaches along the northern Gulf of Mexico as emulsified MC252 crude oil mixed with sand following the Deepwater Horizon spill event. The objective of this study is to assess the biodegradation potential of crude oil components in these aggregates using multiple lines of evidence on a heavily-impacted coastal headland beach in Louisiana, USA. SRBs were sampled over a 19-month period on the supratidal beach environment with reasonable control over and knowledge of the residence time of the aggregates on the beach surface. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and alkane concentration ratios were measured including PAH/C30-hopane, C2/C3 phenanthrenes, C2/C3 dibenzothiophenes and alkane/C30-hopane and demonstrated that biodegradation was occurring in SRBs in the supratidal. These biodegradation reactions occurred over time frames relevant to the coastal processes moving SRBs off the beach. In contrast, submerged oil mat samples from the intertidal did not demonstrate chemical changes consistent with biodegradation. Review and analysis of additional biogeochemical parameters suggested the existence of a moisture and nutrient-limited biodegradation regime on the supratidal beach environment. At this location, SRBs possess moisture contents <2% and molar C:N ratios from 131-323, well outside of optimal values for biodegradation in the literature. Despite these limitations, biodegradation of PAHs and alkanes proceeded at relevant rates (2-8 year(-1)) due in part to the presence of degrading populations, i.e., Mycobacterium sp., adapted to these conditions. For submerged oil mat samples in the intertidal, an oxygen and salinity-impacted regime is proposed that severely limits biodegradation of alkanes and PAHs in this environment. These results support the hypothesis that SRBs deposited at different locations on the beach have different biogeochemical characteristics (e

  1. Biodegradation of MC252 oil in oil:sand aggregates in a coastal headland beach environment

    PubMed Central

    Elango, Vijaikrishnah; Urbano, Marilany; Lemelle, Kendall R.; Pardue, John H.

    2014-01-01

    Unique oil:sand aggregates, termed surface residue balls (SRBs), were formed on coastal headland beaches along the northern Gulf of Mexico as emulsified MC252 crude oil mixed with sand following the Deepwater Horizon spill event. The objective of this study is to assess the biodegradation potential of crude oil components in these aggregates using multiple lines of evidence on a heavily-impacted coastal headland beach in Louisiana, USA. SRBs were sampled over a 19-month period on the supratidal beach environment with reasonable control over and knowledge of the residence time of the aggregates on the beach surface. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and alkane concentration ratios were measured including PAH/C30-hopane, C2/C3 phenanthrenes, C2/C3 dibenzothiophenes and alkane/C30-hopane and demonstrated that biodegradation was occurring in SRBs in the supratidal. These biodegradation reactions occurred over time frames relevant to the coastal processes moving SRBs off the beach. In contrast, submerged oil mat samples from the intertidal did not demonstrate chemical changes consistent with biodegradation. Review and analysis of additional biogeochemical parameters suggested the existence of a moisture and nutrient-limited biodegradation regime on the supratidal beach environment. At this location, SRBs possess moisture contents <2% and molar C:N ratios from 131–323, well outside of optimal values for biodegradation in the literature. Despite these limitations, biodegradation of PAHs and alkanes proceeded at relevant rates (2–8 year−1) due in part to the presence of degrading populations, i.e., Mycobacterium sp., adapted to these conditions. For submerged oil mat samples in the intertidal, an oxygen and salinity-impacted regime is proposed that severely limits biodegradation of alkanes and PAHs in this environment. These results support the hypothesis that SRBs deposited at different locations on the beach have different biogeochemical characteristics (e

  2. Phytotoxicity of oil sands naphthenic acids and dissipation from systems planted with emergent aquatic macrophytes.

    PubMed

    Armstrong, Sarah A; Headley, John V; Peru, Kerry M; Germida, James J

    2008-01-01

    Differences in dissipation and phytotoxicity were measured for two naphthenic acid mixtures in hydroponically grown emergent macrophytes (Typha latifolia, Phragmites australis, and Scirpus acutus). One of the naphthenic acid (NA) mixtures was extracted from tailings pond water of an oil sands operation in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. The other mixture was a commercially available NA mixture. While the oil sands NA mixture was less phytotoxic to wetland plants compared to the commercially available NA mixture, they were not sequestered by wetland plants like their commercial NA counterparts. The small loss of commercial NAs from the spiked hydroponic system appeared to be selective and dependant on the specific NA compound. The results of this study indicate that plants alone may not mitigate NAs from oil sands tailings pond water. In addition, caution should be taken when making predictions on the environmental fate of oil sands naphthenic acids when using commercial NAs as surrogates. PMID:18161556

  3. Experimental Investigation on Dilation Mechanisms of Land-Facies Karamay Oil Sand Reservoirs under Water Injection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Botao; Jin, Yan; Pang, Huiwen; Cerato, Amy B.

    2016-04-01

    The success of steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) is strongly dependent on the formation of a homogeneous and highly permeable zone in the land-facies Karamay oil sand reservoirs. To accomplish this, hydraulic fracturing is applied through controlled water injection to a pair of horizontal wells to create a dilation zone between the dual wells. The mechanical response of the reservoirs during this injection process, however, has remained unclear for the land-facies oil sand that has a loosely packed structure. This research conducted triaxial, permeability and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) tests on the field-collected oil sand samples. The tests evaluated the influences of the field temperature, confining stress and injection pressure on the dilation mechanisms as shear dilation and tensile parting during injection. To account for petrophysical heterogeneity, five reservoir rocks including regular oil sand, mud-rich oil sand, bitumen-rich oil sand, mudstone and sandstone were investigated. It was found that the permeability evolution in the oil sand samples subjected to shear dilation closely followed the porosity and microcrack evolutions in the shear bands. In contrast, the mudstone and sandstone samples developed distinct shear planes, which formed preferred permeation paths. Tensile parting expanded the pore space and increased the permeability of all the samples in various degrees. Based on this analysis, it is concluded that the range of injection propagation in the pay zone determines the overall quality of hydraulic fracturing, while the injection pressure must be carefully controlled. A region in a reservoir has little dilation upon injection if it remains unsaturated. Moreover, a cooling of the injected water can strengthen the dilation potential of a reservoir. Finally, it is suggested that the numerical modeling of water injection in the Karamay oil sand reservoirs must take into account the volumetric plastic strain in hydrostatic loading.

  4. Vegetation community composition in wetlands created following oil sand mining in Alberta, Canada.

    PubMed

    Roy, Marie-Claude; Foote, Lee; Ciborowski, Jan J H

    2016-05-01

    Reclaiming wetlands following open pit mining for industrial oil sand extraction is challenging due to the physical and chemical conditions of the post-mined landscape. The aim of our study was to examine and compare the influence of oil sands process water (OSPW) and material (fine fluid tails or FFT) on the plant community composition of created wetlands. Compared to created-unamended and natural wetlands, the created wetlands amended with OSPW and/or FFT (created-tailings wetlands) had significantly higher water salinity, conductivity, dissolved oxygen concentration and lower oxidative-reductive potential. Water chemistry parameters of created-unamended did not differ significantly from those of natural wetlands. The sediment of created wetlands had significantly less moisture, total nitrogen, and organic content than the natural wetlands. The application of OSPW/FFT in created wetlands will likely lead to initial vegetation composition atypical of natural regional wetlands. For the objective of reclaiming vegetation composition to the status of natural regional wetlands, unamended wetlands were the best reclamation option, based on the physical and chemical parameters measured. Despite being the favored reclamation option, created-unamended wetlands' physical and chemical characteristics remain atypical of natural wetlands. Most significantly, the basin morphometry of created wetlands was significantly different from that of naturally-formed wetlands in the region, and this appears to partly explain difference in vegetation composition. We also demonstrate that species richness alone is not a useful measure in wetland monitoring. Instead, plant community composition is a better indicator of wetland conditions. PMID:26921562

  5. Investigation of Thermal Conductivity and Heat Characteristics of Oil Sands Using Ultrasound Irradiation for Shortening the Preheating Time

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kamagata, Shingo; Kawamura, Youhei; Okawa, Hirokazu; Mizutani, Koichi

    2012-07-01

    Oil sands are attractive as an energy resource. Bitumen, which is found in oil sands, has high viscosity, so that it does not flow. Most oil sands are underground and are developed with a method called steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD). Hot steam is injected underground to fluidize bitumen and promote its recovery. However, the preheating time is too long. One way of reducing running costs is by shortening the preheating time. Previous studies have found that bitumen can be extracted from oil sands efficiently by applying ultrasonic irradiation, but SAGD was not applied directly in these cases. Thus, the purpose of this study is to apply ultrasonic irradiation to SAGD, thereby shortening the preheating time of oil sands. As a model experiment for SAGD, heat transfer experiments in a sand layer made with Toyoura sand and silicone oil were conducted and the thermal effect with ultrasound was investigated.

  6. Evaluating the oil sands reclamation process: Assessing policy capacity and stakeholder access for government and non-governmental organizations operating in Alberta's oil sands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patterson, Tyler

    By employing interpretive policy analysis this thesis aims to assess, measure, and explain policy capacity for government and non-government organizations involved in reclaiming Alberta's oil sands. Using this type of analysis to assess policy capacity is a novel approach for understanding reclamation policy; and therefore, this research will provide a unique contribution to the literature surrounding reclamation policy. The oil sands region in northeast Alberta, Canada is an area of interest for a few reasons; primarily because of the vast reserves of bitumen and the environmental cost associated with developing this resource. An increase in global oil demand has established incentive for industry to seek out and develop new reserves. Alberta's oil sands are one of the largest remaining reserves in the world, and there is significant interest in increasing production in this region. Furthermore, tensions in several oil exporting nations in the Middle East remain unresolved, and this has garnered additional support for a supply side solution to North American oil demands. This solution relies upon the development of reserves in both the United States and Canada. These compounding factors have contributed to the increased development in the oil sands of northeastern Alberta. Essentially, a rapid expansion of oil sands operations is ongoing, and is the source of significant disturbance across the region. This disturbance, and the promises of reclamation, is a source of contentious debates amongst stakeholders and continues to be highly visible in the media. If oil sands operations are to retain their social license to operate, it is critical that reclamation efforts be effective. One concern non-governmental organizations (NGOs) expressed criticizes the current monitoring and enforcement of regulatory programs in the oil sands. Alberta's NGOs have suggested the data made available to them originates from industrial sources, and is generally unchecked by government

  7. Diagenesis and porosity evolution of tight sand reservoirs in Carboniferous Benxi Formation, Southeast Ordos Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Peng; Yu, Xinghe; Shan, Xin; Su, Dongxu; Wang, Jiao; Li, Yalong; Shi, Xin; Xu, Liqiang

    2016-04-01

    The Ordos Basin, situated in west-central China, is one of the oldest and most important fossil-fuel energy base, which contains large reserves of coal, oil and natural gas. The Upper Palaeozoic strata are widely distributed with rich gas-bearing and large natural gas resources, whose potential is tremendous. Recent years have witnessed a great tight gas exploration improvement of the Upper Paleozoic in Southeastern Ordos basin. The Carboniferous Benxi Formation, mainly buried more than 2,500m, is the key target strata for hydrocarbon exploration, which was deposited in a barrier island and tidal flat environment. The sandy bars and flats are the favorable sedimentary microfacies. With an integrated approach of thin-section petrophysics, constant velocity mercury injection test, scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffractometry, diagenesis and porosity evolution of tight sand reservoirs of Benxi Formation were analyzed in detail. The result shows that the main lithology of sandstone in this area is dominated by moderately to well sorted quartz sandstone. The average porosity and permeability is 4.72% and 1.22mD. The reservoirs of Benxi Formation holds a variety of pore types and the pore throats, with obvious heterogeneity and poor connection. Based on the capillary pressure curve morphological characteristics and parameters, combined with thin section and phycical property data, the reservoir pore structure of Benxi Formation can be divided into 4 types, including mid pore mid throat type(I), mid pore fine throat type(II), small pore fine throat type(III) and micro pro micro throat type(Ⅳ). The reservoirs primarily fall in B-subsate of middle diagenesis and late diagenesis, which mainly undergo compaction, cmentation, dissolution and fracturing process. Employing the empirical formula of different sorting for unconsolideated sandstone porosity, the initial sandstone porosity is 38.32% on average. Quantitative evaluation of the increase and decrease of

  8. Impact of edible oil injection on the permeability of aquifer sands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coulibaly, Kapo M.; Borden, Robert C.

    2004-07-01

    Recent laboratory and field studies have shown that food-grade edible oils can be injected into the subsurface for installation of in-situ permeable reactive barriers. However to be effective, the oil must be distributed out away from the oil injection points without excessive permeability loss. In this work, we examine the distribution of soybean oil in representative aquifer sediments as non-aqueous phase liquid oil (NAPL oil) or as an oil-in-water emulsion. Laboratory columns packed with sands or clayey sands were flushed with either NAPL oil or a soybean emulsion followed by plain water, while monitoring permeability loss and the final oil residual saturation. NAPL oil can be injected into coarse-grained sands. However NAPL injection into finer grained sediments requires high injection pressures which may not be feasible at some sites. In addition, NAPL injection results in high oil residual saturations and moderate permeability losses. In contrast, properly prepared emulsions can be distributed through sands with varying clay content without excessive pressure buildup, low oil retention and very low to moderate permeability loss. For effective transport, the emulsion must be stable, the oil droplets must be significantly smaller than the mean pore size of the sediment and the oil droplets should have a low to moderate tendency to stick to each other and the aquifer sediments. In our work, oil retention and associated permeability loss increased with sediment clay content and with the ratio of droplet size to pore size. For sandy sediments, the permeability loss is modest (0-40% loss) and is proportional to the oil residual saturation.

  9. Geological model for oil gravity variations in Oriente Basin, Ecuador

    SciTech Connect

    Dashwood, M.F.; Abbotts, I.L.

    1988-01-01

    The Oriente basin is one of the major productive Subandean basins. Most of the fields produce 29/sup 0/-33/sup 0/ API paraffinic oils, but oils have been discovered with gravities ranging from 10/sup 0/to 35/sup 0/ API. All the oils have been recovered from multiple middle to Late Cretaceous sandstone reservoirs (Hollin and Napo Formations). Wells display a variety of oil gravities by reservoir. The origin of the Oriente oils is problematical and controversial, but structural, geochemical, and well evidence suggest a vast oil kitchen west of the present Andean foothills that was mature for oil generation by at least early Tertiary. Oil analyses indicate a single family of oils is present. Oil gravity variations can be explained systematically in terms of the various alteration processes suffered by the oil in each reservoir. Intermittent early Andean uplift (latest Cretaceous to Mid-Eocene) resulted in biodegradation and water-washing of oils, particularly in the uppermost Napo reservoirs. The main Andean orogeny (Pliocene) uplifted the Hollin reservoir to outcrop in the west, and tilted the basin down to the south. This movement resulted in water washing or flushing of the Hollin aquifer and a phase of northward remigration of oil. Late Andean structures postdated primary oil migration. Almost all structures displaying growth during the Late Cretaceous to early Eocene have been oil bearing, but some, particularly those located on the present-day basin flanks, were later severely biodegraded or breached.

  10. Oil shale, tar sand, coal research advanced exploratory process technology, jointly sponsored research. Quarterly technical progress report, October--December 1992

    SciTech Connect

    Speight, J.G.

    1992-12-31

    Accomplishments for the past quarter are presented for the following five tasks: oil shale; tar sand; coal; advanced exploratory process technology; and jointly sponsored research. Oil shale research covers oil shale process studies. Tar sand research is on process development of Recycle Oil Pyrolysis and Extraction (ROPE) Process. Coal research covers: coal combustion; integrated coal processing concepts; and solid waste management. Advanced exploratory process technology includes: advanced process concepts;advanced mitigation concepts; and oil and gas technology. Jointly sponsored research includes: organic and inorganic hazardous waste stabilization; CROW field demonstration with Bell Lumber and Pole; development and validation of a standard test method for sequential batch extraction fluid; PGI demonstration project; operation and evaluation of the CO{sub 2} HUFF-N-PUFF Process; fly ash binder for unsurfaced road aggregates; solid state NMR analysis of Mesaverde Group, Greater Green River Basin, tight gas sands; flow-loop testing of double-wall pipe for thermal applications; characterization of petroleum residue; shallow oil production using horizontal wells with enhanced oil recovery techniques; surface process study for oil recovery using a thermal extraction process; NMR analysis of samples from the ocean drilling program; in situ treatment of manufactured gas plant contaminated soils demonstration program; and solid state NMR analysis of naturally and artificially matured kerogens.

  11. Mycorrhizal inoculum potentials of pure reclamation materials and revegetated tailing sands from the Canadian oil sand industry.

    PubMed

    Bois, G; Piché, Y; Fung, M Y P; Khasa, D P

    2005-05-01

    Recent improvements in the management of oil sand tailings used by the Canadian oil sand industry have resulted in the production of composite tailing sands (CT): a new challenging material for reclamation work. Jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.), hybrid poplar (Populus deltoides Bartr. ex Marsh. xPopulus nigra L.) and red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) plants were used in an 8-week greenhouse bioassay to evaluate the mycorrhizal inoculum potential of CT. This inoculum potential was compared with that of three other reclamation materials [common tailing sands (TS), deep overburden (OB) and muskeg peat (MK)], and with three sites reclaimed in 1982 (R82), 1988 (R88) and 1999 (R99). CT was devoid of active mycorrhizal propagules while all other materials showed some level of inoculum potential. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi were observed on roots of clover or poplar grown in TS, OB, and all substrates containing peat (MK, R82, R88 and R99). Pine roots were also colonized by vesicle-forming hyphae of an unidentified fine endophyte and by dark septate fungi. Ectomycorrhizas (ECM) were observed on pine and poplar grown in OB, MK, and in soils from the two older reclaimed sites (R82 and R88). Using morpho- and molecular typing, six ECM fungi were identified to the genus or species level: Laccaria sp., Thelephora americana, Wilcoxina sp. (E-strain), Tuber sp. (I-type), a Sebacinoid, and a Pezizales species. Laccaria sp. and Wilcoxina sp. were the most frequently observed ECM species. PMID:15883852

  12. The extraction of bitumen from western oil sands. Annual report, July 1991--July 1992

    SciTech Connect

    Oblad, A.G.; Bunger, J.W.; Dahlstrom, D.A.; Deo, M.D.; Hanson, F.V.; Miller, J.D.; Seader, J.D.

    1992-08-01

    The University of Utah tar sand research and development program is concerned with research and development on Utah is extensive oil sands deposits. The program has been intended to develop a scientific and technological base required for eventual commercial recovery of the heavy oils from oil sands and processing these oils to produce synthetic crude oil and other products such as asphalt. The overall program is based on mining the oil sand, processing the mined sand to recover the heavy oils and upgrading them to products. Multiple deposits are being investigated since it is believed that a large scale (approximately 20,000 bbl/day) plant would require the use of resources from more than one deposit. The tasks or projects in the program are organized according to the following classification: Recovery technologies which includes thermal recovery methods, water extraction methods, and solvent extraction methods; upgrading and processing technologies which covers hydrotreating, hydrocracking, and hydropyrolysis; solvent extraction; production of specialty products; and environmental aspects of the production and processing technologies. These tasks are covered in this report.

  13. Vegetation and soil water interactions on a tailings sand storage facility in the athabasca oil sands region of Alberta Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naeth, M. A.; Chanasyk, D. S.; Burgers, T. D.

    The relationship between vegetation and soil water was studied on the Syncrude South West Sand Storage facility in the Athabasca Oil Sands region of Alberta, Canada. Soil water and relevant soil chemical and physical properties were measured at the soil surface, as well as above and below the reclamation soil and tailings sand interface, in areas of low and high vegetation cover. The interface between the reclamation soil and the tailings sand acted as a capillary barrier. Water content was highest under low vegetation cover but soil water conditions above field capacity were rare and unlikely to have impacted vegetation. Periods of water stress occurred, where volumetric water content was below wilting point; these periods were of short duration and generally typical of ecosystems in the study area. Differences in surface soil water between the two vegetation covers were attributed to evapotranspiration and/or canopy interception. Differences above and below the interface were attributed to variation in canopy cover at the surface and resulting quantities of water available for percolation through the soil profiles. At the interface of the reclamation soil and tailings sand, water movement was restricted. High and low canopy covers responded differently to precipitation events; low vegetation cover areas had greater fluctuations in volumetric water content at all depths. The occurrence of a capillary barrier effect will need to be accounted for in developing reclamation soil profiles.

  14. Geochemistry of oils from the Junggar basin, northwest China

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clayton, J.L.; Yang, J.; King, J.D.; Lillis, P.G.; Warden, A.

    1997-01-01

    The Junggar basin of northwestern China is a structural basin containing a thick sequence of Paleozoic-Pleistocene rocks with estimated oil reserves of as much as 5 billion bbl. Analyses of 19 oil samples from nine producing fields and two oil-stained cores in the Junggar basin revealed the presence of at least five genetic oil types. The geochemistry of the oils indicates source organic matter deposited in fresh to brackish lake and marine environments, including coaly organic matter sources. The volumetrically most important oil type discovered to date is produced from Late Carboniferous-Middle Triassic reservoirs in the giant Karamay field and nearby fields located along the northwestern margin of the Junggar basin. Oil produced from the Mahu field, located downdip in a depression east of the Karamay field, is from a different source than Karamay oils. Unique oil types are also produced from an upper Permian reservoir at Jimusar field in the southeastern part of the basin, and from Tertiary (Oligocene) rocks at Dushanzi field and Lower Jurassic rocks at Qigu field, both located along the southern margin of the basin. Previous studies have demonstrated the presence of Upper Permian source rocks, and the possibility of Mesozoic or Tertiary sources has been proposed, but not tested by geochemical analysis, although analyses of some possible Jurassic coal source rocks have been reported. Our findings indicate that several effective source rocks are present in the basin, including local sources of Mesozoic or younger age for oil accumulations along the southern and southeastern margins of the basin. Future exploration or assessment of petroleum potential of the basin can be improved by considering the geological relationships among oil types, possible oil source rocks, and reservoirs.

  15. Policy Analysis of Water Availability and Use Issues for Domestic Oil Shale and Oil Sands Development

    SciTech Connect

    Ruple, John; Keiter, Robert

    2010-12-31

    Oil shale and oil sands resources located within the intermountain west represent a vast, and as of yet, commercially untapped source of energy. Development will require water, and demand for scarce water resources stands at the front of a long list of barriers to commercialization. Water requirements and the consequences of commercial development will depend on the number, size, and location of facilities, as well as the technologies employed to develop these unconventional fuels. While the details remain unclear, the implication is not – unconventional fuel development will increase demand for water in an arid region where demand for water often exceeds supply. Water demands in excess of supplies have long been the norm in the west, and for more than a century water has been apportioned on a first-come, first-served basis. Unconventional fuel developers who have not already secured water rights stand at the back of a long line and will need to obtain water from willing water purveyors. However, uncertainty regarding the nature and extent of some senior water claims combine with indeterminate interstate river management to cast a cloud over water resource allocation and management. Quantitative and qualitative water requirements associated with Endangered Species protection also stand as barriers to significant water development, and complex water quality regulations will apply to unconventional fuel development. Legal and political decisions can give shape to an indeterminate landscape. Settlement of Northern Ute reserved rights claims would help clarify the worth of existing water rights and viability of alternative sources of supply. Interstate apportionment of the White River would go a long way towards resolving water availability in downstream Utah. And energy policy clarification will help determine the role oil shale and oil sands will play in our nation’s future.

  16. Oil and gas resources in the West Siberian Basin, Russia

    SciTech Connect

    1997-12-01

    The primary objective of this study is to assess the oil and gas potential of the West Siberian Basin of Russia. The study does not analyze the costs or technology necessary to achieve the estimates of the ultimate recoverable oil and gas. This study uses reservoir data to estimate recoverable oil and gas quantities which were aggregated to the field level. Field totals were summed to a basin total for discovered fields. An estimate of undiscovered oil and gas, from work of the US Geological Survey (USGS), was added to give a total basin resource volume. Recent production decline points out Russia`s need to continue development of its discovered recoverable oil and gas. Continued exploration is required to discover additional oil and gas that remains undiscovered in the basin.

  17. Hydrogeology and effects of tailings basins on the hydrology of Sands Plain, Marquette County, Michigan

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grannemann, N.G.

    1984-01-01

    A hydrogeological study of Sands Plain, a sandy outwash area in the north-central part of Michigan 's Upper Peninsula, was conducted during 1979-82. Parts of the area are being considered as possible sites for construction and operation of iron mining tailings basins. Gribben Basin, an existing tailings basin in the western part of Sands Plains, covers 2.5 square miles; hypothetical tailings basins may cover as much as 11 square miles. Glacial deposits are the area 's principal aquifer. The general direction of ground-water flow is from the outwash area toward Lake Superior. Before reaching Lake Superior, however, most ground water is discharged in a series of nearly parallel streams. Ground water accounts for 95 percent of the discharge of these streams. Precipitation collected at two sites had average pH values of 4.0. Dissolved solids concentrations in water from wells ranged from 41 to 246 milligrams per liter; in water from streams, they ranged from 82 to 143 milligrams per liter. Calcium and bicarbonate were the principal dissolved ions. A two-dimensional digital model of ground-water flow was used to simulate ground-water levels and runoff. The predictive computer simulations indicate that construction and operation of Gribben tailings basin, located in the western part of the study area, decreased ground-water flow to Goose Lake Outlet by 0.9 to 1.6 cubic feet per second. Construction and operation of four hypothetical tailings basins covering a total of 11 square miles is estimated to reduce ground-water flow to the area 's streams by 7 to 18 cubic feet per second depending on the hydraulic properties of material comprising the basin boundaries. Leakage from all of the basins is estimated to range from 0.7 to 7 cubic feet per second. (USGS)

  18. Forensic source differentiation of petrogenic, pyrogenic, and biogenic hydrocarbons in Canadian oil sands environmental samples.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhendi; Yang, C; Parrott, J L; Frank, R A; Yang, Z; Brown, C E; Hollebone, B P; Landriault, M; Fieldhouse, B; Liu, Y; Zhang, G; Hewitt, L M

    2014-04-30

    To facilitate monitoring efforts, a forensic chemical fingerprinting methodology has been applied to characterize and differentiate pyrogenic (combustion derived) and biogenic (organism derived) hydrocarbons from petrogenic (petroleum derived) hydrocarbons in environmental samples from the Canadian oil sands region. Between 2009 and 2012, hundreds of oil sands environmental samples including water (snowmelt water, river water, and tailings pond water) and sediments (from river beds and tailings ponds) have been analyzed. These samples were taken from sites where assessments of wild fish health, invertebrate communities, toxicology and detailed chemistry are being conducted as part of the Canada-Alberta Joint Oil Sands Monitoring Plan (JOSMP). This study describes the distribution patterns and potential sources of PAHs from these integrated JOSMP study sites, and findings will be linked to responses in laboratory bioassays and in wild organisms collected from these same sites. It was determined that hydrocarbons in Athabasca River sediments and waters were most likely from four sources: (1) petrogenic heavy oil sands bitumen; (2) biogenic compounds; (3) petrogenic hydrocarbons of other lighter fuel oils; and (4) pyrogenic PAHs. PAHs and biomarkers detected in snowmelt water samples collected near mining operations imply that these materials are derived from oil sands particulates (from open pit mines, stacks and coke piles). PMID:24632369

  19. Mechanical properties of heavy oil-sand and shale as a function of pressure and temperature

    SciTech Connect

    Blair, S.C.; Sweeney, J.J.; Ralph, W.R.; Ruddle, D.G.

    1987-07-01

    Laboratory tests were conducted to determine the mechanical properties of oil-sand and shale samples from the Faja region of Venezuela at elevated temperature and pressure. Results describe pressure-volume (PV) behavior at temperatures of 23 and 125/sup 0/C; the effect of mechanical disturbance on PV behavior; equation-of-state (EOS) at temperatures of 23, 125, and 250/sup 0/C and effective pressures to 150 MPa; and creep/compaction behavior at temperatures of 23 and 125/sup 0/C. Data from PV tests on oil-sand show that increasing temperature from 23 to 125/sup 0/C had very little effect on this material. Mechanical disturbance of oil-sand prior to PV testing lowered values of K. The compressive strength of oil-sand increased as effective (P/sub E/) was raised and at both temperatures, samples tested at equivalent P/sub E/ had similar strengths. Compressive strength of oil-sand seems to be controlled by the drainage of pore fluid during axial deformation. Nearly all oil-sand samples exhibited strain-hardening. PV tests conducted on shale show that increasing temperature from 23 to 125/sup 0/C reduced values of K one third. Mechanical disturbance significantly affected the PV response of shale samples due to the friable nature of the material. Data for shale samples tested in triaxial compression show that ultimate stress increases with increasing pressure and increasing temperature. Results of long-term creep compaction tests show a linear change in sample volume as a function of the log of time and that the rate of volume change with time was larger at 125/sup 0/C than at 23/sup 0/C for both oil-sand and shale. 4 refs., 31 figs., 6 tabs.

  20. Oil shale, tar sand, coal research, advanced exploratory process technology, jointly sponsored research. Quarterly technical progress report, January--March 1993

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-09-01

    Accomplishments for the past quarter are briefly described for the following areas of research: oil shale; tar sand; coal; advanced exploratory process technology; and jointly sponsored research. Oil shale and tar sand researches cover processing studies. Coal research includes: coal combustion; integrated coal processing concepts; and solid waste management. Advanced exploratory process technology covers: advanced process concepts; advanced mitigation concepts; and oil and gas technology. Jointly sponsored research includes: organic and inorganic hazardous waste stabilization; CROW{sup TM} field demonstration with Bell Lumber and Pole; development and validation of a standard test method for sequential batch extraction fluid; operation and evaluation of the CO{sub 2} HUFF-N-PUFF Process; fly ash binder for unsurfaced road aggregates; solid-state NMR analysis of Mesaverde Group, Greater Green River Basin tight gas sands; characterization of petroleum residue; shallow oil production using horizontal wells with enhanced oil recovery techniques; surface process study for oil recovery using a thermal extraction process; oil field waste cleanup using tank bottom recovery process; remote chemical sensor development; in situ treatment of manufactured gas plant contaminated soils demonstration program; solid-state NMR analysis of naturally and artificially matured kerogens; and development of an effective method for the clean-up of natural gas.

  1. Oil shale, tar sand, coal research, advanced exploratory process technology, jointly sponsored research. Quarterly technical progress report, April--June 1993

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-09-01

    Progress made in five areas of research is described briefly. The subtask in oil shale research is on oil shale process studies. For tar sand the subtask reported is on process development. Coal research includes the following subtasks: Coal combustion; integrated coal processing concepts; and solid waste management. Advanced exploratory process technology includes the following: Advanced process concepts; advanced mitigation concepts; oil and gas technology. Jointly sponsored research includes: Organic and inorganic hazardous waste stabilization; CROW{sup TM} field demonstration with Bell Lumber and Pole; development and validation of a standard test method for sequential batch extraction fluid; operation and evaluation of the CO{sup 2} HUFF-N-PUFF Process; fly ash binder for unsurfaced road aggregates; solid-state NMR analysis of Mesaverde Group, Greater Green River Basin, tight gas sands; characterization of petroleum residua; shallow oil production using horizontal wells with enhanced oil recovery techniques; surface process study for oil recovery using a thermal extraction process;NMR analysis of samples from the ocean drilling program; oil field waste cleanup using tank bottom recovery process; remote chemical sensor development; in situ treatment of manufactured gas plant contaminated soils demonstration program; solid-state NMR analysis of Mowry formation shale from different sedimentary basins; solid-state NMR analysis of naturally and artificially matured kerogens; and development of effective method for the clean-up of natural gas.

  2. An annotated list of the mayflies, stoneflies, and caddisflies of the Sand Creek basin, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Colorado, 2004 and 2005

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zuellig, Robert E.; Kondratieff, Boris C.; Ruiter, David E.; Thorp, Richard A.

    2006-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey, in conjunction with the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve and its cooperators, did an extensive inventory of certain targeted aquatic-insect groups in the Sand Creek Basin, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, to establish a species list for future monitoring efforts. Study sites were established to monitor these groups following disturbance events. Such potential disturbances may include, but are not limited to, chemical treatment of perennial stream reaches to remove nonnative fishes and the subsequent reintroduction of native fish species, increased public use of backcountry habitat (such as hiking and fishing), and natural disturbances such as fire. This report is an annotated list of the mayflies, stoneflies, and caddisflies found in the Sand Creek Basin, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, 2004 and 2005. The primary objective of the study was to qualitatively inventory target aquatic-insect groups in perennial streams, and selected unique standing-water habitats, such as springs, and wetlands associated with the Sand Creek Basin. Efforts focused on documenting the presence of aquatic-insect species within the following taxonomic groups: Ephemeroptera (mayflies), Plecoptera (stoneflies), and Trichoptera (caddisflies). These insect orders were chosen because published species accounts, geographic distribution, and identification keys exist for many Colorado species. Given the extent of available information for these groups, there existed a potential for identifying new species and documenting range extensions of known species.

  3. Oil exploration and development in Marib/Al Jawf basin, Yemen Arab Republic

    SciTech Connect

    Maycock, I.D.

    1988-02-01

    In 1981, Yemen Hunt Oil Company (YHOC) negotiated a production-sharing agreement covering 12,600 km/sup 2/ in the northeast part of the Yemen Arab Republic. A reconnaissance seismic program of 1864 km acquired in 1982 revealed the presence of a major half graben, designated the Marib/Al Jawf basin by YHOC. A sedimentary section up to 18,000 ft thick has been recognized. Geologic field mapping identified Jurassic carbonates covered by Cretaceous sands overlying Permian glaciolacustrine sediments, Paleozoic sandstones, or Precambrian basement. The first well, Alif-1, drilled in 1984, aimed at a possible Jurassic carbonate objective, encountered hydrocarbon-bearing sands in the Jurassic-Cretaceous transition between 5000 and 6000 ft. Appraisal and development drilling followed. The Alif field is believed to contain in excess of 400 million bbl of recoverable oil. Subsequent wildcat drilling has located additional accumulations while further amplifying basin stratigraphy. Rapid basin development took place in the Late Jurassic culminating with the deposition of Tithonian salt. The evaporites provide an excellent seal for hydrocarbons apparently sourced from restricted basin shales and trapped in rapidly deposited clastics.

  4. Assessment of Research Needs for Oil Recovery from Heavy-Oil Sources and Tar Sands (FERWG-IIIA)

    SciTech Connect

    Penner, S.S.

    1982-03-01

    The Fossil Energy Research Working Group (FERWG), at the request of J.W. Mares (Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy) and A.W. Trivelpiece (Director, Office of Energy Research), has reviewed and evaluated the U.S. programs on oil recovery from heavy oil sources and tar sands. These studies were performed in order to provide an independent assessment of research areas that affect the prospects for oil recovery from these sources. This report summarizes the findings and research recommendations of FERWG.

  5. Historical trends in greenhouse gas emissions of the Alberta oil sands (1970-2010)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Englander, Jacob G.; Bharadwaj, Sharad; Brandt, Adam R.

    2013-12-01

    There has been increased scrutiny of the Alberta oil sands due to their high carbon intensity (CI) relative to conventional crude oil. Relying entirely on public and peer-reviewed data sources, we examine historical trends in the CI of oil sands extraction, upgrading, and refining. Monthly data were collected and interpolated from 1970 to 2010 (inclusive) for each oil sands project. Results show a reduction in oil sands CI over time, with industry-average full-fuel cycle (well-to-wheels, WTW) CI declining from 165 gCO2e MJ-1 higher heating value (HHV) of reformulated gasoline (RFG) to 105 (-12, +9) gCO2e MJ-1 HHV RFG. 2010 averages by production pathways are 102 gCO2e MJ-1 for Mining and 111 gCO2e MJ-1 for in situ. The CI of mining-based projects has declined due to upgrader efficiency improvements and a shift away from coke to natural gas as a process fuel. In situ projects have benefitted from substantial reductions in fugitive emissions from bitumen batteries. Both mining and in situ projects have benefitted from improved refining efficiencies. However, despite these improvements, the CI of oil sands production (on a pathway-average basis) ranges from 12 to 24% higher than CI values from conventional oil production. Due to growing output, total emissions from the oil sands continue to increase despite improved efficiency: total upstream emissions were roughly 65 MtCO2e in 2010, or 9% of Canada’s emissions.

  6. Geochemical characteristics of crude oil from a tight oil reservoir in the Lucaogou Formation, Jimusar Sag, Junggar Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, Z.

    2015-12-01

    Jimusar Sag, which lies in the Junggar Basin,is one of the most typical tight oil study areas in China. However, the properties and origin of the crude oil and the geochemical characteristics of the tight oil from the Lucaogou Formation have not yet been studied. In the present study, 23 crude oilsfrom the Lucaogou Formation were collected for analysis, such as physical properties, bulk composition, saturated hydrocarbon gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), and the calculation of various biomarker parameters. In addition,source rock evaluation and porosity permeability analysis were applied to the mudstones and siltstones. Biomarkers of suitable source rocks (TOC>1, S1+S2>6mg/g, 0.7%oil-source correlation. To analyze the hydrocarbon generation history of the Lucaogou source rock, 1D basin modeling was performed. The oil-filling history was also defined by means of basin modeling and microthermometry. The results indicated the presence of low maturity to mature crude oils originating from the burial of terrigenous organic matter beneath a saline lake in the source rocks of mainly type II1kerogen. In addition, a higher proportion of bacteria and algae was shown to contribute to the formation of crude oil in the lower section when compared with the upper section of the Lucaogou Formation. Oil-source correlations demonstrated that not all mudstones within the Lucaogou Formation contributed to oil accumulation.Crude oil from the upper and lower sections originated from thin-bedded mudstones interbedded within sweet spot sand bodies. A good coincidence of filling history and hydrocarbon generation history indicated that the Lucaogou reservoir is a typical in situ reservoir. The mudstones over or beneath the sweet spot bodies consisted of natural caprocks and prevented the vertical movement of oil by capillary forces. Despite being thicker, the thick-bedded mudstone between the upper and lower sweet spots had no obvious contribution to

  7. Do peat amendments to oil sands wet sediments affect Carex aquatilis biomass for reclamation success?

    PubMed

    Roy, Marie-Claude; Mollard, Federico P O; Foote, A Lee

    2014-06-15

    The oil sands industries of Alberta (Canada) have reclamation objectives to return the mined landscape to equivalent pre-disturbance land capability. Industrial operators are charged with reclaiming a vast landscape of newly exposed sediments on saline-sodic marine-shales sediments. Incorporated in these sediments are by-products resulting from bitumen extraction (consolidated tailings (CT), tailings-sand (TS), and oil sands processed water (OSPW)). A sedge community dominated by Carex aquatilis was identified as a desirable and representative late-succession community for wet-meadow zones of oil sands-created marshes. However, the physical and chemical conditions, including high salinity and low nutrient content of CT and TS sediments suppress plant growth and performance. We experimentally tested the response of C. aquatilis to amendments with peat-mineral-mix (PM) on oil sand sediments (CT and TS). In a two factorial design experiment, we also tested the effects of OSPW on C. aquatilis. We assessed survival, below- and aboveground biomass, and physiology (chlorophyll a fluorescence). We demonstrated that PM amendments to oil sands sediments significantly increased C. aquatilis survival as well as below and aboveground biomass. The use of OSPW significantly reduced C. aquatilis belowground biomass and affected its physiological performance. Due to its tolerance and performance, we verified that C. aquatilis was a good candidate for use in reclaiming the wet-meadow zones of oil sands-created marshes. Ultimately, amending CT and TS with PM expedited the reclamation of the wetland to a C. aquatilis-community which was similar in gross structure to undisturbed wetlands of the region. PMID:24694323

  8. Long-term reliability of the Athabasca River (Alberta, Canada) as the water source for oil sands mining

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    St-Jacques, J. M.; Sauchyn, D.; Luckman, B. H.

    2015-12-01

    Exploitation of the Alberta oil sands, the world's third largest crude oil reserve, requires fresh water from the Athabasca River, an allocation of 4.4% of the mean annual flow. This allocation takes into account seasonal fluctuations but not long-term climatic variability and change. This paper examines the decadal-scale variability in river discharge in the Athabasca River Basin (ARB) with 1) a generalized-least-squares (GLS) regression analysis of the trend and variability in gauged flow, and 2) a 900-year tree-ring reconstruction of the water-year flow of the Athabasca River at Athabasca, Alberta. The GLS analysis removes confounding transient trends related to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and Pacific North American mode (PNA). It shows long-term declining flows throughout the ARB. The tree-ring record reveals a larger range of flows and severity of hydrologic deficits than those captured by the instrumental records that are the basis for surface water allocation. It includes periods of sustained low flow of multiple decades in duration, suggesting the influence of the PDO and PNA teleconnections. These results together demonstrate that low-frequency variability must be considered in ARB water allocation, which has not been the case. We show that the current and projected surface water allocations from the Athabasca River for the exploitation of the Alberta oil sands are based on an untenable assumption of the representativeness of the short instrumental record.

  9. Long-term reliability of the Athabasca River (Alberta, Canada) as the water source for oil sands mining

    PubMed Central

    Sauchyn, David J.; St-Jacques, Jeannine-Marie; Luckman, Brian H.

    2015-01-01

    Exploitation of the Alberta oil sands, the world’s third-largest crude oil reserve, requires fresh water from the Athabasca River, an allocation of 4.4% of the mean annual flow. This allocation takes into account seasonal fluctuations but not long-term climatic variability and change. This paper examines the decadal-scale variability in river discharge in the Athabasca River Basin (ARB) with (i) a generalized least-squares (GLS) regression analysis of the trend and variability in gauged flow and (ii) a 900-y tree-ring reconstruction of the water-year flow of the Athabasca River at Athabasca, Alberta. The GLS analysis removes confounding transient trends related to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and Pacific North American mode (PNA). It shows long-term declining flows throughout the ARB. The tree-ring record reveals a larger range of flows and severity of hydrologic deficits than those captured by the instrumental records that are the basis for surface water allocation. It includes periods of sustained low flow of multiple decades in duration, suggesting the influence of the PDO and PNA teleconnections. These results together demonstrate that low-frequency variability must be considered in ARB water allocation, which has not been the case. We show that the current and projected surface water allocations from the Athabasca River for the exploitation of the Alberta oil sands are based on an untenable assumption of the representativeness of the short instrumental record. PMID:26392554

  10. Characterization of Clay Minerals and Kerogen in Alberta Oil Sands Geological End Members

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Limin

    The high degree of variability of oil sands ores can be attributed to a mixture of different geological end members, i.e., estuarine sand, estuarine clay, marine sand and marine clay. This study focused on the mineralogy, especially of clay minerals, and toluene insoluble organic matter, referred to as kerogen, in different oil sands end members. Clays and kerogens will likely have a significant impact on solvent recovery from the gangue following non-aqueous bitumen extraction. The bitumen-free solids were subjected to mineralogical and geochemical analysis. Kerogens were isolated and analyzed by various characterization methods. The types of clays were identified in oriented samples by X-ray diffraction analysis. The nitrogen to carbon ratio in the isolated kerogens is found to be higher than in bitumen. There are more type III kerogens in estuarine samples and more type II kerogens in marine samples.

  11. Oil shale, tar sand, coal research, advanced exploratory process technology jointly sponsored research. Quarterly technical progress report, April--June 1992

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-12-01

    Accomplishments for the quarter are presented for the following areas of research: oil shale, tar sand, coal, advanced exploratory process technology, and jointly sponsored research. Oil shale research includes; oil shale process studies, environmental base studies for oil shale, and miscellaneous basic concept studies. Tar sand research covers process development. Coal research includes; underground coal gasification, coal combustion, integrated coal processing concepts, and solid waste management. Advanced exploratory process technology includes; advanced process concepts, advanced mitigation concepts, and oil and gas technology. Jointly sponsored research includes: organic and inorganic hazardous waste stabilization; development and validation of a standard test method for sequential batch extraction fluid; operation and evaluation of the CO{sub 2} HUFF-N-PUFF Process; fly ash binder for unsurfaced road aggregates; solid state NMR analysis of Mesa Verde Group, Greater Green River Basin, tight gas sands; flow-loop testing of double-wall pipe for thermal applications; characterization of petroleum residue; shallow oil production using horizontal wells with enhanced recovery techniques; and menu driven access to the WDEQ Hydrologic Data Management Systems.

  12. BIOTIGER, A NATURAL MICROBIAL PRODUCT FOR ENHANCED HYDROCARBON RECOVERY FROM OIL SANDS.

    SciTech Connect

    Brigmon, R; Topher Berry, T; Whitney Jones, W; Charles Milliken, C

    2008-05-27

    BioTiger{trademark} is a unique microbial consortia that resulted from over 8 years of extensive microbiology screening and characterization of samples collected from a century-old Polish waste lagoon. BioTiger{trademark} shows rapid and complete degradation of aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons, produces novel surfactants, is tolerant of both chemical and metal toxicity and shows good activity at temperature and pH extremes. Although originally developed and used by the U.S. Department of Energy for bioremediation of oil-contaminated soils, recent efforts have proven that BioTiger{trademark} can also be used to increase hydrocarbon recovery from oil sands. This enhanced ex situ oil recovery process utilizes BioTiger{trademark} to optimize bitumen separation. A floatation test protocol with oil sands from Ft. McMurray, Canada was used for the BioTiger{trademark} evaluation. A comparison of hot water extraction/floatation test of the oil sands performed with BioTiger{trademark} demonstrated a 50% improvement in separation as measured by gravimetric analysis in 4 h and a five-fold increase at 25 hr. Since BioTiger{trademark} performs well at high temperatures and process engineering can enhance and sustain metabolic activity, it can be applied to enhance recovery of hydrocarbons from oil sands or other complex recalcitrant matrices.

  13. Phytoremediation of Alberta oil sand tailings using native plants and fungal endophytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Repas, T.; Germida, J.; Kaminskyj, S.

    2012-04-01

    Fungal endophytes colonize host plants without causing disease. Some endophytes confer plant tolerance to harsh environments. One such endophyte, Trichoderma harzianum strain TSTh20-1, was isolated from a plant growing on Athabasca oil sand tailings. Tailing sands are a high volume waste product from oil sand extraction that the industry is required to remediate. Tailing sands are low in organic carbon and mineral nutrients, and are hydrophobic due to residual polyaromatic hydrocarbons. Typically, tailing sands are remediated by planting young trees in large quantities of mulch plus mineral fertilizer, which is costly and labour intensive. In greenhouse trials, TSTh20-1 supports growth of tomato seedlings on tailing sands without fertilizer. The potential use of TSTh20-1 in combination with native grasses and forbs to remediate under field conditions is being assessed. Twenty-three commercially available plant species are being screened for seed germination and growth on tailing sands in the presence of TSTh20-1. The best candidates from this group will be used in greenhouse and small scale field trials. Potential mechanisms that contribute to endophyte-induced plant growth promotion, such as plant hormone production, stress tolerance, mineral solubilization, and uptake are also being assessed. As well, TSTh20-1 appears to be remarkably frugal in its nutrient requirements and the possibility that this attribute is characteristic of other plant-fungal endophytes from harsh environments is under study.

  14. In situ recovery of oil from Utah tar sand: a summary of tar sand research at the Laramie Energy Technology Center

    SciTech Connect

    Marchant, L.C.; Westhoff, J.D.

    1985-10-01

    This report describes work done by the United States Department of Energy's Laramie Energy Technology Center from 1971 through 1982 to develop technology for future recovery of oil from US tar sands. Work was concentrated on major US tar sand deposits that are found in Utah. Major objectives of the program were as follows: determine the feasibility of in situ recovery methods applied to tar sand deposits; and establish a system for classifying tar sand deposits relative to those characteristics that would affect the design and operation of various in situ recovery processes. Contents of this report include: (1) characterization of Utah tar sand; (2) laboratory extraction studies relative to Utah tar sand in situ methods; (3) geological site evaluation; (4) environmental assessments and water availability; (5) reverse combustion field experiment, TS-1C; (6) a reverse combustion followed by forward combustion field experiment, TS-2C; (7) tar sand permeability enhancement studies; (8) two-well steam injection experiment; (9) in situ steam-flood experiment, TS-1S; (10) design of a tar sand field experiment for air-stream co-injection, TS-4; (11) wastewater treatment and oil analyses; (12) economic evaluation of an in situ tar sand recovery process; and (13) appendix I (extraction studies involving Utah tar sands, surface methods). 70 figs., 68 tabs.

  15. Satellite Monitoring Over the Canadian Oil Sands: Highlights from Aura OMI and TES

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shephard, Mark W.; McLinden, Chris; Fioletov, Vitali; Cady-Pereira, Karen E.; Krotkov, Nick A.; Boersma, Folkert; Li, Can; Luo, Ming; Bhartia, P. K.; Joiner, Joanna

    2014-01-01

    Satellite remote sensing provides a unique perspective for air quality monitoring in and around the Canadian Oil Sands as a result of its spatial and temporal coverage. Presented are Aura satellite observations of key pollutants including nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), carbon monoxide (CO), ammonia (NH3), methanol (CH3OH), and formic acid (HCOOH) over the Canadian Oil Sands. Some of the highlights include: (i) the evolution of NO2 and SO2 from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI), including comparisons with other nearby sources, (ii) two years of ammonia, carbon monoxide, methanol, and formic acid observations from 240 km North-South Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) transects through the oils sands, and (iii) preliminary insights into emissions derived from these observations.

  16. Oil sands development contributes polycyclic aromatic compounds to the Athabasca River and its tributaries

    PubMed Central

    Kelly, Erin N.; Short, Jeffrey W.; Schindler, David W.; Hodson, Peter V.; Ma, Mingsheng; Kwan, Alvin K.; Fortin, Barbra L.

    2009-01-01

    For over a decade, the contribution of oil sands mining and processing to the pollution of the Athabasca River has been controversial. We show that the oil sands development is a greater source of contamination than previously realized. In 2008, within 50 km of oil sands upgrading facilities, the loading to the snowpack of airborne particulates was 11,400 T over 4 months and included 391 kg of polycyclic aromatic compounds (PAC), equivalent to 600 T of bitumen, while 168 kg of dissolved PAC was also deposited. Dissolved PAC concentrations in tributaries to the Athabasca increased from 0.009 μg/L upstream of oil sands development to 0.023 μg/L in winter and to 0.202 μg/L in summer downstream. In the Athabasca, dissolved PAC concentrations were mostly <0.025 μg/L in winter and 0.030 μg/L in summer, except near oil sands upgrading facilities and tailings ponds in winter (0.031–0.083 μg/L) and downstream of new development in summer (0.063–0.135 μg/L). In the Athabasca and its tributaries, development within the past 2 years was related to elevated dissolved PAC concentrations that were likely toxic to fish embryos. In melted snow, dissolved PAC concentrations were up to 4.8 μg/L, thus, spring snowmelt and washout during rain events are important unknowns. These results indicate that major changes are needed to the way that environmental impacts of oil sands development are monitored and managed. PMID:19995964

  17. Instantaneous stabilization of floating oils by surface application of natural granular materials (beach sand and limestone).

    PubMed

    Boglaienko, Daria; Tansel, Berrin

    2015-02-15

    When granular materials are applied to hydrophobic liquids floating over another liquid (i.e., water), particles form aggregates which can be separated from the floating phase. This concept can be used for controlling mobility of floating oils, especially after oil spills near coastal areas. The objectives of this research were to characterize oil capture efficiency and determine effectiveness of particles for converting the floating phase to a heavier phase for effective separation. Experiments were conducted with South Louisiana crude oil contaminated salt water, limestone and quartz sand. Although the oil removal efficiency increased with the increasing amount of granular material applied, it did not increase linearly. About 50% of the floating oil was removed by aggregates, regardless of the material used, when granular material to floating oil ratio was about 1 g/g. The aggregates separated had higher amounts of oil content when smaller amounts of granular materials were added. PMID:25555617

  18. Adsorption of surfactants on sand surface in enhanced oil recovery: Isotherms, kinetics and thermodynamic studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bera, Achinta; Kumar, T.; Ojha, Keka; Mandal, Ajay

    2013-11-01

    Adsorption of surfactants onto reservoir rock surface may result in the loss and reduction of their concentrations in surfactant flooding, which may render them less efficient or ineffective in practical applications of enhanced oil recovery (EOR) techniques. Surfactant flooding for EOR received attraction due to its ability to increase the displacement efficiency by lowering the interfacial tension between oil and water and mobilizing the residual oil. This article highlights the adsorption of surfactants onto sand surface with variation of different influencing factors. It has been experimentally found that adsorption of cationic surfactant on sand surface is more and less for anionic surfactant, while non-ionic surfactant shows intermediate behaviour. X-ray diffraction (XRD) study of clean sand particles has been made to determine the main component present in the sand particles. The interaction between sand particles and surfactant has been studied by Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy of the sand particles before and after aging with surfactant. Salinity plays an important role in adsorption of anionic surfactant. Batch experiments were also performed to understand the effects of pH and adsorbent dose on the sorption efficiency. The sand particles exhibited high adsorption efficiency at low pH for anionic and nonionic surfactants. But opposite trend was found for cationic surfactant. Adsorption data were analyzed by fitting with Langmuir, Freundlich, Redlich-Peterson, and Sips isotherm models. Results show that the Langmuir isotherm and pseudo-second order kinetics models suit the equilibrium and kinetics of adsorption on sand surface. Thermodynamics feasibility of the adsorption process was also studied to verify the spontaneity of the process.

  19. CHARACTERIZATION OF OIL SHALE MINE WATERS, CENTRAL PICEANCE BASIN, COLORADO

    EPA Science Inventory

    A study was conducted to characterize the oil shale mine waters in the Piceance Basin. The study sites were Federal Prototype Lease Tracts C-a and C-b, located in the central portion of the basin. The objective was to collect water quality data in order to characterize the mine w...

  20. NMR relaxometry and diffusometry in characterizing structural, interfacial and colloidal properties of heavy oils and oil sands.

    PubMed

    Jones, Marc; Taylor, Spencer E

    2015-10-01

    We present a discussion of the use of NMR in the characterization of heavy oils and oil sands and their interactions with water and solid surfaces. The phenomena probed by the NMR techniques take place over different length scales, ranging from molecular, through colloidal to macroscopic. During the course of the last 15 years, NMR applications have grown from their initial use in studying conventional oils in rocks to the characterization of more viscous oils in unconsolidated porous media. In particular, (1)H NMR relaxometry and diffusometry are considered with a view to the identification of oil and water in oilfield fluids and their environment. After some theoretical considerations, various topics of current significance to petroleum recovery and production are discussed, including oil viscosity (with new experimental viscosity correlations added), oil sands characterization, heavy oil emulsions, and the identification of solvent effects on oil components and asphaltene solution behaviour and interactions. We show that, increasingly, NMR is becoming an invaluable and versatile characterization tool in petroleum science, in both laboratory and field. PMID:26253810

  1. Petroleum geology of heavy oil in the Oriente basin of Ecuador: Exploration and exploitation challenge for the 1990s

    SciTech Connect

    Leadholm, R.H. )

    1990-05-01

    Published Ecuadorian government forecasts suggest that Oriente basin light oil (21-32{degree} API) production may start to decline in the early to mid-1990s. To maintain stabilized production into the next century, heavy oil reserves (10-20{degree} API) will have to be aggressively exploited. The Oriente's undeveloped proven plus probable heavy reserves are substantial and are expected to exceed 0.5 billion bbl. A recent discovery made by Conoc Ecuador Ltd., operator of Block 16 for a group which consists of O.P.I.C., Maxus, Nomeco, Murphy and Canam, is a good model for future exploration and exploitation of heavy oil in the remote eastern regions of the basin. Amo-1 tested a low-relief anticline (less than 100 ft vertical closure) and encountered 10-20{degree} API oil in five Cretaceous sandstone reservoirs (8,000-10,000 ft depth). Cumulative test production was 1,062 BOPD. Subsequent drilling along the trend resulted in three additional discoveries. The Cretaceous sands were transported from the Brazilian shield by the westward flowing proto-Amazon River and were deposited in fluviodeltaic, tidal, and high-energy marginal marine environments. Air permeabilities are high and geometric mean values approaching several darcies. Porosities average 18-22% in generally well-consolidated sands. The heavy oils are the result of mild biodegradation and/or expulsion from a thermally immature source. Oil-to-oil correlations suggest that all of the basin oils have the same or similar origin, probably marine calcareous shales of the Cretaceous Napo formation. The Block 16 project will provide a major step toward the strategic exploitation of the Oriente basin's heavy oil reserves, when it comes on stream in the early 1990s.

  2. Oil exploration and development in Marib/Al Jawf basin, Yemen Arab Republic

    SciTech Connect

    Maycock, I.D.

    1986-07-01

    In 1981, Yemen Hunt Oil Company (YHOC) negotiated a production-sharing agreement covering 12,600 km/sup 2/ in the northeast part of the Yemen Arab Republic. A reconnaissance seismic program of 1864 km acquired in 1982 revealed the presence of a major half graben, designated the Marib/Al Jawf basin by YHOC. A sedimentary section up to 18,000 ft thick has been recognized. Geologic field mapping identified Jurassic carbonates covered by Cretaceous sands overlying Permian glaciolacustrine sediments, Paleozoic sandstones, or Precambrian basement. The first well drilled in 1984, aimed at a possible Jurassic carbonate objective, encountered hydrocarbon-bearing sands in the Jurassic-Cretaceous transition between 5000 and 6000 ft. A successful appraisal drilling program has demonstrated satisfactory lateral reservoir continuity. Further wildcat drilling demonstrates macro-unit correlation within the eastern part of the basin. Rapid basin development apparently commenced in the late Kimmeridgian, culminating with the deposition of Tithonian evaporites. Available geochemical analysis indicates sourcing from restricted-basin sediments. Excellent traps, reservoirs, and source beds underlying the Tithonian evaporites indicate that a significant new petroliferous province is present.

  3. Assessment of remaining recoverable oil in selected major oil fields of the San Joaquin Basin, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tennyson, Marilyn E.; Cook, Troy A.; Charpentier, Ronald R.; Gautier, Donald L.; Klett, Timothy R.; Verma, Mahendra K.; Ryder, Robert T.; Attanasi, E.D.; Freeman, P.A.; Le, Phoung A.

    2012-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) recently completed an estimate of volumes of technically recoverable, conventional oil that could eventually be added to reserves in nine selected major oil fields in the San Joaquin Basin in central California. The mean total volume of potential oil reserves that might be added in the nine fields using improved oil-recovery technologies was estimated to be about 6.5 billion barrels of oil.

  4. Oil-shale mining in Maoming basin of China

    SciTech Connect

    Mitchell-Tapping, H.J.

    1989-03-01

    The Maoming basin in Guangdong Province is one of the major oil-shale mining areas of China and is situated about 300 km southwest of Hong Kong. This Tertiary basin produces oil from shales mined from a 5-km long open-faced pit on the crest of an anticline in the center of an uplifted and tilted graben. The oil shale extends about 30 km in a northwest-southeast line, and the beds dip as much as 10/degree/ toward metamorphic mountains to the northeast. In the surrounding area are numerous oil seeps, especially in ponds, water wells, and at the foundations of buildings. Holes with oil shows, made to test the extent of the oil shale, have been drilled to a depth of 1000 m. At the base of the mine face is a limestone hardground on top of which is a coal seam about 0.5 m thick that can be traced throughout the basin. Atop this Paleocene coal bed are Eocene oil-shale and thin sandstone beds in five repeated sections, each about 15 m thick, called the Youganwou formation. All kinds of freshwater fossils - fish, insects, plants, turtles, and tree trunks - are found in a near-perfect state of preservation in these oil-rich shales and coal sections. The estimated oil content of the rock is about 8% of good-quality oil with plenty of light ends.

  5. Oil shale, tar sand, coal research, advanced exploratory process technology, jointly sponsored research. Quarterly technical progress report, July--September 1992

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-12-31

    Progress made in five research programs is described. The subtasks in oil shale study include oil shale process studies and unconventional applications and markets for western oil shale.The tar sand study is on recycle oil pyrolysis and extraction (ROPE) process. Four tasks are described in coal research: underground coal gasification; coal combustion; integrated coal processing concepts; and sold waste management. Advanced exploratory process technology includes: advanced process concepts; advanced mitigation concepts; and oil and gas technology. Jointly sponsored research covers: organic and inorganic hazardous waste stabilization; CROW field demonstration with Bell Lumber and Pole; development and validation of a standard test method for sequential batch extraction fluid; PGI demonstration project; operation and evaluation of the CO{sub 2} HUFF-N-PUFF process; fly ash binder for unsurfaced road aggregates; solid state NMR analysis of Mesaverde group, Greater Green River Basin, tight gas sands; flow-loop testing of double-wall pipe for thermal applications; shallow oil production using horizontal wells with enhanced oil recovery techniques; NMR analysis of sample from the ocean drilling program; and menu driven access to the WDEQ hydrologic data management system.

  6. Post-Secondary Learning Priorities of Workers in an Oil Sands Camp in Northern Alberta

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fahy, Patrick J.; Steel, Nancy

    2008-01-01

    This paper reports results to date of a three-year project by Athabasca University, intended to determine the education and training needs and interests of employees in a work camp in northern Alberta's oil sands. (Future reports will address results of efforts to provide programming suiting the needs identified, and the uptake, satisfaction,…

  7. Method for Extraction and Multielement Analysis of Hypogymnia Physodes Samples from the Athabasca Oil Sands Region

    EPA Science Inventory

    A microwave-assisted digestion technique followed by ICPMS (inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry) analysis was used to measure concentrations of 43 elements in Hypogymnia physodes samples collected in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR) of northern Alberta, Canad...

  8. Microbial communities involved in methane production from hydrocarbons in oil sands tailings.

    PubMed

    Siddique, Tariq; Penner, Tara; Klassen, Jonathan; Nesbø, Camilla; Foght, Julia M

    2012-09-01

    Microbial metabolism of residual hydrocarbons, primarily short-chain n-alkanes and certain monoaromatic hydrocarbons, in oil sands tailings ponds produces large volumes of CH(4) in situ. We characterized the microbial communities involved in methanogenic biodegradation of whole naphtha (a bitumen extraction solvent) and its short-chain n-alkane (C(6)-C(10)) and BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes) components using primary enrichment cultures derived from oil sands tailings. Clone libraries of bacterial 16S rRNA genes amplified from these enrichments showed increased proportions of two orders of Bacteria: Clostridiales and Syntrophobacterales, with Desulfotomaculum and Syntrophus/Smithella as the closest named relatives, respectively. In parallel archaeal clone libraries, sequences affiliated with cultivated acetoclastic methanogens (Methanosaetaceae) were enriched in cultures amended with n-alkanes, whereas hydrogenotrophic methanogens (Methanomicrobiales) were enriched with BTEX. Naphtha-amended cultures harbored a blend of these two archaeal communities. The results imply syntrophic oxidation of hydrocarbons in oil sands tailings, with the activities of different carbon flow pathways to CH(4) being influenced by the primary hydrocarbon substrate. These results have implications for predicting greenhouse gas emissions from oil sands tailings repositories. PMID:22894132

  9. Examination of the mining of heavy oil and tar sands by overburden substitution

    SciTech Connect

    Fox, R.L.

    1982-02-01

    A mining procedure which removes the geologic formations above an oil or tar sand bearing reservoir by strip mining techniques, then floods the upper surface of the reservoir with a pool of water, is examined by computational models and laboratory scale experiments. The results of the studies indicate low production rates are achieved by such a procedure.

  10. Biosurfactant-producing and oil-degrading Bacillus subtilis strains enhance oil recovery in laboratory sand-pack columns.

    PubMed

    Gudiña, Eduardo J; Pereira, Jorge F B; Costa, Rita; Coutinho, João A P; Teixeira, José A; Rodrigues, Lígia R

    2013-10-15

    Microbial Enhanced Oil Recovery (MEOR) technology uses microorganisms and their metabolites to retrieve unrecoverable oil from mature reservoirs. In situ stimulation of biosurfactant-producing and oil-degrading microorganisms reduces the capillary forces retaining the oil inside the reservoir and decreases its viscosity, thus promoting oil flow and consequently production. In this work, a sand-pack column model was designed to simulate oil recovery operations and evaluate mobilization of residual oil by the selected microorganisms. Four different hydrocarbon mixtures and three Bacillus subtilis strains isolated from crude oil samples were used. Additional oil recoveries ranged from 6 to 24% depending on the hydrocarbon mixture and microorganism used. Biosurfactant production was observed with all the microorganisms and hydrocarbon mixtures studied. The oils recovered after incubation with B. subtilis isolates showed a reduction in the percentage of long-chain n-alkanes and lower viscosity when compared with the original oils. The results obtained suggest that stimulation of the selected B. subtilis strains in situ can contribute to mobilize entrapped oil in mature reservoirs. PMID:23911831

  11. An airborne assessment of atmospheric particulate emissions from the processing of Athabasca oil sands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howell, S. G.; Clarke, A. D.; Freitag, S.; McNaughton, C. S.; Kapustin, V.; Brekovskikh, V.; Jimenez, J.-L.; Cubison, M. J.

    2014-05-01

    During the Arctic Research of the Composition of the Troposphere from Aircraft and Satellites (ARCTAS) campaign, two NASA research aircraft, a DC-8 and a P-3B, were outfitted with extensive trace gas (the DC-8) and aerosol (both aircraft) instrumentation. Each aircraft spent about a half hour sampling air around the oil sands mining and upgrading facilities near Ft. McMurray, Alberta, Canada. The DC-8 circled the area, while the P-3B flew directly over the upgrading plants, sampling close to the exhaust stacks, then headed downwind to monitor the aerosol as it aged. At short range, the plume from the oil sands is a complex mosaic of freshly nucleated ultrafine particles from a SO2- and NO2-rich plume, soot and possibly fly ash from industrial processes, and dust from dirt roads and mining operations. Shortly downwind, organic aerosol appears in quantities that rival SO4, either as volatile organic vapors condense or as they react with the H2SO4. The DC-8 pattern allowed us to integrate total flux from the oil sands facilities within about a factor of 2 uncertainty that spanned values consistent with 2008 estimates from reported SO2 and NO2 emissions, though there is no reason to expect one flyby to represent average conditions. In contrast, CO fluxes exceeded reported regional emissions, due either to variability in production or sources missing from the emissions inventory. The conversion rate of SO2 to aerosol SO4 of ~6% per hour is consistent with earlier reports, though OH concentrations are insufficient to accomplish this. Other oxidation pathways must be active. Altogether, organic aerosol and black carbon emissions from the oil sands operations are small compared with annual forest fire emissions in Canada. The oil sands do contribute significant sulfate and exceed fire production of SO2 by an order of magnitude.

  12. Ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) induction in rainbow trout exposed to diluted oil sand wastewater

    SciTech Connect

    Verbeek, A.; Mackay, W.; Birkholz, D.

    1995-12-31

    Toxic industrial wastewaters, such as those from oil sands extraction, must be assessed for their potential sublethal effects before they can be safely disposed in the environment. The induction of ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase activity was assessed as a potential bioindicator of sublethal stress in rainbow trout exposed to sublethal concentrations of oil sands tailings water. The mixed-function oxygenase system in rainbow trout responded rapidly following a definable concentration-response relationship; however, it proved to be a relatively insensitive indicator of sublethal exposure to oil sands tailings water. Increased activity and maximal induction, as a result of exposure to 0.3 and 0.6 times the LC{sub 50} (Toxic Units), occurred rapidly within 24 hours of exposure. The linearity of the relationship between the concentration of oil sands tailings pond water and ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase activity, expressed by the following regression equation, In EROD = 3.68 (conc.) + 3.20, had an r{sup 2} value of 0.593. Maximal induction required 0.4--0.8 Toxic Units. The absolute level of maximal induction was only one-fifth to one-sixth of the potential induction as found in response to the positive control, 0.5 mg/kg {beta}-naphthoflavone (i.p.). The authors also present data that suggests that the different levels of induction observed in trout exposed to tailings pond water vs those injected with 0.5 mg/kg {beta}-naphthoflavone (i.p.) may be indicative of two different P450 isoforms, the CYP4Al isoform responding to the organic acidic surfactants in oil sands tailings pond water and the CYP1A1 isoform, the isoform generally associated with most xenobiotic transformation in fish, responding to {beta}-naphthoflavone.

  13. An added dimension: GC atmospheric pressure chemical ionization FTICR MS and the Athabasca oil sands.

    PubMed

    Barrow, Mark P; Peru, Kerry M; Headley, John V

    2014-08-19

    The Athabasca oil sands industry, an alternative source of petroleum, uses large quantities of water during processing of the oil sands. In keeping with Canadian environmental policy, the processed water cannot be released to natural waters and is thus retained on-site in large tailings ponds. There is an increasing need for further development of analytical methods for environmental monitoring. The following details the first example of the application of gas chromatography atmospheric pressure chemical ionization Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (GC-APCI-FTICR MS) for the study of environmental samples from the Athabasca region of Canada. APCI offers the advantages of reduced fragmentation compared to other ionization methods and is also more amenable to compounds that are inaccessible by electrospray ionization. The combination of GC with ultrahigh resolution mass spectrometry can improve the characterization of complex mixtures where components cannot be resolved by GC alone. This, in turn, affords the ability to monitor extracted ion chromatograms for components of the same nominal mass and isomers in the complex mixtures. The proof of concept work described here is based upon the characterization of one oil sands process water sample and two groundwater samples in the area of oil sands activity. Using the new method, the Ox and OxS compound classes predominated, with OxS classes being particularly relevant to the oil sands industry. The potential to resolve retention times for individual components within the complex mixture, highlighting contributions from isomers, and to characterize retention time profiles for homologous series is shown, in addition to the ability to follow profiles of double bond equivalents and carbon number for a compound class as a function of retention time. The method is shown to be well-suited for environmental forensics. PMID:25036898

  14. Cell abundance and microbial community composition along a complete oil sand mining and reclamation process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lappé, M.; Schneider, B.; Kallmeyer, J.

    2012-12-01

    Hydrocarbons constitute an important energy source for microbes but can also be of environmental concern. Microbial activity causes hydrocarbon degradation and thereby loss of economical value, but also helps to remove hydrocarbons from the environment. The present study characterizes the abundance of microbes along the oil sand mining process in Alberta, Canada, as a first approach to assess the impact of mining and oil extraction on the microbial population. After mining the oil is extracted from the sediment by a hot-water extraction (50-60°C), resulting in three major fractions: crude oil, tailings sand and fine tailings. The tailings sand is used as substratum for newly developing soils on the reclamation areas. The very liquid fine tailings still have a TOC content of about 4.3% and are pumped into tailings ponds, where they need up to three decades to settle and solidify. After deposition, these mature fine tailings (MFTs) are enriched in organics (TOC content between 9.6 and 16.8%) and dredged out of the ponds and put on dumps for several years for dewatering. Finally they are brought out onto the reclamation sites and deposited below the sand layer. Cells were extracted from oily sediments according to the protocol of Lappé and Kallmeyer (2011), stained with SYBR Green I and counted by fluorescence microscopy. Cell abundance in the unprocessed oil sand is around 1.6 x 107 cells cm-3. After processing the fresh fine tailings still contain around 1.6 x 107 cells cm-3. Cell counts in the processed MFTs are 5.8 x 107 cells cm-3, whereas in the sand used as substratum for newly developing soils, they are twice as high (1.4 x 108). In root-bearing horizons, cell counts reach 1.1 x 109 cell cm-3. Cell numbers calculated from cultivation experiments are in the same range. Higher cell counts in the tailings sand are probably due to a higher nitrogen supply through the addition of a 35 cm top layer of a peat-mineral mix. In the sand nitrate concentrations are high

  15. Saturation dependence of the quadrature conductivity of oil-bearing sands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmutz, M.; Blondel, A.; Revil, A.

    2012-02-01

    We have investigated the complex conductivity of oil-bearing sands with six distinct oil types including sunflower oil, silicone oil, gum rosin, paraffin, engine oil, and an industrial oil of complex composition. In all these experiments, the oil was the non-wetting phase. The in-phase (real) conductivity follows a power law relationship with the saturation (also known as the second Archie's law) but with a saturation exponent n raging from 1.1 to 3.1. In most experiments, the quadrature conductivity follows also a power law relationship with the water saturation but with a power law exponent p can be either positive or negative. For some samples, the quadrature conductivity first increases with saturation and then decreases indicating that two processes compete in controlling the quadrature conductivity. One is related to the insulating nature of the oil phase and a second could be associated with the surface area of the oil / water interface. The quadrature conductivity seems to be influenced not only by the value of the saturation exponent n (according to the Vinegar and Waxman model, p = n - 1), but also by the surface area between the oil phase and the water phase especially for very water-repellent oil having a fractal oil-water interface.

  16. Elemental Characterization of Hardpan Topping Selected Sections of Ajali Sand, Anambra Basin. Nigeria.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ajidahun, E. J.

    2015-12-01

    The hardpan cap of selected sections of loose Ajali sand in Anambra Basin of Nigeria was investigated for elemental compositions using Energy Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence mapping (M4-Tornado ED-XRF); while bulk mineralogy was determined by X-Ray Diffraction and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) at the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), Hannover, Germany. Elemental maps of Fe, Si, Ti, Al, Cr etc. were used to highlight texture and mineral distribution. The Ajali sands are locally topped by iron rich hardpans. These hardpans consist of rock fragments up to several cm in length in a primary matrix and locally large pores. Besides laminated sandstone fragments, highly altered porphyritic volcanic rocks can be observed. The latter in the SEM appear highly spongeous, and show relics of phenochryts such as biotite, hornblende and pyroxene, corroded magmatic quartz, magnetite, Ilmenite, zircon or voids of former crystals in an almost entirely altered matrix Large pores show several generations of periodic infill of quartz sand / soil mixtures alternating with multiple layers of Fe rich precipitates, locally enriched in Al, P, S, Mn or Sr agglutinating the fines. Volcanic fragments show rims of elevated Cr content, and Cr and V-rich precipitates may separate generations of infill. A number of large open pore channels rimmed by Fe-rich matrix might act as water channels. They are coated by Al, K rich precipitates. Ajali sands can hardly be considered as the source for the agglutination of the hardpan cap. The source of Fe and other elements such as Al, K, Cr, V has to be attributed to the volcanic fragments, mainly to the matrix, but to the altered phenocrysts, too. Toxic elements such as Cr being mobile in the system are in part stabilized as precipitates. EDXRF-micro mapping provides excellent textural, chemical and even mineralogical information to get better insight into the sedimentation and agglutination history of the hardpan cap. Key

  17. Infiltration and Recharge at Sand Hollow, an Upland Bedrock Basin in Southwestern Utah

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Heilweil, Victor M.; Solomon, D. Kip; Gardner, Philip M.

    2007-01-01

    Permeable bedrock aquifers in arid regions of the southwestern United States are being used increasingly as a source of water for rapidly growing populations, yet in many areas little is known about recharge processes and amounts available for sustainable development. Environmental tracers were used in this study to investigate infiltration and recharge to the Navajo Sandstone at Sand Hollow in the eastern Mojave Desert of southwestern Utah. Average annual precipitation is about 210 millimeters per year. Tracers included bromide, chloride, deuterium, oxygen-18, and tritium. The basin-wide average recharge rate, based on ground-water chloride mass balance, is about 8 millimeters per year, or 4 percent of precipitation. However, infiltration and recharge are highly variable spatially within Sand Hollow. Recharge primarily occurs both as focused infiltration of runoff from areas of outcropping bedrock and as direct infiltration beneath coarse surficial soils. Locations with higher rates generally have lower vadose-zone and ground-water chloride concentrations, smaller vadose-zone oxygen-18 evaporative shifts, and higher ground-water tritium concentrations. Infiltration rates estimated from vadose-zone tritium concentrations at borehole sites within Sand Hollow range from 1 to more than 57 millimeters per year; rates calculated from average vadose-zone chloride concentrations between land surface and the bottom of the chloride bulge range from 0 to 9 millimeters per year; rates calculated from average vadose-zone chloride concentrations below the chloride bulge range from 0.5 to 15 millimeters per year; and rates calculated from ground-water chloride concentrations range from 3 to 60 millimeters per year. A two-end-member deuterium-mixing model indicates that about 85 percent of ground-water recharge in Sand Hollow occurs in the 50 percent of the basin covered by coarser soils and bedrock. Vadose-zone chloride concentrations at individual boreholes represent as much as

  18. New insights into halocarbon emissions in boreal regions: Forest fires and Alberta oil sands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simpson, I. J.; Barletta, B.; Meinardi, S.; Marrero, J.; Rowland, F. S.; Akagi, S. K.; Yokelson, R. J.; Blake, D. R.

    2011-12-01

    Boreal forest fires and Alberta oil sands represent two major co-located trace gas emission sources within the boreal ecosystem. During the airborne ARCTAS mission in summer 2008, UC-Irvine performed the most comprehensive characterization of halocarbon emissions from boreal forest fires to date. In summer 2008 and 2010 we also performed the first independent characterizations of halocarbon emissions from Alberta's oil sands industry. In both cases the measurements were made using whole air sampling followed by gas chromatography analysis using electron capture detection and mass spectrometer detection. In the case of boreal forest fires, of 26 speciated halocarbons that were measured, only the simplest halocarbons were emitted from the fires (CH3Cl, CH3Br, CH3I, 1,2-C2H4Cl2, C2H5Cl and CH2Br2) (Simpson et al., 2011). These compounds were released in relatively small quantities and together they represented <0.3% of the total carbon released from boreal forest fires in the form of non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs). Even though CH3Cl was the most abundantly emitted halocarbon, its average global emission from boreal forest fires (0.011 ± 0.003 Tg yr-1) was very small compared to its global source budget. The poly-chlorinated compounds CH2Cl2, CHCl3 and CH3CCl3 were not released from the fires. In the case of the Alberta oil sands, based on airborne measurements during the ARCTAS mission, 15 of 26 measured halocarbons were statistically enhanced over the oil sands compared to local background values (Simpson et al., 2010). The short-lived solvents C2HCl3, C2Cl4, C2H5Cl and CHCl3 were the most strongly enhanced halocarbons, with maximum values that were 1.5-34× the local background. A subsequent ground-based study in 2010 detected even stronger halocarbon enhancements downwind of upgraders and tailings sand at the oil sands surface mining sites. For example C2HCl3 and CHBrCl2 mixing ratios were up to 60-85× the local background values. Long

  19. InSAR Monitoring of Surface Deformation in Alberta's Oil Sands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pearse, J.; Singhroy, V.; Li, J.; Samsonov, S. V.; Shipman, T.; Froese, C. R.

    2013-05-01

    Alberta's oil sands are among the world's largest deposits of crude oil, and more than 80% of it is too deep to mine, so unconventional in-situ methods are used for extraction. Most in situ extraction techniques, such as Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD), use steam injection to reduce the viscosity of the bitumen, allowing it to flow into wells to be pumped to the surface. As part of the oil sands safety and environmental monitoring program, the energy regulator uses satellite radar to monitor surface deformation associated with in-situ oil extraction. The dense vegetation and sparse infrastructure in the boreal forest of northern Alberta make InSAR monitoring a challenge; however, we have found that surface heave associated with steam injection can be detected using traditional differential InSAR. Infrastructure and installed corner reflectors also allow us to use persistent scatterer methods to obtain time histories of deformation at individual sites. We have collected and processed several tracks of RADARSAT-2 data over a broad area of the oil sands, and have detected surface deformation signals of approximately 2-3 cm per year, with time series that correlate strongly with monthly SAGD steam injection volumes.

  20. Assessing mobility and redistribution patterns of sand and oil agglomerates in the surf zone.

    PubMed

    Dalyander, P Soupy; Long, Joseph W; Plant, Nathaniel G; Thompson, David M

    2014-03-15

    Heavier-than-water sand and oil agglomerates that formed in the surf zone following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill continued to cause beach re-oiling 3years after initial stranding. To understand this phenomena and inform operational response now and for future spills, a numerical method to assess the mobility and alongshore movement of these "surface residual balls" (SRBs) was developed and applied to the Alabama and western Florida coasts. Alongshore flow and SRB mobility and potential flux were used to identify likely patterns of transport and deposition. Results indicate that under typical calm conditions, cm-size SRBs are unlikely to move alongshore, whereas mobility and transport is likely during storms. The greater mobility of sand compared to SRBs makes burial and exhumation of SRBs likely, and inlets were identified as probable SRB traps. Analysis of field data supports these model results. PMID:24503377

  1. Assessing mobility and redistribution patterns of sand and oil agglomerates in the surf zone

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dalyander, P. Soupy; Long, Joesph W.; Plant, Nathaniel G.; Thompson, David M.

    2014-01-01

    Heavier-than-water sand and oil agglomerates that formed in the surf zone following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill continued to cause beach re-oiling 3 years after initial stranding. To understand this phenomena and inform operational response now and for future spills, a numerical method to assess the mobility and alongshore movement of these “surface residual balls” (SRBs) was developed and applied to the Alabama and western Florida coasts. Alongshore flow and SRB mobility and potential flux were used to identify likely patterns of transport and deposition. Results indicate that under typical calm conditions, cm-size SRBs are unlikely to move alongshore, whereas mobility and transport is likely during storms. The greater mobility of sand compared to SRBs makes burial and exhumation of SRBs likely, and inlets were identified as probable SRB traps. Analysis of field data supports these model results.

  2. Heterogeneity in Mississippi oil reservoirs, Black Warrior basin, Alabama: An overview

    SciTech Connect

    Kugler, R.L.; Pashin, J.C.; Irvin, G.D. )

    1993-09-01

    Four Mississippian sandstone units produce oil in the Black Warrior basin of Alabama: (1) Lewis; (2) Carter; (3) Millerella, and (4) Gilmer. Reservoir geometries differ for each producing interval, reflecting variation in depositional style during the evolution of a foreland basin. Widespread strike-elongate bodies of Lewis sandstone with complex internal geometry were deposited during destruction of the Fort Payne-Tuscumbia carbonate ramp and represent inception of the foreland basin and initial forebulge migration. Synorogenic Carter sandstone is part of the first major deltaic foreland basin fill and accounts for more than 80% of oil production in the basin. Millerella sandstone was deposited as transgressive sand patches during the final stages of delta destruction. Gilmer sandstone occurs as imbricate sandstone lenses deposited in a constructive shoal-water delta and is part of the late relaxational basin fill. Interaction of siliciclastic sediment with ancestral and active carbonate ramps was a primary control on facies architecture and reservoir heterogeneity. Patterns of injection and reservoir fluid production, as well as field- to basin-scale depositional, petrological, petrophysical and geostatistical modeling reveal microscopic to megascopic controls on reservoir heterogeneity and hydrocarbon producibility. At a megascopic scale, isolation or continuity of reservoir bodies is a function of depositional topography and the degree of marine reworking of genetically coherent sandstone bodies. These factors result in amalgamated reservoir bodies or in compartments that may remain uncontacted or unconnected during field development. Within producing fields, segmentation of amalgamated sandstone bodies into individual lenses, grain size variations, depositional barriers, and diagenetic baffles further compartmentalize reservoirs, increase tortuosity of fluid flow, and affect sweep efficiency during improved recovery operations.

  3. Oil migration examples in Irati Formation, Parana basin, Brazil

    SciTech Connect

    Espitalie, J.; Mizuta, K.; Carvalho, T.E.M.; Triguis, J.A.

    1983-03-01

    The Irati Formation (Late Permian), in the Parana basin, is a source rock with high oil generating potential. The TOC contents range from 0.5 to 13% according to the quality of the organic matter. Pyrolysis analysis indicates that the area where the Irati has the highest oil-generating source rock is in the north and south of the Parana basin. In these areas petroleum potential can reach 90 kg HC/t of rock. In the central part of the basin the Irati Formation might reach a depth of about 3200 m (10,498 ft). In many wells diabase intrusions have more or less completely cooked this formation, thus generating oil or gas, and leaving residual organic matter. The phenomenon of migration into the Irati Formation has been observed in many wells. In certain places, oil is accumulated in shales embedded between intrusion levels; in other places oil is accumulated into limestone beds, intercalated in the Irati Formation. It seems safe to assume that the oil accumulated in the deeper beds resulted from the effect of thermal intrusions and also from the effects of normal burial. Oil migration occurred after diabase intrusions (Late Cretaceous) during the increasing subsidence of the basin. In the Parana basin, the Irati Formation may be compared to a drain with a lateral oil migration. Vertical migration was hindered by the lack of enough porosity and permeability in the shales above the Irati source rock. Consequently, migration and accumulation of oil above and below the formation might have resulted from changes in facies of the Irati itself, by faulting, or by fractures due to diabase intrusions.

  4. Plant response to aqueous effluents derived from in-situ fossil-fuel processing. Part III. Three grass species and their response to Omega 9 and to five produced retort waters: oil shale, tar sands and underground coal gasification. [Basin wildrye; western wheatgrass; alkali sacaton

    SciTech Connect

    Skinner, Q.D.

    1981-12-01

    In situ produced waters collected from retorting oil shale and tar sands to produce oil and in-situ coal gasification to produce gas were tested for their effect on plant growth. Three native grass plant species were utilized for monitoring growth response. Root weight, shoot weight, total dry weight, leaf area, root/shoot ratio and shoot/leaf area ratio were parameters measured. All experiments were conducted under greenhouse conditions using hydroponic techniques and commercial grade perlite as support systems. Measurements were collected after a 10-week growth period. The hypothesis tested was, there is a difference between produced waters diluted by ground water and those where dilution is non-existent and their effect on plant growth. Results indicated that retort water diluted by ground water has a less toxic effect on plant species tested.

  5. Triassic oils and related hydrocarbon kitchens in the Adriatic basin

    SciTech Connect

    Novelli, L.; Demaison, G. )

    1988-08-01

    Without exception, the oils from both the Abruzzi basin and Albanian foredeep are of lower Liassic to Upper Triassic origin. This is demonstrated by biological marker-based correlations between the oils and stratigraphically controlled, carbonate-rich source rocks. The biomarker studies also provided proof to conclude that many of the oils possess low API gravities and high sulfur contents because they are immature rather than biodegraded. Following the geochemical investigations, a computer-aided, basinwise maturation simulation of the hydrocarbon kitchens was carried out, with backstripping in geologic time. The simulations, performed with the Tissot-Espitalie kinetic model, used basin-specific kerogen activation energies obtained by the optimum method. These simulated values were calibrated with observed values in deep wells. Two characteristics diverge from normal petroleum basin situations (e.g., the North Sea basin): sulfur-rich kerogens in the source rocks, featuring relatively low activation energy distributions, and low geothermal gradients in the subsurface. The geographic outlines of simulated Triassic-lower Liassic hydrocarbon kitchens closely coincide with the zones of petroleum occurrence and production in the Adriatic basin. Furthermore, API gravities of the oils are broadly predicted by the mathematical simulations. This methodology has once again shown its ability to rationally high-grade the petroleum-rich sectors of sedimentary basin while identifying those areas where chances of success are extremely low regardless of the presence of structures.

  6. Sand dispersal in the southeastern Austral Basin, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina: Outcrop insights from Eocene channeled turbidite systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torres Carbonell, Pablo J.; Olivero, Eduardo B.

    2012-02-01

    We made a detailed facies analysis of well exposed Eocene foredeep and wedge-top successions in the SE Austral Basin of eastern Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, contributing to a better understanding of its patterns of sand dispersal. The analysis reveals that these successions constitute portions of turbidite systems with recurrent facies associations, interpreted as channel, channel-margin and levée depositional elements. The channel facies, paleocurrents and interpreted paleogeography suggest that the studied successions form the transfer zone of the turbidite systems that fed the foreland basin. We hypothesize that the SE Austral Basin, which forms the transition between the Austral and Malvinas Basins, acted as an east-west conduit for sediments sourced at the Fuegian Andes and transported to a deeper depositional zone in the SW Malvinas Basin. The fill of the channels in the transfer zone involved a large amount of turbidity flows, which in addition to the evidence of levée confinement in the studied deposits suggests that the sandier portion of the flows was able to reach the depositional zone, were mostly unconfined (sheeted) sand bodies may have formed. In addition, overbank sand bodies were deposited within the transfer zone, associated to processes of flow overspill. Both types of sand bodies constitute potential reservoirs in this hydrocarbon producing basin, implying that the Eocene SE Austral Basin, and the ultimate zone of deposition in the SW Malvinas Basin may constitute major prospects for hydrocarbon exploration. The proposed model define a new perspective for future research on the sedimentologic and stratigraphic evolution of the SE portion of the Austral Basin.

  7. Enhanced ex situ bioremediation of crude oil contaminated beach sand by supplementation with nutrients and rhamnolipids.

    PubMed

    Nikolopoulou, M; Pasadakis, N; Norf, H; Kalogerakis, N

    2013-12-15

    Mediterranean coastal regions are particularly exposed to oil pollution due to extensive industrialization, urbanization and transport of crude and refined oil to and from refineries. Bioremediation of contaminated beach sand through landfarming is both simple and cost-effective to implement compared to other treatment technologies. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effect of alternative nutrients on biodegradation of crude oil contaminated beach sand in an effort to reduce the time required for bioremediation employing only indigenous hydrocarbon degraders. A natural sandy soil was collected from Agios Onoufrios beach (Chania, Greece) and was contaminated with weathered crude oil. The indigenous microbial population in the contaminated sand was tested alone (control treatment) or in combination with inorganic nutrients (KNO3 and K2HPO4) to investigate their effects on oil biodegradation rates. In addition, the ability of biosurfactants (rhamnolipids), in the presence of organic nutrients (uric acid and lecithin), to further stimulate biodegradation was investigated in laboratory microcosms over a 45-day period. Biodegradation was tracked by GC/MS analysis of aliphatic and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons components and the measured concentrations were corrected for abiotic removal by hopane normalizations. It was found that the saturated fraction of the residual oil is degraded more extensively than the aromatic fraction and the bacterial growth after an incubation period of approximately 3 weeks was much greater from the bacterial growth in the control. The results show that the treatments with inorganic or organic nutrients are equally effective over almost 30 days where C12-C35n-alkanes were degraded more than 97% and polyaromatic hydrocarbons with two or three rings were degraded more than 95% within 45 days. The results clearly show that the addition of nutrients to contaminated beach sand significantly enhanced the activity of

  8. Sea sand disruption method (SSDM) as a valuable tool for isolating essential oil components from conifers.

    PubMed

    Dawidowicz, Andrzej L; Czapczyńska, Natalia B

    2011-11-01

    Essential oils are one of nature's most precious gifts with surprisingly potent and outstanding properties. Coniferous oils, for instance, are nowadays being used extensively to treat or prevent many types of infections, modify immune responses, soothe inflammations, stabilize moods, and to help ease all forms of non-acute pain. Given the broad spectrum of usage of coniferous essential oils, a fast, safe, simple, and efficient sample-preparation method is needed in the estimation procedure of essential oil components in fresh plant material. Generally, the time- and energy-consuming steam distillation (SD) is applied for this purpose. This paper will compare SD, pressurized liquid extraction (PLE), matrix solid-phase dispersion (MSPD), and the sea sand disruption method (SSDM) as isolation techniques to obtain aroma components from Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), spruce (Picea abies), and Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii). According to the obtained data, SSDM is the most efficient sample preparation method in determining the essential oil composition of conifers. Moreover, SSDM requires small organic solvent amounts and a short extraction time, which makes it an advantageous alternative procedure for the routine analysis of coniferous oils. The superiority of SSDM over MSPD efficiency is ascertained, as there are no chemical interactions between the plant cell components and the sand. This fact confirms the reliability and efficacy of SSDM for the analysis of volatile oil components. PMID:22083917

  9. Assessing accumulation and biliary excretion of naphthenic acids in yellow perch exposed to oil sands-affected waters.

    PubMed

    van den Heuvel, Michael R; Hogan, Natacha S; MacDonald, Gillian Z; Berrue, Fabrice; Young, Rozlyn F; Arens, Collin J; Kerr, Russell G; Fedorak, Phillip M

    2014-01-01

    Naphthenic acids are known to be the most prevalent group of organic compounds in oil sands tailings-associated waters. Yellow perch (Perca flavescens) were exposed for four months to oil sands-influenced waters in two experimental systems located on an oil sands lease 30 km north of Fort McMurray Alberta: the Demonstration Pond, containing oil sands tailings capped with natural surface water, and the South Bison Pond, integrating lean oil sands. Yellow perch were also sampled from three lakes: Mildred Lake that receives water from the Athabasca River, Sucker Lake, at the edge of oil sands extraction activity, and Kimowin Lake, a distant reference site. Naphthenic acids were measured in perch muscle tissue using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Bile metabolites were measured by GC-MS techniques and by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with fluorescence detection at phenanthrene wavelengths. A method was developed using liquid chromatography-high resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS) to evaluate naphthenic acids in bile. Tissue analysis did not show a pattern of naphthenic acids accumulation in muscle tissue consistent with known concentrations in exposed waters. Bile fluorescence and LC-HRMS methods were capable of statistically distinguishing samples originating from oil sands-influenced waters versus reference lakes. Although the GC-MS and HPLC fluorescence methods were correlated, there were no significant correlations of these methods and the LC-HRMS method. In yellow perch, naphthenic acids from oil sands sources do not concentrate in tissue at a measurable amount and are excreted through a biliary route. LC-HRMS was shown to be a highly sensitive, selective and promising technique as an indicator of exposure of biota to oil sands-derived naphthenic acids. PMID:24182406

  10. Pore Scale Analysis of Oil Shale/Sands Pyrolysis

    SciTech Connect

    Lin, Chen-Luh; Miller, Jan

    2011-03-01

    There are important questions concerning the quality and volume of pore space that is created when oil shale is pyrolyzed for the purpose of producing shale oil. In this report, 1.9 cm diameter cores of Mahogany oil shale were pyrolyzed at different temperatures and heating rates. Detailed 3D imaging of core samples was done using multiscale X-ray computed tomography (CT) before and after pyrolysis to establish the pore structure. The pore structure of the unreacted material was not clear. Selected images of a core pyrolyzed at 400oC were obtained at voxel resolutions from 39 microns (Οm) to 60 nanometers (nm). Some of the pore space created during pyrolysis was clearly visible at these resolutions and it was possible to distinguish between the reaction products and the host shale rock. The pore structure deduced from the images was used in Lattice Boltzmann simulations to calculate the permeability in the pore space. The permeabilities of the pyrolyzed samples of the silicate-rich zone were on the order of millidarcies, while the permeabilities of the kerogen-rich zone after pyrolysis were very anisotropic and about four orders of magnitude higher.

  11. Microbial community successional patterns in beach sands impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez-R, Luis M; Overholt, Will A; Hagan, Christopher; Huettel, Markus; Kostka, Joel E; Konstantinidis, Konstantinos T

    2015-09-01

    Although petroleum hydrocarbons discharged from the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) blowout were shown to have a pronounced impact on indigenous microbial communities in the Gulf of Mexico, effects on nearshore or coastal ecosystems remain understudied. This study investigated the successional patterns of functional and taxonomic diversity for over 1 year after the DWH oil was deposited on Pensacola Beach sands (FL, USA), using metagenomic and 16S rRNA gene amplicon techniques. Gamma- and Alphaproteobacteria were enriched in oiled sediments, in corroboration of previous studies. In contrast to previous studies, we observed an increase in the functional diversity of the community in response to oil contamination and a functional transition from generalist populations within 4 months after oil came ashore to specialists a year later, when oil was undetectable. At the latter time point, a typical beach community had reestablished that showed little to no evidence of oil hydrocarbon degradation potential, was enriched in archaeal taxa known to be sensitive to xenobiotics, but differed significantly from the community before the oil spill. Further, a clear succession pattern was observed, where early responders to oil contamination, likely degrading aliphatic hydrocarbons, were replaced after 3 months by populations capable of aromatic hydrocarbon decomposition. Collectively, our results advance the understanding of how natural benthic microbial communities respond to crude oil perturbation, supporting the specialization-disturbance hypothesis; that is, the expectation that disturbance favors generalists, while providing (microbial) indicator species and genes for the chemical evolution of oil hydrocarbons during degradation and weathering. PMID:25689026

  12. Diamonds in the rough: identification of individual napthenic acids in oil sands process water

    SciTech Connect

    Rowland, Steven J.; Scarlett, Alan G.; Jones, David; West, Charles E. ); Frank, Richard A.

    2011-03-10

    Expansion of the oil sands industry of Canada has seen a concomitant increase in the amount of process water produced and stored in large lagoons known as tailings ponds. Concerns have been raised, particularly about the toxic complex mixtures of water-soluble naphthenic acids (NA) in the process water. To date, no individual NA have been identified, despite numerous attempts, and while the toxicity of broad classes of acids is of interest, toxicity is often structure-specific, so identification of individual acids may also be very important. The chromatographic resolution and mass spectral identification of some individual NA from oil sands process water is described. The authors concluded that the presence of tricyclic diamondoid acids, never before even considered as NA, suggests an unprecedented degree of biodegradation of some of the oil in the oil sands. The identifications reported should now be followed by quantitative studies, and these used to direct toxicity assays of relevant NA and the method used to identify further NA to establish which, or whether all NA, are toxic. The two-dimensional comprehensive gas chromatography-mass spectrometry method described may also be important for helping to better focus reclamation/remediation strategies for NA as well as in facilitating the identification of the sources of NA in contaminated surface waters (auth)

  13. Sedimentation, zoning of reservoir rocks in W. Siberian basin oil fields

    SciTech Connect

    Kliger, J.A. )

    1994-02-07

    A line pattern of well cluster spacing was chosen in western Siberia because of taiga, marshes, etc., on the surface. The zoning of the oil pools within productive Upper Jurassic J[sub 3] intervals is complicated. This is why until the early 1990s almost each third well drilled in the Shaimsky region on the western edge of the West Siberian basin came up dry. The results of development drilling would be much better if one used some sedimentological relationships of zoning of the reservoir rocks within the oil fields. These natural phenomena are: Paleobasin bathymetry; Distances from the sources of the clastic material; and Proximity of the area of deposition. Using the diagram in this article, one can avoid drilling toward areas where the sandstone pinch out, area of argillization of sand-stones, or where the probability of their absence is high.

  14. Oil-impregnated outcrops and their relationship to petroleum generation in late Paleozoic Eagle basin, northwestern Colorado

    SciTech Connect

    Waechter, N.B. )

    1989-09-01

    Oil-impregnated outcrops of Mississippian and Pennsylvanian rocks are present in widely separated areas of the Eagle basin. Along the northeast margin of the fault-bounded Eagle basin, oil-impregnated arkosic sandstones of the lower Minturn Formation (Desmoinesian) are interbedded with black, organic-rich shales that provided a local source for the oil. Algal mounds in the lower Minturn Formation in this area contain oil residue. Oil residue is also present in the Mississippian Leadville formation in several parts of the basin, both in paleokarst-related vugs and intergranular porosity in oolite grainstones. The Leadville formation was sourced by overlying organic-rich shales of the Belden Formation (Morrowan-Atokan). Under Pennsylvanian-Permian arkosic sandstones near the southwestern margin of the basin are not adjacent to potential source rocks. The Schoolhouse Tongue of the Weber Sandstone is heavily stained in many areas over its 50 mi of outcrop exposure. Numerous arkosic sandstones in the underlying Maroon Formation are also sained. Faults bounding intrabasinal horst blocks were conduits for upward oil migration, and the horsts may have provided the trap. Oil is also present in overlying Triassic and Jurassic sands in this area, supporting the theory of vertical migration up faults. Oil residue is also present in the Maroon Formation 40 mi to the southeast in the Crystal River Valley. Secondary porosity from dissolution of calcite cement preceded oil emplacement. Beaching of normally red-brown sandstones is ubiquitous with the oil residue and probably represents reduction and partial removal of iron by acidic, reducing fluids generated from the Belden Shale.

  15. Volatile Organic Compound Observations near Oil Sands Mining, Upgrading and Refining Facilities in Alberta, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simpson, I. J.; Marrero, J.; Meinardi, S.; Barletta, B.; Krogh, E.; Blake, D. R.

    2012-12-01

    The oil sands of Alberta are the world's third-largest proven oil reserve. Even though the expansion of the oil sands industry has led to concerns about its impact on air quality, water quality and human health, emissions from the oil sands industry are very poorly characterized in the literature. During 2008-2012 our group collected 398 whole air samples downwind of (1) oil sands surface mining and upgrading facilities north of Fort McMurray, Alberta, and (2) chemical, petrochemical, and oil and gas facilities in the "Industrial Heartland" region of Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta. These high-precision measurements were made primarily in July 2008, August 2010, and July 2012 using canister sampling followed by multi-column gas chromatography analysis for 80 speciated volatile organic compounds (VOCs), with ppt-level detection limits. Strong VOC enhancements were measured downwind of upgrading operations near Fort McMurray, especially alkanes, aromatics and solvents. For example, maximum concentrations of 2,3-dimethylbutane, p-xylene and n-octane were 800-2400× the local background value (LBV), and the industrial solvent trichloroethene was up to 260× the LBV. We measured only small VOC enhancements at sites of naturally exposed oil sands, confirming that degraded air quality results from industrial activity rather than emission from natural sources. Remarkably strong VOC enhancements were detected in the Industrial Heartland, which is the largest hydrocarbon processing region in Canada. Some of the largest VOC excesses were measured in samples designated as "no smell", showing that absence of odor is not necessarily an indicator of good air quality. The maximum concentrations of methyl tert-butyl ether and ethylbenzene were 6200× the LBV, and concentrations of 1,3-butadiene, a known carcinogen, were 2400× the LBV. Thirty VOCs were present at levels above 1 ppbv, and maximum propene and i-pentane levels exceeded 100 ppbv. Remarkably, the maximum propene

  16. Sedimentological sand grain orientation in oil-producing U1 layer Kazan oil-gas-condensate field (Tomsk Oblast)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krasnoshchekova, L.; Cherdansteva, D.; Vologdina, I.

    2016-03-01

    The paper describes the results in identifying the prevalent directions of elongated quartz grains being the major oil-producing layer component in sand reservoirs. Studying the orientation of quartz to its grain shapes in paleogeographical oriented core samples made it possible to identify the hydrodynamic reservoir regimes and facies type. The spatial confinement of pore spaces and cataclasis fractures in grain material to the prevalent elongated quartz grain directions was defined.

  17. Oil sands development and its impact on atmospheric wet deposition of air pollutants to the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, Alberta, Canada.

    PubMed

    Lynam, Mary M; Dvonch, J Timothy; Barres, James A; Morishita, Masako; Legge, Allan; Percy, Kevin

    2015-11-01

    Characterization of air pollutant deposition resulting from Athabasca oil sands development is necessary to assess risk to humans and the environment. To investigate this we collected event-based wet deposition during a pilot study in 2010-2012 at the AMS 6 site 30 km from the nearest upgrading facility in Fort McMurray, AB, Canada. Sulfate, nitrate and ammonium deposition was (kg/ha) 1.96, 1.60 and 1.03, respectively. Trace element pollutant deposition ranged from 2 × 10(-5) - 0.79 and exhibited the trend Hg < Se < As < Cd < Pb < Cu < Zn < S. Crustal element deposition ranged from 1.4 × 10(-4) - 0.46 and had the trend: La < Ce < Sr < Mn < Al < Fe < Mg. S, Se and Hg demonstrated highest median enrichment factors (130-2020) suggesting emissions from oil sands development, urban activities and forest fires were deposited. High deposition of the elements Sr, Mn, Fe and Mg which are tracers for soil and crustal dust implies land-clearing, mining and hauling emissions greatly impacted surrounding human settlements and ecosystems. PMID:26277649

  18. Source rock contributions to the Lower Cretaceous heavy oil accumulations in Alberta: a basin modeling study

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Berbesi, Luiyin Alejandro; di Primio, Rolando; Anka, Zahie; Horsfield, Brian; Higley, Debra K.

    2012-01-01

    The origin of the immense oil sand deposits in Lower Cretaceous reservoirs of the Western Canada sedimentary basin is still a matter of debate, specifically with respect to the original in-place volumes and contributing source rocks. In this study, the contributions from the main source rocks were addressed using a three-dimensional petroleum system model calibrated to well data. A sensitivity analysis of source rock definition was performed in the case of the two main contributors, which are the Lower Jurassic Gordondale Member of the Fernie Group and the Upper Devonian–Lower Mississippian Exshaw Formation. This sensitivity analysis included variations of assigned total organic carbon and hydrogen index for both source intervals, and in the case of the Exshaw Formation, variations of thickness in areas beneath the Rocky Mountains were also considered. All of the modeled source rocks reached the early or main oil generation stages by 60 Ma, before the onset of the Laramide orogeny. Reconstructed oil accumulations were initially modest because of limited trapping efficiency. This was improved by defining lateral stratigraphic seals within the carrier system. An additional sealing effect by biodegraded oil may have hindered the migration of petroleum in the northern areas, but not to the east of Athabasca. In the latter case, the main trapping controls are dominantly stratigraphic and structural. Our model, based on available data, identifies the Gordondale source rock as the contributor of more than 54% of the oil in the Athabasca and Peace River accumulations, followed by minor amounts from Exshaw (15%) and other Devonian to Lower Jurassic source rocks. The proposed strong contribution of petroleum from the Exshaw Formation source rock to the Athabasca oil sands is only reproduced by assuming 25 m (82 ft) of mature Exshaw in the kitchen areas, with original total organic carbon of 9% or more.

  19. Oil Sands Characteristics and Time-Lapse and P-SV Seismic Steam Monitoring, Athabasca, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takahashi, A.; Nakayama, T.; Kashihara, K.; Skinner, L.; Kato, A.

    2008-12-01

    A vast amount of oil sands exists in the Athabasca area, Alberta, Canada. These oil sands consist of bitumen (extra-heavy oil) and unconsolidated sand distributed from surface to a depth of 750 meters. Including conventional crude oil, the total number of proved remaining oil reserves in Canada ranks second place in the world after Saudi Arabia. For the production of bitumen from the reservoir 200 to 500 meters in depth, the Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) method (Steam Injection EOR) has been adopted as bitumen is not movable at original temperatures. It is essential to understand the detailed reservoir distribution and steam chamber development extent for optimizing the field development. Oil sands reservoir characterization is conducted using 3D seismic data acquired in February 2002. Conducting acoustic impedance inversion to improve resolution and subsequent multi-attribute analysis integrating seismic data with well data facilitates an understanding of the detailed reservoir distribution. These analyses enable the basement shale to be imaged, and enables identification to a certain degree of thin shale within the reservoir. Top and bottom depths of the reservoir are estimated in the range of 2.0 meters near the existing wells even in such a complex channel sands environment characterized by abrupt lateral sedimentary facies changes. In March 2006, monitoring 3D seismic data was acquired to delineate steam-affected areas. The 2002 baseline data is used as a reference data and the 2006 monitoring data is calibrated to the 2002 seismic data. Apparent differences in the two 3D seismic data sets with the exception of production related response changes are removed during the calibration process. P-wave and S-wave velocities of oil sands core samples are also measured with various pressures and temperatures, and the laboratory measurement results are then combined to construct a rock physics model used to predict velocity changes induced by steam

  20. Quality of groundwater in the Agbabu oil sands area of the Ondo State, Nigeria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ajayi, Owolabi

    1998-08-01

    The Agbabu area is currently the focus of geological investigations for oil sands by several multinational companies. Mining and associated activities will require substantial quantities of water, hence the aim of this study is to evaluate the groundwater quality in the area. Total dissolved solids in the range 1260-1460 mg I -1 exceed the upper limit of 1000 mg I -1 for fresh water, and indicate brackish, non-potable water. Using relevant indices, the groundwater is found to be not suitable for irrigated agriculture and most industrial uses without further treatment. On the basis of dominant cations and anions, the groundwater is classified as a sodium chloride (NaCl) type. Detailed and systematic hydrogeological study of the entire oil sands area is recommended to provide information on the nature, origin, occurrence and quality characteristics of the groundwater found in this area.

  1. Technical review of WSRC-TR-93-614 criticality safety evaluation for disassembly basin sand filter

    SciTech Connect

    Reed, R.L

    1994-04-27

    The study documented in WSRC-TR-93-614 performed an evaluation of the criticality potential associated with the Disassembly Basin Sand Filter for K and L Areas. The document reviewed incorporated results of calculations documented in the engineering calculation N-CLC-K-00151. Analyses of the contents of disassembly basin sludge has indicated that the sludge contains fissile material in excess of subcritical mass limits as specified in ANSI/ANS standards. Previous studies had determined that the fissile material can not collect into a critical configuration in the basin. Since the sand filter is intended to remove suspended particles from the basin water and could serve as a mechanism to collect the fissile material into a critical configuration, the study examined conditions under which criticality could occur in the sand filter. The study shows that criticality is not considered possible in the sand filter. This review emphasized the technical accuracy and presentation of the evaluation. The evaluation was also examined for the elements required for NCSEs. The review was performed in accordance with the NRTSC technical review requirements and procedures and the E7 Manual technical review requirements. The technical review (per the E7 manual) of the engineering calculation (N-CLC-K-0 1 5 1) was previously performed by this reviewer.

  2. Integrated biological marker correlations among mature oils of the Sverdrup basin

    SciTech Connect

    Curiale, J.A. )

    1989-03-01

    The Sverdrup Basin is located Arctic Canada. The basin is filled with 10,000-15,000 meters of carbonates, evaporites, and marine and non-marine clastics. The basin has an estimated petroleum potential of almost three billion barrels of oil, with the Triassic Schei Point Group being the source of most of this oil. In this paper, the author examines biomarker distributions in the Sverdrup Basin oils using a 12-oil sample set and a more comprehensive.

  3. Satellite Based Analysis of Carbon Monoxide Levels Over Alberta Oil Sand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marey, H. S.; Hashisho, Z.; Fu, L.; Gille, J. C.

    2014-12-01

    The rapid expansion of oil sands activities and massive energy requirements to extract and upgrade the bitumen require a comprehensive understanding of their potential environmental impacts, particularly on air quality. In this study, satellite-based analysis of carbon monoxide (CO) levels was used to assess the magnitude and distribution of this pollutant throughout Alberta oil sands region. Measurements of Pollution in the Troposphere (MOPITT) V5 multispectral product that uses both near-infrared and the thermal-infrared radiances for CO retrieval were used. MOPITT-based climatology and inter-annual variations were examined for 12 years (2002-2013) on spatial and temporal scales. Seasonal climatological maps for CO total columns indicated conspicuous spatial variations in all seasons except in winter where the CO spatial variations are less prominent. High CO loadings are observed to extend from the North East to North West regions of Alberta, with highest values in spring. The CO mixing ratios at the surface level in winter and spring seasons exhibited dissimilar spatial distribution pattern where the enhancements are detected in south eastern rather than northern Alberta. Analyzing spatial distributions of Omega at 850 mb pressure level for four seasons implied that, conditions in northeastern Alberta are more favorable for up lofting while in southern Alberta, subsidence of CO emissions are more likely. Time altitude CO profile climatology as well as the inter-annual variability were investigated for the oil sands and main urban regions in Alberta to assess the impact of various sources on CO loading. Monthly variations over urban regions are consistent with the general seasonal cycle of CO in Northern Hemisphere which exhibits significant enhancement in winter and spring, and minimum mixing ratios in summer. The typical seasonal CO variations over the oil sands region are less prominent. This study has demonstrated the potential use of multispectral CO

  4. Microbially-accelerated consolidation of oil sands tailings. Pathway I: changes in porewater chemistry

    PubMed Central

    Siddique, Tariq; Kuznetsov, Petr; Kuznetsova, Alsu; Arkell, Nicholas; Young, Rozlyn; Li, Carmen; Guigard, Selma; Underwood, Eleisha; Foght, Julia M.

    2014-01-01

    Dispersed clay particles in mine tailings and soft sediments remain suspended for decades, hindering consolidation and challenging effective management of these aqueous slurries. Current geotechnical engineering models of self-weight consolidation of tailings do not consider microbial contribution to sediment behavior, however, here we show that microorganisms indigenous to oil sands tailings change the porewater chemistry and accelerate consolidation of oil sands tailings. A companion paper describes the role of microbes in alteration of clay chemistry in tailings. Microbial metabolism in mature fine tailings (MFT) amended with an organic substrate (hydrolyzed canola meal) produced methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2). Dissolution of biogenic CO2 lowered the pH of amended MFT to pH 6.4 vs. unamended MFT (pH 7.7). About 12% more porewater was recovered from amended than unamended MFT during 2 months of active microbial metabolism, concomitant with consolidation of tailings. The lower pH in amended MFT dissolved carbonate minerals, thereby releasing divalent cations including calcium (Ca2+) and magnesium (Mg2+) and increasing bicarbonate (HCO−3) in porewater. The higher concentrations increased the ionic strength of the porewater, in turn reducing the thickness of the diffuse double layer (DDL) of clay particles by reducing the surface charge potential (repulsive forces) of the clay particles. The combination of these processes accelerated consolidation of oil sands tailings. In addition, ebullition of biogenic gases created transient physical channels for release of porewater. In contrast, saturating the MFT with non-biogenic CO2 had little effect on consolidation. These results have significant implications for management and reclamation of oil sands tailings ponds and broad importance in anaerobic environments such as contaminated harbors and estuaries containing soft sediments rich in clays and organics. PMID:24711805

  5. Atmospheric deposition of mercury and methylmercury to landscapes and waterbodies of the Athabasca oil sands region.

    PubMed

    Kirk, Jane L; Muir, Derek C G; Gleason, Amber; Wang, Xiaowa; Lawson, Greg; Frank, Richard A; Lehnherr, Igor; Wrona, Fred

    2014-07-01

    Atmospheric deposition of metals originating from a variety of sources, including bitumen upgrading facilities and blowing dusts from landscape disturbances, is of concern in the Athabasca oil sands region of northern Alberta, Canada. Mercury (Hg) is of particular interest as methylmercury (MeHg), a neurotoxin which bioaccumulates through foodwebs, can reach levels in fish and wildlife that may pose health risks to human consumers. We used spring-time sampling of the accumulated snowpack at sites located varying distances from the major developments to estimate winter 2012 Hg loadings to a ∼20 000 km(2) area of the Athabasca oil sands region. Total Hg (THg; all forms of Hg in a sample) loads were predominantly particulate-bound (79 ± 12%) and increased with proximity to major developments, reaching up to 1000 ng m(-2). MeHg loads increased in a similar fashion, reaching up to 19 ng m(-2) and suggesting that oil sands developments are a direct source of MeHg to local landscapes and water bodies. Deposition maps, created by interpolation of measured Hg loads using geostatistical software, demonstrated that deposition resembled a bullseye pattern on the landscape, with areas of maximum THg and MeHg loadings located primarily between the Muskeg and Steepbank rivers. Snowpack concentrations of THg and MeHg were significantly correlated (r = 0.45-0.88, p < 0.01) with numerous parameters, including total suspended solids (TSS), metals known to be emitted in high quantities from the upgraders (vanadium, nickel, and zinc), and crustal elements (aluminum, iron, and lanthanum), which were also elevated in this region. Our results suggest that at snowmelt, a complex mixture of chemicals enters aquatic ecosystems that could impact biological communities of the oil sands region. PMID:24873895

  6. Legacy of a half century of Athabasca oil sands development recorded by lake ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Kurek, Joshua; Kirk, Jane L.; Muir, Derek C. G.; Wang, Xiaowa; Evans, Marlene S.; Smol, John P.

    2013-01-01

    The absence of well-executed environmental monitoring in the Athabasca oil sands (Alberta, Canada) has necessitated the use of indirect approaches to determine background conditions of freshwater ecosystems before development of one of the Earth’s largest energy deposits. Here, we use highly resolved lake sediment records to provide ecological context to ∼50 y of oil sands development and other environmental changes affecting lake ecosystems in the region. We show that polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) within lake sediments, particularly C1-C4–alkylated PAHs, increased significantly after development of the bitumen resource began, followed by significant increases in dibenzothiophenes. Total PAH fluxes in the modern sediments of our six study lakes, including one site ∼90 km northwest of the major development area, are now ∼2.5–23 times greater than ∼1960 levels. PAH ratios indicate temporal shifts from primarily wood combustion to petrogenic sources that coincide with greater oil sands development. Canadian interim sediment quality guidelines for PAHs have been exceeded since the mid-1980s at the most impacted site. A paleoecological assessment of Daphnia shows that this sentinel zooplankter has not yet been negatively impacted by decades of high atmospheric PAH deposition. Rather, coincident with increases in PAHs, climate-induced shifts in aquatic primary production related to warmer and drier conditions are the primary environmental drivers producing marked daphniid shifts after ∼1960 to 1970. Because of the striking increase in PAHs, elevated primary production, and zooplankton changes, these oil sands lake ecosystems have entered new ecological states completely distinct from those of previous centuries. PMID:23297215

  7. Quantitative Methods for Reservoir Characterization and Improved Recovery: Application to Heavy Oil Sands

    SciTech Connect

    Castle, J.W.; Molz, F.J.; Brame, S.E.; Falta, R.W.

    2003-02-07

    Improved prediction of interwell reservoir heterogeneity was needed to increase productivity and to reduce recovery cost for California's heavy oil sands, which contain approximately 2.3 billion barrels of remaining reserves in the Temblor Formation and in other formations of the San Joaquin Valley. This investigation involved application of advanced analytical property-distribution methods conditioned to continuous outcrop control for improved reservoir characterization and simulation.

  8. Quantitative Methods for Reservoir Characterization and Improved Recovery: Application to Heavy Oil Sands

    SciTech Connect

    Castle, James W.; Molz, Fred J.

    2003-02-07

    Improved prediction of interwell reservoir heterogeneity is needed to increase productivity and to reduce recovery cost for California's heavy oil sands, which contain approximately 2.3 billion barrels of remaining reserves in the Temblor Formation and in other formations of the San Joaquin Valley. This investigation involved application of advanced analytical property-distribution methods conditioned to continuous outcrop control for improved reservoir characterization and simulation.

  9. Oil sands development contributes elements toxic at low concentrations to the Athabasca River and its tributaries.

    PubMed

    Kelly, Erin N; Schindler, David W; Hodson, Peter V; Short, Jeffrey W; Radmanovich, Roseanna; Nielsen, Charlene C

    2010-09-14

    We show that the oil sands industry releases the 13 elements considered priority pollutants (PPE) under the US Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Water Act, via air and water, to the Athabasca River and its watershed. In the 2008 snowpack, all PPE except selenium were greater near oil sands developments than at more remote sites. Bitumen upgraders and local oil sands development were sources of airborne emissions. Concentrations of mercury, nickel, and thallium in winter and all 13 PPE in summer were greater in tributaries with watersheds more disturbed by development than in less disturbed watersheds. In the Athabasca River during summer, concentrations of all PPE were greater near developed areas than upstream of development. At sites downstream of development and within the Athabasca Delta, concentrations of all PPE except beryllium and selenium remained greater than upstream of development. Concentrations of some PPE at one location in Lake Athabasca near Fort Chipewyan were also greater than concentration in the Athabasca River upstream of development. Canada's or Alberta's guidelines for the protection of aquatic life were exceeded for seven PPE-cadmium, copper, lead, mercury, nickel, silver, and zinc-in melted snow and/or water collected near or downstream of development. PMID:20805486

  10. Characterization and distribution of metal and nonmetal elements in the Alberta oil sands region of Canada.

    PubMed

    Huang, Rongfu; McPhedran, Kerry N; Yang, Lingling; El-Din, Mohamed Gamal

    2016-03-01

    This review covers the characterization and distribution of metals and nonmetals in the Alberta oil sands region (AOSR) of Canada. The development of the oil sands industry has resulted in the release of organic, metal and nonmetal contaminants via air and water to the AOSR. For air, studies have found that atmospheric deposition of metals in the AOSR decreased exponentially with distance from the industrial emission sources. For water, toxic metal concentrations often exceeded safe levels leading to the potential for negative impacts to the receiving aquatic environments. Interestingly, although atmospheric deposition, surface waters, fish tissues, and aquatic bird eggs exhibited increasing level of metals in the AOSR, reported results from river sediments showed no increases over time. This could be attributed to physical and/or chemical dynamics of the river system to transport metals to downstream. The monitoring of the airborne emissions of relevant nonmetals (nitrogen and sulphur species) was also considered over the AOSR. These species were found to be increasing along with the oil sands developments with the resultant depositions contributing to nitrogen and sulphur accumulations resulting in ecosystem acidification and eutrophication impacts. In addition to direct monitoring of metals/nonmetals, tracing of air emissions using isotopes was also discussed. Further investigation and characterization of metals/nonmetals emissions in the AOSR are needed to determine their impacts to the ecosystem and to assess the need for further treatment measures to limit their continued output into the receiving environments. PMID:26766359

  11. Oil sands mining and reclamation cause massive loss of peatland and stored carbon

    PubMed Central

    Rooney, Rebecca C.; Bayley, Suzanne E.; Schindler, David W.

    2012-01-01

    We quantified the wholesale transformation of the boreal landscape by open-pit oil sands mining in Alberta, Canada to evaluate its effect on carbon storage and sequestration. Contrary to claims made in the media, peatland destroyed by open-pit mining will not be restored. Current plans dictate its replacement with upland forest and tailings storage lakes, amounting to the destruction of over 29,500 ha of peatland habitat. Landscape changes caused by currently approved mines will release between 11.4 and 47.3 million metric tons of stored carbon and will reduce carbon sequestration potential by 5,734–7,241 metric tons C/y. These losses have not previously been quantified, and should be included with the already high estimates of carbon emissions from oil sands mining and bitumen upgrading. A fair evaluation of the costs and benefits of oil sands mining requires a rigorous assessment of impacts on natural capital and ecosystem services. PMID:22411786

  12. Sublethal effects of aged oil sands-affected water on white sucker (Catostomus commersonii).

    PubMed

    Arens, Collin J; Hogan, Natacha S; Kavanagh, Richard J; Mercer, Angella G; Kraak, Glen J Van Der; van den Heuvel, Michael R

    2015-03-01

    To investigate impacts of proposed oil sands aquatic reclamation techniques on benthic fish, white sucker (Catostomus commersonii Lacépède, 1803) were stocked in 2 experimental ponds-Demonstration Pond, containing aged fine tailings capped with fresh water, consistent with proposed end-pit lake designs, and South Bison Pond, containing aged unextracted oil sands material-to examine the effects of unmodified hydrocarbons. White sucker were stocked from a nearby reservoir at both sites in May 2010 and sampled 4 mo later to measure indicators of energy storage and utilization. Comparisons were then made with the source population and 2 reference lakes in the region. After exposure to aged tailings, white sucker had smaller testes and ovaries and reduced growth compared with the source population. Fish introduced to aged unextracted oil sands material showed an increase in growth over the same period. Limited available energy, endocrine disruption, and chronic stress likely contributed to the effects observed, corresponding to elevated concentrations of naphthenic acids, aromatic compounds in bile, and increased CYP1A activity. Because of the chemical and biological complexity of these systems, direct cause-effect relationships could not be identified; however, effects were associated with naphthenic acids, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, ammonia, and high pH. Impacts on growth have not been previously observed in pelagic fishes examined in these systems, and may be related to differences in sediment interaction. PMID:25545538

  13. Preliminary measurement-based estimates of PAH emissions from oil sands tailings ponds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galarneau, Elisabeth; Hollebone, Bruce P.; Yang, Zeyu; Schuster, Jasmin

    2014-11-01

    Tailings ponds in the oil sands region (OSR) of western Canada are suspected sources of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) to the atmosphere. In the absence of detailed characterization or direct flux measurements, we present preliminary measurement-based estimates of the emissions of thirteen priority PAHs from the ponds. Using air concentrations measured under the Joint Canada-Alberta Oil Sands Monitoring Plan and water concentrations from a small sampling campaign in 2013, the total flux of 13 US EPA priority PAHs (fluorene to benzo[ghi]perylene) was estimated to be upward from water to air and to total 1069 kg y-1 for the region as a whole. By comparison, the most recent air emissions reported to Canada's National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) from oil sands facilities totalled 231 kg y-1. Exchange fluxes for the three remaining priority PAHs (naphthalene, acenaphthylene and acenaphthene) could not be quantified but evidence suggests that they are also upward from water to air. These results indicate that tailings ponds may be an important PAH source to the atmosphere that is missing from current inventories in the OSR. Uncertainty and sensitivity analyses lend confidence to the estimated direction of air-water exchange being upward from water to air. However, more detailed characterization of ponds at other facilities and direct flux measurements are needed to confirm the quantitative results presented herein.

  14. Co-occurrence of methanogenesis and N2 fixation in oil sands tailings.

    PubMed

    Collins, C E Victoria; Foght, Julia M; Siddique, Tariq

    2016-09-15

    Oil sands tailings ponds in northern Alberta, Canada have been producing biogenic gases via microbial metabolism of hydrocarbons for decades. Persistent methanogenic activity in tailings ponds without any known replenishment of nutrients such as fixed nitrogen (N) persuaded us to investigate whether N2 fixation or polyacrylamide (PAM; used as a tailings flocculant) could serve as N sources. Cultures comprising mature fine tailings (MFT) plus methanogenic medium supplemented with or deficient in fixed N were incubated under an N2 headspace. Some cultures were further amended with citrate, which is used in oil sands processing, as a relevant carbon source, and/or with PAM. After an initial delay, N-deficient cultures with or without PAM produced methane (CH4) at the same rate as N-containing cultures, indicating a mechanism of overcoming apparent N-deficiency. Acetylene reduction and (15)N2 incorporation in all N-deficient cultures (with or without PAM) suggested active N2 fixation concurrently with methanogenesis but inability to use PAM as a N source. 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing revealed little difference between archaeal populations regardless of N content. However, bacterial sequences in N-deficient cultures showed enrichment of Hyphomicrobiaceae and Clostridium members that might contain N2-fixing species. The results are important in understanding long-term production of biogenic greenhouse gases in oil sands tailings. PMID:27177137

  15. Airborne Lidar Measurements of Pollution above the Oil Sands Region in Northern Alberta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aggarwal, Monika; Whiteway, James; Seabrook, Jeffrey; Gray, Lawrence; Strawbridge, Kevin B.

    2016-06-01

    Lidar measurements of ozone and aerosol were conducted from a Twin Otter aircraft above the oil sands region of northern Alberta. For the majority of the flights, significant amounts of aerosol were observed within the boundary layer, up to an altitude of 2.0 km above sea level (ASL), while the ozone concentration remained at background levels (30-45 ppb) downwind of the industry. On August 24th the lidar measured a separated layer of aerosol above the boundary layer, at a height of 2.0 km ASL, in which the ozone mixing ratio increased to 70 ppb. Backward trajectory calculations revealed that the air containing this separated aerosol layer had passed over an area of forest fires. Directly below the layer of forest fire smoke, pollution from the oil sands industry was observed. Measurements of the backscatter linear depolarization ratio were obtained with a ground based lidar operated by Environment Canada within the oil sands region. The depolarization measurements aided in discriminating between the separate sources of pollution from industry and forest fires. The depolarization ratio was 5-6% in forest fire smoke and 7-10% in the industrial pollution.

  16. Profiling oil sands mixtures from industrial developments and natural groundwaters for source identification.

    PubMed

    Frank, Richard A; Roy, James W; Bickerton, Greg; Rowland, Steve J; Headley, John V; Scarlett, Alan G; West, Charles E; Peru, Kerry M; Parrott, Joanne L; Conly, F Malcolm; Hewitt, L Mark

    2014-01-01

    The objective of this study was to identify chemical components that could distinguish chemical mixtures in oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) that had potentially migrated to groundwater in the oil sands development area of northern Alberta, Canada. In the first part of the study, OSPW samples from two different tailings ponds and a broad range of natural groundwater samples were assessed with historically employed techniques as Level-1 analyses, including geochemistry, total concentrations of naphthenic acids (NAs) and synchronous fluorescence spectroscopy (SFS). While these analyses did not allow for reliable source differentiation, they did identify samples containing significant concentrations of oil sands acid-extractable organics (AEOs). In applying Level-2 profiling analyses using electrospray ionization high resolution mass spectrometry (ESI-HRMS) and comprehensive multidimensional gas chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC × GC-TOF/MS) to samples containing appreciable AEO concentrations, differentiation of natural from OSPW sources was apparent through measurements of O2:O4 ion class ratios (ESI-HRMS) and diagnostic ions for two families of suspected monoaromatic acids (GC × GC-TOF/MS). The resemblance between the AEO profiles from OSPW and from 6 groundwater samples adjacent to two tailings ponds implies a common source, supporting the use of these complimentary analyses for source identification. These samples included two of upward flowing groundwater collected <1 m beneath the Athabasca River, suggesting OSPW-affected groundwater is reaching the river system. PMID:24446583

  17. Application of forward osmosis membrane technology for oil sands process-affected water desalination.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Yaxin; Liang, Jiaming; Liu, Yang

    2016-01-01

    The extraction process used to obtain bitumen from the oil sands produces large volumes of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW). As a newly emerging desalination technology, forward osmosis (FO) has shown great promise in saving electrical power requirements, increasing water recovery, and minimizing brine discharge. With the support of this funding, a FO system was constructed using a cellulose triacetate FO membrane to test the feasibility of OSPW desalination and contaminant removal. The FO systems were optimized using different types and concentrations of draw solution. The FO system using 4 M NH4HCO3 as a draw solution achieved 85% water recovery from OSPW, and 80 to 100% contaminant rejection for most metals and ions. A water backwash cleaning method was applied to clean the fouled membrane, and the cleaned membrane achieved 77% water recovery, a performance comparable to that of new FO membranes. This suggests that the membrane fouling was reversible. The FO system developed in this project provides a novel and energy efficient strategy to remediate the tailings waters generated by oil sands bitumen extraction and processing. PMID:27120634

  18. Controls of oil family distribution and composition in nonmarine petroleum systems: A case study from Inner Mongolia Erlian basin, Northern China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Zhelong; Liu, Guangdi; Huang, Zhilong; Lu, Xuejun; Luo, Qiang; Ding, Xiujian

    2014-10-01

    The Erlian basin is a continental rift basin located in Inner Mongolia, Northern China. It is a typical representative of Cretaceous Northeast Asian Rift System, which includes many small petroliferous basins in Mongolia Republic and Northern China. Although Lower Cretaceous source rocks are understood to be most important in the Erlian petroleum systems, the precise identification of these source rock intervals and their determination on oil families distribution and composition are poorly understood in this tectonically complicated, nonmarine basin. New bulk data have been gathered from source rock intervals, oil sands and crude oil samples in eight main oil-producing subbasins. Geochemical analyses indicate that Lower Cretaceous Aershan formation (K1ba) and Tengger 1 formation (K1bt1) are two main source intervals in the Erlian basin and their source rock facies vary from profundal lacustrine to marginal lacustrine according to biomarker and trace elements calibration, the profundal lacustrine facies is characterised by brackish water and anoxic environment, which is similar to their correlative oils (Family 1 oils). The marginal lacustrine facies is characterised by freshwater and suboxic environment, which sourced the most common Family 2 oils. Meanwhile, different maturation processes exercise the second control on oil groups and their compositions, the profundal lacustrine source rocks characterised by their sulphur-rich kerogens lead to two oil groups (group 1 and group 2 oils), whose maturity range from low to normal; while, the marginal lacustrine source rock only lead to normal-maturity oils. At last, biodegradation affected the composition of a certain oils and formed group 4 heavy oils. In addition, short migration distance in small subbasins made the contamination or fractionation less notable in the Erlian basin.

  19. Source facies and oil families of the Malay Basin, Malaysia

    SciTech Connect

    Creaney, S.; Hussein, A.H. ); Curry, D.J.; Bohacs, K.M. ); Hassan, R. )

    1994-07-01

    The Malay Basin consists of a number of separate petroleum systems, driven exclusively by nonmarine source rocks. These systems range from lower Oligocene to middle Miocene and show a progression from lacustrine-dominated source facies in the lower Oligocene to lower Miocene section to coastal plain/delta plain coal-related sources in the lower to middle Miocene section. Two lacustrine sources are recognized in the older section, and multiple source/reservoir pairs are recognized in the younger coaly section. The lacustrine sources can be recognized using well-log analysis combined with detailed core and sidewall core sampling. Chemically, they are characterized by low pristane/phytane ratios, low oleanane contents, and a general absence of resin-derived terpanes. These sources have TOCs in the 1.0-4.0% range and hydrogen indices of up to 750. In contrast, the coal-related sources are chemically distinct with pristane/phytane ratios of up to 8, very high oleanane contents, and often abundant resinous compounds. All these sources are generally overmature in the basin center and immature toward the basin margin. The oils sourced from all sources in the Malay Basin are generally low in sulfur and of very high economic value. Detailed biomarker analysis of the oils in the Malay Basin has allowed the recognition of families associated with the above sources and demonstrated that oil migration has been largely strata parallel with little cross-stratal mixing of families.

  20. Oil and Gas Resources of the West Siberian Basin, Russia

    EIA Publications

    1997-01-01

    Provides an assessment of the oil and gas potential of the West Siberian Basin of Russia. The report was prepared in cooperation with the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is part of the Energy Information Administration's (EIA) Foreign Energy Supply Assessment Program (FESAP).

  1. Shallow oil shale resources of the southern Uinta Basin, Utah

    SciTech Connect

    Dana, G.F.; Smith, J.W.; Trudell, L.G.

    1980-09-01

    The shallow Green River Formation oil shales in the southern part of Utah's Uinta Basin are potentially developable by strip mining or by subsurface techniques which take advantage of limited overburden. The resource of potential shale oil represented by the shallow deposits is evaluated in detail from corehole oil-yield data. Cross-sections are constructed to readily correlatable stratigraphic units selected to represent resources in the shallow shale. To define each unit, the thickness, average oil yield, and oil resource of each unit in each core are calculated. Contour maps constructed from these data define the resource variation across the shallow resource. By measuring areas enclosed in each resource unit within the defined limit of 200 feet (61 meters) of overburden, the resource represented by the shallow oil shale is evaluated. The total resource is measured as 4.9 billion barrels (779.1 billion liters) of potential shale oil at depths less than 200 feet (61 meters). The rich zone incorporates the Mahogany bed, the best shallow oil-shale unit. This section, currently being exploited by Geokinetics, Inc., for in situ production of shale oil by horizontal combustion, represents 2.2 billion barrels (349.8 billion liters) of potential shale oil in place.

  2. Three-phase measurements of oil and gas trapping in sand packs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Al Mansoori, Saleh K.; Iglauer, Stefan; Pentland, Christopher H.; Blunt, Martin J.

    2009-10-01

    We measure the trapped saturations of oil and gas as a function of initial saturation in water-wet sand packs. We start with a water-saturated column and inject octane (oil), while water and oil are produced from the bottom. Once water production has ceased, air (gas) then enters from the top, allowing oil and gas to drain under gravity for different times. Finally water is then injected from the bottom to trap both oil and gas. The columns are sliced and the fluids analyzed using gas chromatography. We find that for high initial gas saturations more gas can be trapped in the presence of oil than in a two-phase (gas/water) system. The residual gas saturation can be over 20% compared to 14% in two-phase flow [Al Mansoori SK, Iglauer S, Pentland CH, Bijeljic B, Blunt MJ. Measurements of non-wetting phase trapping applied to carbon dioxide storage. Energy Procedia 2009;1(1):3173-80]. This is unlike previous measurements on consolidated media, where the trapped gas saturation is either similar or lower to that reached in an equivalent two-phase experiment. For lower initial gas saturation, the amount of trapping follows the initial-residual trend seen in two-phase experiments. The amount of oil trapped is insensitive to initial gas saturation or the amount of gas that is trapped, again in contrast to measurements on consolidated media. More oil is trapped than would be predicted from an equivalent two-phase (oil/water) system, although the trapped saturation is never larger than the maximum reached in two-phase flow (around 11%) [Pentland CH, Al Mansoori SK, Iglauer S, Bijeljic B, Blunt MJ. Measurement of non-wetting phase trapping in sand packs. In: SPE 115697, proceedings of the SPE annual technical conference and exhibition, Denver, Colorado, USA; 21-24 September 2008]. These initially surprising results are explained in the context of oil layer stability and the competition between snap-off and piston-like advance. In two-phase systems, displacement is principally

  3. Assessment of remaining recoverable oil in selected major oil fields of the Permian Basin, Texas and New Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tennyson, Marilyn E.; Cook, Troy A.; Charpentier, Ronald R.; Gautier, Donald L.; Klett, Timothy R.; Verma, Mahendra K.; Ryder, Robert T.; Attanasi, E.D.; Freeman, P.A.; Le, Phoung A.

    2012-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) recently completed an estimate of technically recoverable, conventional oil in selected oil fields in the Permian Basin in west Texas and southeastern New Mexico. The mean total volume of potential additional oil resources that might be added using improved oil-recovery technologies was estimated to be about 2.7 billion barrels of oil.

  4. Evaluation of bioemulsifier mediated Microbial Enhanced Oil Recovery using sand pack column.

    PubMed

    Suthar, Harish; Hingurao, Krushi; Desai, Anjana; Nerurkar, Anuradha

    2008-10-01

    Bacillus licheniformis K125, isolated from an oil reservoir, produces an effective bioemulsifier. The crude bioemulsifier showed 66% emulsification activity (E(24)) and reduced the surface tension of water from 72 to 34 mN/m. It contains substantial amount of polysaccharide, protein and lipid. This bioemulsifier is pseudoplastic non-Newtonian in nature. It forms oil in water emulsion which remains stable at wide range of pH, temperature and salinity. It gave 43+/-3.3% additional oil recovery upon application to a sand pack column designed to simulate an oil reservoir. This is 13.7% higher than that obtained from crude lipopeptide biosurfactants produced by the standard strain, Bacillus mojavensis JF2 and 8.5% higher than hot water spring isolate, Bacillus licheniformis TT42. The increased oil recovery obtained by using the crude bioemulsifier can be attributed to its combined surface and emulsification activity. Its mechanism of oil recovery must be similar to the mechanism exhibited by surfactant-polymer flooding process of chemical enhanced oil recovery. PMID:18625271

  5. Class I cultural resource overview for oil shale and tar sands areas in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.

    SciTech Connect

    O'Rourke, D.; Kullen, D.; Gierek, L.; Wescott, K.; Greby, M.; Anast, G.; Nesta, M.; Walston, L.; Tate, R.; Azzarello, A.; Vinikour, B.; Van Lonkhuyzen, B.; Quinn, J.; Yuen, R.; Environmental Science Division

    2007-11-01

    In August 2005, the U.S. Congress enacted the Energy Policy Act of 2005, Public Law 109-58. In Section 369 of this Act, also known as the 'Oil Shale, Tar Sands, and Other Strategic Unconventional Fuels Act of 2005', Congress declared that oil shale and tar sands (and other unconventional fuels) are strategically important domestic energy resources that should be developed to reduce the nation's growing dependence on oil from politically and economically unstable foreign sources. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is developing a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) to evaluate alternatives for establishing commercial oil shale and tar sands leasing programs in Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah. This PEIS evaluates the potential impacts of alternatives identifying BLM-administered lands as available for application for commercial leasing of oil shale resources within the three states and of tar sands resources within Utah. The scope of the analysis of the PEIS also includes an assessment of the potential effects of future commercial leasing. This Class I cultural resources study is in support of the Draft Oil Shale and Tar Sands Resource Management Plan Amendments to Address Land Use Allocations in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming and Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement and is an attempt to synthesize archaeological data covering the most geologically prospective lands for oil shale and tar sands in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. This report is based solely on geographic information system (GIS) data held by the Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPOs). The GIS data include the information that the BLM has provided to the SHPOs. The primary purpose of the Class I cultural resources overview is to provide information on the affected environment for the PEIS. Furthermore, this report provides recommendations to support planning decisions and the management of cultural resources that could be impacted by future oil shale and tar

  6. Oil and Gas Resources of the Fergana Basin (Uzbekistan, Tadzhikistan, and Kyrgysztan)

    EIA Publications

    1994-01-01

    Provides the most comprehensive assessment publicly available for oil and gas resources in the Fergana Basin. Includes projections of potential oil supply and U.S. Geological Survey estimates of undiscovered recoverable oil and gas.

  7. Massive dominance of Epsilonproteobacteria in formation waters from a Canadian oil sands reservoir containing severely biodegraded oil

    PubMed Central

    Hubert, Casey R J; Oldenburg, Thomas B P; Fustic, Milovan; Gray, Neil D; Larter, Stephen R; Penn, Kevin; Rowan, Arlene K; Seshadri, Rekha; Sherry, Angela; Swainsbury, Richard; Voordouw, Gerrit; Voordouw, Johanna K; Head, Ian M

    2012-01-01

    Summary The subsurface microbiology of an Athabasca oil sands reservoir in western Canada containing severely biodegraded oil was investigated by combining 16S rRNA gene- and polar lipid-based analyses of reservoir formation water with geochemical analyses of the crude oil and formation water. Biomass was filtered from formation water, DNA was extracted using two different methods, and 16S rRNA gene fragments were amplified with several different primer pairs prior to cloning and sequencing or community fingerprinting by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). Similar results were obtained irrespective of the DNA extraction method or primers used. Archaeal libraries were dominated by Methanomicrobiales (410 of 414 total sequences formed a dominant phylotype affiliated with a Methanoregula sp.), consistent with the proposed dominant role of CO2-reducing methanogens in crude oil biodegradation. In two bacterial 16S rRNA clone libraries generated with different primer pairs, > 99% and 100% of the sequences were affiliated with Epsilonproteobacteria (n = 382 and 72 total clones respectively). This massive dominance of Epsilonproteobacteria sequences was again obtained in a third library (99% of sequences; n = 96 clones) using a third universal bacterial primer pair (inosine-341f and 1492r). Sequencing of bands from DGGE profiles and intact polar lipid analyses were in accordance with the bacterial clone library results. Epsilonproteobacterial OTUs were affiliated with Sulfuricurvum, Arcobacter and Sulfurospirillum spp. detected in other oil field habitats. The dominant organism revealed by the bacterial libraries (87% of all sequences) is a close relative of Sulfuricurvum kujiense – an organism capable of oxidizing reduced sulfur compounds in crude oil. Geochemical analysis of organic extracts from bitumen at different reservoir depths down to the oil water transition zone of these oil sands indicated active biodegradation of dibenzothiophenes, and stable

  8. Petroleum geology of Giant oil and gas fields in Turpan Basin Xinjiang China

    SciTech Connect

    Boliang, Hu; Jiajing, Yang,

    1995-08-01

    Turpan Basin is the smallest and the last development basin in three big basins of Xinjiang autonomous region, P.R. China. Since April, 1989, the Shanshan oilfield was discovered, the Oinling, Wenjisang, Midang, Baka, Qiudong and North Putaogou fields were discovered. In 1994, the crude oil productivity of Turpan Basin was a Million tons, with an estimated output of 3 million tons per year by 1995; obviously a key oil productive base in the west basins of China, Tarim, Jungar, Chaidam, Hexi, Erduos and Sichuan Basins. The Turpan Basin is an intermontane basin in a eugeosyncline foldbelt of the north Tianshan Mountains. The oil and gas was produced from the payzone of the Xishanyao, Sanjianfang and Qiketai Formatiosn of the Middle Jurassic series. The geochemical characteristics of the crude oil and gas indicate they derive from the Middle to Lower Jurassic coal series, in which contains the best oil-prone source rocks in the basin.

  9. Applying the Analytic Hierarchy Process to Oil Sands Environmental Compliance Risk Management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roux, Izak Johannes, III

    Oil companies in Alberta, Canada, invested $32 billion on new oil sands projects in 2013. Despite the size of this investment, there is a demonstrable deficiency in the uniformity and understanding of environmental legislation requirements that manifest into increased project compliance risks. This descriptive study developed 2 prioritized lists of environmental regulatory compliance risks and mitigation strategies and used multi-criteria decision theory for its theoretical framework. Information from compiled lists of environmental compliance risks and mitigation strategies was used to generate a specialized pairwise survey, which was piloted by 5 subject matter experts (SMEs). The survey was validated by a sample of 16 SMEs, after which the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) was used to rank a total of 33 compliance risks and 12 mitigation strategy criteria. A key finding was that the AHP is a suitable tool for ranking of compliance risks and mitigation strategies. Several working hypotheses were also tested regarding how SMEs prioritized 1 compliance risk or mitigation strategy compared to another. The AHP showed that regulatory compliance, company reputation, environmental compliance, and economics ranked the highest and that a multi criteria mitigation strategy for environmental compliance ranked the highest. The study results will inform Alberta oil sands industry leaders about the ranking and utility of specific compliance risks and mitigations strategies, enabling them to focus on actions that will generate legislative and public trust. Oil sands leaders implementing a risk management program using the risks and mitigation strategies identified in this study will contribute to environmental conservation, economic growth, and positive social change.

  10. Do Massive Oil Sands Developments in a Northern Watershed Lead to an Impending Crisis?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kienzle, S. W.; Byrne, J.; Schindler, D.; Komers, P.

    2005-12-01

    Oil sands developments in northern Alberta are land disruptions of massive proportions, with potentially major impacts on watersheds. Alberta has one of the largest known oil reserves in the world, and developments have about 25,000 sqkm of lease areas, and have approvals for plants to develop over half a million ha (or 54 townships). This is 91% the size of Lake Erie covered mainly with tailings dams, open-pit mines and associated massive removal of forests, wetlands, and soils. With rising oil prices and declining conventional reserves, the current production of about 900,000 barrels per day will dramatically increase. There is considerable confusion over how much water is needed to extract and refine the oil. Best estimated by oil companies are 6 to 10 barrels of water for each barrel of oil. Shell Oil is aiming to bring the water to oil ratio down to 3, however, this is not yet achieved. Trend analysis of the Athabasca streamflow shows that the streamflow is declining, particularly the low flow during winter. In order to sustain a minimum flow that ensures a relatively healthy aquatic environment, the only option the oil sands companies have to ensure uninterrupted production during winter is to build large water reservoirs, which would be filled during the high flow period in spring or summer. A disturbing fact is that this need for reservoirs was never considered until a science panel initiated by the Mikesew Cree First Nation participated in two hearings in the fall of 2003, when two major oil companies applied for licenses of a massive scale each. In the Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs), water was to be extracted throughout the year, consequently threatening in-stream flow needs at some point in the future. Less than 1% has been reclaimed so far, with questionable success, as the new landscape will be a relatively sterile landscape with minimal biological diversity. Reclamation liabilities need to be included in mining leases. The release of

  11. The evolution of sand-rich systems in the early Cretaceous lake in the North Falkland Basin.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dodd, Tom; Richards, Phil

    2016-04-01

    Examples of sand-rich lacustrine turbidite systems are relatively rare in the literature. Here we document the various styles of, and controls on, sub-aqueous sandy fan systems intercalated with organic-rich source rocks in a lacustrine petroleum system of early Cretaceous age in the North Falkland Basin. The lake system occupied an asymmetric rift basin and developed towards the end of the syn-rift phase of the basin's evolution, becoming established during the early phase of post-rift evolution. The earliest fans entering the lake were fed by river systems draining extensive hangingwall platform areas to the west of the rift, comprising mixed sedimentary and volcanoclastic terranes. Although spectacularly developed as classic fan-shaped systems as imaged on 3D reflection seismic data, they form generally poor reservoir quality sand and conglomeratic-volcaniclastic systems. These fans seem to have shut off once the lacustrine system became fully established and created balanced or over-balanced lake fill conditions. Fans entering the basin from the east, across the basin bounding fault and draining the sedimentary-dominated footwall region tend to be narrower, more linear and confined by a combination of pre-existing basin topography and prior fan systems. These fans entered the basin throughout the evolution of the lake, initially down major relay ramp systems, but subsequently down steep canyons associated with only small relay jogs in the basin bounding fault. The eastern fans, which form excellent petroleum reservoirs, may have been derived from fringing littoral settings and were shed into the lake during times of either footwall regeneration or of lake level lowering associated with climatic change which also affected the geometry and depositional processes acting within a major axial delta system that was infilling the basin coevally from the north.

  12. Risk Assessment for Children Exposed to Beach Sands Impacted by Oil Spill Chemicals.

    PubMed

    Black, Jennifer C; Welday, Jennifer N; Buckley, Brian; Ferguson, Alesia; Gurian, Patrick L; Mena, Kristina D; Yang, Ill; McCandlish, Elizabeth; Solo-Gabriele, Helena M

    2016-01-01

    Due to changes in the drilling industry, oil spills are impacting large expanses of coastlines, thereby increasing the potential for people to come in contact with oil spill chemicals. The objective of this manuscript was to evaluate the health risk to children who potentially contact beach sands impacted by oil spill chemicals from the Deepwater Horizon disaster. To identify chemicals of concern, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) monitoring data collected during and immediately after the spill were evaluated. This dataset was supplemented with measurements from beach sands and tar balls collected five years after the spill. Of interest is that metals in the sediments were observed at similar levels between the two sampling periods; some differences were observed for metals levels in tar balls. Although PAHs were not observed five years later, there is evidence of weathered-oil oxidative by-products. Comparing chemical concentration data to baseline soil risk levels, three metals (As, Ba, and V) and four PAHs (benzo[a]pyrene, benz[a]anthracene, benzo[b]fluoranthene, and dibenz[a,h]anthracene) were found to exceed guideline levels prompting a risk assessment. For acute or sub-chronic exposures, hazard quotients, computed by estimating average expected contact behavior, showed no adverse potential health effects. For cancer, computations using 95% upper confidence limits for contaminant concentrations showed extremely low increased risk in the 10(-6) range for oral and dermal exposure from arsenic in sediments and from dermal exposure from benzo[a]pyrene and benz[a]anthracene in weathered oil. Overall, results suggest that health risks are extremely low, given the limitations of available data. Limitations of this study are associated with the lack of toxicological data for dispersants and oil-spill degradation products. We also recommend studies to collect quantitative information about children's beach play habits, which are necessary to more

  13. Microbial metabolism alters pore water chemistry and increases consolidation of oil sands tailings.

    PubMed

    Arkell, Nicholas; Kuznetsov, Petr; Kuznetsova, Alsu; Foght, Julia M; Siddique, Tariq

    2015-01-01

    Tailings produced during bitumen extraction from surface-mined oil sands ores (tar sands) comprise an aqueous suspension of clay particles that remain dispersed for decades in tailings ponds. Slow consolidation of the clays hinders water recovery for reuse and retards volume reduction, thereby increasing the environmental footprint of tailings ponds. We investigated mechanisms of tailings consolidation and revealed that indigenous anaerobic microorganisms altered porewater chemistry by producing CO and CH during metabolism of acetate added as a labile carbon amendment. Entrapped biogenic CO decreased tailings pH, thereby increasing calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) cations and bicarbonate (HCO) concentrations in the porewater through dissolution of carbonate minerals. Soluble ions increased the porewater ionic strength, which, with higher exchangeable Ca and Mg, decreased the diffuse double layer of clays and increased consolidation of tailings compared with unamended tailings in which little microbial activity was observed. These results are relevant to effective tailings pond management strategies. PMID:25602329

  14. Athabasca oil sands process water: characterization by atmospheric pressure photoionization and electrospray ionization fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Barrow, Mark P; Witt, Matthias; Headley, John V; Peru, Kerry M

    2010-05-01

    The Athabasca oil sands in Canada are a less conventional source of oil which have seen rapid development. There are concerns about the environmental impact, with particular respect to components in oil sands process water which may enter the aquatic ecosystem. Naphthenic acids have been previously targeted for study, due to their implications in toxicity toward aquatic wildlife, but it is believed that other components, too, contribute toward the potential toxicity of the oil sands process water. When mass spectrometry is used, it is necessary to use instrumentation with a high resolving power and mass accuracy when studying complex mixtures, but the technique has previously been hindered by the range of compounds that have been accessible via common ionization techniques, such as electrospray ionization. The research described here applied Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry in conjunction with electrospray ionization and atmospheric pressure photoionization, in both positive-ion and negative-ion modes, to the characterization of oil sands process water for the first time. The results highlight the need for broader characterization when investigating toxic components within oil sands process water. PMID:20359201

  15. Delineation of an Optimal Location for Oil Sand Exploration through Transition Probabilities of Composing Lithology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kwon, M.; Jeong, J.; Park, E.; Han, W. S.; Kim, K. Y.

    2014-12-01

    Three-dimensional geostatistical studies of delineating an optimal exploitation location for oil sand in McMurray Formation, Athabasca, Canada were carried out. The area is mainly composed of unconsolidated to semi-consolidated sand where breccia, mud, clay, etc. are associated as alternating layers. For the prediction of the optimal location of steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) technique, the conventional approach of cumulating the predicted thickness of the media with higher bitumen bearing possibility (i.e. Breccia and Sand) was pursued. As an alternative measure, mean vertical extension of the permeable media was also assessed based on vertical transition rate of each media and the corresponding optimal location was decided. For the both predictions, 110 borehole data acquired from the study area were analyzed under Markovian transition probability (TP) framework and three-dimensional distributions of the composing media were predicted stochastically through an existing TP based geostatistical model. The effectiveness of the two competing measures (cumulative thickness and mean vertical extension) for SAGD applications was verified through two-dimensional dual-phase flow simulations where high temperature steam was injected in the delineated reservoirs, and the size of steam chamber was compared. The results of the two-dimensional SAGD simulation has shown that the geologic formation containing the highest mean vertical extension of permeable media is more suitable for the development of the oil sand by developing larger size of steam chamber compared to that from the highest cumulative thickness. Given those two-dimensional results, the cumulative thickness alone may not be a sufficient criterion for an optimal SAGD site and the mean vertical extension of the permeable media needs to be jointly considered for the sound selections.

  16. Tight gas sand production from the Almond Formation, Washakie Basin, Wyoming

    SciTech Connect

    Iverson, W.P.; Surdam, R.C.

    1995-12-31

    Gas production from the Almond Formation in the Standard Draw trend can only be accounted for by draining numerous layers of tight gas sands via the permeable upper bar sand. Discovery of this field originally focused upon production from this bar sand. But continued development cannot be explained simply by considering depletion of a 30 foot sand. Gas volumetrics verify the need to include lower sands in reservoir analysis. Core obtained from the Almond bar sand confirm petrophysical constants used in the authors` models. Their results imply that economic levels of gas production should be possible wherever a similar horizontal conduit can be tied into gas saturated layers through massive hydraulic fracturing.

  17. SOVENT BASED ENHANCED OIL RECOVERY FOR IN-SITU UPGRADING OF HEAVY OIL SANDS

    SciTech Connect

    Munroe, Norman

    2009-01-30

    With the depletion of conventional crude oil reserves in the world, heavy oil and bitumen resources have great potential to meet the future demand for petroleum products. However, oil recovery from heavy oil and bitumen reservoirs is much more difficult than that from conventional oil reservoirs. This is mainly because heavy oil or bitumen is partially or completely immobile under reservoir conditions due to its extremely high viscosity, which creates special production challenges. In order to overcome these challenges significant efforts were devoted by Applied Research Center (ARC) at Florida International University and The Center for Energy Economics (CEE) at the University of Texas. A simplified model was developed to assess the density of the upgraded crude depending on the ratio of solvent mass to crude oil mass, temperature, pressure and the properties of the crude oil. The simplified model incorporated the interaction dynamics into a homogeneous, porous heavy oil reservoir to simulate the dispersion and concentration of injected CO2. The model also incorporated the characteristic of a highly varying CO2 density near the critical point. Since the major challenge in heavy oil recovery is its high viscosity, most researchers have focused their investigations on this parameter in the laboratory as well as in the field resulting in disparaging results. This was attributed to oil being a complex poly-disperse blend of light and heavy paraffins, aromatics, resins and asphaltenes, which have diverse behaviors at reservoir temperature and pressures. The situation is exacerbated by a dearth of experimental data on gas diffusion coefficients in heavy oils due to the tedious nature of diffusivity measurements. Ultimately, the viscosity and thus oil recovery is regulated by pressure and its effect on the diffusion coefficient and oil swelling factors. The generation of a new phase within the crude and the differences in mobility between the new crude matrix and the

  18. Evaluating the Metal Tolerance Capacity of Microbial Communities Isolated from Alberta Oil Sands Process Water

    PubMed Central

    Frankel, Mathew L.; Demeter, Marc A.; Lemire, Joe A.; Turner, Raymond J.

    2016-01-01

    Anthropogenic activities have resulted in the intensified use of water resources. For example, open pit bitumen extraction by Canada’s oil sands operations uses an estimated volume of three barrels of water for every barrel of oil produced. The waste tailings–oil sands process water (OSPW)–are stored in holding ponds, and present an environmental concern as they are comprised of residual hydrocarbons and metals. Following the hypothesis that endogenous OSPW microbial communities have an enhanced tolerance to heavy metals, we tested the capacity of planktonic and biofilm populations from OSPW to withstand metal ion challenges, using Cupriavidus metallidurans, a known metal-resistant organism, for comparison. The toxicity of the metals toward biofilm and planktonic bacterial populations was determined by measuring the minimum biofilm inhibitory concentrations (MBICs) and planktonic minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) using the MBEC ™ assay. We observed that the OSPW community and C. metallidurans had similar tolerances to 22 different metals. While thiophillic elements (Te, Ag, Cd, Ni) were found to be most toxic, the OSPW consortia demonstrated higher tolerance to metals reported in tailings ponds (Al, Fe, Mo, Pb). Metal toxicity correlated with a number of physicochemical characteristics of the metals. Parameters reflecting metal-ligand affinities showed fewer and weaker correlations for the community compared to C. metallidurans, suggesting that the OSPW consortia may have developed tolerance mechanisms toward metals present in their environment. PMID:26849649

  19. InSAR Observations and Modeling of Anthropogenic Surface Deformation in the Alberta Oil Sands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pearse, J.; Singhroy, V.; Samsonov, S. V.; Li, J.

    2014-12-01

    Recent Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) observations over northern Alberta, Canada show persistent surface uplift occurring at rates of 1-4 cm/year, localized at several sites where the Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) technique is currently being used to extract bitumen from the Athabasca oil sands. We find that uplift rates above the horizontal injector wells are strongly correlated with rates of steam injection, even though there is a net fluid loss from the reservoir pore space as oil and water are withdrawn through the production wells. In combination with available steam injection and bitumen production data at four sites, we use numerical reservoir flow models to explain how the thermal and geomechanical effects of steam injection on an oil sand reservoir can generate uplift at the surface. Results of our numerical experiments show that persistent surface heave consistent with observed rates can be driven by stress changes in the reservoir due to porous flow and thermal expansion.

  20. Evaluating the Metal Tolerance Capacity of Microbial Communities Isolated from Alberta Oil Sands Process Water.

    PubMed

    Frankel, Mathew L; Demeter, Marc A; Lemire, Joe A; Turner, Raymond J

    2016-01-01

    Anthropogenic activities have resulted in the intensified use of water resources. For example, open pit bitumen extraction by Canada's oil sands operations uses an estimated volume of three barrels of water for every barrel of oil produced. The waste tailings-oil sands process water (OSPW)-are stored in holding ponds, and present an environmental concern as they are comprised of residual hydrocarbons and metals. Following the hypothesis that endogenous OSPW microbial communities have an enhanced tolerance to heavy metals, we tested the capacity of planktonic and biofilm populations from OSPW to withstand metal ion challenges, using Cupriavidus metallidurans, a known metal-resistant organism, for comparison. The toxicity of the metals toward biofilm and planktonic bacterial populations was determined by measuring the minimum biofilm inhibitory concentrations (MBICs) and planktonic minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) using the MBEC ™ assay. We observed that the OSPW community and C. metallidurans had similar tolerances to 22 different metals. While thiophillic elements (Te, Ag, Cd, Ni) were found to be most toxic, the OSPW consortia demonstrated higher tolerance to metals reported in tailings ponds (Al, Fe, Mo, Pb). Metal toxicity correlated with a number of physicochemical characteristics of the metals. Parameters reflecting metal-ligand affinities showed fewer and weaker correlations for the community compared to C. metallidurans, suggesting that the OSPW consortia may have developed tolerance mechanisms toward metals present in their environment. PMID:26849649

  1. Responsible management of peatlands in Canada, from peat industry to oil sands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rochefort, Line

    2013-04-01

    Canada harbors one third of the peat resources of the world. Peat is an accumulated organic matter composed of dead and partly decomposed plant material, forming huge deposit through time in wetlands like peatlands and boreal coniferous swamps. Peat is a valuable resource as a growing media and soil amendments, an eco-friendly absorbent, also used as biofilters, for body care and for wastewater treatment. Peatlands also offer valuable ecological services : for example, they are the most efficient terrestrial ecosystem to store carbon on a long-term basis. Their ability to "cool off" the planet warrants a good look at their management. The horticultural peat industry of Canada has invested 22 years in R&D in habitat restoration and is now a strong leader in managing industrial peatlands in a sustainable way. The oil sand industry, which is strongly impacting the wetland landscapes of northern Canada, does realize that it has to reduce its ecological footprint, which is heavily criticized around the world. Decommissioned open mines near Fort McMurray have already begun recreating peatland ecosystems, and some restoration attempts of former oil pads are underway in the Peace River region. But the restoration of the largely disturbed wetland landscape of the oil sands is commanding innovative solutions.

  2. Bringing Context to the Oil Sands Debate: understanding the role of nature versus man

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fennell, J.; Gibson, J. J.; Birks, S. J.; YI, Y.; Jasechko, S.; Moncur, M. C.

    2013-12-01

    The Canadian oil sands represent an important resource to the national economy, and a strategic supply-line to the United States of America. These hydrocarbon deposits reside beneath a vast area in northern Alberta, and have been exposed to the environment for millennia as a result of erosion by the Athabasca River and its tributaries. Further complexity to the geochemical setting occurs due to the existence of faulted pathways extending from deeper, highly saline, Devonian intervals to surface. Situated within this natural setting are large waste management structures used to contain mine tailings and oil sands produced water. Many of these structures are situated in close proximity to aquatic receptors and have the potential to affect local water quality due to seepage losses. As such, these structures are coming under increasing scrutiny as a potential source of environmental impact. Discharge of oil sands contaminants to the rivers, and the accumulation of these materials in the Peace-Athabasca Delta, has been cited as a factor leading to adverse health effects at downstream communities. However, the role that natural discharge of contaminants plays has never been fully acknowledged. To address this critical gap, a reconnaissance of the Athabasca River was conducted. Areas of elevated terrain conductivity (detected by EM31 survey) were identified both in background locations and areas suspected of industrial releases. Water samples were collected from various sites and from multiple depth intervals (up to 3 m) within the hyporheic zone of the river sediments. This was achieved using drive-point wells. Each sample was then analyzed for a comprehensive suite of parameters including: i) major ions; ii) dissolved trace elements; iii) dissolved organics; and iv) selected stable and radiogenic isotopes. Results of the investigation identified large areas (in excess of 10km) of groundwater discharge to the Athabasca River well outside the influence of oil sands

  3. Constraining Microbial Community Response During Oil Sands Reclamation via Lipid and Isotope Biosignatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bradford, L. M.; Ziolkowski, L. A.; Ngonadi, N.; Warren, L. A.; Slater, G. F.

    2013-12-01

    A pilot scale reclamation project in the Athabasca oil sands region (Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada) has created an artificial freshwater fen typical of the boreal forest region in which the oil sands occur. At this site, composite tailings (CT) residue was overlain with a thick sand cap and a freshwater fen constructed on top. This project began in 2009, with most wetland development occurring over the summer of 2012. It is recognized that the response of microbial communities to reclamation activities has the potential to play a significant role in the outcome of reclamation. Microbial biodegradation of petroleum residues may improve reclamation outcomes, while production of by-products, particularly hydrogen sulphide gas (H2S) via bacterial sulphate reduction, must be assessed to manage any potential negative impacts. Phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) concentration and isotopic analysis were used to characterize the response of in situ microbial communities within the reclamation fen system. Increases in PLFA concentrations were observed in sediment taken from the sand layer at sample sites within the fen from during its establishment. Initial values equivalent to circa 106 cells/gram in July 2011 increased to values equivalent to 107cells/gram in August 2012 and then to 108 cells/gram in November 2012. Analysis of the radiocarbon (Δ14C) content of total organic carbon shows an increase in Δ14C from highly depleted values (-983×2‰) in July 2011, consistent with petroleum hydrocarbons dominating the total organic carbon, to more 14C enriched values as fen development progressed (-423×2.1‰ in August 2012 and -417×1.4‰ in November 2012). This indicates inputs of more modern organic matter potentially associated with the peat used to construct the fen and/or inputs from recent photosynthesis. The correlation between the observed PLFA increases and this increase in modern carbon inputs suggests that reclamation activities have stimulated the increase in the

  4. Variation in toxicity response of Ceriodaphnia dubia to Athabasca oil sands coke leachates.

    PubMed

    Puttaswamy, Naveen; Turcotte, Dominique; Liber, Karsten

    2010-07-01

    Coke from the Athabasca (Alberta, Canada) oil sands operations may someday be integrated into reclamation landscapes. It is hypothesized that the metals associated with the solid coke may leach into the surrounding environment. Therefore, the main objectives of this study were to characterize the toxicity and chemistry of coke leachates collected from two field lysimeters (i.e. shallow lysimeter and deep lysimeter) over a period of 20months, as well as from other oil sands coke storage sites. In addition, a batch renewal leaching of coke was conducted to examine the rate of metals release. Chronic toxicity of key metals (e.g. Al, Mn, Ni and V) found in lysimeter coke leachate was evaluated separately. Toxicity test results revealed that whole coke leachates (100% v/v) were acutely toxic to Ceriodaphnia dubia; the 7-day LC50 values were always <25% v/v coke leachate. The deep lysimeter leachate was generally more toxic than the shallow lysimeter leachate, likely because of significantly higher concentrations of vanadium (V) found in the deep lysimeter leachate at all sampling times. Vanadium concentrations were higher than all other metals found in the leachate from both lysimeters, and in the batch renewal leaching study. Furthermore, V found in leachates collected from other oil sands field sites showed a concentration-response relationship with C. dubia survival. Mass balance calculations indicated that 94-98% of potentially leachable V fraction was still present in the coke from two field lysimeters. Evidence gathered from these assessments, including toxic unit (TU) calculations for the elements of concern, suggests that V was the likely cause of toxicity of the deep lysimeter leachate, whereas in the shallow lysimeter leachate both Ni and V could be responsible for the observed toxicity. PMID:20553931

  5. Measurements of oxygenated volatile organic compounds in the oil sands region of Alberta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moussa, S. G.; Leithead, A.; Li, S. M.; Gordon, M.; Hayden, K. L.; Wang, D. K.; Staebler, R. M.; Liu, P.; O'Brien, J.; Mittermeier, R.; Liggio, J.

    2014-12-01

    Oxygenated volatile organic compounds (OVOCs) are ubiquitous in the atmosphere, and represent an important fraction of volatile organic compounds. Additionally some OVOC species may pose health risks. OVOCs can affect the oxidative and radiative budget of the atmosphere since they are precursors to ground level ozone, hydroxyl radicals and secondary organic aerosols (SOA). OVOCs such as methanol, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acetone, crotonaldehyde, methylvinylketone (MVK), methylethylketone (MEK) and acrolein can be emitted from anthropogenic and biogenic sources. Additionally, they are the secondary products of the photo-oxidation of hydrocarbons (biogenic and anthropogenic). Understanding the magnitude of these sources is a prerequisite for accurate representations of radical cycling, ozone production and SOA formation in air quality models. The sources of OVOCs in the Alberta Oil Sands (OS) region have not previously been well characterized. In the summer of 2013, airborne measurements of various OVOCs were made in the Athabasca oil sands region between August 13 and September 7, 2013. Proton Transfer Reaction-Time of Flight-Mass Spectrometry (PTR-ToF-MS) was used to measure methanol, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acetone, crotonaldehyde, MVK, MEK, acrolein as well as other hydrocarbons. Emission ratios (ER) for several OVOCs (relative to carbon monoxide; CO) were used to estimate direct anthropogenic emissions from OS industrial sources, while the calculated OH radical exposures were used to estimate the production and removal of secondary anthropogenic OVOCs. The results indicate that OVOCs such as acetaldehyde, crotonaldehyde and MVK have both primary and secondary anthropogenic and biogenic sources. However, species such as methanol and acrolein are from biogenic and anthropogenic sources, respectively. The results of this work will help to characterize sources of OVOCs and the factors influencing their atmospheric fate in the Oil Sands region.

  6. Trace metal mobilization from oil sands froth treatment thickened tailings exhibiting acid rock drainage.

    PubMed

    Kuznetsova, Alsu; Kuznetsov, Petr; Foght, Julia M; Siddique, Tariq

    2016-11-15

    Froth treatment thickened tailings (TT) are a waste product of bitumen extraction from surface-mined oil sands ores. When incubated in a laboratory under simulated moist oxic environmental conditions for ~450d, two different types of TT (TT1 and TT2) exhibited the potential to generate acid rock drainage (ARD) by producing acid leachate after 250 and 50d, respectively. We report here the release of toxic metals from TT via ARD, which could pose an environmental threat if oil sands TT deposits are not properly managed. Trace metal concentrations in leachate samples collected periodically revealed that Mn and Sr were released immediately even before the onset of ARD. Spikes in Co and Ni concentrations were observed both pre-ARD and during active ARD, particularly in TT1. For most elements measured (Fe, Cr, V, As, Cu, Pb, Zn, Cd, and Se), leaching was associated with ARD production. Though equivalent acidification (pH2) was achieved in leachate from both TT types, greater metal release was observed from TT2 where concentrations reached 10,000ppb for Ni, 5000ppb for Co, 3000ppb for As, 2000ppb for V, and 1000ppb for Cr. Generally, metal concentrations decreased in leachate with time during ARD and became negligible by the end of incubation (~450d) despite appreciable metals remaining in the leached TT. These results suggest that using TT for land reclamation purposes or surface deposition for volume reduction may unfavorably impact the environment, and warrants application of appropriate strategies for management of pyrite-enriched oil sands tailings streams. PMID:27443453

  7. Fifteen-year trends in criteria air pollutants in oil sands communities of Alberta, Canada.

    PubMed

    Bari, Md; Kindzierski, Warren B

    2015-01-01

    An investigation of ambient air quality was undertaken at three communities within the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR) of Alberta, Canada (Fort McKay, Fort McMurray, and Fort Chipewyan). Daily and seasonal patterns and 15-year trends were investigated for several criteria air pollutants over the period of 1998 to 2012. A parametric trend detection method using percentiles from frequency distributions of 1h concentrations for a pollutant during each year was used. Variables representing 50th, 65th, 80th, 90th, 95th and 98th percentile concentrations each year were identified from frequency distributions and used for trend analysis. Small increasing concentration trends were observed for nitrogen dioxide (<1ppb/year) at Fort McKay and Fort McMurray over the period consistent with increasing emissions of oxides of nitrogen (ca. 1000tons/year) from industrial developments. Emissions from all oil sands facilities appear to be contributing to the trend at Fort McKay, whereas both emissions from within the community (vehicles and commercial) and oil sands facility emissions appear to be contributing to the trend at Fort McMurray. Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions from industrial developments in the AOSR were unchanged during the period (101,000±7000tons/year; mean±standard deviation) and no meaningful trends were judged to be occurring at all community stations. No meaningful trends occurred for ozone and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) at all community stations and carbon monoxide at one station in Fort McMurray. Air quality in Fort Chipewyan was much better and quite separate in terms of absence of factors influencing criteria air pollutant concentrations at the other community stations. PMID:25454237

  8. Performance of wetland forbs transplanted into marshes amended with oil sands processed water.

    PubMed

    Mollard, Federico P O; Roy, Marie-Claude; Foote, A Lee

    2015-03-01

    Companies mining oil sands in Alberta (Canada) face the challenge of reclaiming wetlands under water use restrictions. Wetland reclamation after mining will generate marshes characterized by elevated salinity and residual hydrocarbons. Oil sands wetlands are also impoverished in forbs, suggesting that their establishment may be constrained by water chemistry. We transplanted skullcap, mint, and smartweed plants into experimental trenches that simulated two possible reclamation scenarios: wetlands amended with on-site freshwater or with oil sands processed water (OSPW). The main scientific question was is OSPW a suitable water amendment as freshwater for reclaiming wetland forb habitat? As a surrogate of plant health, we studied plant ecophysiology (gas exchange, leaf fluorescence), leaf chemistry, and plant growth. Results showed that there were no differences in skullcap mineral contents under either treatment; however, mint and smartweed plants subjected to OSPW had a significantly higher Na content than those under freshwater. Smartweed dark-adapted leaf fluorescence showed a reduced photochemistry in OSPW relative to plants in freshwater. Mint leaves exhibited lower stomatal conductance in OSPW than in freshwater, a condition that negatively affected transpiration and carboxylation. Skullcap plants grown in OSPW had lower net CO2 assimilation rates than those in freshwater but did not show any other ecophysiological difference between treatments. Mint plants experienced growth reductions (i.e., shoot height) in OSPW. Our results show, for the first time in the literature, that plants photosynthetic capacity was negatively affected by OSPW. Conditions in OSPW proved to be suitable for establishment as transplanted forbs showed 100 % survival after the first growing season. However, impaired physiological functions in plants subjected to OSPW indicated that OSPW amendment created a less hospitable habitat for wetland forbs than freshwater. PMID:25697311

  9. A two-step flocculation process on oil sands tailings treatment using oppositely charged polymer flocculants.

    PubMed

    Lu, Qiuyi; Yan, Bin; Xie, Lei; Huang, Jun; Liu, Yang; Zeng, Hongbo

    2016-09-15

    Water management and treatment of mineral tailings and oil sands tailings are becoming critical challenges for the sustainable development of natural resources. Polymeric flocculants have been widely employed to facilitate the flocculation and settling of suspended fine solid particles in tailings, resulting in the separation of released water and solid sediments. In this study, a new flocculation process was developed for the treatment of oil sands tailings by using two oppositely charged polymers, i.e. an anionic polyacrylamide and a natural cationic biopolymer, chitosan. The new process was able to not only improve the clarity of supernatant after settling but also achieve a high settling efficiency. Treatment of the oil sands tailings using pure anionic polyacrylamide showed relatively high initial settling rate (ISR) of ~10.3m/h but with poor supernatant clarity (>1000NTU); while the treatment using pure cationic polymer resulted in clear supernatant (turbidity as low as 22NTU) but relatively low ISR of >2m/h. In the new flocculation process, the addition of anionic polyacrylamide to the tailings was followed by a cationic polymer, which showed both a high ISR (~7.7m/h) and a low turbidity (71NTU) of the supernatant. The flocculation mechanism was further investigated via the measurements of floc size, zeta potential and surface forces. The new flocculation process was revealed to include two steps: (1) bridging of fine solids by anionic polyacrylamide, and (2) further aggregation and flocculation mediated by charge neutralisation of the cationic polymer, which significantly eliminated the fine solids in the supernatants as well as increases floc size. Our results provide insights into the basic understanding of the interactions between polymer flocculants and solid particles in tailings treatment, as well as the development of novel tailings treatment technologies. PMID:27179318

  10. Transport of Colloid-Size Oil Droplets in Saturated and Unsaturated Sand Columns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weisbrod, N.; Travis, M.; Gross, A.

    2011-12-01

    Oil in wastewater poses significant treatment and subsequent environmental challenges. Accumulation of oils in soil leads to hydrophobicity, and the transport of colloidal-sized oil droplets may facilitate the co-transport of oil soluble contaminants such as pesticides or pharmaceutical materials. In order to determine transport characteristics of colloidal-sized, edible oil droplets, short-pulse column breakthrough experiments were conducted. Oil droplets (mean diameter 0.7 μm, ζ-potential -34±1, density 0.92 g cm-3) were injected simultaneously with latex microspheres (0.02, 0.2 and 1.0 μm, ζ-potentials -16±1, -30±2, and -49±1, respectively, density 1.055 g cm-3) and bromide in saturated and unsaturated quartz sand (ζ-potential -63±2 mV). Breakthrough of oil droplets was consistently detected first and recovery of oil droplets from the column was 20% greater than similarly sized microspheres in the saturated column, and 16% greater in high (0.18±0.01) volumetric water content (VWC) unsaturated columns. Higher variability was observed in the lower VWC (0.14±0.01) column experiments, and oil droplet recovery was just slightly greater than similarly sized microspheres and statistically higher only compared to the 0.02 μm microspheres. The research demonstrated that oil droplets are able to be transported as colloids in both saturated and unsaturated porous media. An important finding was that transport of oil droplets exceeded that of microspheres within the same size range and similar electrostatic properties. Classical filtration theory indicates that oil droplets in the diameter range of about 0.5 to 2 μm will exhibit reduced deposition due to buoyancy. However, current improvements to the theory do not accommodate prediction of buoyant particle transport and the theory needs review. High recovery of oil droplets in unsaturated porous media is a novel finding. As expected, straining appeared to be an important removal mechanism in unsaturated

  11. Tracing industrial ammonium in atmospheric deposition in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, Alberta, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayer, B.; Proemse, B. C.; Fenn, M. E.

    2013-12-01

    The expanding industrial development in the Athabasca oil sands region (AOSR) in northeastern Alberta, Canada, has raised concerns about increasing nitrogen (N) emissions from oil sands operations and their potential effects on the surrounding terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Stable isotope techniques may help to trace industrial emissions provided that they are isotopically distinct from background isotope ratios of atmospheric N compounds. Ammonium deposition rates (NH4-N) typically exceed nitrate deposition rates (NO3-N) in the AOSR (Proemse et al., 2013), suggesting that emissions of reduced nitrogen compounds play a significant role for the atmospheric nitrogen budget in the AOSR. We collected atmospheric ammonium in open field bulk deposition and throughfall using ion exchange resins over ~6 months time periods from summer 2007 to summer 2011 located at distances between 3 to 113 km to one of the major oil sands developments in the AOSR. Ammonium deposition rates and δ15N-NH4 values were determined using ion chromatography and the ammonium diffusion method (Sebilo et al., 2004) on resin extracts. Atmospheric ammonium deposition rates in open field bulk collectors and throughfall collectors ranged from 1.0 to 4.7 kg ha-1 yr-1 NH4-N, and from 1.0 to 18.3 kg ha-1 yr-1 NH4-N, respectively. δ15N-NH4 values varied from -6.3 to +14.8‰ with the highest δ15N values typically associated with elevated NH4-N deposition rates. δ15N-NH4 values of up to +20.1‰ were observed for industrially emitted NH4 in particulate matter (PM2.5) emissions (Proemse et al., 2012) suggesting that industrial NH3 and NH4 emissions are associated with elevated δ15N values providing a potential tracer. Applying a two-end-member mixing analysis using a background δ15N-NH4 value of -3.6‰ for summer and -3.2‰ for winter periods revealed that particularly sites within ~30 km radius from the main oil sands developments are significantly affected by industrial contributions to

  12. Quantitative Methods for Reservoir Characterization and Improved Recovery: Application to Heavy Oil Sands

    SciTech Connect

    Castle, James W.; Molz, Fred W.; Bridges, Robert A.; Dinwiddie, Cynthia L.; Lorinovich, Caitlin J.; Lu, Silong

    2003-02-07

    This project involved application of advanced analytical property-distribution methods conditioned to continuous outcrop control for improved reservoir characterization and simulation. The investigation was performed in collaboration with Chevron Production Company U.S.A. as an industrial partner, and incorporates data from the Temblor Formation in Chevron's West Coalinga Field, California. Improved prediction of interwell reservoir heterogeneity was needed to increase productivity and to reduce recovery cost for California's heavy oil sands, which contained approximately 2.3 billion barrels of remaining reserves in the Temblor Formation and in other formations of the San Joaquin Valley.

  13. Heavy Oil and Natural Bitumen Resources in Geological Basins of the World

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Meyer, Richard F.; Attanasi, E.D.; Freeman, P.A.

    2007-01-01

    Heavy oil and natural bitumen are oils set apart by their high viscosity (resistance to flow) and high density (low API gravity). These attributes reflect the invariable presence of up to 50 weight percent asphaltenes, very high molecular weight hydrocarbon molecules incorporating many heteroatoms in their lattices. Almost all heavy oil and natural bitumen are alteration products of conventional oil. Total resources of heavy oil in known accumulations are 3,396 billion barrels of original oil in place, of which 30 billion barrels are included as prospective additional oil. The total natural bitumen resource in known accumulations amounts to 5,505 billion barrels of oil originally in place, which includes 993 billion barrels as prospective additional oil. This resource is distributed in 192 basins containing heavy oil and 89 basins with natural bitumen. Of the nine basic Klemme basin types, some with subdivisions, the most prolific by far for known heavy oil and natural bitumen volumes are continental multicyclic basins, either basins on the craton margin or closed basins along convergent plate margins. The former includes 47 percent of the natural bitumen, the latter 47 percent of the heavy oil and 46 percent of the natural bitumen. Little if any heavy oil occurs in fore-arc basins, and natural bitumen does not occur in either fore-arc or delta basins.

  14. 3D seismic, geochemical and biostratigraphical analysis of Paleogene remobilized sand in the Norwegian-Danish Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andresen, Katrine Juul; Rønø Clausen, Ole; Heilmann-Clausen, Claus; Friis, Henrik

    2013-04-01

    This study describes remobilized Paleogene sand occurring on the hanging-wall segment north of the major D-1 normal fault in the Norwegian-Danish Basin, eastern North Sea. The remobilized sand is observed on 3D seismic data in fine-grained Eocene host-strata as cross-cutting reflections with a typical tabular, V-shaped or wing-like geometry in the seismic cross-sections and a pronounced jack-up of the overlying succession onto which onlap can be observed. In map view the remobilized sand in certain areas have a channel-like appearance. The seismic observations indicate that the sand has a remobilized origin which may be partly depositional. Particularly the observed wings and jack-up on the seismic cross-sections indicate remobilization which potentially could be generated by two different processes: a) remobilization of depositional channel sand resulting in the formation of injected wings along the sides of the channel, or b) injection of remobilized sand from the deeper Paleocene strata causing jack-up and typically V-shaped intrusions. Injection of Paleocene sand into Eocene host strata is a well-known phenomenon from the nearby Paleogene Siri Canyon located c. 15 km north of the study area. In order to acquire more information about the intrusions a geochemical study and a detailed biostratigraphical dating of cuttings and sidewall core samples from the Floki-1 well was carried out. The Floki-1 well penetrates the remobilized sand and was drilled to test an apparent 4-way closure on prospect Eocene sand which by then was interpreted to be 100 % depositional. The geochemical study of the samples from the sand identified the Floki-sandstone as a very fine grained sand and silt with a matrix of very angular silt grains. The sand does not contain clays. The matrix appears to have formed by crushing of the sand grains. Thus, heavy minerals appear to have disintegrated by crushing but still most parts of the mineral grain is found together. Glauconite grains are

  15. Western gas sands project. Quarterly basin activities report, April 1-June 30, 1980

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1980-01-01

    This report is a summary of drilling and testing operations in the four primary study areas of the WESP for this period. Greater Green River Basin, Northern Great Plains Province, Piceance Basin, and Uinta Basin. (DLC)

  16. Western Gas Sands Project. Quarterly basin activities report, January 1-March 31, 1980

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1980-01-01

    This report is a summary of drilling and testing activities in the four primary study areas of the WGSP: Greater Green River Basin, Northern Great Plains Province, Uinta Basin, and Piceance Basin. (DLC)

  17. Oil exploration in nonmarine rift basins of interior Sudan

    SciTech Connect

    Schull, T.J.

    1984-04-01

    In early 1975 Chevron Overseas Petroleum Inc. commenced a major petroleum exploration effort in previously unexplored interior Sudan. With the complete cooperation of the Sudanese Government, Chevron has acquired a vast amount of geologic and geophysical data during the past 9 years. These data include extensive aeromagnetic and gravity surveys, 25,000 mi (40,200 km) of seismic data, and the results of 66 wells. This information has defined several large rift basins which are now recognized as a major part of the Central African rift system. The sedimentary basins of interior Sudan are characterized by thick Cretaceous and Tertiary nonmarine clastic sequences. Over 35,000 ft (10,600 m) of sediment have been deposited in the deepest trough, and extensive basinal areas are underlain by more than 20,000 ft (6100 m) of sediment. The depositional sequence includes thick lacustrine shales and claystones, flood plain claystones, and lacustrine, fluvial, and alluvial sandstones and conglomerates. Those lacustrine claystones which were deposited in an anoxic environment provide oil-prone source rocks. Reservoir sandstones have been found in a wide variety of nonmarine sandstone facies. The extensional tectonism which formed these basins began in the Early Cretaceous. Movement along major fault trends continued intermittently into the Miocene. This deformation resulted in a complex structural history which led to the formation of several deep fault-bounded troughs, major interbasin high trends, and complex basin flanks. This tectonism has created a wide variety of structures, many of which have become effective hydrocarbon traps.

  18. Limitation of fluorescence spectrophotometry in the measurement of naphthenic acids in oil sands process water.

    PubMed

    Lu, Weibing; Ewanchuk, Andrea; Perez-Estrada, Leonidas; Sego, Dave; Ulrich, Ania

    2013-01-01

    Fluorescence spectrophotometry has been proposed as a quick screening technique for the measurement of naphthenic acids (NAs). To evaluate the feasibility of this application, the fluorescence emission spectra of NAs extracted from three oil sands process water sources were compared with that of commercial NAs. The NAs resulting from the bitumen extraction process cannot be differentiated because of the similarity of the fluorescence spectra. Separation of the fluorescent species in NAs using high performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detector proved unsuccessful. The acidic fraction of NAs is fluorescent but the basic fraction of NAs is not fluorescent, implying that aromatic acids in NAs give rise to the fluorescent signals. The concentrations of NAs in oil sands process water were measured by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), fluorescence spectrophotometry and ultra high performance liquid chromatography-time of flight/mass spectrometry (UPLC-TOF/MS). Commercial Merichem and Kodak NAs are the best standards to use when measuring NAs concentration with FTIR and fluorescence spectrophotometry. In addition, the NAs concentrations measured by fluorescence spectrophotometry are about 30 times higher than those measured by FTIR and UPLC-TOF/MS. The findings in this study underscore the limitation of fluorescence spectrophotometry in the measurement of NAs. PMID:23379948

  19. Petroleum coke adsorption as a water management option for oil sands process-affected water.

    PubMed

    Zubot, Warren; MacKinnon, Michael D; Chelme-Ayala, Pamela; Smith, Daniel W; Gamal El-Din, Mohamed

    2012-06-15

    Water is integral to both operational and environmental aspects of the oil sands industry. A water treatment option based on the use of petroleum coke (PC), a by-product of bitumen upgrading, was examined as an opportunity to reduce site oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) inventories and net raw water demand. Changes in OSPW quality when treated with PC included increments in pH levels and concentrations of vanadium, molybdenum, and sulphate. Constituents that decreased in concentration after PC adsorption included total acid-extractable organics (TAO), bicarbonate, calcium, barium, magnesium, and strontium. Changes in naphthenic acids (NAs) speciation were observed after PC adsorption. A battery of bioassays was used to measure the OSPW toxicity. The results indicated that untreated OSPW was toxic towards Vibrio fischeri and rainbow trout. However, OSPW treated with PC at appropriate dosages was not acutely toxic towards these test organisms. Removal of TAO was found to be an adsorption process, fitting the Langmuir and Langmuir-Freundlich isotherm models. For TAO concentrations of 60 mg/L, adsorption capacities ranged between 0.1 and 0.46 mg/g. This study demonstrates that freshly produced PC from fluid cokers provides an effective treatment of OSPW in terms of key constituents' removal and toxicity reduction. PMID:22575375

  20. Microbially-accelerated consolidation of oil sands tailings. Pathway II: solid phase biogeochemistry

    PubMed Central

    Siddique, Tariq; Kuznetsov, Petr; Kuznetsova, Alsu; Li, Carmen; Young, Rozlyn; Arocena, Joselito M.; Foght, Julia M.

    2014-01-01

    Consolidation of clay particles in aqueous tailings suspensions is a major obstacle to effective management of oil sands tailings ponds in northern Alberta, Canada. We have observed that microorganisms indigenous to the tailings ponds accelerate consolidation of mature fine tailings (MFT) during active metabolism by using two biogeochemical pathways. In Pathway I, microbes alter porewater chemistry to indirectly increase consolidation of MFT. Here, we describe Pathway II comprising significant, direct and complementary biogeochemical reactions with MFT mineral surfaces. An anaerobic microbial community comprising Bacteria (predominantly Clostridiales, Synergistaceae, and Desulfobulbaceae) and Archaea (Methanolinea/Methanoregula and Methanosaeta) transformed FeIII minerals in MFT to amorphous FeII minerals during methanogenic metabolism of an added organic substrate. Synchrotron analyses suggested that ferrihydrite (5Fe2O3. 9H2O) and goethite (α-FeOOH) were the dominant FeIII minerals in MFT. The formation of amorphous iron sulfide (FeS) and possibly green rust entrapped and masked electronegative clay surfaces in amended MFT. Both Pathways I and II reduced the surface charge potential (repulsive forces) of the clay particles in MFT, which aided aggregation of clays and formation of networks of pores, as visualized using cryo-scanning electron microscopy (SEM). These reactions facilitated the egress of porewater from MFT and increased consolidation of tailings solids. These results have large-scale implications for management and reclamation of oil sands tailings ponds, a burgeoning environmental issue for the public and government regulators. PMID:24711806

  1. Solar photocatalytic degradation of naphthenic acids in oil sands process-affected water.

    PubMed

    Leshuk, Tim; Wong, Timothy; Linley, Stuart; Peru, Kerry M; Headley, John V; Gu, Frank

    2016-02-01

    Bitumen mining in the Canadian oil sands creates large volumes of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW), the toxicity of which is due in part to naphthenic acids (NAs) and other acid extractable organics (AEO). The objective of this work was to evaluate the potential of solar photocatalysis over TiO2 to remove AEO from OSPW. One day of photocatalytic treatment under natural sunlight (25 MJ/m(2) over ∼14 h daylight) eradicated AEO from raw OSPW, and acute toxicity of the OSPW toward Vibrio fischeri was eliminated. Nearly complete mineralization of organic carbon was achieved within 1-7 day equivalents of sunlight exposure, and degradation was shown to proceed through a superoxide-mediated oxidation pathway. High resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) analysis of oxidized intermediate compounds indicated preferential degradation of the heavier and more cyclic NAs (higher number of double bond equivalents), which are the most environmentally persistent fractions. The photocatalyst was shown to be recyclable for multiple uses, and thus solar photocatalysis may be a promising "green" advanced oxidation process (AOP) for OSPW treatment. PMID:26539710

  2. Method of extracting liquid and gaseous fuel from oil shale and tar sand

    SciTech Connect

    Alterman, I.; Rom, J.; Shwartz, J.

    1981-05-12

    Kerogen and other combustible matter can be extracted from an area of oil shale or rar sand by drilling boreholes in a selected pattern through the overlying soil and rock without removing it. Each borehole mouth is tightly closed by a cover provided with an air inlet pipe and a gas exhaust pipe. In the covers of one or several boreholes, the inlet pipe is centrally guided and longitudinally movable in an upward and downward direction, and a laser beam generated by a laser source is inroduced into the upper end of the pipe and directed centrally to its bottom where it is diverted toward the borehole wall by a mirror assembly. The laser beam moved along the borehole wall irradiates the oil shale or tar sand and ignites the combustible matter contained therein which liquefies and evaporates. Combustion spreads from the initially ignited bore to the remaining bores in the area through the fissures in the formation and likewise serves to liquefy and evaporate the kerogen there. The combustion is maintained by pressurized air or oxygen introduced through the air inlet pipe, which also serves to cool the mirror assembly. The pressure thus created drives the evaporated kerogen out of the borehold through the exhaust pipe into a storage vessel. After the output has become too low, the process is discontinued and liquefied kerogen which has gathered at the bottom of the bores is pumped out or floated to the surface.

  3. Sublethal health effects in laboratory rodents from environmentally relevant exposures to oil sands contaminants.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Estival, Jaime; North, Michelle A; Smits, Judit E G

    2015-12-01

    Increasing activity of oil sands extraction and processing in northern Alberta is marked by ongoing controversy about the nature and extent of associated environmental impacts. Bitumen contains a mixture of toxic chemicals, including metals and residual polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), whose release into the environment poses a distinct risk to the surrounding environment, plus wildlife and human health. In the present study, the authors evaluated several subclinical biomarkers of exposure and effect to mixtures of metals (Pb, Cd, and Hg) and/or PAHs (3 alkylated forms) at environmentally relevant concentrations (100-fold and 10-fold higher than the maximum dissolved concentrations found in snow, to simulate a worst-case scenario), using laboratory mice as a model for future studies of small mammals in the wild. Both metals and alkyl-PAHs exposure were associated with 1) increased relative liver, kidney, and spleen size; 2) alterations in the homeostasis of the antioxidant vitamins A and E in liver; and 3) compromised glutathione redox status in testes, with results also indicating synergistic interactions from co-exposure. The combination of morphometric and oxidative stress biomarkers provide reliable and sensitive measures of the response to contaminant exposure in a mammalian model, suggesting associated physiological costs. Based on the present experimental study, the authors propose that wild small mammals will prove to be valuable sentinel species reflecting sublethal health effects from oil sands-related contaminants. The present study's results also present a basis for the interpretation of future field data. PMID:26139097

  4. Snowpack deposition of trace elements in the Athabasca oil sands region, Canada.

    PubMed

    Guéguen, C; Cuss, C W; Cho, S

    2016-06-01

    The total recoverable and dissolved concentrations of 29 metals and metalloids were analyzed in snowpack collected at 91 sites in the Athabasca oil sands region, Canada in winter 2011. Based on deposition pattern from geographical centre, three groups were found: Type-1 metals (i.e. dissolved and total recoverable V; Mo) showed a significant exponential decrease with distance, suggesting oil sands development sources; Type-2 elements (e.g. Al, Sb, As, Ba, Fe, Ni, Tl, and Ti and Zn) showed exponentially decline patterns but with some local point sources; Type-3 elements (e.g. Cd, Cl, Cr, Mn, Sr and Th) deposition pattern represented local sources. A self-organizing map showed that sites with the highest elemental concentrations (Cluster I) were mainly located in the vicinity of upgrading facilities and along the north-south transects. The lowest elemental concentration sites (Cluster III) were the most distal sites or located in the western region of the study area. PMID:27031808

  5. Acid deposition in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region: a policy perspective.

    PubMed

    Whitfield, Colin J; Watmough, Shaun A

    2015-12-01

    Industrial emissions of sulphur (S) and nitrogen (N) to the atmosphere associated with the oil sands industry in north-eastern Alberta are of interest as they represent the largest localized source in Canada (with potential for future growth) and the region features acid-sensitive upland terrain. Existing emission management policy for the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, where the industry is located, is based on a time-to-effect approach that relies on dynamic model simulations of temporal changes in chemistry and features highly protective chemical criteria. In practice, the policy is difficult to implement and it is unlikely that a scientifically defensible estimate of acidification risk can be put forward due to the limitations primarily associated with issues of scale, chemical endpoint designation (selection of chemical limit for ecosystem protection from acidification) and data availability. A more implementable approach would use a steady-state critical load (CL) assessment approach to identify at-risk areas. The CL assessment would consider areas of elevated acid deposition associated with oil sands emissions rather than targeted political jurisdictions. Dynamic models should only be (strategically) used where acidification risk is identified via CL analysis, in order to characterize the potential for acidification-induced changes that can be detrimental to sensitive biota within the lifespan of the industry. PMID:26607154

  6. Effects-Directed Analysis of Dissolved Organic Compounds in Oil Sands Process-Affected Water.

    PubMed

    Morandi, Garrett D; Wiseman, Steve B; Pereira, Alberto; Mankidy, Rishikesh; Gault, Ian G M; Martin, Jonathan W; Giesy, John P

    2015-10-20

    Acute toxicity of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) is caused by its complex mixture of bitumen-derived organics, but the specific chemical classes that are most toxic have not been demonstrated. Here, effects-directed analysis was used to determine the most acutely toxic chemical classes in OSPW collected from the world's first oil sands end-pit lake. Three sequential rounds of fractionation, chemical analysis (ultrahigh resolution mass spectrometry), and acute toxicity testing (96 h fathead minnow embryo lethality and 15 min Microtox bioassay) were conducted. Following primary fractionation, toxicity was primarily attributable to the neutral extractable fraction (F1-NE), containing 27% of original organics mass. In secondary fractionation, F1-NE was subfractionated by alkaline water washing, and toxicity was primarily isolated to the ionizable fraction (F2-NE2), containing 18.5% of the original organic mass. In the final round, chromatographic subfractionation of F2-NE2 resulted in two toxic fractions, with the most potent (F3-NE2a, 11% of original organic mass) containing predominantly naphthenic acids (O2(-)). The less-toxic fraction (F3-NE2b, 8% of original organic mass) contained predominantly nonacid species (O(+), O2(+), SO(+), NO(+)). Evidence supports naphthenic acids as among the most acutely toxic chemical classes in OSPW, but nonacidic species also contribute to acute toxicity of OSPW. PMID:26381019

  7. Root growth, mycorrhization and physiological effects of plants growing on oil tailing sands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boldt-Burisch, Katja M.; Naeth, Anne M.; Schneider, Bernd Uwe; Hüttl, Reinhard F.

    2015-04-01

    Surface mining creates large, intense disturbances of soils and produces large volumes of by-products and waste materials. After mining processes these materials often provide the basis for land reclamation and ecosystem restoration. In the present study, tailing sands (TS) and processed mature fine tailings (pMFT) from Fort McMurray (Alberta, Canada) were used. They represent challenging material for ecosystem rebuilding because of very low nutrient contents of TS and oil residuals, high density of MFT material. In this context, little is known about the interactions of pure TS, respectively mixtures of TS and MFT and root growth, mycorrhization and plant physiological effects. Four herbaceous plant species (Elymus trachycaulus, Koeleria macrantha, Deschampsia cespitosa, Lotus corniculatus) were chosen to investigate root development, chlorophyll fluorescence and mycorrhization intensity with and without application of Glomus mosseae (arbuscular mycorrhizae) on mainly tailing sands. Surprisingly both, plants growing on pure TS and plants growing on TS with additional AM-application showed mycorrhization of roots. In general, the mycorrhization intensity was lower for plants growing on pure tailings sands, but it is an interesting fact that there is a potential for mycorrhization available in tailing sands. The mycorrhizal intensity strongly increased with application of G. mosseae for K. macrantha and L. corniculatus and even more for E. trachycaulus. For D. cespitosa similar high mycorrhiza infection frequency was found for both variants, with and without AM-application. By the application of G. mosseae, root growth of E. trachycaulus and K. macrantha was significantly positively influenced. Analysis of leaf chlorophyll fluorescence showed no significant differences for E. trachycaulus but significant positive influence of mycorrhizal application on the physiological status of L. corniculatus. However, this effect could not be detected when TS was mixed with MFT

  8. Fundamentals of asphaltene phase behavior in heavy oil and tar sands

    SciTech Connect

    Carnahan, N.F.; Quintero, L.

    1995-12-31

    As a continuation and update of work presented at the 5th UNITAR International Conference on Heavy Crude and Tar Sands, this presentation addresses the phase behavior of asphaltenes in terms of traditional thermodynamics of mixtures and in terms of interfacial phenomena known to be an integral part of the problem. Recent experimental studies have demonstrated the pressure effect on apparent reverse micelle behavior of asphaltenes in petroleum fluids. Published results have shown that certain commercial surfactants have been effective in ameliorating the problem of asphaltene precipitation in crude oils, and in solubilizing asphaltenes deposited in porous media. These recent observations correspond well with the concepts advanced in our previous studies. Phase behavior of asphaltenes in heavy crude and in tar sands is again addressed from the fundamental point of view, at the molecular level, to interpret observed behavior and to provide a logical means of forecasting expected behavior in these fluids under many different physical and chemical conditions. Interactions between resins and asphaltenes, in the presence of heavy crude or tar sands, do not follow classical thermodynamics, at least, not faithfully. Resins tend to interact as amphiphiles between the asphaltene-free material and the asphaltenes. Resins may be in solution with the asphaltene-free material; however, resins are adsorbed at the surface of the asphaltene aggregations, forming micelles or other amphiphilic structures. Phase behavior of asphaltenes, therefore, depends upon the thermodynamic equilibrium of resins distributed between the asphaltenes and the asphaltene-free material. In crude oils, resins may form solutions which reasonably conform to the Modified Regular Solution Theory, as described previously. At the asphaltene-resin interface, adsorption can be described in terms of classical theories of adsorption and/or similar association mechanisms for interfacial phenomena.

  9. Characteristics of discrete and basin-centered parts of the Lower Silurian regional oil and gas accumulation, Appalachian basin; preliminary results from a data set of 25 oil and gas fields

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ryder, Robert T.

    1998-01-01

    Oil and gas trapped in Lower Silurian 'Clinton' sands and Medina Group sandstone constitute a regional hydrocarbon accumulation that extends 425 mi in length from Ontario, Canada to northeastern Kentucky. The 125-mi width of the accumulation extends from central Ohio eastward to western Pennsylvania and west-central New York. Lenticular and intertonguing reservoirs, a gradual eastward decrease in reservoir porosity and permeability, and poorly segregated gas, oil, and water in the reservoirs make it very difficult to recognize clear-cut geologic- and production-based subdivisions in the accumulation that are relevant to resource assessment. However, subtle variations are recognizable that permit the regional accumulation to be subdivided into three tentative parts: a western gas-bearing part having more or less discrete fields; an eastern gas-bearing part having many characteristics of a basin-centered accumulation; and a central oil- and gas-bearing part with 'hybrid' fields that share characteristics of both discrete and basin-centered accumulation. A data set of 25 oil and gas fields is used in the report to compare selected attributes of the three parts of the regional accumulation. A fourth part of the regional accumulation, not discussed here, is an eastern extension of basin-centered accumulation having local commercial gas in the Tuscarora Sandstone, a proximal facies of the Lower Silurian depositional system. A basin-centered gas accumulation is a regionally extensive and commonly very thick zone of gas saturation that occurs in low-permeability rocks in the central, deeper part of a sedimentary basin. Another commonly used term for this type of accumulation is deep-basin gas accumulation. Basin-centered accumulation is a variety of continuous-type accumulation. The 'Clinton' sands and Medina Group sandstone part of the basin-centered gas accumulation is characterized by: a) reservoir porosity ranging from about 5 to 10 percent; b) reservoir permeability

  10. Organic geochemistry of Pennsylvanian-Permian oils and black shales, northern Denver basin

    SciTech Connect

    Clayton, J.L.; King, J.D.

    1984-04-01

    Organic geochemical analyses were performed on Paleozoic shales and oils from the northern Denver basin to determine oil-source bed relationships. Two general oil types were recognized: oil produced from reservoirs of Virgilian and Wolfcampian age in northeastern Colorado and Nebraska, and oil produced form the Lower Permian Lyons Sandstone near the basin axis in Colorado. Low-gravity oil (20/sup 0/ API) produced from the Virgilian-age reservoir at the Amazon field (Nebraska) and a higher gravity oil (37/sup 0/ API) produced from a well near the Amazon field (Wespro 1-23 Lyngholm) can be distinguished geochemically from the other Virgilian-Wolfcampian oils studied and may be genetically unrelated to them. For comparison, oils were analyzed from the Minnelusa Formation (Permian-Pennsylvanian) in the Powder River basin. These oils are geochemically unlike any Paleozoic oils analyzed in this study in southeastern Wyoming and Colorado.

  11. Microbial turnover and incorporation of organic compounds in oil sand mining reclamation sites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lappé, M.; Kallmeyer, J.

    2013-12-01

    Microorganisms play an important role in the development of new soils and in the reclamation of disturbed landscapes. Especially in hydrocarbon-contaminated soils their ability to degrade organic matter and pollutants makes them essential to re-establish full ecosystem functionality. Microbes are also involved in the mobilization of nutrients for plant growth and in the production of greenhouse gases. Reclamation sites from oil sand mining activities in Alberta, Canada, contain residual bitumen as well as other hydrocarbons. So, these areas provide a great opportunity to study microbial degradation of residual contaminants from oil sand. To get an impression of degradation rates as well as metabolic pathways, incubation experiments were performed in the lab. We measured microbial turnover (catabolic metabolism) and incorporation (anabolic metabolism) rates of different common organic compounds in samples from differently treated reclamation sites - with plant cover and without plant cover. About 10 g of sample material was suspended in 10 mL of a solution that mimics the in-situ concentration of dissolved ions. Radioactively labelled 14C-acetate was added as a common substrate, whereas 14C-naphthenic acid was chosen to investigate the microbial community's capability to utilize a typical hydrocarbon pollutant in oil sand tailings as a nutrient source. To test for the influence of fertilizers on microbial activity, phosphate, nitrate and potassium were added to some samples in different combinations. Incubations were run over two different time periods (7 and 14 days). At the end of each incubation experiment, the amount of produced 14CO2, 14C incorporated into the cells and the remaining unreacted 14C in the slurry were measured. First results show that most of the added 14C-acetate is used for respiration as it is mostly released as 14CO2. In upper soil layers only about 3% of 14C is incorporated into cells, whereas in deeper horizons with lower cell abundances

  12. Feasibility study of heavy oil recovery in the Appalachian, Black Warrior, Illinois, and Michigan basins

    SciTech Connect

    Olsen, D.K.; Rawn-Schatzinger, V.; Ramzel, E.B.

    1992-07-01

    This report is one of a series of publications assessing the feasibility of increasing domestic heavy oil production. Each report covers select areas of the United States. The Appalachian, Black Warrior, Illinois, and Michigan basins cover most of the depositional basins in the Midwest and Eastern United States. These basins produce sweet, paraffinic light oil and are considered minor heavy oil (10{degrees} to 20{degrees} API gravity or 100 to 100,000 cP viscosity) producers. Heavy oil occurs in both carbonate and sandstone reservoirs of Paleozoic Age along the perimeters of the basins in the same sediments where light oil occurs. The oil is heavy because escape of light ends, water washing of the oil, and biodegradation of the oil have occurred over million of years. The Appalachian, Black Warrior, Illinois, and Michigan basins' heavy oil fields have produced some 450,000 bbl of heavy oil of an estimated 14,000,000 bbl originally in place. The basins have been long-term, major light-oil-producing areas and are served by an extensive pipeline network connected to refineries designed to process light sweet and with few exceptions limited volumes of sour or heavy crude oils. Since the light oil is principally paraffinic, it commands a higher price than the asphaltic heavy crude oils of California. The heavy oil that is refined in the Midwest and Eastern US is imported and refined at select refineries. Imports of crude of all grades accounts for 37 to >95% of the oil refined in these areas. Because of the nature of the resource, the Appalachian, Black Warrior, Illinois and Michigan basins are not expected to become major heavy oil producing areas. The crude oil collection system will continue to degrade as light oil production declines. The demand for crude oil will increase pipeline and tanker transport of imported crude to select large refineries to meet the areas' liquid fuels needs.

  13. Feasibility study of heavy oil recovery in the Appalachian, Black Warrior, Illinois, and Michigan basins

    SciTech Connect

    Olsen, D.K.; Rawn-Schatzinger, V.; Ramzel, E.B.

    1992-07-01

    This report is one of a series of publications assessing the feasibility of increasing domestic heavy oil production. Each report covers select areas of the United States. The Appalachian, Black Warrior, Illinois, and Michigan basins cover most of the depositional basins in the Midwest and Eastern United States. These basins produce sweet, paraffinic light oil and are considered minor heavy oil (10{degrees} to 20{degrees} API gravity or 100 to 100,000 cP viscosity) producers. Heavy oil occurs in both carbonate and sandstone reservoirs of Paleozoic Age along the perimeters of the basins in the same sediments where light oil occurs. The oil is heavy because escape of light ends, water washing of the oil, and biodegradation of the oil have occurred over million of years. The Appalachian, Black Warrior, Illinois, and Michigan basins` heavy oil fields have produced some 450,000 bbl of heavy oil of an estimated 14,000,000 bbl originally in place. The basins have been long-term, major light-oil-producing areas and are served by an extensive pipeline network connected to refineries designed to process light sweet and with few exceptions limited volumes of sour or heavy crude oils. Since the light oil is principally paraffinic, it commands a higher price than the asphaltic heavy crude oils of California. The heavy oil that is refined in the Midwest and Eastern US is imported and refined at select refineries. Imports of crude of all grades accounts for 37 to >95% of the oil refined in these areas. Because of the nature of the resource, the Appalachian, Black Warrior, Illinois and Michigan basins are not expected to become major heavy oil producing areas. The crude oil collection system will continue to degrade as light oil production declines. The demand for crude oil will increase pipeline and tanker transport of imported crude to select large refineries to meet the areas` liquid fuels needs.

  14. Using Epiphytic Lichens to Elucidate the Sources and Spatial Distribution of Inorganic Air Pollution in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Landis, M.; Graney, J. R.; Pancras, P.; Krupa, S.; Edgerton, E.; Puckett, K.; Percy, K.

    2013-12-01

    The Wood Buffalo Environmental Association (WBEA) conducted studies to document the geographic patterns of atmospheric deposition of sulfur (S) and nitrogen (N) in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR) using epiphytic lichens as bioindicators of atmospheric pollution. Epiphytic lichen samples (Hypogymnia physodes) were collected from 44 locations in 2002, 359 locations in 2008, and 21 locations in 2011 within the AOSR. A subset of samples from 2002 (15) and 2008 (121); and all the samples from 2011 were microwave extracted and analyzed for a comprehensive suite of trace elements using DRC-ICPMS. In addition, source profiles were developed for samples from a variety of available process stacks, heavy duty diesel fleet vehicles, bulk materials representing the various stages of oil sands processing operations, and forest fires. The lichen monitoring and source profile information were integrated into a receptor modeling framework to elucidate the relative importance of natural and anthropogenic sources to the observed atmospheric deposition of S and N in the AOSR. U.S. EPA implemented statistical receptor models utilized included Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF), Unmix, and Chemical Mass Balance (CMB). The sources uniquely identified that significantly contributed to concentrations of elements in the lichen tissue include: fugitive dust from haul roads, tailing sand, and oil sand mining; oil sand processing; combustion processes; and a general urban regional source. The spatial patterns of CMB, PMF, and Unmix receptor model estimated source impacts on the Hypogymnia physodes tissue concentrations from the oil sand processing and fugitive dust sources had a significant association with the distance from the primary oil sands surface mining operations and related production facilities. The spatial extent of the fugitive dust impact was limited to an approximately 20 km radius around the major mining and oil production facilities, indicative of ground level coarse

  15. Isolation and characterization of acutely toxic fractions in oil sands wastewater

    SciTech Connect

    Verbeek, A.; Mackay, W.; MacKinnon, M.

    1995-12-31

    Extraction of oil from oil sand using the hot water flotation method results in the production of large volumes of wastewater that are acutely toxic to aquatic organisms. At Syncrude Canada Ltd. and Suncor Oil Sands Group Inc., this wastewater is stored in large tailings ponds that must eventually be reclaimed. The acute toxicity of these wastewaters was assessed and the acutely toxic fractions were identified. Samples were collected from the surface and fine tails zones of the Syncrude and Suncor tailings ponds during the summers of 1991 and 1992. The Microtox bioassay was used to assess the acute toxicity before and after various treatments. Where significant reductions in acute toxicity were found, further acute toxicity tests were carried out using Daphnia magna and rainbow trout. The Microtox IC{sub 50} of all centrifuged tailings pond water samples varied between 26.5 and 46%. Daphnia LC{sub 50}s varied between 76 and 98% and a rainbow trout LC{sub 50} was 12.5 %. Organic compounds that have a non-polar component, as removed by solid phase extraction with C{sub 18} sorbent, accounted for all the acute toxicity (100%) of all samples. Organic ``acids``, as removed by precipitation at pH 2.5, also accounted for all the acute toxicity (100%) of all samples except those from pond 1A of Suncor. In pond 1A, organic ``acids`` accounted for approximately 55--60% of the acute toxicity, nonpolar organic volatile compounds accounted for approximately 20--35% and the balance of the acute toxicity was due to non-polar organic compounds that were neither volatile nor organic ``acids``, as removed by precipitation at pH 2.5.

  16. Small mammals as sentinels of oil sands related contaminants and health effects in northeastern Alberta, Canada.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Estival, Jaime; Smits, Judit E G

    2016-02-01

    The extraction of bitumen in areas of northeastern Alberta (Canada) has been associated with the release of complex mixtures of metals, metalloids, and polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs) to the environment. To mitigate effects on ecosystems, Canadian legislation mandates that disturbed areas be reclaimed to an ecologically sustainable state after active operations. However, as part of reclamation activities, exposure to, and effects on wildlife living in these areas is not generally assessed. To support successful reclamation, the development of efficient methods to assess exposure and health effects in potentially exposed wildlife is required. In the present study, we investigated the usefulness of two native mammalian species (deer mouse Peromyscus maniculatus, and meadow vole Microtus pennsylvanicus) as sentinels of oil sands related contaminants by examining biomarkers of exposure and indicators of biological costs. Tissue residues of 31 metals and metalloids in kidneys and muscle, activity of the hepatic detoxification enzyme EROD (as a biomarker of exposure to organic contaminants), body condition, and the relative mass of liver, kidney, spleen, and testes were compared in animals from one reclaimed area and a reference site. Deer mice from the reclaimed site had higher renal levels of Co, Se and Tl compared to animals from the reference site, which was associated with reduced body condition. Lower testis mass was another feature that distinguished mice from the reclaimed site in comparison to those from the reference site. One mouse and one vole from the reclaimed site also showed increased hepatic EROD activity. In marked contrast, no changes were evident for these variables in meadow voles. Our results show that deer mouse is a sensitive sentinel species and that the biomarkers and indicators used here are efficient means to detect local contamination and associated biological effects in native mammals inhabiting reclaimed areas on active oil sands mine

  17. Well-to-Wheels Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Canadian Oil Sands Products: Implications for U.S. Petroleum Fuels.

    PubMed

    Cai, Hao; Brandt, Adam R; Yeh, Sonia; Englander, Jacob G; Han, Jeongwoo; Elgowainy, Amgad; Wang, Michael Q

    2015-07-01

    Greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations affecting U.S. transportation fuels require holistic examination of the life-cycle emissions of U.S. petroleum feedstocks. With an expanded system boundary that included land disturbance-induced GHG emissions, we estimated well-to-wheels (WTW) GHG emissions of U.S. production of gasoline and diesel sourced from Canadian oil sands. Our analysis was based on detailed characterization of the energy intensities of 27 oil sands projects, representing industrial practices and technological advances since 2008. Four major oil sands production pathways were examined, including bitumen and synthetic crude oil (SCO) from both surface mining and in situ projects. Pathway-average GHG emissions from oil sands extraction, separation, and upgrading ranged from ∼6.1 to ∼27.3 g CO2 equivalents per megajoule (in lower heating value, CO2e/MJ). This range can be compared to ∼4.4 g CO2e/MJ for U.S. conventional crude oil recovery. Depending on the extraction technology and product type output of oil sands projects, the WTW GHG emissions for gasoline and diesel produced from bitumen and SCO in U.S. refineries were in the range of 100-115 and 99-117 g CO2e/MJ, respectively, representing, on average, about 18% and 21% higher emissions than those derived from U.S. conventional crudes. WTW GHG emissions of gasoline and diesel derived from diluted bitumen ranged from 97 to 103 and 96 to 104 g CO2e/MJ, respectively, showing the effect of diluent use on fuel emissions. PMID:26054375

  18. S reactivity of an oil sands composite tailings deposit undergoing reclamation wetland construction.

    PubMed

    Reid, Michelle L; Warren, Lesley A

    2016-01-15

    This study is the first to characterize the S stability of a composite tailings (CT) deposit undergoing pilot wetland reclamation in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR, Alberta, Canada). As CT is sulfur, organic carbon and bacterially rich, the goal of this study was to characterize the in situ aqueous distribution of sulfur compounds across the wetland, sand cap and underlying CT zones of the deposit, in an effort to establish the potential for microbial sulfur cycling and generation of H2S, an explosive, corrosive and toxicity risk. Porewater samples from three depths spanning the different layers of the deposit, as well as wetland surface ponded water samples were collected for geochemical analyses (July and Sept 2013), and for microbial enrichments (both S reducing and S oxidizing bacteria) in June 2014. While porewater ΣH2S(aq) was detected at all depths across the three zones of the deposit, results identify that the sand cap layer required for construction, acts as a mixing zone generating the highest solution H2S concentrations (>500 uM or 18 mg/L) and H2S gas levels (over 100 and up to 180 ppm) observed. Porewater dissolved sulfate concentrations (0.14-6.97 mM) were orders of magnitude higher and did not correlate to the observed distribution of ΣH2S concentrations throughout the deposit. Unique to the sandcap, dissolved organic carbon positively correlated with the observed maxima of ΣH2S(aq) seen in this layer. The water management of the deposit is a critical factor in the observed S trends. Active dewatering of the CT resulted in migration of S rich water up into the sandcap, while downwelling labile organic carbon from the developing wetland acted in concert to stimulate microbial generation of the H2S in this structural layer to the highest levels observed. Functional enrichments identified that diverse S reducing and oxidizing microbial metabolisms are widespread throughout the deposit, indicating that these waste materials are

  19. Black shale source rocks and oil generation in the Cambrian and Ordovician of the central Appalachian Basin, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ryder, R.T.; Burruss, R.C.; Hatch, J.R.

    1998-01-01

    Nearly 600 million bbl of oil (MMBO) and 1 to 1.5 trillion ft3 (tcf) of gas have been produced from Cambrian and Ordovician reservoirs (carbonate and sandstone) in the Ohio part of the Appalachian basin and on adjoining arches in Ohio, Indiana, and Ontario, Canada. Most of the oil and gas is concentrated in the giant Lima-Indiana field on the Findlay and Kankakee arches and in small fields distributed along the Knox unconformity. Based on new geochemical analyses of oils, potential source rocks, bitumen extracts, and previously published geochemical data, we conclude that the oils in both groups of fields originated from Middle and Upper Ordovician blcak shale (Utica and Antes shales) in the Appalachian basin. Moroever, we suggest that approximately 300 MMBO and many trillions of cubic feet of gas in the Lower Silurian Clinton sands of eastern Ohio originated in the same source rocks. Oils from the Cambrian and Ordovician reservoirs have similar saturated hydrocarbon compositions, biomarker distributions, and carbon isotope signatures. Regional variations in the oils are attributed to differences in thermal maturation rather than to differences in source. Total organic carbon content, genetic potential, regional extent, and bitument extract geochemistry identify the balck shale of the Utica and Antes shales as the most plausible source of the oils. Other Cambrian and Ordovician shale and carbonate units, such as the Wells Creek formation, which rests on the Knox unconformity, and the Rome Formation and Conasauga Group in the Rome trough, are considered to be only local petroleum sources. Tmax, CAI, and pyrolysis yields from drill-hole cuttings and core indicate that the Utica Shale in eastern and central Ohio is mature with respect to oil generation. Burial, thermal, and hydrocarbon-generation history models suggest that much of the oil was generated from the Utica-Antes source in the late Paleozoic during the Alleghanian orogeny. A pervasive fracture network

  20. Culturing oil sands microbes as mixed species communities enhances ex situ model naphthenic acid degradation

    PubMed Central

    Demeter, Marc A.; Lemire, Joseph A.; Yue, Gordon; Ceri, Howard; Turner, Raymond J.

    2015-01-01

    Oil sands surface mining for bitumen results in the formation of oil sands process water (OSPW), containing acutely toxic naphthenic acids (NAs). Potential exists for OSPW toxicity to be mitigated by aerobic degradation of the NAs by microorganisms indigenous to the oil sands tailings ponds, the success of which is dependent on the methods used to exploit the metabolisms of the environmental microbial community. Having hypothesized that the xenobiotic tolerant biofilm mode-of-life may represent a feasible way to harness environmental microbes for ex situ treatment of OSPW NAs, we aerobically grew OSPW microbes as single and mixed species biofilm and planktonic cultures under various conditions for the purpose of assaying their ability to tolerate and degrade NAs. The NAs evaluated were a diverse mixture of eight commercially available model compounds. Confocal microscopy confirmed the ability of mixed and single species OSPW cultures to grow as biofilms in the presence of the NAs evaluated. qPCR enumeration demonstrated that the addition of supplemental nutrients at concentrations of 1 g L-1 resulted in a more numerous population than 0.001 g L-1 supplementation by approximately 1 order of magnitude. GC-FID analysis revealed that mixed species cultures (regardless of the mode of growth) are the most effective at degrading the NAs tested. All constituent NAs evaluated were degraded below detectable limits with the exception of 1-adamantane carboxylic acid (ACA); subsequent experimentation with ACA as the sole NA also failed to exhibit degradation of this compound. Single species cultures degraded select few NA compounds. The degradation trends highlighted many structure-persistence relationships among the eight NAs tested, demonstrating the effect of side chain configuration and alkyl branching on compound recalcitrance. Of all the isolates, the Rhodococcus spp. degraded the greatest number of NA compounds, although still less than the mixed species cultures

  1. Key performance indicators for electric mining shovels and oil sands diggability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patnayak, Sibabrata

    A shovel performance monitoring study was undertaken in two oil sands mines operated by Syncrude Canada Ltd. using performance data obtained from P&H 4100 TS and BOSS electric mining shovels. One year of shovel performance data along with geological, geotechnical, and climatic data were analyzed. The approach adopted was to use current and voltage data collected from hoist and crowd motors and to calculate the energy and/or power associated with digging. Analysis of performance data along with digital video records of operating shovels indicated that hoist and crowd motor voltages and currents can be used to identify the beginning and the end of individual dig cycles. A dig cycle identification algorithm was developed. Performance indicators such as dig cycle time, hoist motor energy and power, and crowd motor energy and power were determined. The shovel performance indicators provide important insight into how geology, equipment and operators affect the digging efficiency. The hoist motor power is a useful key performance indicator for assessing diggability. Hoist motor energy consumption per tonne of material excavated and the number of dig cycles required for loading a truck can be useful key performance indicators for assessing operator performance and productivity. Analysis of performance data along with operators team schedules showed that the performance of a shovel can be significantly influenced by the operator's digging technique while digging uniform material. Up to 25% variability in hoist motor power consumption and 50% variability in productivity was noted between different operators. Shovel type and dipper teeth configuration can also influence the power draw on electrical motors during digging. There is no common agreement existing on the influence of bitumen content on oil sands diggability. By comparing the hoist motor power consumption, it was found that the rich ore was more difficult to dig than the lean ore. Similarly, estuarine ore was more

  2. Niger Delta basin oil and gas prospects evaluated

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-09-28

    This paper reports that an ambitious project to map African oil and gas prospects has produced its first findings in a report on the Niger Delta basin. In Nigeria, 73% of discoveries are smaller than 50 million bbl, with a 42% success rate for wildcats. There are 'out of round prospects off Nigeria, too, with a number of companies currently in discussions. Petroconsultants the there are further opportunities for exploration in the Northern Onshore Fringe Belt, which has an estimated potential of 500 million bbl of reserves. Three OPLs are open.

  3. Comment on "Comparison of Michigan Basin crude oils" by Vogler et al .

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pruitt, J. D.

    1983-06-01

    Data is presented for Michigan Basin oils that indicate, in addition to the three distinct oil types, oils of mixed composition, intermediate between the Silurian and Ordovician types, also exist. These mixed oils which occur in Devonian (Detroit River) reservoirs are identified primarily by their isoprenoid and normal paraffin compositions.

  4. Feasibility study of heavy oil recovery in the Permian Basin (Texas and New Mexico)

    SciTech Connect

    Olsen, D.K.; Johnson, W.I.

    1993-05-01

    This report is one of a series of publications assessing the feasibility of increasing domestic heavy oil production. Each report covers select areas of the United States. The Permian Basin of West Texas and Southeastern New Mexico is made up of the Midland, Delaware, Val Verde, and Kerr Basins; the Northwestern, Eastern, and Southern shelves; the Central Basin Platform, and the Sheffield Channel. The present day Permian Basin was one sedimentary basin until uplift and subsidence occurred during Pennsylvanian and early Permian Age to create the configuration of the basins, shelves, and platform of today. The basin has been a major light oil producing area served by an extensive pipeline network connected to refineries designed to process light sweet and limited sour crude oil. Limited resources of heavy oil (10`` to 20`` API gravity) occurs in both carbonate and sandstone reservoirs of Permian and Cretaceous Age. The largest cumulative heavy oil production comes from fluvial sandstones of the Cretaceous Trinity Group. Permian heavy oil is principally paraffinic and thus commands a higher price than asphaltic California heavy oil. Heavy oil in deeper reservoirs has solution gas and low viscosity and thus can be produced by primary and by waterflooding. Because of the nature of the resource, the Permian Basin should not be considered a major heavy oil producing area.

  5. Feasibility study of heavy oil recovery in the Permian Basin (Texas and New Mexico)

    SciTech Connect

    Olsen, D.K.; Johnson, W.I.

    1993-05-01

    This report is one of a series of publications assessing the feasibility of increasing domestic heavy oil production. Each report covers select areas of the United States. The Permian Basin of West Texas and Southeastern New Mexico is made up of the Midland, Delaware, Val Verde, and Kerr Basins; the Northwestern, Eastern, and Southern shelves; the Central Basin Platform, and the Sheffield Channel. The present day Permian Basin was one sedimentary basin until uplift and subsidence occurred during Pennsylvanian and early Permian Age to create the configuration of the basins, shelves, and platform of today. The basin has been a major light oil producing area served by an extensive pipeline network connected to refineries designed to process light sweet and limited sour crude oil. Limited resources of heavy oil (10'' to 20'' API gravity) occurs in both carbonate and sandstone reservoirs of Permian and Cretaceous Age. The largest cumulative heavy oil production comes from fluvial sandstones of the Cretaceous Trinity Group. Permian heavy oil is principally paraffinic and thus commands a higher price than asphaltic California heavy oil. Heavy oil in deeper reservoirs has solution gas and low viscosity and thus can be produced by primary and by waterflooding. Because of the nature of the resource, the Permian Basin should not be considered a major heavy oil producing area.

  6. ESR dating of Neogene marine sands from the southern North Sea basin, NE Belgium: first results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iacovo, Serena; Jivanescu, Mihaela; Beerten, Koen; Stesmans, Andre; Vandenberghe, Noël

    2013-04-01

    Quantifying Neogene and Quaternary geodynamic processes requires reliable age control on the geological record from which the rate and intensity of these processes are usually derived. The nature and geometry of marine sediments preserved in the southern North Sea basin, NE Belgium, are influenced by geodynamic processes such as tectonic movements and eustatic sea level changes. Yet, the geochronology of these sediments is almost entirely based on micropalaeontological analyses and subsequent correlations with widely accepted geological boundaries. In recent years, the electron spin resonance (ESR) dating method has been applied to buried sediments that range in age between ~ 100 ka and several Ma. The method is based on the measurement of accumulated radiation damage in quartz crystals during burial, and can thus in theory be applied to obtain absolute numerical age control on any quartz-rich sediment given several conditions are met. The most important of these is sunlight bleaching of pre-existing radiation damage prior to burial. In this case study, we present preliminary ESR dating results of three samples from a cored borehole in Miocene glauconite-rich sands, which are biostratigraphically estimated as between 7 Ma and 11 Ma (Tortonian). Following chemical and physical purification of the samples (taken at 107 m, 135 m and 147 m depth), quartz grains (100-200 µm) were irradiated by Co-60 gamma rays to doses between 1-150 kGy. Individual aliquots (each weighting several 100 mg) were measured at cryogenic temperatures in a JEOL X-band ESR spectrometer operating at a microwave frequency of ~ 9.2 GHz. Defect densities were derived by integration of relevant ESR spectra, and making use of a comounted defect density calibrated marker sample. Subsequently, the equivalent dose was calculated using the thus constructed dose curves (including the natural, unirradiated, aliquot). Finally, dose rates were determined using high resolution gamma ray spectrometry in the

  7. A Relevance Vector Machine-Based Approach with Application to Oil Sand Pump Prognostics

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Jinfei; Tse, Peter W.

    2013-01-01

    Oil sand pumps are widely used in the mining industry for the delivery of mixtures of abrasive solids and liquids. Because they operate under highly adverse conditions, these pumps usually experience significant wear. Consequently, equipment owners are quite often forced to invest substantially in system maintenance to avoid unscheduled downtime. In this study, an approach combining relevance vector machines (RVMs) with a sum of two exponential functions was developed to predict the remaining useful life (RUL) of field pump impellers. To handle field vibration data, a novel feature extracting process was proposed to arrive at a feature varying with the development of damage in the pump impellers. A case study involving two field datasets demonstrated the effectiveness of the developed method. Compared with standalone exponential fitting, the proposed RVM-based model was much better able to predict the remaining useful life of pump impellers. PMID:24051527

  8. Ozone treatment ameliorates oil sands process water toxicity to the mammalian immune system.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Garcia, Erick; Ge, Jun Qing; Oladiran, Ayoola; Montgomery, Benjamin; El-Din, Mohamed Gamal; Perez-Estrada, Leonidas C; Stafford, James L; Martin, Jonathan W; Belosevic, Miodrag

    2011-11-15

    We evaluated whether ozonation ameliorated the effects of the organic fraction of oil sands process water (OSPW) on immune functions of mice. Ozonation of OSPW eliminated the capacity of its organic fraction to affect various mouse bone marrow-derived macrophage (BMDM) functions in vitro. These included the production of nitric oxide and the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase, the production of reactive oxygen intermediates and the expression of NADPH oxidase subunits, phagocytosis, and the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokine genes. Ozone treatment also eliminated the ability of OSPW organic fraction to down-regulate the expression of various pro-inflammatory cytokine and chemokine genes in the liver of mice, one week after oral exposure. We conclude that ozone treatment may be a valuable process for the remediation of large volumes of OSPW. PMID:21940034

  9. A relevance vector machine-based approach with application to oil sand pump prognostics.

    PubMed

    Hu, Jinfei; Tse, Peter W

    2013-01-01

    Oil sand pumps are widely used in the mining industry for the delivery of mixtures of abrasive solids and liquids. Because they operate under highly adverse conditions, these pumps usually experience significant wear. Consequently, equipment owners are quite often forced to invest substantially in system maintenance to avoid unscheduled downtime. In this study, an approach combining relevance vector machines (RVMs) with a sum of two exponential functions was developed to predict the remaining useful life (RUL) of field pump impellers. To handle field vibration data, a novel feature extracting process was proposed to arrive at a feature varying with the development of damage in the pump impellers. A case study involving two field datasets demonstrated the effectiveness of the developed method. Compared with standalone exponential fitting, the proposed RVM-based model was much better able to predict the remaining useful life of pump impellers. PMID:24051527

  10. Control of small mammal damage in the Alberta oil sands reclamation and afforestation program

    SciTech Connect

    Radvanyi, A.

    1980-12-01

    Open-pit mining procedures being conducted in the oil sands of northeast Alberta greatly disrupt many acres of the environment. The reclamation and afforestation program intended to restore the forest habitat encountered an unanticipated problem when a large percentage of young nursery-raised trees planted on a tailings pond dyke and on overburden dump sites were found to have been girdled by a population of meadow voles which had become established in the dense grass habitat created to stabilize steep sandy slopes of the spoil piles. The study monitored small mammal populations through a high, low, and a second high level commensurate with the 3- to 4-year population cycle of small mammals. A control technique utilizing grain treated with an anticoagulant rodenticide made available to the mice in poisoned bait feeder stations effectively reduced small mammal numbers to very low levels and reduced girdling damage from an average of 50% to 1-2%.

  11. Airborne Petcoke Dust is a Major Source of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yifeng; Shotyk, William; Zaccone, Claudio; Noernberg, Tommy; Pelletier, Rick; Bicalho, Beatriz; Froese, Duane G; Davies, Lauren; Martin, Jonathan W

    2016-02-16

    Oil sands mining has been linked to increasing atmospheric deposition of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the Athabasca oil sands region (AOSR), but known sources cannot explain the quantity of PAHs in environmental samples. PAHs were measured in living Sphagnum moss (24 sites, n = 68), in sectioned peat cores (4 sites, n = 161), and snow (7 sites, n = 19) from ombrotrophic bogs in the AOSR. Prospective source samples were also analyzed, including petroleum coke (petcoke, from both delayed and fluid coking), fine tailings, oil sands ore, and naturally exposed bitumen. Average PAH concentrations in near-field moss (199 ng/g, n = 11) were significantly higher (p = 0.035) than in far-field moss (118 ng/g, n = 13), and increasing temporal trends were detected in three peat cores collected closest to industrial activity. A chemical mass-balance model estimated that delayed petcoke was the major source of PAHs to living moss, and among three peat core the contribution to PAHs from delayed petcoke increased over time, accounting for 45-95% of PAHs in contemporary layers. Petcoke was also estimated to be a major source of vanadium, nickel, and molybdenum. Scanning electron microscopy with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy confirmed large petcoke particles (>10 μm) in snow at near-field sites. Petcoke dust has not previously been considered in environmental impact assessments of oil sands upgrading, and improved dust control from growing stockpiles may mitigate future risks. PMID:26771587

  12. Water-related Issues Affecting Conventional Oil and Gas Recovery and Potential Oil-Shale Development in the Uinta Basin, Utah

    SciTech Connect

    Berg, Michael Vanden; Anderson, Paul; Wallace, Janae; Morgan, Craig; Carney, Stephanie

    2012-04-30

    in the subsurface of the Uinta Basin using a combination of water chemistry data collected from various sources and by analyzing geophysical well logs. By re-mapping the base of the moderately saline aquifer using more robust data and more sophisticated computer-based mapping techniques, regulators now have the information needed to more expeditiously grant water disposal permits while still protecting freshwater resources. Part 2: Eastern Uinta Basin gas producers have identified the Birds Nest aquifer, located in the Parachute Creek Member of the Green River Formation, as the most promising reservoir suitable for large-volume saline water disposal. This aquifer formed from the dissolution of saline minerals that left behind large open cavities and fractured rock. This new and complete understanding the aquifer?s areal extent, thickness, water chemistry, and relationship to Utah?s vast oil shale resource will help operators and regulators determine safe saline water disposal practices, directly impacting the success of increased hydrocarbon production in the region, while protecting potential future oil shale production. Part 3: In order to establish a baseline of water quality on lands identified by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management as having oil shale development potential in the southeastern Uinta Basin, the UGS collected biannual water samples over a three-year period from near-surface aquifers and surface sites. The near-surface and relatively shallow groundwater quality information will help in the development of environmentally sound water-management solutions for a possible future oil shale and oil sands industry and help assess the sensitivity of the alluvial and near-surface bedrock aquifers. This multifaceted study will provide a better understanding of the aquifers in Utah?s Uinta Basin, giving regulators the tools needed to protect precious freshwater resources while still allowing for increased hydrocarbon production.

  13. Airborne Measurements of Secondary Organic Aerosol Formation in the Oil Sands Region of Alberta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liggio, J.; Hayden, K.; Liu, P.; Leithead, A.; Moussa, S. G.; Staebler, R. M.; Gordon, M.; O'brien, J.; Li, S. M.

    2014-12-01

    The Alberta oil sands (OS) region represents a strategic natural resource and is a key driver of economic development. Its rapid expansion has led to a need for a more comprehensive understanding of the associated potential cumulative environmental impacts. In summer 2013, airborne measurements of various gaseous and particulate substances were made in the Athabasca oil sands region between August 13 and Sept 7, 2013. In particular, organic aerosol mass and composition measurements were performed with a High Resolution Time of flight Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (HR-ToF-AMS) supported by gaseous measurements of organic aerosol precursors with Proton Transfer Reaction (PTR) and Chemical Ionization (CI) mass spectrometers. These measurement data on selected flights were used to estimate the potential for local anthropogenic OS emissions to form secondary organic aerosol (SOA) downwind of precursor sources, and to investigate the importance of the surrounding biogenic emissions to the overall SOA burden in the region. The results of several flights conducted to investigate these transformations demonstrate that multiple distinct plumes were present downwind of OS industrial sources, each with differing abilities to form SOA depending upon factors such as NOx level, precursor VOC composition, and oxidant concentration. The results indicate that approximately 100 km downwind of an OS industrial source most of the measured organic aerosol (OA) was secondary in nature, forming at rates of ~6.4 to 13.6 μgm-3hr-1. Positive matrix factor (PMF) analysis of the HR-ToF-AMS data suggests that the SOA was highly oxidized (O/C~0.6) resulting in a measured ΔOA (difference above regional background OA) of approximately 2.5 - 3 despite being 100 km away from sources. The relative contribution of biogenic SOA to the total SOA and the factors affecting SOA formation during a number of flights in the OS region will be described.

  14. Identifying the causes of oil sands coke leachate toxicity to aquatic invertebrates.

    PubMed

    Puttaswamy, Naveen; Liber, Karsten

    2011-11-01

    A previous study found that coke leachates (CL) collected from oil sands field sites were acutely toxic to Ceriodaphnia dubia; however, the cause of toxicity was not known. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to generate CL in the laboratory to evaluate the toxicity response of C. dubia and perform chronic toxicity identification evaluation (TIE) tests to identify the causes of CL toxicity. Coke was subjected to a 15-d batch leaching process at pH 5.5 and 9.5. Leachates were filtered on day 15 and used for chemical and toxicological characterization. The 7-d median lethal concentration (LC50) was 6.3 and 28.7% (v/v) for pH 5.5 and 9.5 CLs, respectively. Trace element characterization of the CLs showed Ni and V levels to be well above their respective 7-d LC50s for C. dubia. Addition of ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid significantly (p ≤ 0.05) improved survival and reproduction in pH 5.5 CL, but not in pH 9.5 CL. Cationic and anionic resins removed toxicity of pH 5.5 CL only. Conversely, the toxicity of pH 9.5 CL was completely removed with an anion resin alone, suggesting that the pH 9.5 CL contained metals that formed oxyanions. Toxicity reappeared when Ni and V were added back to anion resin-treated CLs. The TIE results combined with the trace element chemistry suggest that both Ni and V are the cause of toxicity in pH 5.5 CL, whereas V appears to be the primary cause of toxicity in pH 9.5 CL. Environmental monitoring and risk assessments should therefore focus on the fate and toxicity of metals, especially Ni and V, in coke-amended oil sands reclamation landscapes. PMID:21898553

  15. Assessing Risks of Shallow Riparian Groundwater Quality Near an Oil Sands Tailings Pond.

    PubMed

    Roy, J W; Bickerton, G; Frank, R A; Grapentine, L; Hewitt, L M

    2016-07-01

    The potential discharge of groundwater contaminated by oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) is a concern for aquatic ecosystems near tailings ponds. Groundwater in the area, but unaffected by OSPW, may contain similar compounds, complicating the assessment of potential ecological impacts. In this study, 177 shallow groundwater samples were collected from riparian areas along the Athabasca River and tributaries proximate to oil sands developments. For "pond-site" samples (71; adjacent to study tailings pond), Canadian aquatic life guidelines were exceeded for 11 of 20 assessed compounds. However, "non-pond" samples (54; not near any tailings pond) provided similar exceedances. Statistical analyses indicate that pond-site and non-pond samples were indistinguishable for all but seven parameters assessed, including salts, many trace metals, and fluorescence profiles of aromatic naphthenic acids (ANA). This suggests that, regarding the tested parameters, groundwater adjacent to the study tailings pond generally poses no greater ecological risk than other nearby groundwaters at this time. Multivariate analyses applied to the groundwater data set separated into 11 smaller zones support this conclusion, but show some variation between zones. Geological and potential OSPW influences could not be distinguished based on major ions and metals concentrations. However, similarities in indicator parameters, namely ANA, F, Mo, Se, and Na-Cl ratio, were noted between a small subset of samples from two pond-site zones and two OSPW samples and two shallow groundwater samples documented as likely OSPW affected. This indicator-based screening suggests that OSPW-affected groundwater may be reaching Athabasca River sediments at a few locations. PMID:26743232

  16. Steroidal aromatic 'naphthenic acids' in oil sands process-affected water: structural comparisons with environmental estrogens.

    PubMed

    Rowland, Steven J; West, Charles E; Jones, David; Scarlett, Alan G; Frank, Richard A; Hewitt, L Mark

    2011-11-15

    The large volumes, acute toxicity, estrogenicity, and antiandrogenicity of process-affected waters accruing in tailings ponds from the operations of the Alberta oil sands industries pose a significant task for environmental reclamation. Synchronous fluorescence spectra (SFS) suggest that oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) may contain aromatic carboxylic acids, which are among the potentially environmentally important toxicants, but no such acids have yet been identified, limiting interpretations of the results of estrogenicity and other assays. Here we show that multidimensional comprehensive gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GCxGC-MS) of methyl esters of acids in an OSPW sample produces mass spectra consistent with their assignment as C(19) and C(20) C-ring monoaromatic hydroxy steroid acids, D-ring opened hydroxy and nonhydroxy polyhydrophenanthroic acids with one aromatic and two alicyclic rings and A-ring opened steroidal keto acids. High resolution MS data support the assignment of several of the so-called 'O3' species. When fractions of distilled, esterified, OSPW acid-extractable organics were examined, the putative aromatics were mainly present in a high boiling fraction; when examined by argentation thin layer chromatography, some were present in a fraction with a retardation factor between that of the methyl esters of synthetic monoalicyclic and monoaromatic acids. Ultraviolet absorption spectra of these fractions indicated the presence of benzenoid moieties. SFS of model octahydro- and tetrahydrophenanthroic acids produced emissions at the characteristic excitation wavelengths observed in some OSPW extracts, consistent with the postulations from ultraviolet spectroscopy and mass spectrometry data. We suggest the acids originate from extensive biodegradation of C-ring monoaromatic steroid hydrocarbons and offer a means of differentiating residues at different biodegradation stages in tailings ponds. Structural similarities with estrone and

  17. Factors influencing stable isotopes and growth of algae in oil sands aquatic reclamation.

    PubMed

    Boutsivongsakd, Monique; Farwell, Andrea J; Chen, Hao; Dixon, D George

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies reported (15)N enrichment of biota in reclamation wetlands that contain oil sands processed material (e.g., processed water and tailings); however, there is little information on the factors controlling (15)N enrichment in these systems. In this microcosm study, the aim was to examine stable C and N isotopes and growth (chlorophyll a [chl a] and dry weight) of algae as a function of exposure to different sources and concentrations of water-soluble fractions (WSF) derived from tailings. Two sources of tailings including mature fine tailings (MFT) and consolidated tailings (CT) and peat-mineral overburden were utilized to generate separate WSF that differed in water quality. In general, there was (15)N enrichment of filamentous algae along the increasing gradient of WSF/nutrient concentrations in both CT and peat microcosms, and among the different sources, algae were more (15)N enriched in CT WSF than in peat WSF. Growth of filamentous algae was inhibited at higher WSF concentrations, possibly due to reduced light availability at elevated levels of fine clay particles in MFT microcosms and colored dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in peat microcosms. Filamentous algae displayed lower biomass and (15)N depletion in 100% peat WSF. This study indicated that both the quality (source) and quantity of WSF affected algal growth and directly and/or indirectly influenced δ(15)N of algae. The distinct (15)N enrichment of primary producers derived from tailings suggest that stable N isotopes might be useful to trace exposure to oil sands processed material in biota that utilize these resources in reclaimed systems constructed with tailings or natural systems that receive tailings dyke seepage. PMID:25506635

  18. LIDAR first results from the Oil Sands Region: A complex vertical atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strawbridge, K. B.

    2012-12-01

    Environment Canada is using LIDAR technology to probe the complex vertical structure of the atmosphere over the oil sands region. This provided the critical vertical context for the interpretation of ground-based chemistry measurements and model verification and validation. In recent years, Environment Canada has designed an autonomous aerosol LIDAR system that can be deployed to remote areas such as the oil sands. The trailer that contains the LIDAR system includes a roof hatch assembly, basic meteorological tower, radar interlock system, climate control system and leveling stabilizers. A precipitation sensor is used to operate the roof hatch and three pan/tilt webcams capture sky conditions and monitor the Lidar system's health. A remote control interface is used to monitor all vital components of the system, including the ability to provide hard resets to the various electronic devices onboard. Every 10 seconds the system provides vertical aerosol profiles from near ground to 20 km. The LIDAR transmitter emits two wavelengths (1064nm and 532nm) and the detector assembly collects three channels (1064nm backscatter, 532nm backscatter and 532nm depolarization). The depolarization channel provided key information in identifying and discriminating the various aerosol layers aloft such as dust, forest fire plumes, industrial plume sources or ice crystals. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week except during precipitation events and when aircraft fly over the site. The system is operated remotely and the data are updated every hour to a website to allow near real-time capability. First results from an intensive field campaign will be presented. LIDAR false color plot showing the bottom 7 km of the atmosphere during a forest fire event. Note the forest fire plume is between 1.5 and 5 km.

  19. Scale-dependent gas hydrate saturation estimates in sand reservoirs in the Ulleung Basin, East Sea of Korea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lee, Myung Woong; Collett, Timothy S.

    2013-01-01

    Through the use of 2-D and 3-D seismic data, several gas hydrate prospects were identified in the Ulleung Basin, East Sea of Korea and thirteen drill sites were established and logging-while-drilling (LWD) data were acquired from each site in 2010. Sites UBGH2–6 and UBGH2–10 were selected to test a series of high amplitude seismic reflections, possibly from sand reservoirs. LWD logs from the UBGH2–6 well indicate that there are three significant sand reservoirs with varying thickness. Two upper sand reservoirs are water saturated and the lower thinly bedded sand reservoir contains gas hydrate with an average saturation of 13%, as estimated from the P-wave velocity. The well logs at the UBGH2–6 well clearly demonstrated the effect of scale-dependency on gas hydrate saturation estimates. Gas hydrate saturations estimated from the high resolution LWD acquired ring resistivity (vertical resolution of about 5–8 cm) reaches about 90% with an average saturation of 28%, whereas gas hydrate saturations estimated from the low resolution A40L resistivity (vertical resolution of about 120 cm) reaches about 25% with an average saturation of 11%. However, in the UBGH2–10 well, gas hydrate occupies a 5-m thick sand reservoir near 135 mbsf with a maximum saturation of about 60%. In the UBGH2–10 well, the average and a maximum saturation estimated from various well logging tools are comparable, because the bed thickness is larger than the vertical resolution of the various logging tools. High resolution wireline log data further document the role of scale-dependency on gas hydrate calculations.

  20. Commercial application of steamflooding in an oil field comprised of multiple thin-sand reservoirs

    SciTech Connect

    Powers, M.L.; Dosdon, C.J.; Ghassemi, F.; Moore, J.S.

    1984-09-01

    Steamfloods conducted in thin reservoirs generally provide marginal economics because of relatively high field development costs per barrel of oil-in-place and excessive heat losses from the productive zone. Techniques are being employed which include the utilization of induced horizontal fractures to circumvent these detriments attributed to thin zones, as well as the problems of steam distribution and confinement inherent in any steamflood. This paper documents the successful application of steamflooding in the multiple thin-sand reservoirs of the Loco Unit, Stephens County, Oklahoma. These reservoirs occur at depths from 50 ft (15 m) to 1,200 ft (366 m), and range in thickness up to 40 ft (12 m). Porosities of the productive zones vary from 20 percent to over 30 percent, and permeabilities range from 100 md to over 4,000 md. Oil gravities of the various zones range from 16 degrees to 24 degrees API. Reservoirs that occur at depths above approximately 700 ft (213 m) had little or no natural reservoir energy and generally contain viscous oils, ranging up to 10,000 cp. Consequently, there was no primary production from these reservoirs and potential for waterflooding was marginal. Steamflooding has been the only recovery process successfully applied to these zones, except for one isolated instance. Reservoirs of depths greater than 700 ft (213 m) normally contain lower viscosity oils. Six of these zones were produced by solution gas drive and were later successfully waterflooded. To date two of these six zones have been tested and have proven to support commercial steamflooding operations, after 23 years of waterflooding.

  1. QUANTITATIVE METHODS FOR RESERVOIR CHARACTERIZATION AND IMPROVED RECOVERY: APPLICATION TO HEAVY OIL SANDS

    SciTech Connect

    James W. Castle; Fred J. Molz; Ronald W. Falta; Cynthia L. Dinwiddie; Scott E. Brame; Robert A. Bridges

    2002-10-30

    Improved prediction of interwell reservoir heterogeneity has the potential to increase productivity and to reduce recovery cost for California's heavy oil sands, which contain approximately 2.3 billion barrels of remaining reserves in the Temblor Formation and in other formations of the San Joaquin Valley. This investigation involves application of advanced analytical property-distribution methods conditioned to continuous outcrop control for improved reservoir characterization and simulation, particularly in heavy oil sands. The investigation was performed in collaboration with Chevron Production Company U.S.A. as an industrial partner, and incorporates data from the Temblor Formation in Chevron's West Coalinga Field. Observations of lateral variability and vertical sequences observed in Temblor Formation outcrops has led to a better understanding of reservoir geology in West Coalinga Field. Based on the characteristics of stratigraphic bounding surfaces in the outcrops, these surfaces were identified in the subsurface using cores and logs. The bounding surfaces were mapped and then used as reference horizons in the reservoir modeling. Facies groups and facies tracts were recognized from outcrops and cores of the Temblor Formation and were applied to defining the stratigraphic framework and facies architecture for building 3D geological models. The following facies tracts were recognized: incised valley, estuarine, tide- to wave-dominated shoreline, diatomite, and subtidal. A new minipermeameter probe, which has important advantages over previous methods of measuring outcrop permeability, was developed during this project. The device, which measures permeability at the distal end of a small drillhole, avoids surface weathering effects and provides a superior seal compared with previous methods for measuring outcrop permeability. The new probe was used successfully for obtaining a high-quality permeability data set from an outcrop in southern Utah. Results obtained

  2. Development of wear resistant nanostructured duplex coatings by high velocity oxy-fuel process for use in oil sands industry.

    PubMed

    Saha, Gobinda C; Khan, Tahir I; Glenesk, Larry B

    2009-07-01

    Oil sands deposits in Northern Alberta, Canada represent a wealth of resources attracting huge capital investment and significant research focus in recent years. As of 2005, crude oil production from the current oil sands operators accounted for 50% of Canada's domestic production. Alberta's oil sands deposits contain approximately 1.7 trillion barrels of bitumen, of which over 175 billion are recoverable with current technology, and 315 billion barrels are ultimately recoverable with technological advances. A major problem of operating machinery and equipment in the oil sands is the unpredictable failure from operating in this highly aggressive environment. One of the significant causes of that problem is premature material wear. An approach to minimize this wear is the use of protective coatings and, in particular, a cermet thin coating. A high level of coating homogeneity is critical for components such as bucketwheels, draglines, conveyors, shovels, heavyhauler trucks etc. that are subjected to severe degradation through abrasive wear. The identification, development and application of optimum wear solutions for these components pose an ongoing challenge. Nanostructured cermet coatings have shown the best results of achieving the degree of homogeneity required for these applications. In this study, WC-17Co cermet powder with nanocrystalline WC core encapsulated with 'duplex' Co layer was used to obtain a nanostructured coating. To apply this coating, high velocity oxy-fuel (HVOF) thermal spraying technique was used, as it is known for producing wear-resistant coatings superior to those obtained from plasma-based techniques. Mechanical, sliding wear and microstructural behavior of the coating was compared with those of the microstructured coating obtained from spraying WC-10Co-4Cr cermet powder by HVOF technique. Results from the nanostructured coating, among others, showed an average of 25% increase in microhardness, 30% increase in sliding wear resistance and

  3. Detoxification, endocrine, and immune responses of tree swallow nestlings naturally exposed to air contaminants from the Alberta oil sands.

    PubMed

    Cruz-Martinez, Luis; Fernie, Kim J; Soos, Catherine; Harner, Tom; Getachew, Fitsum; Smits, Judit E G

    2015-01-01

    Changes in environmental and wildlife health from contaminants in tailings water on the Canadian oil sands have been well-studied; however, effects of air contaminants on wildlife health have not. A field study was conducted to assess biological costs of natural exposure to oil sands-related air emissions on birds. Nest boxes for tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) were erected at two sites; within 5 km of active oil sands mining and extraction, and ≥ 60 km south, at one reference site. Passive air monitors were deployed at the nest boxes to measure nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, ozone, volatile organic compounds, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Nestlings were examined at day 9 post hatching to assess T cell function and morphometry. At day 14 post hatching, a subset of nestlings was euthanized to measure detoxification enzymes, endocrine changes, and histological alterations of immune organs. Except for ozone, all air contaminants were higher at the two oil sands sites than the reference site (up to 5-fold). Adult birds had similar reproductive performance among sites (p>0.05). Nestlings from industrial sites showed higher hepatic ethoxyresorufin O-dealkylase (EROD) induction (p<0.0001) with lower relative hepatic mass (p=0.0001), a smaller T cell response to the phytohemagglutinin skin test (p=0.007), and smaller bursae of Fabricius (p<0.02); a low sample size for one site indicating lower body condition scores (p=0.01) at day 14 warrants cautious interpretation. There were no differences among nestlings for feather corticosterone (p>0.6), and no histological alterations in the spleen or bursa of Fabricius (p>0.05). This is the first report examining toxicological responses in wild birds exposed to air contaminants from industrial activity in the oil sands. It is also the first time that small, individual air contaminant monitors have been used to determine local contaminant levels in ambient air around nest boxes of wild birds. PMID:25240100

  4. Tectonics and prospects of oil and gas in Tarim Basin

    SciTech Connect

    Kang Zhang ); Darui Wang )

    1996-01-01

    The authors put forward a new scheme for boundary line of Tarim plate with Tarim and Qaidam fault blocks. Tarim and Dunhuang basins, as well as some uplifts are developed in the Tarim fault block. The tectonics evolution of Tarim plate during the Phanerozoic has experienced a tension-pressure megacycle which consists of two cycles (Z-P and T-Q). Further, each cycle can be subdivided into two subcycles, and their ages are Z-D, C-P, Tr-J, and K-Q. They all have undergone the process of tension-pressure. The characters between each stage or region are different, owing to distinct evolutional background in the cycles or in tectonics position. The juxtaposition of different texture elements in the same geologic age and the super-position of some texture elements in different geologic age result in the formation of Tarim Basin with complex texture. Tarim Basin is rich in oil and gas resources, but some factors, such as long-term and multi-stages (including late stage) of hydrocarbon generation, and dispersal by regional unconformity, redistribution of hydrocarbon accumulation, etc., will be the difficulties for exploration.

  5. Tectonics and prospects of oil and gas in Tarim Basin

    SciTech Connect

    Kang Zhang; Darui Wang

    1996-12-31

    The authors put forward a new scheme for boundary line of Tarim plate with Tarim and Qaidam fault blocks. Tarim and Dunhuang basins, as well as some uplifts are developed in the Tarim fault block. The tectonics evolution of Tarim plate during the Phanerozoic has experienced a tension-pressure megacycle which consists of two cycles (Z-P and T-Q). Further, each cycle can be subdivided into two subcycles, and their ages are Z-D, C-P, Tr-J, and K-Q. They all have undergone the process of tension-pressure. The characters between each stage or region are different, owing to distinct evolutional background in the cycles or in tectonics position. The juxtaposition of different texture elements in the same geologic age and the super-position of some texture elements in different geologic age result in the formation of Tarim Basin with complex texture. Tarim Basin is rich in oil and gas resources, but some factors, such as long-term and multi-stages (including late stage) of hydrocarbon generation, and dispersal by regional unconformity, redistribution of hydrocarbon accumulation, etc., will be the difficulties for exploration.

  6. The Areal Extent of Continuous Type Gas Accumulations in Lower Silurian Clinton Sands and Medina Group Sandstones of the Appalachian Basin and the Environments Affected by Their Development

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wandrey, C.J.; Ryder, Robert T.; Nuccio, Vito F.; Aggen, Kerry L.

    1997-01-01

    In order to best preserve and manage our energy and natural resources we must understand the relationships between these resources and the impacts of their development. To further this understanding the U.S. Geological Survey is studying unconventional continuous-type and, to a lesser extent, conventional oil and gas accumulations and the environmental impacts associated with their development. Continuous-type gas accumulations are generally characterized by low matrix permeabilities, large areal extents, and no distinct water contacts. This basin scale map shows the overall extent of these accumulations and the general land use types that may be impacted by their development. The Appalachian Basin has the longest history of oil and gas exploration and production in the United States. Since Drake's Titusville discovery well was drilled in 1859, oil and gas has been continuously produced in the basin. While there is still a great deal of oil and gas production, new field discoveries are rare and relatively small. For most of the second half of the 20th century the Appalachian basin has been considered a mature petroleum province because most of the large plays have already been discovered and developed. One exception to this trend is the Lower Silurian Clinton Sands and Medina Group Gas play which is being developed in New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. This continuous-type gas play has been expanding since the early 1970's (see inset maps). In the 1980's economic incentives such as large increases in wellhead prices further stimulated continuous-type gas resource development. Continuous-type gas plays can be large in areal extent and in thickness. 'Sweetspots' (areas of greater prodcution) are hard to predict and generally associated with better than average permeabilities, and enhanced by natural fracture systems. With an overall success rate often approaching 90%, drilling most of the play with closely spaced wells is often the best way to maximize gas recovery

  7. Anaerobic BTEX degradation in oil sands tailings ponds: Impact of labile organic carbon and sulfate-reducing bacteria.

    PubMed

    Stasik, Sebastian; Wick, Lukas Y; Wendt-Potthoff, Katrin

    2015-11-01

    The extraction of bitumen from oil sands in Alberta (Canada) produces volumes of tailings that are pumped into large anaerobic settling-basins. Beside bitumen, tailings comprise fractions of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes (BTEX) that derive from the application of industrial solvents. Due to their toxicity and volatility, BTEX pose a strong concern for gas- and water-phase environments in the vicinity of the ponds. The examination of two pond profiles showed that concentrations of indigenous BTEX decreased with depth, pointing at BTEX transformation in situ. With depth, the relative contribution of ethylbenzene and xylenes to total BTEX significantly decreased, while benzene increased relatively from 44% to 69%, indicating preferential hydrocarbon degradation. To predict BTEX turnover and residence time, we determined BTEX degradation rates in tailings of different depths in a 180-days microcosm study. In addition, we evaluated the impact of labile organic substrates (e.g. acetate) generally considered to stimulate hydrocarbon degradation and the contribution of sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) to BTEX turnover. In all depths, BTEX concentrations significantly decreased due to microbial activity, with degradation rates ranging between 4 and 9 μg kg(-1) d(-1). BTEX biodegradation decreased linearly in correlation with initial concentrations, suggesting a concentration-dependent BTEX transformation. SRB were not significantly involved in BTEX consumption, indicating the importance of methanogenic degradation. BTEX removal decreased to 70-90% in presence of organic substrates presumptively due to an accumulation of acetate that lowered BTEX turnover due to product inhibition. In those assays SRB slightly stimulated BTEX transformation by reducing inhibitory acetate levels. PMID:26066083

  8. Reserves in western basins

    SciTech Connect

    Caldwell, R.H.; Cotton, B.W.

    1992-06-01

    This project requires generation of producible tight gas sand reserve estimates for three western basins. The requirement is to perform such reserve estimates using industry accepted practices so that results will have high credibility and acceptance by the oil and gas industry. The ultimate goal of the project is to encourage development of the tight gas formation by industry through reduction of the technical and economic risks of locating, drilling and completing commercial gas wells. The three geological basins selected for study are the Greater Green River Basin, Uinta Basin and Piceance Basin, located in the Colorado, Utah and Wyoming Rocky Mountain region.

  9. Reserves in western basins

    SciTech Connect

    Caldwell, R.H.; Cotton, B.W.

    1992-01-01

    This project requires generation of producible tight gas sand reserve estimates for three western basins. The requirement is to perform such reserve estimates using industry accepted practices so that results will have high credibility and acceptance by the oil and gas industry. The ultimate goal of the project is to encourage development of the tight gas formation by industry through reduction of the technical and economic risks of locating, drilling and completing commercial gas wells. The three geological basins selected for study are the Greater Green River Basin, Uinta Basin and Piceance Basin, located in the Colorado, Utah and Wyoming Rocky Mountain region.

  10. Geologic assessment of undiscovered conventional oil and gas resources--Middle Eocene Claiborne Group, United States part of the Gulf of Mexico Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hackley, Paul C.

    2012-01-01

    The Middle Eocene Claiborne Group was assessed using established U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) assessment methodology for undiscovered conventional hydrocarbon resources as part of the 2007 USGS assessment of Paleogene-Neogene strata of the United States part of the Gulf of Mexico Basin including onshore and State waters. The assessed area is within the Upper Jurassic-Cretaceous-Tertiary Composite total petroleum system, which was defined as part of the assessment. Source rocks for Claiborne oil accumulations are interpreted to be organic-rich downdip shaley facies of the Wilcox Group and the Sparta Sand of the Claiborne Group; gas accumulations may have originated from multiple sources including the Jurassic Smackover and Haynesville Formations and Bossier Shale, the Cretaceous Eagle Ford and Pearsall(?) Formations, and the Paleogene Wilcox Group and Sparta Sand. Hydrocarbon generation in the basin started prior to deposition of Claiborne sediments and is ongoing at present. Emplacement of hydrocarbons into Claiborne reservoirs has occurred primarily via vertical migration along fault systems; long-range lateral migration also may have occurred in some locations. Primary reservoir sands in the Claiborne Group include, from oldest to youngest, the Queen City Sand, Cook Mountain Formation, Sparta Sand, Yegua Formation, and the laterally equivalent Cockfield Formation. Hydrocarbon traps dominantly are rollover anticlines associated with growth faults; salt structures and stratigraphic traps also are important. Sealing lithologies probably are shaley facies within the Claiborne and in the overlying Jackson Group. A geologic model, supported by spatial analysis of petroleum geology data including discovered reservoir depths, thicknesses, temperatures, porosities, permeabilities, and pressures, was used to divide the Claiborne Group into seven assessment units (AU) with distinctive structural and depositional settings. The AUs include (1) Lower Claiborne Stable Shelf

  11. Oil Sands Operations in Alberta, Canada: A large source of secondary organic aerosol

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liggio, J.; Li, S. M.; Hayden, K.; Taha, Y. M.; Stroud, C.; Darlington, A. L.; Drollette, B.; Gordon, M.; Lee, P.; Liu, P.; Leithead, A.; Moussa, S.; Wang, D.; O'Brien, J.; Mittermeier, R. L.; Brook, J.; Lu, G.; Staebler, R. M.; Han, Y.; Tokarek, T. W.; Osthoff, H. D.; Makar, P.; Zhang, J.; Plata, D.; Gentner, D. R.

    2015-12-01

    Little is known of the reaction products of emissions to the atmosphere from extraction of oil from unconventional sources in the oil sands (OS) region of Alberta, Canada. This study examines these reaction products, and in particular, the extent to which they form secondary organic aerosol (SOA), which can significantly contribute to regional particulate matter formation. An aircraft measurement campaign was conducted over the Athabasca oil sands region between August 13 and September 7, 2013. A broad suite of measurements were made during 22 flights, including organic aerosol mass and composition with a High Resolution Time of Flight Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (HR-ToF-AMS) and organic aerosol gas-phase precursors by Proton Transfer Reaction (PTR) and off-line gas chromatography mass spectrometry. Large concentrations of organic aerosol were measured downwind of the OS region, which we show to be entirely secondary in nature. Laboratory experiments demonstrated that bitumen (the mined product) contains semi-volatile vapours in the C12-C18 range that will be emitted at ambient temperatures. When oxidized, these vapours form SOA with highly similar HR-ToF-AMS spectra to the SOA measured in the flights. Box modelling of the OS plume evolution indicated that the measured levels of traditional volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are not capable of accounting for the amount of SOA formed in OS plumes. This discrepancy is only reconciled in the model by including bitumen vapours along with their oxidation and condensation into the model. The concentration of bitumen vapours required to produce SOA matching observations is similar to that of traditional VOC precursors of SOA. It was further estimated that the cumulative SOA mass formation approximately 100 km downwind of the OS during these flights, and under these meteorological conditions was up to 82 tonnes/day. The combination of airborne measurements, laboratory experiments and box modelling indicated that semi

  12. Modern sand petrofacies in the Tonto and Salt River basins, central Arizona: Applying multivariate statistics to petrographic compositional analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Miksa, E.J. . Dept. of Geosciences); Heidke, J. )

    1993-04-01

    The Salt River and its tributary Tonto Creek occupy a large basin between the Mazatzal and Sierra Ancha Ranges. Over 200 sediment samples were collected from the Salt River, Tonto Creek, and their tributaries in order to identify discrete modern sand composition zones. The motivation for this study was to aid identification of archeological ceramic production locations. Most prehistoric ceramic production takes place within 1 km of raw material source areas. Identification of unique sand temper sources thereby aids in locating production areas and trade routes. Sediment samples were sieved and washed so that only the sand fraction remained. Samples were mounted in epoxy, thin-sectioned, and stained for K and Ca. Thin-sections were counted to 400 points using the Gazzi-Dickinson technique. Twenty-six grain types were identified, with special care being taken to distinguish among different rock fragments. Samples were divided into 15 likely petrofacies based on geologic maps and composition. Correspondence analysis was used with each grain type considered separately to further refine the petrofacies boundaries, resulting in 20 spatially and compositionally discrete groups. Discriminant analysis was used to test the possibility of separating samples from different petrofacies. For this test, grain types were grouped into categories (i.e. all metamorphic grains, all feldspars). Discrimination among the 20 petrofacies was found to be better than 75%.

  13. Assessment of undiscovered conventional oil and gas resources, onshore Claiborne Group, United Statespart of the northern Gulf of Mexico Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hackley, P.C.; Ewing, T.E.

    2010-01-01

    The middle Eocene Claiborne Group was assessed for undiscovered conventional hydrocarbon resources using established U.S. Geological Survey assessment methodology. This work was conducted as part of a 2007 assessment of Paleogene-Neogene strata of the northern Gulf of Mexico Basin, including the United States onshore and state waters (Dubiel et al., 2007). The assessed area is within the Upper Jurassic-CretaceousTertiary composite total petroleum system, which was defined for the assessment. Source rocks for Claiborne oil accumulations are interpreted to be organic-rich, downdip, shaley facies of the Wilcox Group and the Sparta Sand of the Claiborne Group; gas accumulations may have originated from multiple sources, including the Jurassic Smackover Formation and the Haynesville and Bossier shales, the Cretaceous Eagle Ford and Pearsall (?) formations, and the Paleogene Wilcox Group and Sparta Sand. Hydrocarbon generation in the basin started prior to deposition of Claiborne sediments and is currently ongoing. Primary reservoir sandstones in the Claiborne Group include, from oldest to youngest, the Queen City Sand, Cook Mountain Formation, Sparta Sand, Yegua Formation, and the laterally equivalent Cockfield Formation. A geologic model, supported by spatial analysis of petroleum geology data, including discovered reservoir depths, thicknesses, temperatures, porosities, permeabilities, and pressures, was used to divide the Claiborne Group into seven assessment units (AUs) with three distinctive structural and depositional settings. The three structural and depositional settings are (1) stable shelf, (2) expanded fault zone, and (3) slope and basin floor; the seven AUs are (1) lower Claiborne stable-shelf gas and oil, (2) lower Claiborne expanded fault-zone gas, (3) lower Claiborne slope and basin-floor gas, (4) lower Claiborne Cane River, (5) upper Claiborne stable-shelf gas and oil, (6) upper Claiborne expanded fault-zone gas, and (7) upper Claiborne slope and basin

  14. Pseudomonas diversity in crude-oil-contaminated intertidal sand samples obtained after the Prestige oil spill.

    PubMed

    Mulet, Magdalena; David, Zoyla; Nogales, Balbina; Bosch, Rafael; Lalucat, Jorge; García-Valdés, Elena

    2011-02-01

    The Galicia seashore, in northwestern Spain, was one of the shorelines affected by the Prestige oil spill in November 2002. The diversity of autochthonous Pseudomonas populations present at two beaches (Carnota municipality) was analyzed using culture-independent and culture-dependent methods. The first analysis involved the screening of an rpoD gene library. The second involved the isolation of 94 Pseudomonas strains that were able to grow on selective media by direct plating or after serial enrichments on several carbon sources: biphenyl, gentisate, hexadecane, methylnaphthalene, naphthalene, phenanthrene, salicylate, xylene, and succinate. Eight denitrifying Pseudomonas strains were also isolated by their ability to grow anaerobically with nitrate. The calculated coverage index for Pseudomonas species was 89% when clones and isolates were considered together, and there were 29 phylospecies detected. The most abundant were members of the species P. stutzeri, P. putida, P. anguilliseptica, and P. oleovorans. Thirty-one isolates could not be identified at the species level and were considered representatives of 16 putative novel Pseudomonas species. One isolate was considered representative of a novel P. stutzeri genomovar. Concordant results were obtained when the diversities of the cloned DNA library and the cultured strains were compared. The clone library obtained by the rpoD PCR method was a useful tool for evaluating Pseudomonas communities and also for microdiversity studies of Pseudomonas populations. PMID:21131512

  15. Assessment of undiscovered conventional oil and gas resources of Bonaparte Basin, Browse Basin, Northwest Shelf, and Gippsland Basin Provinces, Australia, 2011

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pollastro, Richard M.; Brownfield, Michael E.; Charpentier, Ronald R.; Cook, Troy A.; Klett, Timothy R.; Kirschbaum, Mark A.; Pitman, Janet K.; Schenk, Christopher J.

    2012-01-01

    Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated means of 4.7 billion barrels of undiscovered oil and 227 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered natural gas in three major offshore petroleum basins of northwest Australia and in the Gippsland Basin of southeast Australia.

  16. Sand patties provide evidence for the presence of Deepwater Horizon oil on the beaches of the West Florida Shelf.

    PubMed

    McDaniel, L D; Basso, J; Pulster, E; Paul, J H

    2015-08-15

    The ecological consequences of the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill are both long-term and pervasive. The distribution of toxicity and mutagenicity in the Gulf of Mexico suggests oil from the DWH spill could have contaminated the West Florida Shelf (WFS). We utilized polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) analysis to determine presence and potential origin of oil contaminants in beach sand patty samples. PAH profiles from WFS beaches were statistically significantly similar to DWH contaminated samples from the Northeast Gulf of Mexico (Gulf Shores, AL; Ft. Pickens, FL). Dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate (DOSS), a major component of Corexit 9500 dispersant was also detected in the sediments. DOSS concentrations ranged from 1.6 to 5.5ngg(-1) dry weight. Additionally, two samples from DWH oil contaminated beaches were acutely toxic and one WFS beach sediment sample was mutagenic. These observations provide support for the theory that DWH oil made its way onto beaches of the WFS. PMID:26104828

  17. Dielectric properties of oil sands at 2.45 GHz with TE1,0,11 mode determined by a rectangular cavity resonator.

    PubMed

    Erdogan, Levent; Akyel, Cevdet; Ghannouchi, Fadhel M

    2011-01-01

    Oil obtained from oil sands resources constitute an important portion of the oil industry in Canada. Extraction of the bitumen from oil sands is very crucial process because of its cost and environmental impact. Microwave energy applicators by heating oil sands at microwave frequencies can be an excellent alternative to extract bitumen with the advantages of being potentially cost-effective and environmentally friendly method of extraction. In order to design and manufacture a microwave energy applicator, its dielectric properties must be known. In this study, as the first part of our ultimate microwave energy applicator project, in advance, the complex permittivity of oil sands was measured by using rectangular cavity resonator, designed and fabricated in Ecole Polytechnique de Montréal laboratories, at 2.45 GHz with TE1,0,1 mode. The accuracy of the permittivity measurement results obtained with the developed system was verified against those obtained using a commercial open-ended probe system as well the values of well known materials documented in open literature. Since there is no study found in the literature about the complex permittivity values of oil sands at 2.45 GHz, the present study would be of great help and important guide for those who plan to design and manufacture microwave energy applicators in order to extract the bitumen from the oil sands. PMID:24427869

  18. Biomarker characteristics of crude oils from the Qaidam basin, NW China

    SciTech Connect

    Ritts, B.D.; Hanson, A.D.; Moldowan, J.M.; Ekuan, A.

    1996-12-31

    The Qaidam basin, northwest China, has producing oil fields in the northwestern and northeastern corners of the basin. However, the petroleum systems in the basin and molecular organic geochemistry of the oils are undocumented. Jurassic and Tertiary petroleum source rocks occur throughout the northern Gaidam basin, and in surrounding mountain belts. The nonmarine Tertiary section contains thick sections of carbonate and evaporite-rich, hypersaline lacustrine mudstones, interbedded with alluvial and fluvial sandstones and conglomerates. In contrast, nonmarine Jurassic source rocks consist of laminated, black, lacustrine shales and related coals that were deposited in humid fluvial environments. Oils from the northwestern Qaidam basin have consistent biomarker and non-biomarker molecular organic geochemistry parameters, including low pristane: phytane ratio high-levels of gammacerane and C{sub 34} and C{sub 35} homohopanes, and the presence of {Beta} and {gamma}-carotane. These parameters indicate the source rock was deposited in a hypersaline, anoxic, reducing lacustrine environment, and probably had a significant carbonate or evaporate component. Based on geologic and geochemical data, the source rocks for these oils were in the Tertiary lacustrine section. Some oils from the northeastern part of the basin are similar geochemically to those from the northwest Qaidam basin, and also are derived from Tertiary hypersaline lacustrine source rocks. Other oils from the northeastern part of the basin are distinct in geochemical character. These oils have high pristane: phytane ratios, and do not contain hypersaline lacustrine indicators, as do northwestern Qaidam oils. The high pristane: phytane ratio, low relative abundance of C{sub 34} and C{sub 35} homohopanes and high terpane: sterane ratio, suggest a nonmarine origin for the northeastern Qaidam oils. These data indicate that Jurassic lacustrine shales were source rocks for oils in the northeastern Qaidam basin.

  19. Bioprocessing-Based Approach for Bitumen/Water/Fines Separation and Hydrocarbon Recovery from Oil Sands Tailings

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Brigmon, Robin L.; Berry, Christopher J.; Wade, Arielle; Simpson, Waltena

    2016-05-04

    Oil sands are a major source of oil, but their industrial processing generates tailings ponds that are an environmental hazard. The main concerns are mature fine tailings (MFT) composed of residual hydrocarbons, water, and fine clay. Tailings ponds include toxic contaminants such as heavy metals, and toxic organics including naphthenics. Naphthenic acids and polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) degrade very slowly and pose a long-term threat to surface and groundwater, as they can be transported in the MFT. Research into improved technologies that would enable densification and settling of the suspended particles is ongoing. In batch tests, BioTiger™, a microbial consortium thatmore » can metabolize PAHs, demonstrated improved oil sands tailings settling from a Canadian tailings pond. Results also showed, depending on the timing of the measurements, lower suspended solids and turbidity. Elevated total organic carbon was observed in the first 48 hours in the BioTiger™-treated columns and then decreased in overlying water. Oil sands tailings mixed with BioTiger™ showed a two-fold reduction in suspended solids within 24 hours as compared to abiotic controls. The tailings treated with BioTiger™ increased in microbial densities three orders of magnitude from 8.5 × 105 CFU/mL to 1.2 × 108 CFU/mL without any other carbon or energy source added, indicating metabolism of hydrocarbons and other available nutrients. Results demonstrated that bioaugmentation of BioTiger™ increased separation of organic carbon from particles in oil sands and enhanced settling with tailings with improved water quality.« less

  20. The extraction of bitumen from western oil sands. Final report, July 1989--September 1993

    SciTech Connect

    Oblad, A.G.; Bunger, J.W.; Dahlstrom, D.A.; Deo, M.D.; Fletcher, J.V.; Hanson, F.V.; Miller, J.D.; Seader, J.D.

    1994-03-01

    Research and development of surface extraction and upgrading processes of western tar sands are described. Research areas included modified hot water, fluidized bed, and rotary kiln pyrolysis of tar sands for extraction of bitumen. Bitumen upgrading included solvent extraction of bitumen, and catalytic hydrotreating of bitumen. Characterization of Utah tar sand deposits is also included.

  1. Oil sands thickened froth treatment tailings exhibit acid rock drainage potential during evaporative drying.

    PubMed

    Kuznetsov, Petr; Kuznetsova, Alsu; Foght, Julia M; Siddique, Tariq

    2015-02-01

    Bitumen extraction from oil sands ores after surface mining produces different tailings waste streams: 'froth treatment tailings' are enriched in pyrite relative to other streams. Tailings treatment can include addition of organic polymers to produce thickened tailings (TT). TT may be further de-watered by deposition into geotechnical cells for evaporative drying to increase shear strength prior to reclamation. To examine the acid rock drainage (ARD) potential of TT, we performed predictive analyses and laboratory experiments on material from field trials of two types of thickened froth treatment tailings (TT1 and TT2). Acid-base accounting (ABA) of initial samples showed that both TT1 and TT2 initially had net acid-producing potential, with ABA values of -141 and -230 t CaCO₃ equiv. 1000 t(-1) of TT, respectively. In long-term kinetic experiments, duplicate ~2-kg samples of TT were incubated in shallow trays and intermittently irrigated under air flow for 459 days to simulate evaporative field drying. Leachates collected from both TT samples initially had pH~6.8 that began decreasing after ~50 days (TT2) or ~250 days (TT1), stabilizing at pH~2. Correspondingly, the redox potential of leachates increased from 100-200 mV to 500-580 mV and electrical conductivity increased from 2-5 dS m(-1) to 26 dS m(-1), indicating dissolution of minerals during ARD. The rapid onset and prolonged ARD observed with TT2 is attributed to its greater pyrite (13.4%) and lower carbonate (1.4%) contents versus the slower onset of ARD in TT1 (initially 6.0% pyrite and 2.5% carbonates). 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing analysis revealed rapid shift in microbial community when conditions became strongly acidic (pH~2) favoring the enrichment of Acidithiobacillus and Sulfobacillus bacteria in TT. This is the first report showing ARD potential of TT and the results have significant implications for effective management of pyrite-enriched oil sands tailings streams/deposits. PMID:25306090

  2. Assessing the potential environmental impact of Athabasca oil sands development in lakes across Northwest Saskatchewan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahad, J. M.; Cumming, B. F.; Das, B.; Sanei, H.

    2011-12-01

    The continued development of Canada's Athabasca oil sands poses a significant environmental challenge. Low buffered boreal lakes located downwind of the prevailing eastward wind direction may be threatened by acidification and elevated inputs of airborne contaminants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). An accurate assessment of the impact that increased levels of bitumen production may have on lakes in the region requires an understanding of the historic variability within these systems prior to at least the past several decades. Here we report concentrations of PAHs, δ13C and δ15N of organic matter (OM), Rock-Eval pyrolysis analyses, and distributions of n-alkanes in dated sediment cores from ten lakes located across NW Saskatchewan. Concentrations of PAHs were relatively low (< 100 ng/g for Σ 16 EPA Priority PAHs at each lake) and in general showed no substantial increases over the past 30 years. Retene, which is often associated with the combustion of coniferous wood, was generally the most abundant PAH amongst those reported, demonstrating the importance of forest fires as a principal PAH source. Plots of Hydrogen Index (HI) versus Oxygen Index (OI) fell within a relatively narrow range typical for sediments containing a high content of algal-derived OM. Relatively lower C/N ratios and higher abundances of C17 n-alkane in more recent sediments pointed to an increasingly larger component of algal-derived OM. In all ten lakes δ13C showed gradual upcore depletions that fell within the expected range for fossil fuel combustion (i.e., Suess effect), although this alone may not explain the up to ~3% depletion observed in several of the lakes. In conjunction with the other upcore trends these data may suggest a possible increase in primary productivity over the past several decades in many of the lakes studied. δ15N signatures were more variable, showing upcore increases in some lakes and upcore depletions in others. The increasingly lighter values

  3. Atmospheric dry deposition of sulfur and nitrogen in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, Alberta, Canada.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Yu-Mei; Bytnerowicz, Andrzej; Fenn, Mark E; Percy, Kevin E

    2016-10-15

    Due to the potential ecological effects on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems from atmospheric deposition in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR), Alberta, Canada, this study was implemented to estimate atmospheric nitrogen (N) and sulfur (S) inputs. Passive samplers were used to measure ambient concentrations of ammonia (NH3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), nitric acid/nitrous acid (HNO3/HONO), and sulfur dioxide (SO2) in the AOSR. Concentrations of NO2 and SO2 in winter were higher than those in summer, while seasonal differences of NH3 and HNO3/HONO showed an opposite trend, with higher values in summer. Concentrations of NH3, NO2 and SO2 were high close to the emission sources (oil sands operations and urban areas). NH3 concentrations were also elevated in the southern portion of the domain indicating possible agricultural and urban emission sources to the southwest. HNO3, an oxidation endpoint, showed wider ranges of concentrations and a larger spatial extent. Concentrations of NH3, NO2, HNO3/HONO and SO2 from passive measurements and their monthly deposition velocities calculated by a multi-layer inference model (MLM) were used to calculate dry deposition of N and S. NH3 contributed the largest fraction of deposited N across the network, ranging between 0.70-1.25kgNha(-1)yr(-1), HNO3/HONO deposition ranged between 0.30-0.90kgNha(-1)yr(-1), and NO2 deposition between 0.03-0.70kgNha(-1)yr(-1). During the modeled period, average dry deposition of the inorganic gaseous N species ranged between 1.03 and 2.85kgNha(-1)yr(-1) and SO4-S deposition ranged between 0.26 and 2.04kgha(-1)yr(-1). Comparisons with co-measured ion exchange resin throughfall data (8.51kgSha(-1)yr(-1)) indicate that modeled dry deposition combined with measured wet deposition (1.37kgSha(-1)yr(-1)) underestimated S deposition. Gas phase NH3 (71%) and HNO3 plus NO2 (79%) dry deposition fluxes dominated the total deposition of NH4-N and NO3-N, respectively. PMID:27295600

  4. Airborne Measurements of Aerosol Emissions From the Alberta Oil Sands Complex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howell, S. G.; Clarke, A. D.; McNaughton, C. S.; Freitag, S.

    2012-12-01

    The Alberta oil sands contain a vast reservoir of fossil hydrocarbons. The extremely viscous bitumen requires significant energy to extract and upgrade to make a fluid product suitable for pipelines and further refinement. The mining and upgrading process constitute a large industrial complex in an otherwise sparsely populated area of Canada. During the ARCTAS project in June/July 2008, while studying forest fire plumes, the NASA DC-8 and P-3B flew through the plume a total of 5 times. Once was a coordinated visit by both aircraft; the other 3 were fortuitous passes downwind. One study has been published about gas emissions from the complex. Here we concentrate on aerosol emissions and aging. As previously reported, there appear to be at least 2 types of plumes produced. One is an industrial-type plume with vast numbers of ultrafine particles, SO2, sulfate, black carbon (BC), CO, and NO2. The other, probably from the mining, has more organic aerosol and BC together with dust-like aerosols at 3 μm and a 1 μm mode of unknown origin. The DC-8 crossed the plume about 10 km downwind of the industrial site, giving time for the boundary layer to mix and enabling a very crude flux calculation suggesting that sulfate and organic aerosols were each produced at about 500 g/s (estimated errors are a factor of 2, chiefly due to concerns about vertical mixing). Since this was a single flight during a project dedicated to other purposes and operating conditions and weather may change fluxes considerably, this may not be a typical flux. As the plume progresses downwind, the ultrafine particles grow to sizes effective as cloud condensation nucei (CCN), SO2 is converted to sulfate, and organic aerosol is produced. During fair weather in the summer, as was the case during these flights, cloud convection pumps aerosol above the mixed layer. While the aerosol plume is difficult to detect from space, NO2 is measured by the OMI instrument an the Aura satellite and the oil sands plume

  5. Initial geochemical characteristics of fluid fine tailings in an oil sands end pit lake.

    PubMed

    Dompierre, Kathryn A; Lindsay, Matthew B J; Cruz-Hernández, Pablo; Halferdahl, Geoffrey M

    2016-06-15

    Geochemical characteristics of fluid fine tailings (FFT) were examined in Base Mine Lake (BML), which is the first full-scale demonstration oil sands end pit lake (EPL) in northern Alberta, Canada. Approximately 186Mm(3) of FFT was deposited between 1994 and 2012, before BML was established on December 31, 2012. Bulk FFT samples (n=588) were collected in July and August 2013 at various depths at 15 sampling sites. Temperature, solid content, electrical conductivity (EC), pH, Eh and alkalinity were measured for all samples. Detailed geochemical analyses were performed on a subset of samples (n=284). Pore-water pH decreased with depth by approximately 0.5 within the upper 10m of the FFT. Major pore-water constituents included Na (880±96mgL(-1)) and Cl (560±95mgL(-1)); Ca (19±4.1mgL(-1)), Mg (11±2.0mgL(-1)), K (16±2.3mgL(-1)) and NH3 (9.9±4.7mgL(-1)) were consistently observed. Iron and Mn concentrations were low within FFT pore water, whereas SO4 concentrations decreased sharply across the FFT-water interface. Geochemical modeling indicated that FeS(s) precipitation was favoured under SO4-reducing conditions. Pore water was also under-saturated with respect to gypsum [CaSO4·2H2O], and near saturation with respect to calcite [CaCO3], dolomite [CaMg(CO3)2] and siderite [FeCO3]. X-ray diffraction (XRD) suggested that carbonate-mineral dissolution largely depleted calcite and dolomite. X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) spectroscopy revealed the presence of FeS(s), pyrite [FeS2], and siderite. Carbonate-mineral dissolution and secondary mineral precipitation have likely contributed to FFT dewatering and settlement. However, the long-term importance of these processes within EPLs remains unknown. These results provide a reference for assessing the long-term geochemical evolution of oil sands EPLs, and offer insight into the chemistry of pore water released from FFT to the overlying water cover. PMID:26974568

  6. Multicomponent seismic reservoir characterization of a steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) heavy oil project, Athabasca oil sands, Alberta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schiltz, Kelsey Kristine

    Steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) is an in situ heavy oil recovery method involving the injection of steam in horizontal wells. Time-lapse seismic analysis over a SAGD project in the Athabasca oil sands deposit of Alberta reveals that the SAGD steam chamber has not developed uniformly. Core data confirm the presence of low permeability shale bodies within the reservoir. These shales can act as barriers and baffles to steam and limit production by prohibiting steam from accessing the full extent of the reservoir. Seismic data can be used to identify these shale breaks prior to siting new SAGD well pairs in order to optimize field development. To identify shale breaks in the study area, three types of seismic inversion and a probabilistic neural network prediction were performed. The predictive value of each result was evaluated by comparing the position of interpreted shales with the boundaries of the steam chamber determined through time-lapse analysis. The P-impedance result from post-stack inversion did not contain enough detail to be able to predict the vertical boundaries of the steam chamber but did show some predictive value in a spatial sense. P-impedance from pre-stack inversion exhibited some meaningful correlations with the steam chamber but was misleading in many crucial areas, particularly the lower reservoir. Density estimated through the application of a probabilistic neural network (PNN) trained using both PP and PS attributes identified shales most accurately. The interpreted shales from this result exhibit a strong relationship with the boundaries of the steam chamber, leading to the conclusion that the PNN method can be used to make predictions about steam chamber growth. In this study, reservoir characterization incorporating multicomponent seismic data demonstrated a high predictive value and could be useful in evaluating future well placement.

  7. Tar sands

    SciTech Connect

    Wennekers, J.H.N.

    1981-10-01

    The four largest oil sand deposits contain over 90% of the world's known heavy oil. The total heavy oil and bitumen in place, estimated at nearly 6 trillion barrels is almost entirely concentrated in western Canada, principally Alberta, and eastern Venezuela. The known tar sand resource in the United States consists of about 550 occurrences located in 22 states. The total oil in place in 39 of these occurrences is estimated to be between 23.7 billion and 32.7 billion barrels. At least 90% of this resource is located in Utah. Other significant deposits are in Texas, New Mexico, California, and Kentucky. Bituminous sand deposits and petroleum-impregnated rocks are found in Malagasy, Albania, Rumania, the USSR, and Trinidad. 4 figures, 2 tables. (DP)

  8. Petroleum source rock potential and crude oil correlation in Great Basin

    SciTech Connect

    Poole, F.G.; Claypool, G.E.

    1985-05-01

    Petroleum source beds in the Great Basin region include marine Paleozoic rocks and nonmarine upper Mesozoic and lower Cenozoic rocks. Potential source beds have been identified in continental-rise deposits of the Ordovician Vinini and Devonian Woodruff formations if the eastern part of the Roberts Mountains allochthon (Antler orogene), in central and north-central Nevada; in flysch-trough and prodelta-basin deposits of the Mississippian Chainman Shale and equivalent rocks of the Antler foreland basin, in Nevada and western Utah; and in lake-basin deposits of the Cretaceous Neward Canyon Formation and the Paleogene Sheep Pass and Elko formations and equivalent rocks, in central and eastern Nevada. Oil fields in the Great Basin are located with Neogene-Quaternary basins that formed during neogene basin-range block faulting. Most of the oil shows and crude oils analyzed can be correlated with Mississippian or paleogene source rocks. The Mississippian Chainman Shale is confirmed as the major petroleum source rock, having generated the oil in the Trap Spring, Bacon Flat, and Grant Canyon fields in Railroad Valley and the Blackburn field in Pine Valley. The Paleogene Sheep Pass Formation is the source of the oil in the Eagle Springs field and probably the Current field in Railroad Valley. Oil occurrences in the northern Great Basin are believed to be derived from two or more other Tertiary lacustrine sequences.

  9. Technology assessment: environmental, health, and safety impacts associated with oil recovery from US tar-sand deposits

    SciTech Connect

    Daniels, J.I.; Anspaugh, L.R.; Ricker, Y.E.

    1981-10-13

    The tar-sand resources of the US have the potential to yield as much as 36 billion barrels (bbls) of oil. The tar-sand petroleum-extraction technologies now being considered for commercialization in the United States include both surface (above ground) systems and in situ (underground) procedures. The surface systems currently receiving the most attention include: (1) thermal decomposition processes (retorting); (2) suspension methods (solvent extraction); and (3) washing techniques (water separation). Underground bitumen extraction techniques now being field tested are: (1) in situ combustion; and (2) in situ steam-injection procedures. At this time, any commercial tar-sand facility in the US will have to comply with at least 7 major federal regulations in addition to state regulations; building, electrical, and fire codes; and petroleum-industry construction standards. Pollution-control methods needed by tar-sand technologies to comply with regulatory standards and to protect air, land, and water quality will probably be similar to those already proposed for commercial oil-shale systems. The costs of these systems could range from about $1.20 to $2.45 per barrel of oil produced. Estimates of potential pollution-emisson levels affecting land, air, and water were calculated from available data related to current surface and in situ tar-sand field experiments in the US. These data were then extrapolated to determine pollutant levels expected from conceptual commercial surface and in situ facilities producing 20,000 bbl/d. The likelihood-of-occurrence of these impacts was then assessed. Experience from other industries, including information concerning health and ecosystem damage from air pollutants, measurements of ground-water transport of organic pollutants, and the effectiveness of environmental-control technologies was used to make this assessment.

  10. Geochemical behavior and dissolved species control in acid sand pit lakes, Sepetiba sedimentary basin, Rio de Janeiro, SE - Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marques, Eduardo D.; Sella, Sílvia M.; Bidone, Edison D.; Silva-Filho, Emmanoel V.

    2010-12-01

    This work shows the influence of pluvial waters on dissolved components and mineral equilibrium of four sand pit lakes, located in the Sepetiba sedimentary basin, SE Brazil. The sand mining activities promote sediment oxidation, lowering pH and increasing SO 4 contents. The relatively high acidity of these waters, similar to ore pit lakes environment and associated acid mine drainage, increases weathering rate, especially of silicate minerals, which produces high Al concentrations, the limiting factor for fish aquaculture. During the dry season, basic cations (Ca, Mg, K and Na), SiO 2 and Al show their higher values due to evapoconcentration and pH are buffered. In the beginning of the wet season, the dilution factor by rainwater increases SO 4 and decreases pH values. The aluminum monomeric forms (Al(OH) 2+ and Al(OH) 2+), the most toxic species for aquatic organisms, occur during the dry season, while AlSO 4+ species predominate during the wet season. Gibbsite, allophane, alunite and jurbanite are the reactive mineral phases indicated by PHREEQC modeling. During the dry season, hydroxialuminosilicate allophane is the main phase in equilibrium with the solution, while the sulphate salts alunite and jurbanite predominate in the rainy season due to the increasing of SO 4 values. Gibbsite is also in equilibrium with sand pit lakes waters, pointing out that hydrolysis reaction is a constant process in the system. Comparing to SiO 2, sulphate is the main Al retriever in the pit waters because the most samples (alunite and jurbanite) are in equilibrium with the solution in both seasons. This Al hydrochemical control allied to some precaution, like pH correction and fertilization of these waters, allows the conditions for fishpond culture. Equilibrium of the majority samples with kaolinite (Ca, Mg, Na diagrams) and primary minerals (K diagram) points to moderate weathering rate in sand pit sediments, which cannot be considered for the whole basin due to the anomalous

  11. Sedimentation and petrology of Fanshawe sand, Red Oak field, Arkoma basin, Oklahoma

    SciTech Connect

    Pittman, E.D.; Wray, L.L. )

    1989-08-01

    The Fanshawe sand, a very fine to fine-grained lithic sandstone, probably formed in moderate to deep water downslope from a delta system to the east. Sediment-laden discharge flowed from east to west as channelized, bottom-hugging density currents. Deposition of the Fanshawe sand seems to have been restricted to a west-southwest-trending zone approximately 2 mi wide on the north side of Red Oak field. The sand is a composite of a series of narrow, shifting, meandering submarine channels that often are stacked. Stratigraphic cross sections show extreme variability, even along depositional strike, and individual channels typically are narrower than the distance between development wells. Reservoir quality is enhanced where these narrow channels coalesce horizontally and vertically. Net sand thickness ranges from 36 to 180 ft with associated reserves of up to 14 bcf/well. Completion rates can reach 8 mmcf/day with decline rates averaging 6%. Preliminary results of an increased density drilling program further substantiate the narrow, sinuous nature of these fan channels. Air drilling causes severe hole washouts, making net pay determinations questionable. But by mapping overall net sand trends, it is possible to high-grade drilling prospects. Prediction of porosity development, however, remains difficult. Porosity in the Fanshawe is due to (1) precipitation of pore-lining chlorite, which retarded quartz cementation by blocking potential nucleation sites on detrital quartz grains and preserved primary porosity, and (2) dissolution of feldspars and lithic fragments. The better reservoir rock has both porosity types. Where pore-lining chlorite was absent, thin, or discontinuous, quartz overgrowths developed and intergranular porosity decreased. This created a pore geometry consisting of poorly interconnected, disseminated, intragranular/moldic, dissolution pores and low permeability.

  12. D-area oil seepage basin bioventing optimization test plan

    SciTech Connect

    Berry, C.J.; Radway, J.C.; Alman, D.; Hazen, T.C.

    1998-12-31

    The D Area Oil Seepage Basin (DOSB) was used from 1952 to 1975 for disposal of petroleum-based products (waste oils), general office and cafeteria waste, and apparently some solvents [trichloroethylene (TCE)/tetrachloroethylene (PCE)]. Numerous analytical results have indicated the presence of TCE and its degradation product vinyl chloride in groundwater in and around the unit, and of petroleum hydrocarbons in soils within the unit. The DOSB is slated for additional assessment and perhaps for environmental remediation. In situ bioremediation represents a technology of demonstrated effectiveness in the reclamation of sites contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons and chlorinated solvents, and has been retained as an alternative for the cleanup of the DOSB. The Savannah River Site is therefore proposing to conduct a field treatability study designed to demonstrate and optimize the effectiveness of in situ microbiological biodegradative processes at the DOSB. The introduction of air and gaseous nutrients via two horizontal injection wells (bioventing) is expected to enhance biodegradation rates of petroleum components and stimulate microbial degradation of chlorinated solvents. The data gathered in this test will allow a determination of the biodegradation rates of contaminants of concern in the soil and groundwater, allow an evaluation of the feasibility of in situ bioremediation of soil and groundwater at the DOSB, and provide data necessary for the functional design criteria for the final remediation system.

  13. Sand injectites network as a marker of the palaeo-stress field, the structural framework and the distance to the sand source: Example in the Vocontian Basin, SE France

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monnier, Damien; Gay, Aurélien; Imbert, Patrice; Cavailhes, Thibault; Soliva, Roger; Lopez, Michel

    2015-10-01

    A large sand injectite network is very well exposed in the area of Bevons, Southeast France. The associated sandstone turbiditic channel-fill and the host marls are the Aptian-Albian rocks of the Vocontian Basin. The sand injection network is composed of dykes, sills and sedimentary laccoliths ranging in thickness from mm to pluri-m. The dykes and sills have vertical and horizontal lengths of up to and over 100 m and 1 km, respectively. Outcrop observations show that the architecture and morphology of the sand injectites in the marls is governed by the local stress field during injection, pre-existing faults, the host-rock lithology, compaction, and distance to the potential sand source(s). The main set of dykes is oriented N50-60° perpendicular to the minimum compressive stress σ3 during sand injection. Two other sets of dykes are intruded along pre-existing syn-sedimentary faults oriented N140-150° (set 2) and N90° (set 3) during the Apto-Cenomanian interval. Sills and dykes thin laterally away from their potential sand sources and thin laterally away from them. The vertical thickness variations of the dykes and wings are more complex, as thinning away from the sand sources is often compensated by thickening toward the palaeo-surface. Based on field observations and measurements, we characterized the 3D architecture of the sand injectites and showed that the injectites probably formed due to a forceful injection from an overpressured sand body sealed by low-permeability lithologies.

  14. Tectonic and geodynamic setting of oil and gas basins of the Soviet Union

    SciTech Connect

    Khain, V.E.; Sokolov, B.A. ); Kleshchev, K.A.; Shein, V.S. )

    1991-02-01

    Within the territory of the Soviet Union and its off-shore economic zone are about 70 sedimentary basins containing oil and gas. The basins include almost all basin types described in present-day plate-tectonic classifications, namely (1) intracontinental and pericontinental rifts, suprarift syneclises, and zones of pericratonic downwarps; (2) ancient passive margins of continents with adjacent overthrust fold system; (3) modern passive margins of continents; (4) zones of convergence of lithospheric plates (i.e., zones of subduction of oceanic plates below continental plates); and (5) zones of collision of continental lithospheric plates. So, far, the only type of basin not identified within the territory of the Soviet Union is the pull-apart basin. The location and distribution of oil and gas deposits in the section of a basin, prevailing types of traps, and scale of potential resources are all features influenced by the geodynamic type of the basin.

  15. Environmental, health, safety, and socioeconomic concerns associated with oil recovery from US tar-sand deposits: state-of-knowledge

    SciTech Connect

    Daniels, J.I.; Anspaugh, L.R.; Ricker, Y.E.

    1982-01-08

    Tar-sand petroleum-extraction procedures undergoing field testing for possible commercial application in the US include both surface (above-ground) and in situ (underground) procedures. The surface tar-sand systems currently being field tested in the US are thermal decomposition processes (retorting), and suspension methods (solvent extraction). Underground bitumen extraction procedures that are also being field tested domestically are in situ combustion and steam-injection. Environmental, health, safety, and socioeconomic concerns associated with construction and operation of 20,000-bbl/d commercial tar-sand surface and in situ facilities have been estimated and are summarized in this report. The principal regulations that commercial tar-sand facilities will need to address are also discussed, and environmental control technologies are summarized and wherever possible, projected costs of emission controls are stated. Finally, the likelihood-of-occurrence of potential environmental, health, and safety problems that have been determined are reviewed, and from this information inference is made as to the environmental acceptability of technologically feasible 20,000-bbl/d commercial tar-sand oil-extraction procedures.

  16. Air Quality Over the Canadian Oil Sands: A First Assessment Using Satellite Observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McLinden, C. A.; Fioletov, V.; Boersma, K. F.; Krotkov, N.; Sioris, C. E.; Veefkind, J. P.; Yang, K.

    2012-01-01

    Results from the first assessment of air quality over the Canadian oil sands -- one ofthe largest industrial undertakings in human history -- using satellite remote sensing observations of two pollutants, nitrogen dioxide (N0O) and sulfur dioxide (SO2), are presented. High-resolution maps were created that revealed distinct enhancements in both species over an area (roughly 30 km x 50 km) of intensive surface mining at scales of a few kilometers. The magnitude of these enhancements, quantified in terms of total mass, are comparable to the largest seen in Canada from individual sources. The rate of increase in NO2 between 2005 and 2010 was assessed at 10.4 +/- 3.5%/year and resulted from increases both in local values as well as the spatial extent of the enhancement. This is broadly consistent with both surface-measurement trends and increases in annual bitumen production. An increase in SO2 was also found, but given larger uncertainties, it is not statistically significant.

  17. Identification of estrogenic compounds in oil sands process waters by effect directed analysis.

    PubMed

    Yue, Siqing; Ramsay, Bruce A; Brown, R Stephen; Wang, Jiaxi; Ramsay, Juliana A

    2015-01-01

    Using effect directed analysis, the presence of estrogenic components in untreated and biologically treated oil sands process water (OSPW) was detected with the yeast estrogenic screening assay after fractionation with solid phase extraction followed by reversed phase high performance liquid chromatography. Comparison of the composition, as determined by electrospray ionization combined with high-resolution linear trap quadropole (LTQ)-Orbitrap Velos Pro hybrid mass spectrometry (negative ion) of selected estrogenic and nonestrogenic fractions identified compounds that were uniquely present in the estrogenic samples, biologically treated and untreated. Of the 30 most abundant compounds, there were 14 possible nonaromatic structures and 16 possible aromatic structures. Based on the published literature, the latter are the most likely to cause estrogenicity and were O2, O3 and O4 C17 to C20 compounds with double bond equivalents between 6 and 10 and chemical formulas similar to estrone- and estradiol-like compounds. This study shows exact formulas and masses of possible estrogenic compounds in OSPW. These findings will help to focus study on the most environmentally significant components in OSPW. PMID:25521156

  18. Pseudomonads biodegradation of aromatic compounds in oil sands process-affected water.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yanyan; McPhedran, Kerry N; Gamal El-Din, Mohamed

    2015-07-15

    Aromatic naphthenic acids (NAs) have been shown to be more toxic than the classical NAs found in oil sands process-affected water (OSPW). To reduce this toxicity, Pseudomonas fluorescens and Pseudomonas putida were used to determine their ability to biodegrade aromatic compounds including treatments considering the impacts of external carbon and iron addition. Results showed that with added carbon P. fluorescens and P. putida have the capability of biodegrading these aromatics. In the presence of external carbon, gene expression of a functional PAH-ring hydroxylating dioxygenase (PAH-RHDα) was determined through reverse transcription real-time PCR, suggesting active degradation of OSPW aromatic compounds. Although no significant classical NAs removal was observed during this process, toxicity was reduced by 49.3% under optimal conditions. OSPW toxicity was eliminated with the combination of ozonation at a dose of 80 mg/L followed by biodegradation, indicating that it is a promising combined OSPW treatment approach for the safe discharge to the aquatic environment. PMID:25828413

  19. Sulfate reducing bacteria and their activities in oil sands process-affected water biofilm.

    PubMed

    Liu, Hong; Yu, Tong; Liu, Yang

    2015-12-01

    Biofilm reactors were constructed to grow stratified multispecies biofilm in oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) supplemented with growth medium. The development of sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) within the biofilm and the biofilm treatment of OSPW were evaluated. The community structure and potential activity of SRB in the biofilm were investigated with H2S microsensor measurements, dsrB gene-based denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), and the real time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Multispecies biofilm with a thickness of 1000 μm was successfully developed on engineered biocarriers. H2S production was observed in the deeper anoxic zone of the biofilm from around 750 μm to 1000 μm below the bulk water-biofilm interface, revealing sulfate reduction in the deeper zone of the stratified biofilm. The biofilm removed chemical oxygen demand (COD), sulfate, and nitrogen. The study expands current knowledge of biofilm treatment of OSPW and the function of anaerobic SRB in OSPW biofilm, and thus provides information for future bioreactor development in the reclamation of OSPW. PMID:26204047

  20. Toxicity and composition profiles of solid phase extracts of oil sands process-affected water.

    PubMed

    Yue, Siqing; Ramsay, Bruce A; Wang, Jiaxi; Ramsay, Juliana

    2015-12-15

    After fractionation using sequential solid phase extraction, the presence of toxic components in oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) was detected by the Microtox® acute toxicity assay using effect-directed analysis. The composition of each fraction was determined by high-resolution electrospray ionization-Orbitrap mass spectrometry. Partial least-squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) was used to determine which chemical constituents in all seven fractions co-varied most strongly with toxicity. Although O2 compounds with double bond equivalence (DBE) between 3 and 9 positively correlated with toxicity, C15-C18 O2-NAs with DBE=4 (tricyclic structure), as well as C14-C17 O2-NAs with DBE=3 (bicyclic structure), were found to be most likely associated with OSPW toxicity, consistent with published toxicity studies of surrogate NAs. O4, many O3 (i.e. possibly hydroxylated O2 c-NAs) and a few O2 compounds were found to negatively correlate with toxicity. The results demonstrate the utility of the fractionation and the PLS-DA approach for evaluating composition-response relationships in a complex mixture and also contribute to a better understanding of the toxic compounds in OSPW. These findings will help to focus study on the most environmentally significant components in OSPW. PMID:26318810

  1. Predicting project environmental performance under market uncertainties: case study of oil sands coke.

    PubMed

    McKellar, Jennifer M; Bergerson, Joule A; Kettunen, Janne; MacLean, Heather L

    2013-06-01

    A method combining life cycle assessment (LCA) and real options analyses is developed to predict project environmental and financial performance over time, under market uncertainties and decision-making flexibility. The method is applied to examine alternative uses for oil sands coke, a carbonaceous byproduct of processing the unconventional petroleum found in northern Alberta, Canada. Under uncertainties in natural gas price and the imposition of a carbon price, our method identifies that selling the coke to China for electricity generation by integrated gasification combined cycle is likely to be financially preferred initially, but eventually hydrogen production in Alberta is likely to be preferred. Compared to the results of a previous study that used life cycle costing to identify the financially preferred alternative, the inclusion of real options analysis adds value as it accounts for flexibility in decision-making (e.g., to delay investment), increasing the project's expected net present value by 25% and decreasing the expected life cycle greenhouse gas emissions by 11%. Different formulations of the carbon pricing policy or changes to the natural gas price forecast alter these findings. The combined LCA/real options method provides researchers and decision-makers with more comprehensive information than can be provided by either technique alone. PMID:23675646

  2. Oxidation of Oil Sands Process-Affected Water by Potassium Ferrate(VI).

    PubMed

    Wang, Chengjin; Klamerth, Nikolaus; Huang, Rongfu; Elnakar, Haitham; Gamal El-Din, Mohamed

    2016-04-19

    This paper investigates the oxidation of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) by potassium ferrate(VI). Due to the selectivity of ferrate(VI) oxidation, two-ring and three-ring fluorescing aromatics were preferentially removed at doses <100 mg/L Fe(VI), and one-ring aromatics were removed only at doses ≥100 mg/L Fe(VI). Ferrate(VI) oxidation achieved 64.0% and 78.4% removal of naphthenic acids (NAs) at the dose of 200 mg/L and 400 mg/L Fe(VI) respectively, and NAs with high carbon number and ring number were removed preferentially. (1)H nuclear magnetic resonance ((1)H NMR) spectra indicated that the oxidation of fluorescing aromatics resulted in the opening of some aromatic rings. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) analysis detected signals of organic radical intermediates, indicating that one-electron transfer is one of the probable mechanisms in the oxidation of NAs. The inhibition effect of OSPW on Vibrio fischeri and the toxicity effect on goldfish primary kidney macrophages (PKMs) were both reduced after ferrate(VI) oxidation. The fluorescing aromatics in OSPW were proposed to be an important contributor to this acute toxicity. Degradation of model compounds with ferrate(VI) was also investigated and the results confirmed our findings in OSPW study. PMID:27008571

  3. Isotopic Evidence for Oil Sands Petroleum Coke in the Peace-Athabasca Delta.

    PubMed

    Jautzy, Josué J; Ahad, Jason M E; Gobeil, Charles; Smirnoff, Anna; Barst, Benjamin D; Savard, Martine M

    2015-10-20

    The continued growth of mining and upgrading activities in Canada's Athabasca oil sands (AOS) region has led to concerns about emissions of contaminants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Whereas a recent increase in PAH emissions has been demonstrated within around 50 km of the main center of surface mining and upgrading operations, the exact nature of the predominant source(s) and the geographical extent of the deposition are still under debate. Here, we report a century-long source apportionment of PAHs using dual (δ(2)H, δ(13)C) compound-specific isotope analysis on phenanthrene deposited in a lake from the Athabasca sector of the Peace-Athabasca Delta situated ∼150 km downstream (north) of the main center of mining operations. The isotopic signatures in the core were compared to those of the main potential sources in this region (i.e., unprocessed AOS bitumen, upgrader residual coke, forest fires, coal, gasoline and diesel soot). A significant concurrent increase (∼55.0‰) in δ(2)H and decrease (∼1.5‰) in δ(13)C of phenanthrene over the last three decades pointed to an increasingly greater component of petcoke-derived PAHs. This study is the first to quantify long-range (i.e., >100 km) transport of a previously under-considered anthropogenic PAH source in the AOS region. PMID:26404505

  4. Sulfur dioxide (SO2) vertical column density measurements by Pandora spectrometer over the Canadian oil sands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fioletov, Vitali E.; McLinden, Chris A.; Cede, Alexander; Davies, Jonathan; Mihele, Cristian; Netcheva, Stoyka; Li, Shao-Meng; O'Brien, Jason

    2016-07-01

    Vertical column densities (VCDs) of SO2 retrieved by a Pandora spectral sun photometer at Fort McKay, Alberta, Canada, from 2013 to 2015 were analysed. The Fort McKay site is located in the Canadian oil sands region, approximately 20 km north of two major SO2 sources (upgraders), with total emission of about 45 kt yr-1. Elevated SO2 VCD values were frequently recorded by the instrument, with the highest values of about 9 Dobson Units (DU; DU = 2.69 × 1016 molecules cm-2). Comparisons with co-located in situ measurements demonstrated that there was a very good correlation between VCDs and surface concentrations in some cases, while in other cases, elevated VCDs did not correspond to high surface concentrations, suggesting the plume was above the ground. Elevated VCDs and surface concentrations were observed when the wind direction was from south to southeast, i.e. from the direction of the two local SO2 sources. The precision of the SO2 measurements, estimated from parallel measurements by two Pandora instruments at Toronto, is 0.17 DU. The total uncertainty of Pandora SO2 VCD, estimated using measurements when the wind direction was away from the sources, is less than 0.26 DU (1σ). Comparisons with integrated SO2 profiles from concurrent aircraft measurements support these estimates.

  5. Woody plant establishment in grassed reclamation areas of the Athabasca oil sands

    SciTech Connect

    Fedkenheuer, A.W.

    1980-12-01

    The primary end land use for areas disturbed by the Syncrude Canada Ltd. oil sands surface mining venture is forest cover. Short term erosion control is of concern, however, and this results in the early establishment of a grass and legume cover. Problems have subsequently been encountered in attempts to establish woody plants in the grass and legume cover. Vegetation competition for soil moisture and nutrients and rodent damage to woody seedlings have been the major problem areas. A study was initiated in 1978 to evaluate methods of manipulating the grass and legume cover sufficiently to improve success rates in establishing a variety of shrubs and trees. Five replicated treatments using the chemical herbicide glyphosate, soil scarification and fire alone plus soil scarification were established on an area seeded to grass and legumes in spring 1976. Woody plant survival and rodent damage, populations and distribution are being assessed annually in spring and fall. Rodent damage to woody seedlings was heavy in fall 1978 with 80 percent of the deciduous seedlings on non-scarified plots being damaged. In June 1979, 98 percent of the deciduous plants on the control and herbicide treatment areas were damaged. Damage to conifers was approximately 30 percent less during this time. Prescribed burning and mechanical scarification substantially reduced rodent damage. Seedling survival was variable with Amelanchier alnifolia, Pinus contorta and Populus tremuloides consistently exhibiting the highest survival rates.

  6. Measuring solid percentage of oil sands mature fine tailings using the dual probe heat pulse method.

    PubMed

    Li, Min; Barbour, S Lee; Si, Bing Cheng

    2015-01-01

    The reclamation of mature fine tailings (MFT) is a critical challenge for the oil sands industry in western Canada, and a nonradioactive, automated, and inexpensive method to monitor the MFT solidification is needed. The objective of this paper is to evaluate the feasibility of a dual-probe heat pulse (DPHP) method to measure MFT solid percentage. Dual-probe heat pulse measurements were performed on three MFT samples, each at various solid percentages. A linear relationship ( = 0.9495 + 0.0558) was established between the DPHP-measured solid percentage () and that of oven-dry method (). Six additional MFT samples were collected and measured to validate the DPHP method. The specific heats of the six MFT solids were measured independently using a modulated differential scanning calorimetry method, and the sensitivity of DPHP-measured MFT solid percentage to the specific heat of MFT solids was evaluated. The result shows that the DPHP method can be used to accurately measure MFT solid percentages, and the accuracy can be further improved if the specific heat of the MFT solids is measured independently. PMID:25602345

  7. Early Cretaceous to Paleocene North American Drainage Reorganization and Sediment Routing from Detrital Zircons: Significance to the Alberta Oil Sands and Gulf of Mexico Petroleum Provinces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blum, M. D.

    2014-12-01

    Detrital zircons (DZs) represent a powerful tool for reconstructing continental paleodrainage. This paper uses new DZ data from Lower Cretaceous strata of the Alberta foreland basin, and Upper Cretaceous and Cenozoic strata of the Gulf of Mexico passive margin, to reconstruct paleodrainage and sediment routing, and illustrate significance to giant hydrocarbon systems. DZ populations from the Lower Cretaceous Mannville Group of Alberta and Saskatchewan infer a continental-scale river system that routed sediment from the eastern 2/3rds of North America to the Boreal Sea. Aptian McMurray Formation fluvial sands were derived from a drainage sourced in the Appalachians that was similar in scale to the modern Amazon. Albian fluvial sandstones of the Clearwater and Grand Rapids Formations were derived from the same Appalachian-sourced drainage area, which had expanded to include tributaries from the Cordilleran arc of the northwest US and southwest Canada. DZ populations from the Gulf of Mexico coastal plain complement this view, showing that only the southern US and Appalachian-Ouachita cordillera was integrated with the Gulf through the Late Cretaceous. However, by the Paleocene, drainage from the US Western Cordillera to the Appalachians had been routed to the Gulf of Mexico, establishing the template for sediment routing that persists today. The paleodrainage reorganization and changes in sediment routing described above played key roles in establishment of the Alberta oil sands and Gulf of Mexico as giant petroleum provinces. Early Cretaceous routing of a continental-scale fluvial system to the Alberta foreland provided large and contiguous fluvial point-bar sand bodies that became economically viable reservoirs, whereas mid- to late Cretaceous drainage reorganization routed greatly increased sediment loads to the Gulf of Mexico, which loaded the shelf, matured source rocks, and drove the gravitational and salt tectonics that helped establish the working hydrocarbon

  8. Oil potential of Tertiary basins in southwest Montana and eastern Nevada

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, E.H.

    1987-08-01

    An analogy is made between Tertiary basins in southwest Montana and eastern Nevada. Seismic data show basins in both areas to be north-south trending grabens with large, basin-bounding normal faults most pronounced along the eastern perimeters of the basins. At least two stages of basin development are evident: (1) early volcanism and basinwide small-scale normal faulting covered by hundreds of feet of valley fill, and (2) subsequent development of basin-bounding faults and the syndeposition of sediment wedges thousands of feet thick. Underlying the Tertiary valley fill are organic-rich paleozoic shales such as the Devonian Pilot and Mississippian Chainman Shales of eastern Nevada, and the Devonian Sappington, Mississippian Big Snowy, and Permian Phosphoria shales of southwest Montana. Considerable volumes of these rich sources appear to have been thermally immature prior to burial and are presently subjected to optimum temperatures for hydrocarbon generation (180/sup 0/-220/sup 0/F) beneath 7000-10,000 ft of valley fill. Oil is currently believed to be generated in the basin centers and moves to structural traps at the basin perimeters along complex migration paths. Perimeter anticlines may project deep into a basin, providing conduits that aid in the collection and movement of oil into traps. Also, any trap in the center of a basin may be saturated with oil. Specific comparisons are made between producing fields in Railroad Valley, Nevada, and similar structures in several Montana Tertiary basins.

  9. Receptor Modeling of Epiphytic Lichens to Elucidate the Sources and SpatialDistribution of Inorganic Air Pollution in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region

    EPA Science Inventory

    The contribution of inorganic air pollutant emissions to atmospheric deposition in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR) of Alberta, Canada was investigated in the surrounding boreal forests, using a common epiphytic lichen bio-indicator species (Hypogymnia physodes) and applyi...

  10. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in caribou, moose, and wolf scat samples from three areas of the Alberta oil sands.

    PubMed

    Lundin, Jessica I; Riffell, Jeffrey A; Wasser, Samuel K

    2015-11-01

    Impacts of toxic substances from oil production in the Alberta oil sands (AOS), such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), have been widely debated. Studies have been largely restricted to exposures from surface mining in aquatic species. We measured PAHs in Woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou), moose (Alces americanus), and Grey wolf (Canis lupus) across three areas that varied in magnitude of in situ oil production. Our results suggest a distinction of PAH level and source profile (petro/pyrogenic) between study areas and species. Caribou samples indicated pyrogenic sourced PAHs in the study area previously devastated by forest fire. Moose and wolf samples from the high oil production area demonstrated PAH ratios indicative of a petrogenic source and increased PAHs, respectively. These findings emphasize the importance of broadening monitoring and research programs in the AOS. PMID:26284348

  11. Approach to Assessing the Effects of Aerial Deposition on Water Quality in the Alberta Oil Sands Region.

    PubMed

    Dayyani, Shadi; Daly, Gillian; Vandenberg, Jerry

    2016-02-01

    Snow cover forms a porous medium that acts as a receptor for aerially deposited polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and metals. The snowpack, acting as a temporary storage reservoir, releases contaminants accumulating over the winter during a relatively short melt period. This process could result in elevated concentrations of contaminants in melt water. Recent studies in the Alberta oil sands region have documented increases in snowpack and lake sediment concentrations; however, no studies have addressed the fate and transport of contaminants during the snowmelt period. This study describes modelling approaches that were developed to assess potential effects of aerially deposited PAHs and metals to snowpack and snowmelt water concentrations. The contribution of snowmelt to freshwater PAH concentrations is assessed using a dynamic, multi-compartmental fate model, and the contribution to metal concentrations is estimated using a mass-balance approach. The modelling approaches described herein were applied to two watersheds in the Alberta oil sands region for two planned oil sands developments. Accumulation of PAHs in a lake within the deposition zone was also modelled for comparison to observed concentrations. PMID:26803105

  12. A Decade of Change in NO2 and SO2 over the Canadian Oil Sands As Seen from Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mclinden, Chris A.; Fioletov, Vitali; Krotkov, Nickolay A.; Li, Can; Boersma, K. Folkert; Adams, Cristen

    2015-01-01

    A decade (20052014) of observations from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) were used to examine trends in nitrogen dioxide(NO2) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) over a large region of western Canada and the northern United States, with a focus on the Canadian oil sands. In the oil sands, primarily over an area of intensive surface mining, NO2 tropospheric vertical column densities (VCDs) are seen to be increasing by as much as 10year, with the location of the largest trends in a newly developing NO2 lobe well removed from surface monitoring stations. SO2 VCDs in the oil sands have remained approximately constant. The only other significant increase in the region was seen in NO2 over Bakken gas fields in North Dakota which showed increases of up to5yr. By contrast, other locations in the region show substantial declines in both pollutants, providing strong evidence to the efficacy of environmental pollution control measures implemented by both nations. The OMI-derived trends were found to be consistent with those from the Canadian surface monitoring network, although in the case of SO2, it was necessary to apply a correction in order to remove the residual signal from volcanic eruptions present in the OMI data.

  13. Plasma proteome profiles of White Sucker (Catostomus commersonii) from the Athabasca River within the oil sands deposit.

    PubMed

    Simmons, Denina B D; Sherry, James P

    2016-09-01

    There are questions about the potential for oil sands related chemicals to enter the Athabasca River, whether from tailing ponds, atmospheric deposition, precipitation, or transport of mining dust, at concentrations sufficient to negatively impact the health of biota. We applied shotgun proteomics to generate protein profiles of mature male and female White Sucker (Catostomus commersonii) that were collected from various sites along the main stem of the Athabasca River in 2011 and 2012. On average, 399±131 (standard deviation) proteins were identified in fish plasma from each location in both years. Ingenuity Pathway Analysis software was used to determine the proteins' core functions and to compare the datasets by location, year, and sex. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to determine if variation in the number of proteins related to a core function among all male and female individuals from both sampling years was affected by location. The core biological functions of plasma proteins that were common to both sampling years for males and females from each location were also estimated separately (based on Ingenuity's Knowledge Base). PCA revealed site-specific differences in the functional characteristics of the plasma proteome from white sucker sampled from downstream of oil sands extraction facilities compared with fish from upstream. Plasma proteins that were unique to fish downstream of oil sands extraction were related to lipid metabolism, small molecule biochemistry, vitamin and mineral metabolism, endocrine system disorders, skeletal and muscular development and function, neoplasia, carcinomas, and gastrointestinal disease. PMID:27013027

  14. Understanding ozone formation and the radical budget during oil sands plume transport in the Athabasca region of Alberta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moussa, S. G.; Leithead, A.; Li, S. M.; Wang, D. K.; O'brien, J.; Mittermeier, R. L.; Gordon, M.; Staebler, R. M.; Liu, P.; Liggio, J.

    2015-12-01

    The sources of ozone and hydroxyl radicals (OH) in the Alberta oil sands (OS) region have not previously been well characterized. In the summer of 2013, airborne measurements of various volatile organic compounds (VOCs), nitrogen oxides (NOx = NO2+NO) and ozone were made in the Athabasca OS region between August 13 and September 7, 2013. Proton Transfer Reaction-Time of Flight-Mass Spectrometry (PTR-ToF-MS) and whole air samples were used to measure VOCs. A box model incorporating the Master Chemical Mechanism (MCM v3.3), was constrained by measured chemical species and meteorological parameters and used to simulate the evolution of an OS plume. In doing so, an improved understanding of the chemical factors controlling the radical budget and the evolution of ozone in oil sands plumes is achieved. Our results indicate that approximately 20% of the in-plume generated OH radicals are derived from primary sources (HCHO, O3 and HONO photolysis). The remaining OH is derived from the recycling of hydroperoxyl radical (HO2). The HO2 and alkyl peroxyl radical (RO2) chemistry leads to 35% of the ozone formation in the plume, while the main sink for ozone in the plume was via reactions with alkenes (anthropogenic and biogenic). The results of this work will help to characterize ozone formation and the factors influencing its atmospheric fate in the oil sands region.

  15. A Decade of Change in NO2 and SO2 over the Canadian Oil Sands As Seen from Space.

    PubMed

    McLinden, Chris A; Fioletov, Vitali; Krotkov, Nickolay A; Li, Can; Boersma, K Folkert; Adams, Cristen

    2016-01-01

    A decade (2005-2014) of observations from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) were used to examine trends in nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) over a large region of western Canada and the northern United States, with a focus on the Canadian oil sands. In the oil sands, primarily over an area of intensive surface mining, NO2 tropospheric vertical column densities (VCDs) are seen to be increasing by as much as 10%/year, with the location of the largest trends in a newly developing NO2 "lobe" well removed from surface monitoring stations. SO2 VCDs in the oil sands have remained approximately constant. The only other significant increase in the region was seen in NO2 over Bakken gas fields in North Dakota which showed increases of up to 5%/yr. By contrast, other locations in the region show substantial declines in both pollutants, providing strong evidence to the efficacy of environmental pollution control measures implemented by both nations. The OMI-derived trends were found to be consistent with those from the Canadian surface monitoring network, although in the case of SO2, it was necessary to apply a correction in order to remove the residual signal from volcanic eruptions present in the OMI data. PMID:26642237

  16. Scanning electron microscopic investigations of root structural modifications arising from growth in crude oil-contaminated sand.

    PubMed

    Balasubramaniyam, Anuluxshy; Harvey, Patricia J

    2014-11-01

    The choice of plant for phytoremediation success requires knowledge of how plants respond to contaminant exposure, especially their roots which are instrumental in supporting rhizosphere activity. In this study, we investigated the responses of plants with different architectures represented by beetroot (Beta vulgaris), a eudicot with a central taproot and many narrower lateral roots, and tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea), a monocot possessing a mass of threadlike fibrous roots to grow in crude oil-treated sand. In this paper, scanning electron microscopy was used to investigate modifications to plant root structure caused by growth in crude oil-contaminated sand. Root structural disorders were evident and included enhanced thickening in the endodermis, increased width of the root cortical zone and smaller diameter of xylem vessels. Inhibition in the rate of root elongation correlated with the increase in cell wall thickening and was dramatically pronounced in beetroot compared to the roots of treated fescue. The latter possessed significantly fewer (p < 0.001) and significantly shorter (p < 0.001) root hairs compared to control plants. Possibly, root hairs that absorb the hydrophobic contaminants may prevent contaminant absorption into the main root and concomitant axile root thickening by being sloughed off from roots. Tall fescue exhibited greater root morphological adaptability to growth in crude oil-treated sand than beetroot and, thus, a potential for long-term phytoremediation. PMID:24958531

  17. Phytotoxicity and naphthenic acid dissipation from oil sands fine tailings treatments planted with the emergent macrophyte Phragmites australis.

    PubMed

    Armstrong, Sarah A; Headley, John V; Peru, Kerry M; Mikula, Randy J; Germida, James J

    2010-01-01

    During reclamation the water associated with the runoff or groundwater flushing from dry stackable tailings technologies may become available to the reclaimed environment within an oil sands lease. Here we evaluate the performance of the emergent macrophyte, common reed (Phragmites australis), grown in chemically amended mature fine tailings (MFT) and simulated runoff/seepage water from different MFT drying treatments. The present study also investigated the phytotoxicity of the concentration of oil sands naphthenic acids (NAs) in different MFT drying chemical treatments, in both planted and unplanted systems. We demonstrate that although growth was reduced, the emergent macrophyte common reed was capable of growing in diluted unamended MFT runoff, as well as in diluted runoff from MFT amended with either 0.25% lime and gypsum or 0.5% gypsum. Common reed can thus assist in the dewatering process of oil sands MFT. However, simulated runoff or seepage waters from chemically amended and dried MFT were phytotoxic, due to combined levels of salts, naphthenic acids and pH. Phytoremediation of runoff water/ground water seepage from dry-land applied MFT will thus require pre-treatment in order to make conditions more favorable for plant growth. PMID:20486009

  18. Geochemical evidence for Paleozoic oil in Lower Cretaceous O Sandstone, northern Denver basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clayton, J.L.

    1989-01-01

    Organic geochemical properties of the oil produced from the Lower Cretaceous O sandstone on the eastern flank of the Denver basin indicate that this oil has been derived from a different source rock than other Cretaceous oils in the basin. O sandstone oil is characterized by low pristane/phytane ratio, high isoprenoid/n-alkane ratios, high asphaltene content, high sulfur content, and slight predominance of even-carbon numbered n-alkanes in the C25+ fraction. These features are evidence of a Paleozoic source and indicate a carbonate rock is the likely source. Preliminary source rock evaluation and correlation data suggest that calcareous black shales and marls of Middle Pennsylvanian (Desmoinesian) age are the source of the O sandstone oil. This is the first reported occurrence of oil from Paleozoic source rocks in a Cretaceous reservoir in the Denver basin. -from Author

  19. Primary oil-shale resources of the Green River Formation in the eastern Uinta Basin, Utah

    SciTech Connect

    Trudell, L.G.; Smith, J.W.; Beard, T.N.; Mason, G.M.

    1983-04-01

    Resources of potential oil in place in the Green River Formation are measured and estimated for the primary oil-shale resource area east of the Green River in Utah's Uinta Basin. The area evaluated (Ts 7-14 S, Rs 19-25 E) includes most of, and certainly the best of Utah's oil-shale resource. For resource evaluation the principal oil-shale section is divided into ten stratigraphic units which are equivalent to units previously evaluated in the Piceance Creek Basin of Colorado. Detailed evaluation of individual oil-shale units sampled by cores, plus estimates by extrapolation into uncored areas indicate a total resource of 214 billion barrels of shale oil in place in the eastern Uinta Basin.

  20. Potential evaluation of CO2 storage and enhanced oil recovery of tight oil reservoir in the Ordos Basin, China.

    PubMed

    Tian, Xiaofeng; Cheng, Linsong; Cao, Renyi; Zhang, Miaoyi; Guo, Qiang; Wang, Yimin; Zhang, Jian; Cui, Yu

    2015-07-01

    Carbon -di-oxide (CO2) is regarded as the most important greenhouse gas to accelerate climate change and ocean acidification. The Chinese government is seeking methods to reduce anthropogenic CO2 gas emission. CO2 capture and geological storage is one of the main methods. In addition, injecting CO2 is also an effective method to replenish formation energy in developing tight oil reservoirs. However, exiting methods to estimate CO2 storage capacity are all based on the material balance theory. This was absolutely correct for normal reservoirs. However, as natural fractures widely exist in tight oil reservoirs and majority of them are vertical ones, tight oil reservoirs are not close. Therefore, material balance theory is not adaptive. In the present study, a new method to calculate CO2 storage capacity is presented. The CO2 effective storage capacity, in this new method, consisted of free CO2, CO2 dissolved in oil and CO2 dissolved in water. Case studies of tight oil reservoir from Ordos Basin was conducted and it was found that due to far lower viscosity of CO2 and larger solubility in oil, CO2 could flow in tight oil reservoirs more easily. As a result, injecting CO2 in tight oil reservoirs could obviously enhance sweep efficiency by 24.5% and oil recovery efficiency by 7.5%. CO2 effective storage capacity of Chang 7 tight oil reservoir in Longdong area was 1.88 x 10(7) t. The Chang 7 tight oil reservoir in Ordos Basin was estimated to be 6.38 x 10(11) t. As tight oil reservoirs were widely distributed in Songliao Basin, Sichuan Basin and so on, geological storage capacity of CO2 in China is potential. PMID:26387353

  1. Sequence stratigraphy of a Pliocene delta complex deposited in an active margin setting, Etchegoin and San Joaquin gas sands, San Joaquin basin, California

    SciTech Connect

    Steward, D.C.

    1996-12-31

    Prolific gas sands of the Pliocene Etchegoin and San Joaquin formations of the southern San Joaquin basin, California, are part of a 1300-m thick succession of deltaic sediments that record the final regression of the Pacific Ocean from a tectonically active, restricted basin associated with the California transform margin. Individual field studies, lacking a regional framework and based primarily on electric log data, correlate these gas sands to the extent that individual sands maintain the same stratigraphic level within the succession. However, a high-resolution sequence stratigraphic framework, constructed from recent 3D-seismic data and detailed well log correlations on the Bakersfield Arch area of the basin, indicates that the Pliocene succession is part of a south/southwest prograding delta complex. Therefore, sands climb up-section in the landward direction and grade laterally from deep-water to shallow-water facies. Because lithofacies boundaries cross chronostratigraphic surfaces, previous interpretations of the reservoir architecture are inaccurate. This model increases predictability of reservoir facies by constraining lithofacies mapping and enables interpretation of the effects on deposition of the integrated and inter-related controls of tectonics, eustatic sea-level change, and sediment supply. With this understanding, a well-defined model of the stratal architecture of the Pliocene succession of the southern San Joaquin basin is now possible.

  2. Sequence stratigraphy of a Pliocene delta complex deposited in an active margin setting, Etchegoin and San Joaquin gas sands, San Joaquin basin, California

    SciTech Connect

    Steward, D.C. )

    1996-01-01

    Prolific gas sands of the Pliocene Etchegoin and San Joaquin formations of the southern San Joaquin basin, California, are part of a 1300-m thick succession of deltaic sediments that record the final regression of the Pacific Ocean from a tectonically active, restricted basin associated with the California transform margin. Individual field studies, lacking a regional framework and based primarily on electric log data, correlate these gas sands to the extent that individual sands maintain the same stratigraphic level within the succession. However, a high-resolution sequence stratigraphic framework, constructed from recent 3D-seismic data and detailed well log correlations on the Bakersfield Arch area of the basin, indicates that the Pliocene succession is part of a south/southwest prograding delta complex. Therefore, sands climb up-section in the landward direction and grade laterally from deep-water to shallow-water facies. Because lithofacies boundaries cross chronostratigraphic surfaces, previous interpretations of the reservoir architecture are inaccurate. This model increases predictability of reservoir facies by constraining lithofacies mapping and enables interpretation of the effects on deposition of the integrated and inter-related controls of tectonics, eustatic sea-level change, and sediment supply. With this understanding, a well-defined model of the stratal architecture of the Pliocene succession of the southern San Joaquin basin is now possible.

  3. Pricaspian depression - the unique oil & gas-bearing basin of the World

    SciTech Connect

    Abdulin, A.A.; Daukeev, S.Z.; Votsalevsky, E.S.

    1995-08-01

    The Pricaspian depression is a unique oil and gas-bearing basin. The total sedimentary rock volume in the basin is about 8 million km{sup 3}. More than 100 oil and gas fields have been discovered in the basin including extremely large fields, such as Tengiz, Astrakhan, and Karachaganak. The basin is filled with Devonian to Neogene sediments, a very wide range in age for a single sedimentary basin. The range in age and composition of the rocks results in complex geology, complex conditions for producing oil and gas, and complex phase states of the hydrocarbons present. The basin fill comprises the Paleozoic section below the Kungurian salt, the Kungurian and Kungurian to Permian salt-bearing section, and the upper Permian to Paleogene and Neogene sedimentary complexes above the salt. The thick sedimentary succession and specific oil and gas productivity are what make the Pricaspian basin a unique sedimentary basin. The geologic structure and basin evolution during the Paleozoic, details of sedimentation in the Devonian to Early Permian, initial salt deposition and the dynamic evolution of salt domes, hydrocarbon generation and accumulation zones, various trap types, field types, hydrodynamic regimes, and hydrochemical content of groundwater are discussed in the paper.

  4. Tracing recent environmental changes and pedogenesis using geochemistry and micromorphology of alluvial soils, Sabie-Sand River Basin, South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eze, Peter N.; Knight, Jasper; Evans, Mary

    2016-09-01

    Three pedons on the alluvial terraces of the Sabie-Sand River Basin within Kruger National Park, South Africa, were studied to improve our understanding of recent environmental changes, and assess degree of chemical weathering and pedogenesis in the area using geochemical and micromorphology proxies. Particle-size distributions were obtained using Malvern Mastersizer; soil geochemistry was determined by XRF and thin sections by routine laboratory procedures. The soils are predominantly sandy (> 94% sand in all samples). The mean phi-values of the soils had little variation suggesting that reworking of sediments upwards in individual profiles produced a more uniform pedogenesis rather than coming from different physical sources. Calcification is the dominant pedogenic process in these alluvial soils. The Chemical Index of Alteration (CIA) proved a more suitable index than Chemical Index of Weathering (CIW) for evaluating weathering in the terraces. The micromass and b-fabrics are mostly granostriated and partly brown mosaic speckled. MISECA values for the degree of soil development range from 4 to 9, which mean weakly to moderately-developed soils. Coarse secondary calcite nodules and coatings are responsible for cementation as observed in pedon 2, which suggests calcium carbonate precipitation from periodical flooding and evaporating groundwater events. The features and diagnostic properties of the soils on the alluvial terraces along the Sabie-Sand River provide evidence for land surface impacts of recent environmental changes in this internationally important conservation area. Precise dating of calcium carbonate precipitates is, however, needed to put the observed evidence into a wider geochronological perspective.

  5. Offshore Beaufort-Mackenzie basin and Amauligak oil discovery

    SciTech Connect

    Sharpe, R.J.; Gurba, G.J.; Sleumer, B.H.G.

    1988-01-01

    A variety of complex structural styles and depositional environments host hydrocarbon accumulations in the offshore Beaufort-Mackenzie basin. At present, only one of these, the Amauligak field, appears large enough to serve as a lead project to spur commercial development of the area. All offshore Beaufort discoveries to date occur in sandstones ranging from Paleocene to Oligocene in age. All occur in deltaic or delta-derived sediments ranging from delta-plain deposits to submarine fan/turbidites. In the western Beaufort, sediments are deformed into a series of linear diapiric features interpreted to be thrusted anticlines, possible associated with strike-slip faulting. Similarly, the Tarsiut area immediately to the east is dominated by diapiric anticlines crosscut by a major east-west-trending fault, also possibly a strike-slip fault. In contrast, the central and eastern portions of the offshore Beaufort, where Amauligak is located, are characterized by growth faulting in the sand-rich Oligocene depocenter. To the north, in a basinward direction, unfaulted diapiric anticlines are draped by submarine fans. These structures may in part be related to the gravitational faults to the south. The Amauligak field is located in the growth fault province. It is contained with a large, south-dipping, simple fault-bounded structure in which hydrocarbons are trapped against the north-bounding listric fault. Sediments penetrated at Amauligak include more than 1,500 m of interbedded Oligocene sandstones and shales, the sandstones representing primarily delta-front deposits. Distinctive shale markers are the probable result of the switching of major deltaic lobes.

  6. Oil geochemistry of the northern Llanos Basin, Colombia. A model for migration

    SciTech Connect

    Ramon, J.C.; Dzou, L.

    1996-12-31

    The chemical composition of 23 crude oils and one oil seep from Llanos Basin, Colombia were studied in detail by geochemical methods in order to understand their genetic relationship. A filling history model is proposed to explain the observed composition variations in Llanos Basin oils. Geochemical fingerprinting indicates that there are six families of crude oils. The biomarker compositions have been used to identify characteristics of the source rocks. The Llanos oils contain marine algal- derived {open_quotes}C30 steranes{close_quotes} (i.e., 24-n-propylcholestanes), which are diagnostic for oils generated from marine Cretaceous source rocks. A significant HC-contribution from a Tertiary source is also indicated by the presence of high concentration of the {open_quotes}flowering plant{close_quotes}-markers oleanane, bicadinanes and oleanoids. Low DBT/Phen, %sulfur values and high diasteranes concentration indicate that the source rock is clay-rich. Biomarker maturity parameters indicate a wide range of source-rock thermal maturities from early to late oil window. Heavy biodegradation has been particularly common among the first oils to fill reservoirs in central Llanos oil fields. The older altered heavy oils were mixed with a second pulse of oil explaining the wide range of oil gravities measured in the central Llanos Basin.

  7. Oil geochemistry of the northern Llanos Basin, Colombia. A model for migration

    SciTech Connect

    Ramon, J.C. ); Dzou, L. )

    1996-01-01

    The chemical composition of 23 crude oils and one oil seep from Llanos Basin, Colombia were studied in detail by geochemical methods in order to understand their genetic relationship. A filling history model is proposed to explain the observed composition variations in Llanos Basin oils. Geochemical fingerprinting indicates that there are six families of crude oils. The biomarker compositions have been used to identify characteristics of the source rocks. The Llanos oils contain marine algal- derived [open quotes]C30 steranes[close quotes] (i.e., 24-n-propylcholestanes), which are diagnostic for oils generated from marine Cretaceous source rocks. A significant HC-contribution from a Tertiary source is also indicated by the presence of high concentration of the [open quotes]flowering plant[close quotes]-markers oleanane, bicadinanes and oleanoids. Low DBT/Phen, %sulfur values and high diasteranes concentration indicate that the source rock is clay-rich. Biomarker maturity parameters indicate a wide range of source-rock thermal maturities from early to late oil window. Heavy biodegradation has been particularly common among the first oils to fill reservoirs in central Llanos oil fields. The older altered heavy oils were mixed with a second pulse of oil explaining the wide range of oil gravities measured in the central Llanos Basin.

  8. Could Poor Fens BE More Sensitive than Bogs to Elevated N Deposition in the Oil Sands Region of Northern Alberta?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wieder, R. K.; Vile, M. A.; Scott, K. D.

    2015-12-01

    Bogs and fens cover 29% of the 140,000 km2 Oil Sands Administrative Area (OSAA) in northern Alberta, a region characterized by quite low background N deposition (1-2 kg/ha/yr). However, development of the oil sands resource has led to increasing emission of nitrogen oxides, which are then returned to regional ecosystems as elevated atmospheric N deposition. Given the nutrient deficient nature of bogs and poor fens, elevated N deposition from oil sands development could potentially affect peatland ecosystem structure and function. To evaluate the ecosystem-level effects of N deposition, since 2011, we have experimentally applied N to a bog and a poor fen near Mariana Lakes, Alberta, located far enough from the OSAA to be unaffected by oil sands emissions. Treatments include simulated rainfall equivalent to N deposition of 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 kg/ha/yr, plus control plots receiving no added water (3 replicate plots per site per N treatment). Concentrations of NH4+-N, NO3- N, and DON at the top of the peatland water table did not increase with increasing N deposition, averaging 0.61, 0.09, and 1.07 mg/L, respectively, in the bog, and 0.53, 0.10, and 0.81 mg/L, respectively, in the poor fen. Ericaceous shrub abundance increased with increasing N deposition in both the bog and the poor fen, although plot-scale greenness (hand-held spectral measurement of the Normalized Difference Red Edge (NDRE) index) increased with N deposition in the poor fen, but not in the bog. Segmented regression indicated that in the poor fen, at N deposition above 14-16 kg/ha/yr, total microbial, bacterial, and fungal biomass in the top 5 cm of peat increased with N deposition, with no effect at lower N deposition. No effect of N deposition on microbial, bacterial, or fungal biomass was observed at 5-10 cm in the poor fen, or at either 0-5 or 5-10 cm in the bog. In the poor fen, microbial, bacterial, and fungal biomass increased with NDRE, but the effect was not significant in the bog

  9. Chemical fingerprinting of naphthenic acids and oil sands process waters-A review of analytical methods for environmental samples.

    PubMed

    Headley, J V; Peru, K M; Mohamed, M H; Frank, R A; Martin, J W; Hazewinkel, R R O; Humphries, D; Gurprasad, N P; Hewitt, L M; Muir, D C G; Lindeman, D; Strub, R; Young, R F; Grewer, D M; Whittal, R M; Fedorak, P M; Birkholz, D A; Hindle, R; Reisdorph, R; Wang, X; Kasperski, K L; Hamilton, C; Woudneh, M; Wang, G; Loescher, B; Farwell, A; Dixon, D G; Ross, M; Pereira, A Dos Santos; King, E; Barrow, M P; Fahlman, B; Bailey, J; McMartin, D W; Borchers, C H; Ryan, C H; Toor, N S; Gillis, H M; Zuin, L; Bickerton, G; Mcmaster, M; Sverko, E; Shang, D; Wilson, L D; Wrona, F J

    2013-01-01

    This article provides a review of the routine methods currently utilized for total naphthenic acid analyses. There is a growing need to develop chemical methods that can selectively distinguish compounds found within industrially derived oil sands process affected waters (OSPW) from those derived from the natural weathering of oil sands deposits. Attention is thus given to the characterization of other OSPW components such as oil sands polar organic compounds, PAHs, and heavy metals along with characterization of chemical additives such as polyacrylamide polymers and trace levels of boron species. Environmental samples discussed cover the following matrices: OSPW containments, on-lease interceptor well systems, on- and off-lease groundwater, and river and lake surface waters. There are diverse ranges of methods available for analyses of total naphthenic acids. However, there is a need for inter-laboratory studies to compare their accuracy and precision for routine analyses. Recent advances in high- and medium-resolution mass spectrometry, concomitant with comprehensive mass spectrometry techniques following multi-dimensional chromatography or ion-mobility separations, have allowed for the speciation of monocarboxylic naphthenic acids along with a wide range of other species including humics. The distributions of oil sands polar organic compounds, particularly the sulphur containing species (i.e., OxS and OxS2) may allow for distinguishing sources of OSPW. The ratios of oxygen- (i.e., Ox) and nitrogen-containing species (i.e., NOx, and N2Ox) are useful for differentiating organic components derived from OSPW from natural components found within receiving waters. Synchronous fluorescence spectroscopy also provides a powerful screening technique capable of quickly detecting the presence of aromatic organic acids contained within oil sands naphthenic acid mixtures. Synchronous fluorescence spectroscopy provides diagnostic profiles for OSPW and potentially impacted

  10. Oil and gas resources of the Fergana Basin (Uzbekistan, Tadzhikistan, and Kyrgyzstan)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1995-01-01

    This analysis is part of the Energy Information Administration`s (EIA`s) Foreign Energy Supply Assessment Program (FESAP). This one for the Fergana Basin is an EIA first for republics of the former Soviet Union (FSU). This was a trial study of data availability and methodology, resulting in a reservoir-level assessment of ultimate recovery for both oil and gas. Ultimate recovery, as used here, is the sum of cumulative production and remaining Proved plus Probable reserves as of the end of 1987. Reasonable results were obtained when aggregating reservoir-level values to the basin level, and in determining general but important distributions of across-basin reservoir and fluid parameters. Currently, this report represents the most comprehensive assessment publicly available for oil and gas in the Fergana Basin. This full report provides additional descriptions, discussions and analysis illustrations that are beneficial to those considering oil and gas investments in the Fergana Basin. 57 refs., 22 figs., 6 tabs.

  11. Potiguar basin: geologic model and habitat of oil of a Brazilian equatorial basin

    SciTech Connect

    Falkenhein, F.U.; Barros, R.M.; Da Costa, I.G.; Cainelli, C.

    1984-04-01

    The Potiguar basin integrates the eastern part of the Brazilian equatorial Atlantic-type margin. The rifting stage of this basin occurred during the Neocomian and Aptian. The drifting stage and sea-floor spreading began in the Late Albian. The rifting stage clearly was intracratonic during the Neocomian and is recognized as a mosaic of half-grabens trending mostly northeast-southwest and filled with syntectonic lacustrine siliciclastics. The half-graben pattern exhibits rotation of beds into the major fault zone, and the preserved uplifted margins display either paleostructures of paleogeomorphic features with hydrocarbons. A regional pre-Aptian unconformity preceded the Aptian proto-oceanic rifting stage which was characterized by syntectonic fluvio-deltaic sediments. The Aptian tectonics were represented by reactivation of former lineaments superimposed by predominant east-west normal faulting. Structural highs during this stage are so far the most prolific oil accumulations. The most important source beds and reservoir rocks are both Neocomian and Aptian sediments. Geochemistry and hydrodynamics have shown that hydrocarbon migration was driven through fracture or fault zones in both Aptian or Albian plays. Lithofacies maps support this interpretation because pools occur whenever adjacent downthrown blocks present a high shale content.

  12. Assessment of undiscovered conventional oil and gas resources of the Cooper and Eromanga Basins, Australia, 2016

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schenk, Christopher J.; Tennyson, Marilyn E.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Klett, Timothy R.; Finn, Thomas M.; Le, Phuong A.; Brownfield, Michael E.; Gaswirth, Stephanie B.; Marra, Kristen R.; Hawkins, Sarah J.; Leathers-Miller, Heidi M.; Pitman, Janet K.

    2016-01-01

    Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated mean conventional resources of 68 million barrels of oil and 964 billion cubic feet of gas in the Cooper and Eromanga Basins of Australia.

  13. Assessment of Undiscovered Oil and Gas Resources of the Levant Basin Province, Eastern Mediterranean

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    2010-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey estimated a mean of 1.7 billion barrels of recoverable oil and a mean of 122 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas in the Levant Basin Province using a geology based assessment methodology.

  14. Assessment of continuous oil and gas resources of the Cooper Basin, Australia, 2016

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schenk, Christopher J.; Tennyson, Marilyn E.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Klett, Timothy R.; Finn, Thomas M.; Le, Phuong A.; Brownfield, Michael E.; Gaswirth, Stephanie B.; Marra, Kristen R.; Hawkins, Sarah J.; Leathers-Miller, Heidi M.

    2016-01-01

    Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated mean continuous resources of 482 million barrels of oil and 29.8 trillion cubic feet of gas in the Cooper Basin of Australia.

  15. Assessment of Undiscovered Oil and Gas Resources of the Red Sea Basin Province

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    U.S. Geological Survey

    2010-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey estimated mean volumes of 5 billion barrels of undiscovered technically recoverable oil and 112 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas in the Red Sea Basin Province using a geology-based assessment methodology.

  16. Origin and occurrence of crude oils in the Zhu1 sub-basin, Pearl River Mouth Basin, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Yue; Hao, Fang; Zhu, Junzhang; Tian, Jinqiang; Ji, Yubing

    2015-01-01

    The origin of the seventeen major oil fields in the Zhu1 sub-basin, Pearl River Mouth Basin (PRMB) was studied based on the results of Rock-Eval pyrolysis on more than 370 samples and biomarker analysis on 31 source rock samples and 63 oil samples. The two possible source rock intervals have different biomarker assemblages and were deposited in different environments. The Wenchang Formation (E2w, 56.5-32 Ma) is characterized mainly by low C19/C23 tricyclic terpane (<2.0), low C24 tetracyclic terpane/αβC30 hopane (<0.06), low bicadinane-T/αβC30 hopane (<2.0) and high 4-methyl steranes/∑C29 steranes (most >0.4) ratios, and were deposited in anoxic to suboxic environments with important contribution from Pediastrum and Dinoflagellates. The Enping Formation (E3e, 32-30 Ma) has high C19/C23 tricyclic terpane, high C24 tetracyclic terpane/αβC30 hopane, widely variable yet overally high bicadinane-T/αβC30 hopane and low 4-methyl steranes/∑C29 steranes ratios, and were deposited in freshwater lacustrine to swamp conditions with significant terrigenous organic matter input. According to oil-source correlation, three oil classes can be identified in the Zhu1 sub-basin. Class 1 oil is E2w-derived and occurs widely. Class 2 oil is E3e-derived and refers to oils from F field in the north of the Huizhou depression. Class 3 oil is a mixture of oils generated from E2w and E3e, only distributed in the Huizhou depression and on its southern margin. The petroleum distribution pattern is mainly controlled by the distribution of source rocks and the migration pathways of oils. This research has important implications for future exploration.

  17. Dissolved organic carbon in a constructed and natural fens in the Athabasca oil sands region, Alberta, Canada.

    PubMed

    Khadka, Bhupesh; Munir, Tariq M; Strack, Maria

    2016-07-01

    In the Athabasca oil sands region near Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, peatlands are disturbed extensively in order to recover bitumen below the surface. Hence, following oil sands mining, landscape reclamation is a part of the mine closure process in order to return functioning ecosystems, including peatlands, to the region. This study was conducted at a pilot fen reclamation project and three other diverse natural (poor, rich and saline) fens in the oil sands region during the growing seasons of 2013 and 2014, the first and second year post-construction. Ecosystem functioning of the constructed fen (CF) was evaluated with reference to natural fens based on pore water dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentration and chemistry. Significant variation of DOC concentration among the reference fens was observed, varying from an average of 42.0mg/L at the rich fen (RF) to 70.8mg/L at the saline fen (SF). Dissolved organic carbon concentration at CF was significantly lower than at all reference fens, but increased significantly over the first two years. Seasonal variation of DOC concentration was also observed in each site with concentration increasing over the growing season. At CF, DOC was comprised of larger, more humic and complex aromatic compounds than reference fens in the first year post-construction based on its spectrophotometric properties; however, these differences were reduced in the second year. Initial DOC concentration and chemistry at CF was indicative of the source being largely the peat placed during fen construction. Changes in chemistry and increasing concentration of DOC in the second growing season likely resulted from increasing inputs from plants established on site. These results suggest that DOC concentration is likely to increase in future at CF as vascular plant productivity increases and in response to salinity sourced from tailing sand used to construct the catchment. PMID:27037879

  18. Total and methyl mercury concentrations in sediment and water of a constructed wetland in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region.

    PubMed

    Oswald, Claire J; Carey, Sean K

    2016-06-01

    In the Athabasca Oil Sands Region in northeastern Alberta, Canada, oil sands operators are testing the feasibility of peatland construction on the post-mining landscape. In 2009, Syncrude Canada Ltd. began construction of the 52 ha Sandhill Fen pilot watershed, including a 15 ha, hydrologically managed fen peatland built on sand-capped soft oil sands tailings. An integral component of fen reclamation is post-construction monitoring of water quality, including salinity, fluvial carbon, and priority pollutant elements. In this study, the effects of fen reclamation and elevated sulfate levels on mercury (Hg) fate and transport in the constructed system were assessed. Total mercury (THg) and methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations in the fen sediment were lower than in two nearby natural fens, which may be due to the higher mineral content of the Sandhill Fen peat mix and/or a loss of Hg through evasion during the peat harvesting, stockpiling and placement processes. Porewater MeHg concentrations in the Sandhill Fen typically did not exceed 1.0 ng L(-1). The low MeHg concentrations may be a result of elevated porewater sulfate concentrations (mean 346 mg L(-1)) and an increase in sulphide concentrations with depth in the peat, which are known to suppress MeHg production. Total Hg and MeHg concentrations increased during a controlled mid-summer flooding event where the water table rose above the ground surface in most of the fen. The Hg dynamics during this event showed that hydrologic fluctuations in this system exacerbate the release of THg and MeHg downstream. In addition, the elevated SO4(2-) concentrations in the peat porewaters may become a problem with respect to downstream MeHg production once the fen is hydrologically connected to a larger wetland network that is currently being constructed. PMID:27017139

  19. Fine root dynamics in lodgepole pine and white spruce stands along productivity gradients in reclaimed oil sands sites.

    PubMed

    Jamro, Ghulam Murtaza; Chang, Scott X; Naeth, M Anne; Duan, Min; House, Jason

    2015-10-01

    Open-pit mining activities in the oil sands region of Alberta, Canada, create disturbed lands that, by law, must be reclaimed to a land capability equivalent to that existed before the disturbance. Re-establishment of forest cover will be affected by the production and turnover rate of fine roots. However, the relationship between fine root dynamics and tree growth has not been studied in reclaimed oil sands sites. Fine root properties (root length density, mean surface area, total root biomass, and rates of root production, turnover, and decomposition) were assessed from May to October 2011 and 2012 using sequential coring and ingrowth core methods in lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta Dougl.) and white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench.) Voss) stands. The pine and spruce stands were planted on peat mineral soil mix placed over tailings sand and overburden substrates, respectively, in reclaimed oil sands sites in Alberta. We selected stands that form a productivity gradient (low, medium, and high productivities) of each tree species based on differences in tree height and diameter at breast height (DBH) increments. In lodgepole pine stands, fine root length density and fine root production, and turnover rates were in the order of high > medium > low productivity sites and were positively correlated with tree height and DBH and negatively correlated with soil salinity (P < 0.05). In white spruce stands, fine root surface area was the only parameter that increased along the productivity gradient and was negatively correlated with soil compaction. In conclusion, fine root dynamics along the stand productivity gradients were closely linked to stand productivity and were affected by limiting soil properties related to the specific substrate used for reconstructing the reclaimed soil. Understanding the impact of soil properties on fine root dynamics and overall stand productivity will help improve land reclamation outcomes. PMID:26668730

  20. Elevated Nitrogen Deposition from Alberta Oil Sands Development Stimulates Phosphatase Activity in Dominant Sphagnum Moss Species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kashi, N. N.; Wieder, R.; Vile, M. A.

    2013-12-01

    Emissions of NOx associated with Alberta oil sands (AOS) development are leading to locally elevated atmospheric N deposition, in a region where background N deposition has been historically quite low (< 1 kg/ha/yr). This elevated N deposition has the potential to alter the ecosystem structure and function of nutrient-poor boreal peatlands. Nitrogen enrichment may alter soil microbial activity, which could be manifested in changes in extracellular enzyme activities. Since 2011, we have been experimentally adding N as NH4NO3 in simulated precipitation at 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 kg N ha/yr/ plus no-water controls to a boreal bog and a poor fen (3 replicate plots per treatment). In 2013, acid phosphatase activities in living plant capitulum of Sphagnum angustifolium, Sphagnum fuscum, and Sphagnum magellanicum were quantified in June and July using 4-methyumbelliferylphosphate and fluorescence detection of the enzymatically released methylumbelliferone (MUF). Phosphatase activities did not differ with N treatment for S. angustifolium in the bog (p=0.3409) or the poor fen (p=0.0629), or for S. fuscum in the bog (p=0.1950), averaging 35.0 × 0.7, 61.6 × 1.2, and 41.6 × 0.9 μmol MUF/g DWT/hr, respectively. For S. fuscum in the poor fen, phosphatase activities differed between N treatments (p=0.0275), ranging 40.6 × 1.1 μmol MUF/g DWT/hr in the control plots to 73.7 × 2.0 μmol MUF/g DWT/hr in the 5 kg/ha/yr N treatment plots; increasing N deposition did not result in a gradual change in enzyme activity. On the other hand, S. magellanicum phosphatase activities differed between N treatments (p=0.0189) and showed a pattern of generally increasing activity with increasing N deposition (37.4 × 0.5 μmol MUF/g DWT/hr in control plots; 97.9 × 4.5 μmol MUF/g DWT/hr in the 25 kg/ha/yr N treatment plots). The differing phosphatase responses between these dominant Sphagnum species suggest unique differences in nutrient balance and/or microbial activity. Combining the

  1. Effects of variations in hydrogeological parameters on water-table mounding in sandy loam and loamy sand soils beneath stormwater infiltration basins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thompson, Anita; Nimmer, Mike; Misra, Debasmita

    2010-03-01

    The two-dimensional variably-saturated numerical model HYDRUS-2D, previously calibrated to recharge events from an infiltration basin, was used to predict water-table mounding under hypothetical basin design scenarios, and the primary factors that affect water-table mounding were evaluated. Infiltration basins are often utilized in urban environments to recharge stormwater to the aquifer. As a result of localized recharge beneath these basins, mound formation may reduce the thickness of the unsaturated zone available to filter pollutants and may reduce the infiltration rate of the basin. Understanding the effects of various physical factors on water-table mound formation is important for infiltration basin siting. For sandy loam and loamy sand subsurface materials, mound heights increased as the thickness of both the unsaturated and saturated zones decreased. Mound heights increased as the initial soil moisture, basin size and ponding depth increased. A thin sedimentation layer on the basin floor delayed mound formation, but only slightly decreased the maximum mound height. This analysis could be used in future selection of infiltration basin locations; however, the analysis is limited to conditions that represent only a select range of basin design conditions and parameters typical of a glacial till environment in Wisconsin, USA.

  2. Oil discoveries and basin resource prediction in Latin America: Past, present, and future

    SciTech Connect

    Kronman, G.E.; Aleman, A.M.; Rushworth, S.W. )

    1993-02-01

    Over 350 oil discoveries were made in Latin America during the 1980s. About 12% are estimated to contain reserves greater than 100 MMBO. Several of the larger finds (>500 MMBO), such as Cusiana (Colombia), Furrial/Musipan (Venezuela), Cano Lima (Colombia) and Marlim (Brazil) represent an important part of the giant field found worldwide since 1980. Most of the larger discoveries were made by national oil companies in Venezuela, Mexico and Brazil. Undiscovered oil resources of 40-80 BBO are estimated to remain in the highest potential Latin American basins, including those in Mexico, based on historical field size data and current geological knowledge. Over 150 BBO of produced oil and proven reserves has been found in the same group of basins. The probability of finding large undiscovered oil and gas fields (>100 MMBOE) in selected established and mature Latin American basins is high. The Campos (Brazil), Llanos (Colombia), Magadalena (Colombia), Maracaibo (Venezuela), Marahon-Oriente-Putomayo (Peru-Ecuador-Colombia), Maturin (Venezuela), Reforma-Campeche (Mexico) and Ucayali (Peru) basins have the best possibility for such accumulations. Another tier of frontier and emerging basins may also contain significant resources, but limited data makes it difficult to estimate their undiscovered resources. Some of the higher potential basins in this group include the Sierra de Chiapas (Mexico/Guatemala), Huallaga (Peru), Yucatan (Mexico), Sabinas, and Burgos (Mexico) basins.

  3. Paleofluid-flow circulation within a Triassic rift basin: Evidence from oil inclusions and thermal histories

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tseng, H.-Y.; Burruss, R.C.; Onstott, T.C.; Omar, G.

    1999-01-01

    The migration of subsurface fluid flow within continental rift basins has been increasingly recognized to significantly affect the thermal history of sediments and petroleum formation. To gain insight into these paleofluid flow effects, the thermal history of the Taylorsville basin in Virginia was reconstructed from fluid-inclusion studies, apatite fission-track data, and vitrinite reflectance data. Models of thermal history indicate that the basin was buried to the thermal maximum at 200 Ma; a cooling event followed during which the eastern side of the basin cooled earlier and faster than the western side, suggesting that there was a differential uplift and topographically driven fluid flow. This hypothesis is supported by analyses of secondary oil and aqueous inclusions trapped in calcite and quartz veins during the uplift stage. Gas chromatograms of inclusion oils exhibit variable but extensive depletion of light molecular-weight hydrocarbons. The relative abundance of n-alkanes, petrographic observations, and the geological data indicate that the alteration process on these inclusion oils was probably neither phase separation nor biodegradation, but water washing. Water:oil ratios necessary to produce the observed alteration are much greater than 10000:1. These exceedingly high ratios are consistent with the migration of inclusion oils along with fluid flow during the early stages of basin evolution. The results provide significant evidence about the role of a subsurface flow system in modifying the temperature structure of the basin and the composition of petroleum generated within the basin.

  4. Molybdenum carbide nanoparticles as catalysts for oil sands upgrading: Dynamics and free-energy profiles

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Xingchen; Salahub, Dennis R.

    2015-12-31

    There is no doubt that a huge gap exists in understanding heterogeneous catalysis between a cluster model of a few atoms and a bulk model of periodic slabs. Nanoparticles, which are crucial in heterogeneous catalysis in industry, lie in the middle of the gap. We present here our work on the computational modelling of molybdenum carbide nanoparticles (MCNPs) as the catalysts for the upgrading of oil sands in the in-situ environment, using benzene hydrogenation as a model reaction. With a cluster model, efforts were first made to understand the mechanism of the reaction with a density functional theory (DFT) study on the adsorption of benzene and its hydrogenation product – cyclohexane, as well as the cyclic hydrogenation reaction intermediates on the Mo{sub 2}C(0001) surface. From the thermodynamic data, along with literature information, it was found that the benzene hydrogenation reaction on molybdenum carbide happens most likely through a Langmuir-Hinshelwood mechanism with the gradual lifting up of the benzene molecule. The electron localization function (ELF) was then used to help understand the nature of the interactions between the MCNPs, identifying strong multi-center interactions between the adsorbates and the MCNPs. To enable the treatment of larger nanoparticles, a fast semi-empirical density functional tight-binding (DFTB) method was parameterized. With this method, the potential energy profiles of benzene hydrogenation reactions on different sizes of MCNPs are calculated. The study was then extended to consider a MCNP embedded in solvent (benzene), using a quantum mechanical (DFTB) / molecular mechanical approach. Calculations on the free energies profiles with the umbrella sampling method show that the entropy of the MCNPs and the solvent are essential in understanding the catalytic activity of the transition metal related nanoparticles for solid/liquid heterogeneous catalysis.

  5. Elemental and spectroscopic characterization of fractions of an acidic extract of oil sands process water.

    PubMed

    Jones, D; Scarlett, A G; West, C E; Frank, R A; Gieleciak, R; Hager, D; Pureveen, J; Tegelaar, E; Rowland, S J

    2013-11-01

    'Naphthenic acids' (NAs) in petroleum produced water and oil sands process water (OSPW), have been implicated in toxicological effects. However, many are not well characterized. A method for fractionation of NAs of an OSPW was used herein and a multi-method characterization of the fractions conducted. The unfractionated OSPW acidic extract was characterized by elemental analysis, electrospray ionization-Orbitrap-mass spectrometry (ESI-MS), and an esterified extract by Fourier Transform infrared (FTIR) and ultraviolet-visible (UV) absorption spectroscopy and by comprehensive multidimensional gas chromatography-MS (GCxGC-MS). Methyl esters were fractionated by argentation solid phase extraction (Ag(+) SPE) and fractions eluting with: hexane; diethyl ether: hexane and diethyl ether, examined. Each was weighed, examined by elemental analysis, FTIR, UV, GC-MS and GCxGC-MS (both nominal and high resolution MS). The ether fraction, containing sulfur, was also examined by GCxGC-sulfur chemiluminescence detection (GCxGC-SCD). The major ions detected by ESI-MS in the OSPW extract were assigned to alicyclic and aromatic 'O2' acids; sulfur was also present. Components recovered by Ag(+) SPE were also methyl esters of alicyclic and aromatic acids; these contained little sulfur or nitrogen. FTIR spectra showed that hydroxy acids and sulfoxides were absent or minor. UV spectra, along with the C/H ratio, further confirmed the aromaticity of the hexane:ether eluate. The more minor ether eluate contained further aromatics and 1.5% sulfur. FTIR spectra indicated free carboxylic acids, in addition to esters. Four major sulfur compounds were detected by GCxGC-SCD. GCxGC-high resolution MS indicated these were methyl esters of C18 S-containing, diaromatics with ≥C3 carboxylic acid side chains. PMID:23856466

  6. Influence of In-Situ Oil Sands Development on Caribou (Rangifer tarandus) Movement.

    PubMed

    Muhly, Tyler; Serrouya, Robert; Neilson, Eric; Li, Haitao; Boutin, Stan

    2015-01-01

    In-situ oil sands development (ISD) involves a network of facilities, wells, roads and pipelines to extract and transport subsurface bitumen. This technology is rapidly expanding and there is uncertainty whether ISDs restrict animal movement, leading to increased extinction probabilities for some wide-ranging species. Here we test for effects of simulated future (i.e., 50 years from now) and current ISDs on simulated movements of woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus), a threatened species across North America. In simulations of future scenarios, we varied the spacing and permeability of ISDs and the presence/absence of protected areas. Permeability was measured as the number of times simulated caribou crossed ISDs with different levels of modelled permeability. We estimated the effects of these factors on caribou step length and annual home range size, key metrics of small and large spatiotemporal scales of movement, respectively. Current caribou crossings of above-ground pipeline features of ISDs were measured using camera traps and compared to expected caribou crossing rates based on present-day caribou movement simulations. Current crossing rates were evaluated within the context of predicted future crossing success rates necessary to maintain caribou step lengths and home ranges. With few exceptions, permeability across ISDs was the main factor affecting caribou movement, more so than spacing between developments or the presence of protected areas. However, minimal permeability (crossing rates of c. 15% to 60%, relative to an undisturbed site was needed to maintain existing home range size and step lengths. The effect of permeability on home range size and step length was non-linear, suggesting that small increases in permeability would provide a disproportionately greater benefit to caribou movement. Our predictions demonstrate that maintaining permeability across ISDs is more important than spacing between leases or including protected areas, and thus provides

  7. Reclamation of peat-based wetlands affected by Alberta, Canada's oil sands development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foote, Lee; Ciborowski, Jan; Dixon, D. George; Liber, Karsten; Smits, Judit

    2013-04-01

    The ability to construct or reclaim functional peat-based wetlands as a replacement for those lost to development activity is uncertain. Oil sands development in northern Alberta, Canada will ultimately result in the removal of over 85 km2 of peat-based wetlands. To examine potential replacement of these lost peatlands we compared four treatments assigned to 16 known-age wetlands where we followed plant community, carbon dynamics, water quality, invertebrates and top predators for 5 years. Key questions followed by a synopsis of findings include: (1) Will wetland communities become more natural with age? - Yes, however industrial effluents of salinity and napthenates will slow succession and may truncate development compared to natural systems; (2) Can community succession be accelerated? - Yes, the addition of carbon-rich soils can facilitate development in some zones but cautions are raised about a "green desert" of vigorous plant stands with low insect and vertebrate diversity; (3) Is productivity sustainable? - Maybe, limitations of water chemistry (salinity and napthenates) and hydrologic regime appear to play large roles; (4) Will production support top predators? Sometimes; insectivorous birds, some small fish and a few amphibians persisted under all except the most saline and napthenate-enriched sites; (5) What is the role of the compromised water quality in reclamation? - Reduced diversity of plants, insects and vertebrates, reduced plant physiological efficiency and thus slower rates of reclamation. It is axiomatic and well demonstrated throughout Europe that it is easier and more cost effective to protect peatlands than it is to reclaim or create them. This is complicated, though, where mineral or property values soar to over 1 million per hectare. Industrial planners, governments and the public need to understand the options, possibilities, time frames and costs of peatland replacement to make the best land use decisions possible. Our research provides

  8. Molybdenum carbide nanoparticles as catalysts for oil sands upgrading: Dynamics and free-energy profiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Xingchen; Salahub, Dennis R.

    2015-12-01

    There is no doubt that a huge gap exists in understanding heterogeneous catalysis between a cluster model of a few atoms and a bulk model of periodic slabs. Nanoparticles, which are crucial in heterogeneous catalysis in industry, lie in the middle of the gap. We present here our work on the computational modelling of molybdenum carbide nanoparticles (MCNPs) as the catalysts for the upgrading of oil sands in the in-situ environment, using benzene hydrogenation as a model reaction. With a cluster model, efforts were first made to understand the mechanism of the reaction with a density functional theory (DFT) study on the adsorption of benzene and its hydrogenation product - cyclohexane, as well as the cyclic hydrogenation reaction intermediates on the Mo2C(0001) surface. From the thermodynamic data, along with literature information, it was found that the benzene hydrogenation reaction on molybdenum carbide happens most likely through a Langmuir-Hinshelwood mechanism with the gradual lifting up of the benzene molecule. The electron localization function (ELF) was then used to help understand the nature of the interactions between the MCNPs, identifying strong multi-center interactions between the adsorbates and the MCNPs. To enable the treatment of larger nanoparticles, a fast semi-empirical density functional tight-binding (DFTB) method was parameterized. With this method, the potential energy profiles of benzene hydrogenation reactions on different sizes of MCNPs are calculated. The study was then extended to consider a MCNP embedded in solvent (benzene), using a quantum mechanical (DFTB) / molecular mechanical approach. Calculations on the free energies profiles with the umbrella sampling method show that the entropy of the MCNPs and the solvent are essential in understanding the catalytic activity of the transition metal related nanoparticles for solid/liquid heterogeneous catalysis.

  9. Carbon and sulfur cycling by microbial communities in a gypsum-treated oil sands tailings pond.

    PubMed

    Ramos-Padrón, Esther; Bordenave, Sylvain; Lin, Shiping; Bhaskar, Iyswarya Mani; Dong, Xiaoli; Sensen, Christoph W; Fournier, Joseph; Voordouw, Gerrit; Gieg, Lisa M

    2011-01-15

    Oil sands tailings ponds receive and store the solid and liquid waste from bitumen extraction and are managed to promote solids densification and water recycling. The ponds are highly stratified due to increasing solids content as a function of depth but can be impacted by tailings addition and removal and by convection due to microbial gas production. We characterized the microbial communities in relation to microbial activities as a function of depth in an active tailings pond routinely treated with gypsum (CaSO(4)·2H(2)O) to accelerate densification. Pyrosequencing of 16S rDNA gene sequences indicated that the aerobic surface layer, where the highest level of sulfate (6 mM) but no sulfide was detected, had a very different community profile than the rest of the pond. Deeper anaerobic layers were dominated by syntrophs (Pelotomaculum, Syntrophus, and Smithella spp.), sulfate- and sulfur-reducing bacteria (SRB, Desulfocapsa and Desulfurivibrio spp.), acetate- and H(2)-using methanogens, and a variety of other anaerobes that have been implicated in hydrocarbon utilization or iron and sulfur cycling. The SRB were most abundant from 10 to 14 mbs, bracketing the zone where the sulfate reduction rate was highest. Similarly, the most abundant methanogens and syntrophs identified as a function of depth closely mirrored the fluctuating methanogenesis rates. Methanogenesis was inhibited in laboratory incubations by nearly 50% when sulfate was supplied at pond-level concentrations suggesting that in situ sulfate reduction can substantially minimize methane emissions. Based on our data, we hypothesize that the emission of sulfide due to SRB activity in the gypsum treated pond is also limited due to its high solubility and oxidation in surface waters. PMID:21128661

  10. Influence of In-Situ Oil Sands Development on Caribou (Rangifer tarandus) Movement

    PubMed Central

    Muhly, Tyler; Serrouya, Robert; Neilson, Eric; Li, Haitao; Boutin, Stan

    2015-01-01

    In-situ oil sands development (ISD) involves a network of facilities, wells, roads and pipelines to extract and transport subsurface bitumen. This technology is rapidly expanding and there is uncertainty whether ISDs restrict animal movement, leading to increased extinction probabilities for some wide-ranging species. Here we test for effects of simulated future (i.e., 50 years from now) and current ISDs on simulated movements of woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus), a threatened species across North America. In simulations of future scenarios, we varied the spacing and permeability of ISDs and the presence/absence of protected areas. Permeability was measured as the number of times simulated caribou crossed ISDs with different levels of modelled permeability. We estimated the effects of these factors on caribou step length and annual home range size, key metrics of small and large spatiotemporal scales of movement, respectively. Current caribou crossings of above-ground pipeline features of ISDs were measured using camera traps and compared to expected caribou crossing rates based on present-day caribou movement simulations. Current crossing rates were evaluated within the context of predicted future crossing success rates necessary to maintain caribou step lengths and home ranges. With few exceptions, permeability across ISDs was the main factor affecting caribou movement, more so than spacing between developments or the presence of protected areas. However, minimal permeability (crossing rates of c. 15% to 60%, relative to an undisturbed site was needed to maintain existing home range size and step lengths. The effect of permeability on home range size and step length was non-linear, suggesting that small increases in permeability would provide a disproportionately greater benefit to caribou movement. Our predictions demonstrate that maintaining permeability across ISDs is more important than spacing between leases or including protected areas, and thus provides

  11. Roles of Thermophiles and Fungi in Bitumen Degradation in Mostly Cold Oil Sands Outcrops.

    PubMed

    Wong, Man-Ling; An, Dongshan; Caffrey, Sean M; Soh, Jung; Dong, Xiaoli; Sensen, Christoph W; Oldenburg, Thomas B P; Larter, Steve R; Voordouw, Gerrit

    2015-10-01

    Oil sands are surface exposed in river valley outcrops in northeastern Alberta, where flat slabs (tablets) of weathered, bitumen-saturated sandstone can be retrieved from outcrop cliffs or from riverbeds. Although the average yearly surface temperature of this region is low (0.7°C), we found that the temperatures of the exposed surfaces of outcrop cliffs reached 55 to 60°C on sunny summer days, with daily maxima being 27 to 31°C. Analysis of the cooccurrence of taxa derived from pyrosequencing of 16S/18S rRNA genes indicated that an aerobic microbial network of fungi and hydrocarbon-, methane-, or acetate-oxidizing heterotrophic bacteria was present in all cliff tablets. Metagenomic analyses indicated an elevated presence of fungal cytochrome P450 monooxygenases in these samples. This network was distinct from the heterotrophic community found in riverbeds, which included fewer fungi. A subset of cliff tablets had a network of anaerobic and/or thermophilic taxa, including methanogens, Firmicutes, and Thermotogae, in the center. Long-term aerobic incubation of outcrop samples at 55°C gave a thermophilic microbial community. Analysis of residual bitumen with a Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer indicated that aerobic degradation proceeded at 55°C but not at 4°C. Little anaerobic degradation was observed. These results indicate that bitumen degradation on outcrop surfaces is a largely aerobic process with a minor anaerobic contribution and is catalyzed by a consortium of bacteria and fungi. Bitumen degradation is stimulated by periodic high temperatures on outcrop cliffs, which cause significant decreases in bitumen viscosity. PMID:26209669

  12. Assessing uncertainties in GHG emission estimates from Canada's oil sands developments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, M. G.; Lin, J. C.; Huang, L.; Edwards, T. W.; Worthy, D.; Wang, D. K.; Sweeney, C.; White, J. W.; Andrews, A. E.; Bruhwiler, L.; Oda, T.; Deng, F.

    2013-12-01

    Reducing uncertainties in projections of surface emissions of CO2 and CH4 relies on continuously improving our scientific understanding of the exchange processes between the atmosphere and land at regional scales. In order to enhance our understanding in emission processes and atmospheric transports, an integrated framework that addresses individual natural and anthropogenic factors in a complementary way proves to be invaluable. This study presents an example of top-down inverse modeling that utilizes high precision measurement data collected at a Canadian greenhouse gas monitoring site. The measurements include multiple tracers encompassing standard greenhouse gas species, stable isotopes of CO2, and combustion-related species. The potential for the proposed analysis framework is demonstrated using Stochastic Time-Inverted Lagrangian Transport (STILT) model runs to yield a unique regional-scale constraint that can be used to relate the observed changes of tracer concentrations to the processes in their upwind source regions. The uncertainties in emission estimates are assessed using different transport fields and background concentrations coupled with the STILT model. Also, methods to further reduce uncertainties in the retrieved emissions by incorporating additional constraints including tracer-to-tracer correlations and satellite measurements are briefly discussed. The inversion approach both reproduces source areas in a spatially explicit way through sophisticated Lagrangian transport modeling and infers emission processes that leave imprints on atmospheric tracers. The results indicate that the changes in greenhouse gas concentration are strongly influenced by regional sources, including significant contributions from fossil fuel emissions, and that the integrated approach can be used for regulatory regimes to verify reported emissions of the greenhouse gas from oil sands developments.

  13. Nitrogen mineralization and microbial activity in oil sands reclaimed boreal forest soils.

    PubMed

    McMillan, R; Quideau, S A; MacKenzie, M D; Biryukova, O

    2007-01-01

    Organic materials including a peat-mineral mix (PM), a forest floor-mineral mix (L/S), and a combination of the two (L/PM) were used to cap mineral soil materials at surface mine reclamation sites in the Athabasca oil sands region of northeastern Alberta, Canada. The objective of this study was to test whether LFH provided an advantage over peat by stimulating microbial activity and providing more available nitrogen for plant growth. Net nitrification, ammonification, and N mineralization rates were estimated from field incubations using buried bags. In situ gross nitrification and ammonification rates were determined using the 15N isotope pool dilution technique, and microbial biomass C (MBC) and N (MBN) were measured by the chloroform fumigation-extraction method. All reclaimed sites had lower MBC and MBN, and lower net ammonification and net mineralization rates than a natural forest site (NLFH) used as a control, but the reclamation treatment using LFH material by itself had higher gross and net nitrification rates. A positive correlation between in situ moisture content, dissolved organic N, MBC, and MBN was observed, which led us to conduct a moisture manipulation experiment in the laboratory. With the exception of the MBN for the L/S treatment, none of the reclamation treatments ever reached the levels of the natural site during this experiment. However, materials from reclamation treatments that incorporated LFH showed higher respiration rates, MBC, and MBN than the PM treatment, indicating that the addition of LFH as an organic amendment may stimulate microbial activity as compared to the use of peat alone. PMID:17766826

  14. Roles of Thermophiles and Fungi in Bitumen Degradation in Mostly Cold Oil Sands Outcrops

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Man-Ling; An, Dongshan; Caffrey, Sean M.; Soh, Jung; Dong, Xiaoli; Sensen, Christoph W.; Oldenburg, Thomas B. P.; Larter, Steve R.

    2015-01-01

    Oil sands are surface exposed in river valley outcrops in northeastern Alberta, where flat slabs (tablets) of weathered, bitumen-saturated sandstone can be retrieved from outcrop cliffs or from riverbeds. Although the average yearly surface temperature of this region is low (0.7°C), we found that the temperatures of the exposed surfaces of outcrop cliffs reached 55 to 60°C on sunny summer days, with daily maxima being 27 to 31°C. Analysis of the cooccurrence of taxa derived from pyrosequencing of 16S/18S rRNA genes indicated that an aerobic microbial network of fungi and hydrocarbon-, methane-, or acetate-oxidizing heterotrophic bacteria was present in all cliff tablets. Metagenomic analyses indicated an elevated presence of fungal cytochrome P450 monooxygenases in these samples. This network was distinct from the heterotrophic community found in riverbeds, which included fewer fungi. A subset of cliff tablets had a network of anaerobic and/or thermophilic taxa, including methanogens, Firmicutes, and Thermotogae, in the center. Long-term aerobic incubation of outcrop samples at 55°C gave a thermophilic microbial community. Analysis of residual bitumen with a Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer indicated that aerobic degradation proceeded at 55°C but not at 4°C. Little anaerobic degradation was observed. These results indicate that bitumen degradation on outcrop surfaces is a largely aerobic process with a minor anaerobic contribution and is catalyzed by a consortium of bacteria and fungi. Bitumen degradation is stimulated by periodic high temperatures on outcrop cliffs, which cause significant decreases in bitumen viscosity. PMID:26209669

  15. Potential methane production and oxidation in soil reclamation covers of an oil sands mining site in Alberta, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pum, Lisa; Reichenauer, Thomas; Germida, Jim

    2015-04-01

    Anthropogenic activities create a number of significant greenhouse gases and thus potentially contribute to global warming. Methane production is significant in some agricultural production systems and from wetlands. In soil, methane can be oxidised by methanotrophic bacteria. However, little is known about methane production and oxidation in oil sand reclamation covers. The purpose of this study was to investigate methane production and oxidation potential of tailing sands and six different reclamation layers of oil sands mining sites in Alberta, Canada. Methane production and oxidation potential were investigated in laboratory scale microcosms through continuous headspace analysis using gas chromatography. Samples from a reclamation layer were collected at the Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNRL) reclamation site at depths of 0-10 cm, 10-20 cm and 20-40 cm in October 2014. In addition, tailing sands provided by Suncor Energy Inc. and soil from a CNRL wetland were studied for methane production. Samples were dried, crushed and sieved to 4 mm, packed into serum bottle microcosms and monitored for eight weeks. Methane production potential was assessed by providing an anoxic environment and by adjusting the samples to a moisture holding capacity of 100 %. Methane oxidation potential was examined by an initial application of 2 vol % methane to the microcosms and by adjusting the samples to a moisture holding capacity of 50 %. Microcosm headspace gas was analysed for methane, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and oxygen. All experiments were carried out in triplicates, including controls. SF6 and Helium were used as internal standards to detect potential leaks. Our results show differences for methane production potential between the soil depths, tailing sands and wetlands. Moreover, there were differences in the methane oxidation potential of substrate from the three depths investigated and between the reclamation layers. In conclusion, the present study shows that

  16. Oil and gas in carbonate rocks of the CIS basins

    SciTech Connect

    Kuznetsov, V. )

    1993-09-01

    In petroleum basins of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), oil and gas fields in carbonate reservoirs have been discovered in rocks ranging from the Riphean to the Eocene. Most fields are found in cratonic carbonate formations deposited under arid climatic conditions. Regional seals are formed by salt, anhydrite, and dolomicrite. Multilayer reservoirs predominate, but massive reservoirs are common also. The distribution of reservoir types and their quality are strongly uneven. Many fields, including giant fields, are controlled by reefs. Depending on the paleoclimatic zone, the seals are composed of salt or, rarely, of shale. Massive reservoirs predominate, but the distribution of porosity and localization of zones of improved reservoir properties are variable and controlled by the morphogenetic types of the reefs. Carbonate formations deposited under humid climatic conditions contain much less hydrocarbon reserves. The seals are generally composed of shale. The reservoirs are stratal, rarely multilayer, and the fields are usually small. A number of fields, some of them highly productive, are present in Upper Cretaceous carbonate rocks of the North Caucasus region. The carbonates consist of the remains of planktonic organisms. Seals for the hydrocarbon pool are composed of shale. The reservoirs are massive and layered-massive. Fractures and stylolites play a leading role in controlling the reservoir properties.

  17. Oil and gas in the Junggar basin the People`s Republic of China

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang Ji-Yi

    1995-08-01

    The Junggar Basin, located in the north of Xinjiang, China, and with an area of 130000 km{sup 2}, is a compressional inland basin formed during the late Hercynian. Exploration and development of oil and gas in the basin has been run by Karamay Oil & Gas Corporation (KOC). The basin has two basements, Precambrian crystalline basement and Early to Middle Hercynian fold basement. Maximum sedimentary cover from Late Permian to Quaternary is above 20,000m thick. There are six source rocks developed in Carboniferous, Permian, Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous and Paleogene, respectively. Of the most important Permian and Jurassic source rocks, the former is oil-prone and the latter gas-prone. Total oil and gas resources in the basin are about 80-100x10 8t. In the mid 1950`s, Karamay oilfield, which is closely, related to the overthrust belt, was discovered in the northwest margin of the basin. Since then, the proven oil reserves in the up to 250km long overthrust belt with Karamay oilfield being the center can be compared to the Cordilleran Overthrust Belt in North America. By the end of 1993, fifteen oil and gas fields have been discovered, and the oil and gas reservoirs are found in all strata from Carboniferous to Tertiary except Cretaceous. The reservoir lithologies are mainly low mature sandstones, conglomerates as well as late Paeleozoic volcanic rocks. The proven reserves are dominantly distributed in the northwest margin, which illustrated unbalanced exploration. The exploration degree in most part of the basin is still low. Since 1961, the crude oil production has been increasing year after year.

  18. Geochemical characteristics of oils from the Chaidamu, Shanganning and Jianghan Basins, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Philp, R. P.; Fan, P.; Lewis, C. A.; Zhu, H.; Wang, H.

    Thirty oil samples from the Shanganning, Jianghan and Chaidamu Basins in China have been examined by a number of geochemical techniques. The techniques included gas chromatography (GC), gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and tandem mass spectrometry using a triple stage quadrupole mass spectrometer (MS/MS), stable isotope mass spectrometry. There were several reasons for undertaking this study. Firstly was the attempted oil-source rock correlation studies within the individual basins. Secondly was the continuing quest for novel, or sets of, biomarkers that could be assigned to saline and hypersaline environments and subsequently used to characterize other similar depositional environments. Thirdly was the desire to compare and contrast results obtained from these three basins with those from a similar study being undertaken on the South Florida Basin and the Anadarko Basin in the U.S.A. Whereas the Chinese basins are lacustrine, those in the U.S.A. are marine. For the purposes of this paper, only the results from the three Chinese basins will be discussed. In addition to examining the results from the biomarker distributions as determined by GC-MS and GC-MS/MS, the results are correlated with those obtained from the δ 13C isotropic determinations. For example, three oils in the Shanganning Basin showed anomalous isotopic data, which immediately suggested that they should be examined in greater detail than the remaining oils, all of which correlated quite closely with each other. A combination of results used in this way is far more valuable than the biomarker data alone. In summary, the results demonstrate that various families of oils in the three basins can be distinguished on the basis of geochemical data and in many cases on the basis of the carbon isotopic composition alone. The oils from the Shanganning Basin had the lightest values, around -32%, whereas the Chaidamu were the heaviest in the -26% region. The Jianghan oils had values intermediate to

  19. Assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources of the Paris Basin, France, 2015

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schenk, Christopher J.; Charpentier, Ronald R.; Klett, Timothy R.; Tennyson, Marilyn E.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Le, Phoung A.; Brownfield, Michael E.; Pitman, Janet K.; Gaswirth, Stephanie B.; Marra, Kristen R.; Leathers, Heidi M.

    2015-01-01

    Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated means of 222 million barrels of unconventional oil; 2,092 billion cubic feet of unconventional gas; 18 million barrels of conventional oil; and 47 billion cubic feet of conventional gas resources in the Paris Basin of France.

  20. Assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources of the Taoudeni Basin Province, Mali and Mauritania, 2015

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brownfield, Michael E.; Schenk, Christopher J.; Klett, Timothy R.; Tennyson, Marilyn E.; Pitman, Janet K.; Gaswirth, Stephanie B.; Le, Phuong A.; Leathers-Miller, Heidi M.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Marra, Kristen R.; Hawkins, Sarah J.

    2016-01-01

    Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated undiscovered, technically recoverable mean resources of 160 million barrels of conventional oil, 1,880 billion cubic feet of conventional gas, 602 million barrels of shale oil, and 6,395 billion cubic feet of shale gas in the Taoudeni Basin Province in Mali and Mauritania.

  1. Assessment of Undiscovered Oil and Gas Resources of the Illinois Basin, 2007

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Swezey, Christopher S.

    2007-01-01

    Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated the following quantities of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil and gas resources in the Illinois Basin, USA: (1) a mean of 214 million barrels of oil; (2) a mean of 4.65 trillion cubic feet of natural gas; and (3) a mean of 24 million barrels of natural gas liquids.

  2. Toxic effects of oil sand naphthenic acids on the biomass accumulation of 21 potential phytoplankton remediation candidates.

    PubMed

    Woodworth, Adam P J; Frank, Richard A; McConkey, Brendan J; Müller, Kirsten M

    2012-12-01

    The oil sands of northern Alberta, Canada contain an estimated 170 billion barrels of crude oil. Extraction processes produce large amounts of liquid tailings known as oil sand process affected water (OSPW) that are toxic to aquatic organisms. Naphthenic acids (NAs), and their sodium salts, represent a significant contributor to the toxicity of these waters. Due to the recalcitrant nature of these compounds, an effective mode of remediation has yet to be established. This study investigates the suitability of the use of phytoplankton for remediation efforts based on two criteria: the ability of phytoplankton strains to withstand the toxic effects of NAs, and their rate of biomass accumulation. A total of 21 phytoplankton strains were isolated from waters containing NAs, cultured, and maintained under unialgal conditions. These strains were then exposed to NAs in concentrations ranging from 0mg L(-1) to 1000mg L(-1) over a 14 day period. Inhibition of growth was observed at 30mg L(-1) NA (one strain), 100mg L(-1) NA (one strain), 300mg L(-1) NA (six strains), and 1000mg L(-1) NA (six strains). Five strains failed to show any growth inhibition at any test concentration and two strains could not be analysed due to poor growth during the test period. Strains were then ranked based on their suitability for use in remediation efforts. PMID:23031586

  3. Bog Plant Tissue Chemistry as Indicators of Regionally Elevated Atmospheric N and S Deposition in the Alberta Oil Sands Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wieder, R.; Vile, M. A.; Scott, K. D.; Vitt, D. H.; Quinn, J.

    2011-12-01

    Nitrogen oxide and sulfur oxide emission from ongoing development of oil sands in northern Alberta results in regionally elevated atmospheric deposition of N and S in an area where background deposition of both N and S is exceptionally low (less than 1 kg/ha/yr). Because bogs, which represent major landforms in the Alberta oil sands region, are believed to be N-limited and potentially sensitive to S inputs, we have been investigating the effects of elevated N deposition on C, N, and S cycling in bogs, as well as the potential of bogs to serve as monitors of N and S deposition. Toward this latter end, we have measured seasonal variation (5 sampling dates between June and October 2009) concentrations of N and S, as well as δ15N value, in leaf tissues (Picea mariana (ectomycorrhizal); Ledum groenlandicum, Oxycoccos microcarpon, Vaccinium vitis-idaea (ericoid mycorrhizal); Rubus chamaemorus, and Smilacina trifolia (nonmycorrhizal), Sphagnum (S. fuscum, S. capillifolium, S. magellanicum, S. angustifolium) moss capitula (top 1-cm of plant) and lichens (Cladina mitis and Evernia mesomorpha) at 5 bogs at distances ranging from 14 to 300 km from the heart of the oil sands mining area. Averaged across all sites and sampling dates, N concentrations in ectomycorrhizal, ericoid mycorrhizal, nonmycorrhizal, Sphagnum, and lichens was 8.6 + 0.2, 11.9 + 0.2, 26.3 + 0.6, 10.2 + 0.1, 7.2 + 0.2 mg/g, respectively; δ15N values were -10.3 + 0.1, -6.0 + 0.1, 1.7 + 0.2, -5.3 + 0.1, -4.7 + 0.1 mg/g, respectively, and S concentrations were 1.07 + 0.2, 1.31 + 0.2, 1.94 + 0.6, 1.46 + 0.2, 1.11 + 0.3 mg/g, respectively. Plant functional groups and individual species behaved differently with respect to both seasonal variation and site differences, often with significant interactions when analyzed using two-way analyses of variance. Some species exhibited seasonal variation in some aspects

  4. Assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources of the Chad Basin Province, North-Central Africa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brownfield, Michael E.; Schenk, Christopher J.; Charpentier, Ronald R.; Klett, Timothy R.; Cook, Troy A.; Pollastro, Richard M.; Tennyson, Marilyn E.

    2010-01-01

    The Chad Basin Province located in north-central Africa recently was assessed for undiscovered, technically recoverable oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids resources as part of the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) World Oil and Gas Assessment. Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the USGS estimated mean volumes of 2.32 billion barrels of oil, 14.65 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 391 million barrels of natural gas liquids.

  5. In-Place Oil Shale Resources Underlying Federal Lands in the Piceance Basin, Western Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mercier, Tracey J.; Johnson, Ronald C.; Brownfield, Michael E.; Self, Jesse G.

    2010-01-01

    Using a geologic-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated an in-place oil shale resource of 1.07 trillion barrels under Federal mineral rights, or 70 percent of the total oil shale in place, in the Piceance Basin, Colorado. More than 67 percent of the total oil shale in-place resource, or 1.027 trillion barrels, is under Federal surface management.

  6. Petroleum systems of the San Joaquin Basin Province, California -- geochemical characteristics of oil types: Chapter 9 in Petroleum systems and geologic assessment of oil and gas in the San Joaquin Basin Province, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lillis, Paul G.; Magoon, Leslie B.

    2007-01-01

    New analyses of 120 oil samples combined with 139 previously published oil analyses were used to characterize and map the distribution of oil types in the San Joaquin Basin, California. The results show that there are at least four oil types designated MM, ET, EK, and CM. Most of the oil from the basin has low to moderate sulfur content (less than 1 weight percent sulfur), although a few unaltered MM oils have as much as 1.2 weight percent sulfur. Reevaluation of source rock data from the literature indicate that the EK oil type is derived from the Eocene Kreyenhagen Formation, and the MM oil type is derived, in part, from the Miocene to Pliocene Monterey Formation and its equivalent units. The ET oil type is tentatively correlated to the Eocene Tumey formation of Atwill (1935). Previous studies suggest that the CM oil type is derived from the Late Cretaceous to Paleocene Moreno Formation. Maps of the distribution of the oil types show that the MM oil type is restricted to the southern third of the San Joaquin Basin Province. The composition of MM oils along the southern and eastern margins of the basin reflects the increased contribution of terrigenous organic matter to the marine basin near the Miocene paleoshoreline. EK oils are widely distributed along the western half of the basin, and ET oils are present in the central and west-central areas of the basin. The CM oil type has only been found in the Coalinga area in southwestern Fresno County. The oil type maps provide the basis for petroleum system maps that incorporate source rock distribution and burial history, migration pathways, and geologic relationships between hydrocarbon source and reservoir rocks. These petroleum system maps were used for the 2003 U.S. Geological Survey resource assessment of the San Joaquin Basin Province.

  7. Nd, Sr-isotopic provenance and trace element geochemistry of Amazonian foreland basin fluvial sands, Bolivia and Peru: implications for ensialic Andean orogeny

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basu, Asish R.; Sharma, Mukul; DeCelles, Peter G.

    1990-10-01

    Nd and Sr isotopes and the trace element contents, including the rare earths, were determined for fluvial sands of lithic arenite composition from the Madre de Dios foreland basin of Bolivia and Peru. On standard petrologic ternary diagrams, the sands fall in the recycled orogen provenance field and thus are similar to typical ancient foreland basin composition. The average rare earth elemental pattern of the sands is identical to the upper continental crustal average, as estimated from post-Archean composite shales of different continents. Ratios ofTh/U, Co/Th, La/Sc and Th/Sc of the fluvial sands are intermediate between an average magmatic arc and an upper crustal average compositions. The dispersion of some trace elemental patterns in the sands can be attributed to fractionation of dense minerals, including zircon, during the sedimentation process. The variations of Nd isotopes in conjunction with the petrographic parameters of lithic metamorphic (Lm) and volcanic (Lv) fragments allow a two-fold classification of the sands. These two sand types can be interpreted in terms of mixing among three different provenances: one volcanic rock-suite with less negativeɛ Nd(O) parameter than the other volcanic suite, and a third metasedimentary source withɛ Nd(O) value of around -12, which is considered to be similar to the average western Brazilian shield composition. Thus the overall compositions of the sands has been modeled as mechanical mixtures of two components, an Andean magmatic arc and the Brazilian shield-derived metasediments. The model is strongly supported by a plot ofɛ Nd(O) versusɛ Sr(O) of the sands. In this plot, the Type 1 and 2 sands define two coherent hyperbolic trends contiguous with two different portions of the Andean magmatic trend. This relationship has been interpreted to indicate that the observed Andean magmatic trend in anɛ Sr(O)-ɛ Nd(O) diagram is the result of varying degrees of contamination of a "primitive arc-type" magma by the

  8. In vitro assessment of endocrine disrupting potential of naphthenic Acid fractions derived from oil sands-influenced water.

    PubMed

    Leclair, Liane A; Pohler, Lani; Wiseman, Steve B; He, Yuhe; Arens, Collin J; Giesy, John P; Scully, Stephen; Wagner, Brian D; van den Heuvel, Michael R; Hogan, Natacha S

    2015-05-01

    Oil sands-influenced process waters have been observed to cause reproductive effects and to induced CYP1A activity in fishes; however, little progress has been made in determining causative agents. Naphthenic acids (NAs) are the predominant organic compounds in process-affected waters, but due to the complexity of the mixture, it has been difficult to examine causal linkages in fishes. The aim of this study was to use in vitro assays specific to reproductive and CYP1A mechanisms to determine if specific acid extractable fractions of NAs obtained from oil sands-influenced water are active toward reproductive processes or interact with the Ah receptor responsible for CYP1A activity. NAs were extracted from aged oil sands-influenced waters by use of acid precipitation, and the mixture was fractionated into three acidic and one neutral fraction. The four fractions were examined for Ah receptor-mediated potency by use of the H4IIE-luc bioassay, effects on production of steroid hormones by use of the H295R steroidogenesis assay, and sex steroid receptor binding activity using the yeast estrogen screen and yeast androgen screen. The mixtures were characterized by high resolution mass spectrometry, (1)H nuclear magnetic resonance, and attenuated total reflectance infrared spectroscopy. The neutral fraction elicited Ah-receptor mediated activity after 24 h but not after 48 or 72 h. None of the fractions contained measurable levels of estrogen or androgen receptor agonists nor did they cause reductions in steroidogenesis. A number of fractions showed antiestrogenic or antiandrogenicity potency, with the neutral and main acidic fractions being the most potent. Neutral aromatic compounds are likely responsible for the CYP1A activity observed. Direct estrogenic, androgenic, or steroidogenic mechanisms are unlikely for NAs based on these results, but NAs act as potent antiandrogen or antiestrogens. PMID:25835061

  9. Degradation and aquatic toxicity of naphthenic acids in oil sands process-affected waters using simulated wetlands.

    PubMed

    Toor, Navdeep S; Franz, Eric D; Fedorak, Phillip M; MacKinnon, Michael D; Liber, Karsten

    2013-01-01

    Oil sands process-affected waters (OSPWs) produced during the extraction of bitumen at the Athabasca Oil Sands (AOS) located in northeastern Alberta, Canada, are toxic to many aquatic organisms. Much of this toxicity is related to a group of dissolved organic acids known as naphthenic acids (NAs). Naphthenic acids are a natural component of bitumen and are released into process water during the separation of bitumen from the oil sand ore by a caustic hot water extraction process. Using laboratory microcosms as an analogue of a proposed constructed wetland reclamation strategy for OSPW, we evaluated the effectiveness of these microcosms in degrading NAs and reducing the aquatic toxicity of OSPW over a 52-week test period. Experimental manipulations included two sources of OSPW (one from Syncrude Canada Ltd. and one from Suncor Energy Inc.), two different hydraulic retention times (HRTs; 40 and 400 d), and increased nutrient availability (added nitrate and phosphate). Microcosms with a longer HRT (for both OSPWs) showed higher reductions in total NAs concentrations (64-74% NAs reduction, p<0.05) over the test period, while nutrient enrichment appeared to have little effect. A 96 h static acute rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) bioassay showed that the initial acute toxicity of Syncrude OSPW (LC50=67% v/v) was reduced (LC50>100% v/v) independent of HRT. However, EC20s from separate Microtox® bioassays were relatively unchanged when comparing the input and microcosm waters at both HRTs over the 52-week study period (p>0.05), indicating that some sub-lethal toxicity persisted under these experimental conditions. The present study demonstrated that given sufficiently long HRTs, simulated wetland microcosms containing OSPW significantly reduced total NAs concentrations and acute toxicity, but left behind a persistent component of the NAs mixture that appeared to be associated with residual chronic toxicity. PMID:23000048

  10. Determining air pollutant emission rates based on mass balance using airborne measurement data over the Alberta oil sands operations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gordon, M.; Li, S.-M.; Staebler, R.; Darlington, A.; Hayden, K.; O'Brien, J.; Wolde, M.

    2015-09-01

    Top-down approaches to measure total integrated emissions provide verification of bottom-up, temporally resolved, inventory-based estimations. Aircraft-based measurements of air pollutants from sources in the Canadian oil sands were made in support of the Joint Canada-Alberta Implementation Plan for Oil Sands Monitoring during a summer intensive field campaign between 13 August and 7 September 2013. The measurements contribute to knowledge needed in support of the Joint Canada-Alberta Implementation Plan for Oil Sands Monitoring. This paper describes the top-down emission rate retrieval algorithm (TERRA) to determine facility emissions of pollutants, using SO2 and CH4 as examples, based on the aircraft measurements. In this algorithm, the flight path around a facility at multiple heights is mapped to a two-dimensional vertical screen surrounding the facility. The total transport of SO2 and CH4 through this screen is calculated using aircraft wind measurements, and facility emissions are then calculated based on the divergence theorem with estimations of box-top losses, horizontal and vertical turbulent fluxes, surface deposition, and apparent losses due to air densification and chemical reaction. Example calculations for two separate flights are presented. During an upset condition of SO2 emissions on one day, these calculations are within 5 % of the industry-reported, bottom-up measurements. During a return to normal operating conditions, the SO2 emissions are within 11 % of industry-reported, bottom-up measurements. CH4 emissions calculated with the algorithm are relatively constant within the range of uncertainties. Uncertainty of the emission rates is estimated as less than 30 %, which is primarily due to the unknown SO2 and CH4 mixing ratios near the surface below the lowest flight level.

  11. Assessment of Undiscovered Oil and Gas Resources of the Timan-Pechora Basin Province, Russia, 2008

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schenk, C.J.; Bird, K.J.; Charpentier, R.R.; Gautier, D.L.; Houseknecht, D.W.; Klett, T.R.; Moore, T.; Pawlewicz, M.J.; Pittman, J.; Tennyson, M.E.

    2008-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) recently assessed the undiscovered oil and gas potential of the Timan-Pechora Basin Province in Russia as part of the USGS Circum-Arctic Oil and Gas Resource Appraisal program. Geologically, the Timan-Pechora Basin Province is a triangular-shaped cratonic block bounded by the northeast-southwest trending Ural Mountains and the northwest-southeast trending Timan Ridge. The northern boundary is shared with the South Barents Sea Province (fig.1). The Timan-Pechora Basin Province has a long history of oil and gas exploration and production. The first field was discovered in 1930 and, after 75 years of exploration, more than 230 fields have been discovered and more than 5,400 wells have been drilled. This has resulted in the discovery of more than 16 billion barrels of oil and 40 trillion cubic feet of gas.

  12. Oil and gas resources of the Fergana basin (Uzbekistan, Tadzhikistan, and Kyrgyzstan). Advance summary

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-12-07

    The Energy Information Administration (EIA), in cooperation with the US Geological Survey (USGS), has assessed 13 major petroleum producing regions outside of the United States. This series of assessments has been performed under EIA`s Foreign Energy Supply Assessment Program (FESAP). The basic approach used in these assessments was to combine historical drilling, discovery, and production data with EIA reserve estimates and USGS undiscovered resource estimates. Field-level data for discovered oil were used for these previous assessments. In FESAP, supply projections through depletion were typically formulated for the country or major producing region. Until now, EIA has not prepared an assessment of oil and gas provinces in the former Soviet Union (FSU). Before breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Fergana basin was selected for a trial assessment of its discovered and undiscovered oil and gas. The object was to see if enough data could be collected and estimated to perform reasonable field-level estimates of oil and gas in this basin. If so, then assessments of other basins in the FSU could be considered. The objective was met and assessments of other basins can be considered. Collected data for this assessment cover discoveries through 1987. Compared to most other oil and gas provinces in the FSU, the Fergana basin is relatively small in geographic size, and in number and size of most of its oil and gas fields. However, with recent emphasis given to the central graben as a result of the relatively large Mingbulak field, the basin`s oil and gas potential has significantly increased. At least 7 additional fields to the 53 fields analyzed are known and are assumed to have been discovered after 1987.

  13. Inhibition of ABC transport proteins by oil sands process affected water.

    PubMed

    Alharbi, Hattan A; Saunders, David M V; Al-Mousa, Ahmed; Alcorn, Jane; Pereira, Alberto S; Martin, Jonathan W; Giesy, John P; Wiseman, Steve B

    2016-01-01

    The ATP-binding cassette (ABC) superfamily of transporter proteins is important for detoxification of xenobiotics. For example, ABC transporters from the multidrug-resistance protein (MRP) subfamily are important for excretion of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and their metabolites. Effects of chemicals in the water soluble organic fraction of relatively fresh oil sands process affected water (OSPW) from Base Mine Lake (BML-OSPW) and aged OSPW from Pond 9 (P9-OSPW) on the activity of MRP transporters were investigated in vivo by use of Japanese medaka at the fry stage of development. Activities of MRPs were monitored by use of the lipophilic dye calcein, which is transported from cells by ABC proteins, including MRPs. To begin to identify chemicals that might inhibit activity of MRPs, BML-OSPW and P9-OSPW were fractionated into acidic, basic, and neutral fractions by use of mixed-mode sorbents. Chemical compositions of fractions were determined by use of ultrahigh resolution orbitrap mass spectrometry in ESI(+) and ESI(-) mode. Greater amounts of calcein were retained in fry exposed to BML-OSPW at concentration equivalents greater than 1× (i.e., full strength). The neutral and basic fractions of BML-OSPW, but not the acidic fraction, caused greater retention of calcein. Exposure to P9-OSPW did not affect the amount of calcein in fry. Neutral and basic fractions of BML-OSPW contained relatively greater amounts of several oxygen-, sulfur, and nitrogen-containing chemical species that might inhibit MRPs, such as O(+), SO(+), and NO(+) chemical species, although secondary fractionation will be required to conclusively identify the most potent inhibitors. Naphthenic acids (O2(-)), which were dominant in the acidic fraction, did not appear to be the cause of the inhibition. This is the first study to demonstrate that chemicals in the water soluble organic fraction of OSPW inhibit activity of this important class of proteins. However, aging of OSPW attenuates

  14. Measurements of HONO in a Forested Region of Alberta Impacted by Oil Sands Processing Facilities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McLaren, R.; Nikelski, K.; Lobo, A.; Davis, Z.

    2015-12-01

    During the summer of 2013, measurements of NO2, SO2 and HONO were made at a ground site in a rural forested region of Alberta known to be impacted by several oil sands processing facilities. Such sources are known to be the main sources of NOx and SOx emissions in the region. Nitrous acid (HONO) can be emitted directly from combustion sources in addition to being formed from the heterogeneous hydrolysis of NO2 on moist surfaces. The measurements were made both day and night by Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (DOAS) along a 2.304 km optical return path through the forest canopy using a 30-corner cube reflector. Nitrous acid (HONO) is of particular relevance to atmospheric chemistry as it can contribute to photochemical production of the OH radical, the main daytime oxidant in the troposphere, which was estimated to exceed 2•107 molec cm-3 on several days during the study, giving rise to rapid aerosol formation. Typically in urban areas HONO mixing ratios accumulate during the night, and are lost the next morning due to photolysis (HONO + hv→ OH + NO2). During this study however, HONO mixing ratios were found to be quite low with a median nightime mixing ratio of ~ 200 ppt. This is attributed to the very low nighttime NO2 precursor levels, perhaps in combination with a high surface area for deposition on the coniferous canopy. The low nighttime mixing ratios of NO2 and SO2 were driven by limited nocturnal mixing of elevated plumes down to the surface, while high daytime levels of NO2 and SO2 were episodic and frequently driven by daytime fumigation of the elevated plumes to the surface with additional contribution from surface sources of NOx. Daytime mixing ratios of HONO persisted longer than expected with median noontime mixing ratios of >50ppt. While this can imply an additional daytime source of HONO as has been observed by many others, it may also result from reduced photolysis rates below the canopy. This issue is being pursued more

  15. Evaluating microbial carbon sources in Athabasca oil sands tailings ponds using natural abundance stable and radiocarbon isotopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahad, J. M.; Pakdel, H.

    2013-12-01

    Natural abundance stable (δ13C) and radiocarbon (Δ14C) isotopes of phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) were used to evaluate the carbon sources utilized by the active microbial populations in surface sediments from Athabasca oil sands tailings ponds. The absence of algal-specific PLFAs at three of the four sites investigated, in conjunction with δ13C signatures for PLFAs that were generally within ~3‰ of that reported for oil sands bitumen (~ -30‰), indicated that the microbial communities growing on petroleum constituents were dominated by aerobic heterotrophs. The Δ14C values of PLFAs ranged from -906 to -586‰ and pointed to a significant uptake of fossil carbon (up to ~90% of microbial carbon derived from petroleum), particularly in PLFAs (e.g., cy17:0 and cy19:0) often associated with petroleum hydrocarbon degrading bacteria. The comparatively higher levels of 14C in other, less specific PLFAs (e.g., 16:0) indicated the preferential uptake of younger organic matter by the general microbial population (~50-80% of microbial carbon derived from petroleum). Since the main carbon pools in tailings sediment were essentially 'radiocarbon dead' (i.e., no detectable 14C), the principal source for this modern carbon is considered to be the Athabasca River, which provides the bulk of the water used in the bitumen extraction process. The preferential uptake of the minor amount of young and presumably more biodegradable material present in systems otherwise dominated by recalcitrant petroleum constituents has important implications for remediation strategies. On the one hand, it implies that mining-related organic contaminants could persist in the environment long after tailings pond reclamation has begun. Alternatively, it may be that the young, labile organic matter provided by the Athabasca River plays an important role in stimulating or supporting the microbial utilization of petroleum carbon in oil sands tailings ponds via co-metabolism or priming processes

  16. Advances in mass spectrometric characterization of naphthenic acids fraction compounds in oil sands environmental samples and crude oil--A review.

    PubMed

    Headley, John V; Peru, Kerry M; Barrow, Mark P

    2016-01-01

    There has been a recent surge in the development of mass spectrometric methods for detailed characterization of naphthenic acid fraction compounds (all C(c)H(h)N(n)O(o)S(s), species, including heteroatomic and aromatic components in the acid-extractable fraction) in environmental samples. This surge is driven by the increased activity in oil sands environmental monitoring programs in Canada, the exponential increase in research studies on the isolation and toxicity identification of components in oil sands process water (OSPW), and the analytical requirements for development of technologies for treatment of OSPW. There has been additional impetus due to the parallel studies to control corrosion from naphthenic acids during the mining and refining of heavy bitumen and crude oils. As a result, a range of new mass spectrometry tools have been introduced since our last major review of this topic in 2009. Of particular significance are the developments of combined mass spectrometric methods that incorporate technologies such as gas chromatography, liquid chromatography, and ion mobility. There has been additional progress with respect to improved visualization methods for petroleomics and oil sands environmental forensics. For comprehensive coverage and more reliable characterization of samples, an approach based on multiple-methods that employ two or more ionization modes is recommended. On-line or off-line fractionation of isolated extracts, with or without derivatization, might also be used prior to mass spectrometric analyses. Individual ionization methods have their associated strengths and weaknesses, including biases, and thus dependence upon a single ionization method is potentially misleading. There is also a growing trend to not rely solely on low-resolution mass spectrometric methods (<20,000 resolving power at m/z 200) for characterization of complex samples. Future research is anticipated to focus upon (i) structural elucidation of components to determine

  17. Reservoir characteristics of two minter oil sands based on continuous core, E-logs, and geochemical data: Bee Brake field, East-Central Louisiana

    SciTech Connect

    Echols, J.B.; Goddard, D.A.; Bouma, A. )

    1993-09-01

    The Bee Brake field area, located in township 4N/6E and 4N/7E in Concordia Parish, has been one of the more prolific oil-producing areas in east-central Louisiana. Production decline in various fields, however, has sparked interest in the economic feasibility of locating and producing the remaining bypassed oil in the lower Wilcox. For this purpose, the Angelina BBF No. 1 well was drilled, and a 500-ft conventional core and a complete suite of state-of-the-are wireline logs were recovered. Production tests were run on the Minter interval of interest. The 16-ft Minter interval (6742-6758 ft depth), bounded at its top and base by lignite seams, consists of an upper 4-ft oil sand (Bee Brake) and a lower 3-ft oil sand (Angelina). The oil sands are separated by approximately 5 ft of thinly laminated silty shale and 4 ft of very fine-grained silty sandstone. Detailed sedimentologic and petrographic descriptions of the Minter interval provide accurate facies determinations of this lower delta-plain sequence. Petrophysical evaluation, combining core plug and modern electric-log data show differences between reservoir quality of the Bee Brake and Angelina sands. This data will also be useful for correlating and interpolating old electric logs. Organic geochemistry of the oil, lignites, and shales provides insight as to the source of the Minter oils and the sourcing potential of the lignites.

  18. Possible continuous-type (unconventional) gas accumulation in the Lower Silurian "Clinton" sands, Medina Group and Tuscarora Sandstone in the Appalachian Basin; a progress report of the 1995 project activities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ryder, Robert T.; Aggen, Kerry L.; Hettinger, Robert D.; Law, Ben E.; Miller, John J.; Nuccio, Vito F.; Perry, William J., Jr.; Prensky, Stephen E.; Filipo, John J.; Wandrey, Craig J.

    1996-01-01

    INTRODUCTION: In the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) 1995 National Assessment of United States oil and gas resources (Gautier and others, 1995), the Appalachian basin was estimated to have, at a mean value, about 61 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of recoverable gas in sandstone and shale reservoirs of Paleozoic age. Approximately one-half of this gas resource is estimated to reside in a regionally extensive, continuous-type gas accumulation whose reservoirs consist of low-permeability sandstone of the Lower Silurian 'Clinton' sands and Medina Group (Gautier and others, 1995; Ryder, 1995). Recognizing the importance of this large regional gas accumulation for future energy considerations, the USGS initiated in January 1995 a multi-year study to evaluate the nature, distribution, and origin of natural gas in the 'Clinton' sands, Medina Group sandstones, and equivalent Tuscarora Sandstone. The project is part of a larger natural gas project, Continuous Gas Accumulations in Sandstones and Carbonates, coordinated in FY1995 by Ben E. Law and Jennie L. Ridgley, USGS, Denver. Approximately 2.6 man years were devoted to the Clinton/Medina project in FY1995. A continuous-type gas accumulation, referred to in the project, is a new term introduced by Schmoker (1995a) to identify those natural gas accumulations whose reservoirs are charged throughout with gas over a large area and whose entrapment does not involve a downdip gas-water contact. Gas in these accumulations is located downdip of the water column and, thus, is the reverse of conventional-type hydrocarbon accumulations. Commonly used industry terms that are more or less synonymous with continuous-type gas accumulations include basin- centered gas accumulation (Rose and others, 1984; Law and Spencer, 1993), tight (low-permeability) gas reservoir (Spencer, 1989; Law and others, 1989; Perry, 1994), and deep basin gas (Masters, 1979, 1984). The realization that undiscovered gas in Lower Silurian sandstone reservoirs of the

  19. Nigeria to step up tar sands activity

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1987-03-01

    The Nigerian government has directed its Ministry of Mines, Power and Steel to assume responsibility for the exploration and exploitation of tar sands deposits in Bendel, Ondo and Oyo States. The directive resulted from a survey report by the University of Ife's geological consultancy unit on bituminous sand deposits in the area. The statement said the government was satisfied that there were large commercial quantities of the sands in the three states. The survey had reported that Nigeria could recover between 31 and 40 billion barrels of heavy crude from the tar sand deposits. Exploration for hydrocarbons is currently going on in Anambra and Lake Chad basins as well as the Benue Trough. Apart from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Shell Petroleum and Gulf Oil have begun exploration activities in the Ondo area. Meanwhile, Nigeria has had to import heavy crude from Venezuela, for processing at the Kaduna refinery.

  20. CYP1A induction and blue sac disease in early life stages of white suckers (Catostomus commersoni) exposed to oil sands.

    PubMed

    Colavecchia, Maria V; Hodson, Peter V; Parrott, Joanne L

    2006-05-01

    The objectives of this study were to evaluate the influence of natural oil sands on the early developmental stages of white sucker (Catostomus commersoni) and to determine whether biochemical responses in this species were similar to native fish caught in the Athabasca Oil Sands area. Early life stage (ELS) sediment toxicity tests were conducted using controls, reference sediments, natural oil sands, and industrially contaminated (wastewater pond) sediments collected from sites along the Athabasca River, Alberta (Canada). Eggs and larvae were observed for mortality, hatching, deformities, growth, and cytochrome P-4501A (CYP1A) activity using immunohistochemistry. E-Nat-, S-Nat-, and wastewater pond sediment-exposed groups showed significant premature hatching, reduced growth, and exposure-dependent increases in ELS mortality and larval malformations relative to controls. The most common larval deformities included edemas (pericardial, yolk sac, and subepidermal), hemorrhages, and spinal defects. Juveniles exposed to oil sands and wastewater pond sediments (96 h) demonstrated significantly increased 7-ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) activity (30- to 50-fold) as compared to controls. Reference sediment-exposed groups and water controls demonstrated reliable embryo and larval survival, minimal malformations, and negligible CYP1A staining. These observed signs of blue sac disease (ELS mortality, malformations, growth reductions, CYP1A activity induction) may produce deleterious reproductive effects in natural fish populations exposed to oil sands mixtures. PMID:16728374

  1. A numerical/empirical technique for history matching and predicting cyclic steam performance in Canadian oil sands reservoirs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leshchyshyn, Theodore Henry

    The oil sands of Alberta contain some one trillion barrels of bitumen-in-place, most contained in the McMurray, Wabiskaw, Clearwater, and Grand Rapids formations. Depth of burial is 0--550 m, 10% of which is surface mineable, the rest recoverable by in-situ technology-driven enhanced oil recovery schemes. To date, significant commercial recovery has been attributed to Cyclic Steam Stimulation (CSS) using vertical wellbores. Other techniques, such as Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) are proving superior to other recovery methods for increasing early oil production but at initial higher development and/or operating costs. Successful optimization of bitumen production rates from the entire reservoir is ultimately decided by the operator's understanding of the reservoir in its original state and/or the positive and negative changes which occur in oil sands and heavy oil deposits upon heat stimulation. Reservoir description is the single most important factor in attaining satisfactory history matches and forecasts for optimized production of the commercially-operated processes. Reservoir characterization which lacks understanding can destroy a project. For example, incorrect assumptions in the geological model for the Wolf Lake Project in northeast Alberta resulted in only about one-half of the predicted recovery by the original field process. It will be shown here why the presence of thin calcite streaks within oil sands can determine the success or failure of a commercial cyclic steam project. A vast amount of field data, mostly from the Primrose Heavy Oil Project (PHOP) near Cold Lake, Alberta, enabled the development a simple set of correlation curves for predicting bitumen production using CSS. A previously calibtrated thermal numerical simulation model was used in its simplist form, that is, a single layer, radial grid blocks, "fingering" or " dilation" adjusted permeability curves, and no simulated fracture, to generate the first cycle production

  2. The application of fossil resin biomarkers to oil-source correlation in some Australian sedimentary basins

    SciTech Connect

    Alexander, R.; Larcher, A.V.; Kagi, R.I. ); Price, P.L. )

    1989-03-01

    Suites of aromatic and saturated compounds which are indicative of plant resins from Araucariaceae have been identified in widely distributed sediments of Jurassic age from the Eromanga Basin. Similar biomarker assemblages have been shown not to be present in sediments of Permian age from the Cooper Basin. Some crude oils contained in reservoirs of Jurassic to Cretaceous age have been shown to contain the biomarker assemblage characteristic of the sediments of Jurassic age and, therefore, appear to have been derived from sediments within the Eromanga Basin. Other crude oils in reservoirs of this age, together with all crude oils from reservoirs of Permian age do not contain the biomarker signature of the sediments of Jurassic age, and are therefore presumed to have been derived from the Permian sediments within the Eromanga Basin. Other crude oils in reservoirs of this age, together with all crude oils from reservoirs of Permian age do not contain the biomarker signature of the sediments of Jurassic age, and are therefore presumed to have been derived from the Permian sediments of the Cooper Basin.

  3. PAH distributions in sediments in the oil sands monitoring area and western Lake Athabasca: Concentration, composition and diagnostic ratios.

    PubMed

    Evans, Marlene; Davies, Martin; Janzen, Kim; Muir, Derek; Hazewinkel, Rod; Kirk, Jane; de Boer, Dirk

    2016-06-01

    Oil sands activities north of Fort McMurray, Alberta, have intensified in recent years with a concomitant debate as to their environmental impacts. The Regional Aquatics Monitoring Program and its successor, the Joint Canada-Alberta Implementation Plan for Oil Sands Monitoring (JOSM), are the primary aquatic programs monitoring this industry. Here we examine sediment data (collected by Ekman grabs) to investigate trends and sources of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), supplementing these data with sediment core studies. Total PAH (ΣPAH) concentrations were highest at Shipyard Lake (6038 ± 2679 ng/g) in the development center and lower at Isadore's Lake (1660 ± 777 ng/g) to the north; both lakes are in the Athabasca River Valley and lie below the developments. ΣPAH concentrations were lower (622-930 ng/g) in upland lakes (Kearl, McClelland) located further away from the developments. ΣPAH concentrations increased at Shipyard Lake (2001-2014) and the Ells River mouth (1998-2014) but decreased in nearshore areas at Kearl Lake (2001-2014) and a Muskeg River (2000-2014) site. Over the longer term, ΣPAH concentrations increased in Kearl (1934-2012) and Sharkbite (1928-2010) Lakes. Further (200 km) downstream in the Athabasca River delta, ΣPAH concentrations (1029 ± 671 ng/g) increased (1999-2014) when %sands were included in the regression model; however, 50 km to the east, concentrations declined (1926-2009) in Lake Athabasca. Ten diagnostic ratios based on anthracene, phenanthrene, fluoranthene, pyrene, benz[a]anthracene, chrysene, indeno[123-cd]pyrene, dibenz[a,h]anthracene, dibenzothiophene and retene were examined to infer spatial and temporal trends in PAH sources (e.g., combustion versus petrogenic) and weathering. There was some evidence of increasing contributions of unprocessed oil sands and bitumen dust to Shipyard, Sharkbite, and Isadore's Lakes and increased combustion sources in the Athabasca River delta. Some CCME interim

  4. Granular activated carbon for simultaneous adsorption and biodegradation of toxic oil sands process-affected water organic compounds.

    PubMed

    Islam, Md Shahinoor; Zhang, Yanyan; McPhedran, Kerry N; Liu, Yang; Gamal El-Din, Mohamed

    2015-04-01

    Naphthenic acids (NAs) released into oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) during bitumen processing in Northern Alberta are problematic for oil sands industries due to their toxicity in the environment and resistance to degradation during conventional wastewater treatment processes. Granular activated carbon (GAC) has shown to be an effective media in removing biopersistent organics from wastewater using a combination of adsorption and biodegradation removal mechanisms. A simultaneous GAC (0.4 g GAC/L) adsorption and biodegradation (combined treatment) study was used for the treatment of raw and ozonated OSPW. After 28 days of batch treatment, classical and oxidized NAs removals for raw OSPW were 93.3% and 73.7%, and for ozonated OSPW were 96.2% and 77.1%, respectively. Synergetic effects of the combined treatment process were observed in removals of COD, the acid extractable fraction, and oxidized NAs, which indicated enhanced biodegradation and bioregeneration in GAC biofilms. A bacteria copy number >10(8) copies/g GAC on GAC surfaces was found using quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction after treatment for both raw and ozonated OSPW. A Microtox(®) acute toxicity test (Vibrio fischeri) showed effective toxicity removal (>95.3%) for the combined treatments. Therefore, the simultaneous GAC adsorption and biodegradation treatment process is a promising technology for the elimination of toxic OSPW NAs. PMID:25617868

  5. Influence of O2 and H2O on carbothermal reduction of SO2 by oil-sand fluid coke.

    PubMed

    Feng, Wenguo; Jia, Charles Q

    2005-12-15

    To develop a new process for removing high-concentration SO2 from industrial flue gases, the carbothermal reduction of SO2 by oil-sand fluid coke at 700 degrees C was investigated by varying the inlet concentration of either O2 or H2O. Concentrations of O2 and H2O ranged from 0 to 20% and from 0 to 30%, respectively, in a stream of SO2 (18%) with the balance helium. Addition of O2 and H2O was found to enhance SO2 reduction. The enhancement was attributed to the reducing gases, CO and H2, produced by solid-gas reactions between carbon and O2 or H2O. The effects of O2 and H2O on sulfur yield, however, were bifacial: adding O2 and/or H2O increased the sulfur yield when SO2 conversion was incomplete, otherwise, it decreased the sulfur yield through the formation of sulfides such as H2S. The results of a thermodynamic analysis were in a good agreementwith the experimental results, suggesting that gas-solid reactions were slow enough to allow gas-phase equilibrium. This study indicates that carbon, such as oil-sand fluid coke, can be utilized to remove SO2 in flue gases containing O2/H2O and to convert it to elemental sulfur. PMID:16475356

  6. Long-Term Incubation Reveals Methanogenic Biodegradation of C5 and C6 iso-Alkanes in Oil Sands Tailings.

    PubMed

    Siddique, Tariq; Mohamad Shahimin, Mohd Faidz; Zamir, Saima; Semple, Kathleen; Li, Carmen; Foght, Julia M

    2015-12-15

    iso-Alkanes are major components of petroleum and have been considered recalcitrant to biodegradation under methanogenic conditions. However, indigenous microbes in oil sands tailings ponds exposed to solvents rich in 2-methylbutane, 2-methylpentane, 3-methylpentane, n-pentane, and n-hexane produce methane in situ. We incubated defined mixtures of iso- or n-alkanes with mature fine tailings from two tailings ponds of different ages historically exposed to different solvents: one, ~10 years old, receiving C5-C6 paraffins and the other, ~35 years old, receiving naphtha. A lengthy incubation (>6 years) revealed iso-alkane biodegradation after lag phases of 900-1800 and ~280 days, respectively, before the onset of methanogenesis, although lag phases were shorter with n-alkanes (~650-1675 and ~170 days, respectively). 2-Methylpentane and both n-alkanes were completely depleted during ~2400 days of incubation, whereas 2-methylbutane and 3-methylpentane were partially depleted only during active degradation of 2-methylpentane, suggesting co-metabolism. In both cases, pyrotag sequencing of 16S rRNA genes showed codominance of Peptococcaceae with acetoclastic (Methanosaeta) and hydrogenotrophic (Methanoregula and Methanolinea) methanogens. These observations are important for predicting long-term greenhouse-gas emissions from oil sands tailings ponds and extend the known range of hydrocarbons susceptible to methanogenic biodegradation in petroleum-impacted anaerobic environments. PMID:26571341

  7. In Vitro Microbial Degradation of Bituminous Hydrocarbons and In Situ Colonization of Bitumen Surfaces Within the Athabasca Oil Sands Deposit

    PubMed Central

    Wyndham, R. C.; Costerton, J. W.

    1981-01-01

    Bituminous hydrocarbons extracted from the Athabasca oil sands of north-eastern Alberta were adsorbed onto filter supports and placed at sites in the Athabasca River and its tributaries where these rivers come in contact with the oil sands formation. Colonization of the hydrocarbon surfaces at summer and winter ambient temperatures was examined by scanning and transmission electron microscopy as well as by epifluorescence microscopy of acridine orange-stained cross sections. Ruthenium red and alkaline bismuth stains visualized an association of bacteria with the hydrocarbon surface which was mediated by bacterial polysaccharides. Bacteria apparently lacking a glycocalyx were also found closely associated with the surface of the hydrophobic substrate and in channels within the substrate. A solvent precipitation and column chromatographic fractionation of the bitumen was followed by cross-tests for growth on the fractions by various isolated sediment microorganisms, as determined by epifluorescence count. All fractions except the asphaltenes supported the growth of at least two of the isolates, although fractionation of degraded bitumen revealed that the saturate, aromatic, and first polar fractions were preferentially degraded. Images PMID:16345738

  8. Anaerobic alkane biodegradation by cultures enriched from oil sands tailings ponds involves multiple species capable of fumarate addition.

    PubMed

    Tan, BoonFei; Semple, Kathleen; Foght, Julia

    2015-05-01

    A methanogenic short-chain alkane-degrading culture (SCADC) was enriched from oil sands tailings and transferred several times with a mixture of C6, C7, C8 and C10 n-alkanes as the predominant organic carbon source, plus 2-methylpentane, 3-methylpentane and methylcyclopentane as minor components. Cultures produced ∼40% of the maximum theoretical methane during 18 months incubation while depleting the n-alkanes, 2-methylpentane and methylcyclopentane. Substrate depletion correlated with detection of metabolites characteristic of fumarate activation of 2-methylpentane and methylcyclopentane, but not n-alkane metabolites. During active methanogenesis with the mixed alkanes, reverse-transcription PCR confirmed the expression of functional genes (assA and bssA) associated with hydrocarbon addition to fumarate. Pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes amplified during active alkane degradation revealed enrichment of Clostridia (particularly Peptococcaceae) and methanogenic Archaea (Methanosaetaceae and Methanomicrobiaceae). Methanogenic cultures transferred into medium containing sulphate produced sulphide, depleted n-alkanes and produced the corresponding succinylated alkane metabolites, but were slow to degrade 2-methylpentane and methylcyclopentane; these cultures were enriched in Deltaproteobacteria rather than Clostridia. 3-Methylpentane was not degraded by any cultures. Thus, nominally methanogenic oil sands tailings harbour dynamic and versatile hydrocarbon-degrading fermentative syntrophs and sulphate reducers capable of degrading n-, iso- and cyclo-alkanes by addition to fumarate. PMID:25873461

  9. Effectiveness of ozonation treatment in eliminating toxicity of oil sands process-affected water to Chironomus dilutus.

    PubMed

    Anderson, J C; Wiseman, S B; Wang, N; Moustafa, A; Perez-Estrada, L; Gamal El-Din, M; Martin, J W; Liber, K; Giesy, J P

    2012-01-01

    Water soluble organic compounds (OCs), including naphthenic acids (NAs), are potentially toxic constituents of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) that is generated during extraction of bitumen from Alberta oil sands. Ozonation can decrease concentrations of OCs in OSPW. However, effects of ozonated-OSPW on multicellular organisms are unknown. A 10-day and a chronic exposure of Chironomus dilutus to OSPW were conducted to assess effects on survival, growth, development, and behavior. Two separate batches of OSPW were treated with 30 or 80 mg ozone (O(3))/L. Wet body masses of larvae exposed to OSPW were 64 to 77% less than their respective controls (p < 0.001). However, both levels of ozonation significantly attenuated effects of OSPW on growth. Similarly, chronic exposure to untreated OSPW resulted in significantly less pupation than in the controls, with 31% and 71% less pupation of larvae exposed to the two batches of OSPW (p < 0.05). Emergence was significantly less for larvae exposed to OSPW, with 13% and 8% of larvae emerging, compared to 81% in controls (p < 0.0001). Both levels of ozonation of OSPW attenuated effects on emergence. These results suggest that OCs degraded by ozonation causes toxicity of OSPW toward C. dilutus, and that ozonation attenuates toxicity of OSPW. PMID:21992611

  10. Determination of thermodynamic and transport parameters of naphthenic acids and organic process chemicals in oil sand tailings pond water.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiaomeng; Robinson, Lisa; Wen, Qing; Kasperski, Kim L

    2013-07-01

    Oil sand tailings pond water contains naphthenic acids and process chemicals (e.g., alkyl sulphates, quaternary ammonium compounds, and alkylphenol ethoxylates). These chemicals are toxic and can seep through the foundation of the tailings pond to the subsurface, potentially affecting the quality of groundwater. As a result, it is important to measure the thermodynamic and transport parameters of these chemicals in order to study the transport behavior of contaminants through the foundation as well as underground. In this study, batch adsorption studies and column experiments were performed. It was found that the transport parameters of these chemicals are related to their molecular structures and other properties. The computer program (CXTFIT) was used to further evaluate the transport process in the column experiments. The results from this study show that the transport of naphthenic acids in a glass column is an equilibrium process while the transport of process chemicals seems to be a non-equilibrium process. At the end of this paper we present a real-world case study in which the transport of the contaminants through the foundation of an external tailings pond is calculated using the lab-measured data. The results show that long-term groundwater monitoring of contaminant transport at the oil sand mining site may be necessary to avoid chemicals from reaching any nearby receptors. PMID:23736740

  11. Bio-physicochemical effects of gamma irradiation treatment for naphthenic acids in oil sands fluid fine tailings.

    PubMed

    Boudens, Ryan; Reid, Thomas; VanMensel, Danielle; Prakasan M R, Sabari; Ciborowski, Jan J H; Weisener, Christopher G

    2016-01-01

    Naphthenic acids (NAs) are persistent compounds that are components of most petroleum, including those found in the Athabasca oil sands. Their presence in freshly processed tailings is of significant environmental concern due to their toxicity to aquatic organisms. Gamma irradiation (GI) was used to reduce the toxicity and concentration of NAs in oil sands process water (OSPW) and fluid fine tailings (FFT). This investigation systematically studied the impact of GI on the biogeochemical development and progressive reduction of toxicity using laboratory incubations of fresh and aged tailings under anoxic and oxic conditions. GI reduced NA concentrations in OSPW by up to 97% in OSPW and in FFT by 85%. The GI-treated FFT exhibited increased rates of biogeochemical change, dependent on the age of the tailings source. Dissolved oxygen (DO) flux was enhanced in GI-treated FFT from fresh and aged source materials, whereas hydrogen sulfide (HS(-)) flux was stimulated only in the fresh FFT. Acute toxicity to Vibrio fischeri was immediately reduced following GI treatment of fresh OSPW. GI treatment followed by 4-week incubation reduced toxicity of aged OSPW to V. fischeri. PMID:26356184

  12. Phylogeography of the pallid kangaroo mouse, Microdipodops pallidus: a sand-obligate endemic of the Great Basin, western North America

    PubMed Central

    Hafner, John C; Upham, Nathan S; Reddington, Emily; Torres, Candice W

    2008-01-01

    Aim Kangaroo mice, genus Microdipodops Merriam, are endemic to the Great Basin and include two species: M. pallidus Merriam and M. megacephalus Merriam. The pallid kangaroo mouse, M. pallidus, is a sand-obligate desert rodent. Our principal intent is to identify its current geographical distribution and to formulate a phylogeographical hypothesis for this taxon. In addition, we test for orientation patterns in haplotype sharing for evidence of past episodes of movement and gene flow. Location The Great Basin Desert region of western North America, especially the sandy habitats of the Lahontan Trough and those in south-central Nevada. Methods Mitochondrial DNA sequence data from portions of three genes (16S ribosomal RNA, cytochrome b, and transfer RNA for glutamic acid) were obtained from 98 individuals of M. pallidus representing 27 general localities sampled throughout its geographical range. Molecular sequence data were analysed using neighbour-joining, maximum-parsimony, maximum-likelihood and Bayesian methods of phylogenetic inference. Directional analysis of phylogeographical patterns, a novel method, was used to examine angular measurements of haplotype sharing between pairs of localities to detect and quantify historical events pertaining to movement patterns and gene flow. Results Collecting activities showed that M. pallidus is a rather rare rodent (mean trapping success was 2.88%), and its distribution has changed little from that determined three-quarters of a century ago. Two principal phylogroups, distributed as eastern and western moieties, are evident from the phylogenetic analyses (mean sequence divergence for cytochrome b is c. 8%). The western clade shows little phylogenetic structure and seems to represent a large polytomy. In the eastern clade, however, three subgroups are recognized. Nine of the 42 unique composite haplotypes are present at two or more localities and are used for the orientation analyses. Axial data from haplotype sharing

  13. Improvement in facies discrimination using multiple seismic attributes for permeability modelling of the Athabasca Oil Sands, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kashihara, Koji; Tsuji, Takashi

    2010-02-01

    This study was conducted to develop a reservoir modelling workflow to reproduce the heterogeneous distribution of effective permeability that impacts on the performance of SAGD (Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage), the in-situ bitumen recovery technique in the Athabasca Oil Sands. Lithologic facies distribution is the main cause of the heterogeneity in bitumen reservoirs in the study area. The target formation consists of sand with mudstone facies in a fluvial-to-estuary channel system, where the mudstone interrupts fluid flow and reduces effective permeability. In this study, the lithologic facies is classified into three classes having different characteristics of effective permeability, depending on the shapes of mudstones. The reservoir modelling workflow of this study consists of two main modules; facies modelling and permeability modelling. The facies modelling provides an identification of the three lithologic facies, using a stochastic approach, which mainly control the effective permeability. The permeability modelling populates mudstone volume fraction first, then transforms it into effective permeability. A series of flow simulations applied to mini-models of the lithologic facies obtains the transformation functions of the mudstone volume fraction into the effective permeability. Seismic data contribute to the facies modelling via providing prior probability of facies, which is incorporated in the facies models by geostatistical techniques. In particular, this study employs a probabilistic neural network utilising multiple seismic attributes in facies prediction that improves the prior probability of facies. The result of using the improved prior probability in facies modelling is compared to the conventional method using a single seismic attribute to demonstrate the improvement in the facies discrimination. Using P-wave velocity in combination with density in the multiple seismic attributes is the essence of the improved facies discrimination. This paper

  14. Detection of residual oil-sand-derived organic material in developing soils of reclamation sites by ultra-high-resolution mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Noah, Mareike; Poetz, Stefanie; Vieth-Hillebrand, Andrea; Wilkes, Heinz

    2015-06-01

    The reconstruction of disturbed landscapes back to working ecosystems is an issue of increasing importance for the oil sand areas in Alberta, Canada. In this context, the fate of oil-sand-derived organic material in the tailings sands used for reclamation is of utmost environmental importance. Here we use electrospray ionization Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry of maltene fractions to identify compositional variations over a complete oil sand mining and recultivation process chain. On the basis of bulk compound class distributions and percentages of unique elemental compositions, we identify specific compositional features that are related to the different steps of the process chain. The double bond equivalent and carbon number distributions of the N1 and S1O2 classes are almost invariant along the process chain, despite a significant decrease in overall abundance. We thus suggest that these oil-sand-derived components can be used as sensitive tracers of residual bitumen, even in soils from relatively old reclamation sites. The patterns of the O2, O3, and O4 classes may be applied to assess process-chain-related changes in organic matter composition, including the formation of plant-derived soil organic matter on the reclamation sites. The N1O2 species appear to be related to unidentified processes in the tailings ponds but do not represent products of aerobic biodegradation of pyrrolic nitrogen compounds. PMID:25961672

  15. Relevance of the Sea Sand Disruption Method (SSDM) for the biometrical differentiation of the essential-oil composition from conifers.

    PubMed

    Dawidowicz, Andrzej L; Czapczyńska, Natalia B; Wianowska, Dorota

    2013-02-01

    Sea Sand Disruption Method (SSDM) is a simple and cheap sample-preparation procedure allowing the reduction of organic solvent consumption, exclusion of sample component degradation, improvement of extraction efficiency and selectivity, and elimination of additional sample clean-up and pre-concentration step before chromatographic analysis. This article deals with the possibility of SSDM application for the differentiation of essential-oils components occurring in the Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and cypress (Cupressus sempervirens L.) needles from Madrid (Spain), Laganas (Zakhyntos, Greece), Cala Morell (Menorca, Spain), Lublin (Poland), Helsinki (Finland), and Oradea (Romania). The SSDM results are related to the analogous - obtained applying two other sample preparation methods - steam distillation and Pressurized Liquid Extraction (PLE). The results presented established that the total amount and the composition of essential-oil components revealed by SSDM are equivalent or higher than those obtained by one of the most effective extraction technique, PLE. Moreover, SSDM seems to provide the most representative profile of all essential-oil components as no heat is applied. Thus, this environmentally friendly method is suggested to be used as the main extraction procedure for the differentiation of essential-oil components in conifers for scientific and industrial purposes. PMID:23418171

  16. Prolonging storage time of baby ginger by using a sand-based storage medium and essential oil treatment.

    PubMed

    Liu, Ji; Sui, Guoliang; He, Yongzhou; Liu, Dongjie; Yan, Jing; Liu, Shuxiang; Qin, Wen

    2014-04-01

    Wilt and rot occur readily during storage of baby ginger because of its tender skin and high moisture content (MC). A storage medium, which consisted of sand, 20% water, and 3.75% super absorbent polymers delayed weight loss and loss of firmness at 12 °C and 90% relative humidity. Microorganisms were isolated and purified from decayed rhizomes; among these, 3 fungi were identified as pathogens. The results of 18S rDNA sequence analysis showed that these fungi belonged to Penicillium, Fusarium, and Mortierella genera. The use of essential oil for controlling these pathogens was then investigated in vitro. Essential oils extracted from Cinnamomum zeylanicum (cinnamon) and Thymus vulgaris (thyme) completely inhibited the growth of all of the above pathogens at a concentration of 2000 ppm. Cinnamon oil showed higher antifungal activity in the drug sensitivity test with minimal fungicidal concentration (<500 ppm against all pathogens). In the in vivo test, cinnamon fumigation at a concentration of 500 ppm reduced infection rates of Penicillium, Fusarium, and Mortierella by 50.3%, 54.3%, and 60.7%, respectively. We recommended cinnamon oil fumigation combined with medium storage at 12 °C as an integrated approach to baby ginger storage. PMID:24547773

  17. The Non-Impact of Scientific Reviews of Oil Sands Environmental Impact Assessments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kienzle, S. W.; Byrne, J.

    2008-12-01

    Schindler (Science, Vol. 192: 509; 1976) stated that Environmental Impact Assessments authors "conduct the studies regardless of how quickly results are demanded, write large, diffuse reports containing reams of uninterpreted and incomplete descriptive data, and in some cases, construct "predictive" models, irrespective of the quality of the data base." Schindler offered a solution: "If we are to protect both our resources and scientific integrity, environmental scientists must seek to put their studies on a scientifically credible basis-to see that problems, terms of reference, funding, time constraints, reports, and conclusions are all within a bona fide scientific framework." When the first scientific panel was formed in 2003 by the Mikisew Cree First Nations (MCFN), Alberta, to objectively review EIAs of proposed oil sands mining projects, the scientific panel uncovered many severe omissions, errors, and a significant lack of substance that could not withstand scientific scrutiny. Neither the Terms of Reference for two major oilsands projects, estimated to be worth approximately CND 15 billion, nor the EIAs (one single EIA was over 11,000 pages long) contained the terms "climate change", "trend analysis", or "risk analysis", and nearly all environmental impacts were described by the proponents as "negligible". The Hydrology Section (over 950 pages in length) of one EIA did not contain a single peer-reviewed scientific publication. In summary, nothing had changed since Schindler's observations 27 years earlier. Since 2003, the authors have reviewed more than a dozen EIAs of proposed oilsands projects in northern Alberta. The "non-impact" of scientific reviews on the quality of EIAs and the insincerity of the stewards of the land are very sobering: apart from cosmetic improvements in the requirements of the Terms of Reference and the writing of the EIAs, no meaningful improvement of scientific content has been made. Key environmental concerns around water

  18. Scavenging ratio of polycyclic aromatic compounds in rain and snow at the Athabasca oil sands region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, L.; Cheng, I.; Muir, D.; Charland, J.-P.

    2014-07-01

    Athabasca oil sands industry in northern Alberta, Canada is a possible source of polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs). Monitored PACs, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), alkylated PAHs, and dibenzothiophenes, in precipitation and in air at three near-source sites in the Fort MacKay and Fort McMurray area during May 2011 to August 2012 were analyzed to generate a database of scavenging (or washout) ratios (Wt) for PACs scavenged by both snow and rain. Median precipitation and air concentrations of parent PAHs over the May 2011 to August 2012 period ranged from 0.3-184.9 (chrysene) ng L-1 and 0.01-3.9 (naphthalene) ng m-3, respectively, which were comparable to literature values. Higher concentrations in precipitation and air were observed for alkylated PAHs and dibenzothiophenes. The median precipitation and air concentrations were 11.3-646.7 (C3-fluoranthene/pyrene) ng L-1 and 0.21-16.9 (C3-naphthalene) ng m-3, respectively, for alkylated PAHs, and 8.5-530.5 (C4-dibenzothiophene) ng L-1 and 0.13-6.6 (C2-dibenzothiophene) ng m-3 for dibenzothiophenes and their alkylated derivatives. Median Wt over the measurement period were 6100-1.1 × 106 from snow scavenging and 350-2.3 × 105 from rain scavenging depending on the PAC species. Median Wt for parent PAHs were within the range of those observed at other urban and suburban locations. But Wt for acenaphthylene in snow samples was 2-7 times higher. Some individual snow and rain samples exceeded literature values by a factor of 10. Wt for benzo(a)pyrene, dibenz(a,h)anthracene, and benzo(g,h,i)perylene in snow samples had reached 107, which is the maximum for PAH snow scavenging ratios reported in literature. From the analysis of data subsets, Wt for particulate-phase dominant PACs were 14-20 times greater than gas-phase dominant PACs in snow samples and 7-20 times greater than gas-phase dominant PACs in rain samples. Wt from snow scavenging was ∼9 times greater than rain scavenging for particulate

  19. Scavenging ratios of polycyclic aromatic compounds in rain and snow in the Athabasca oil sands region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, L.; Cheng, I.; Muir, D.; Charland, J.-P.

    2015-02-01

    The Athabasca oil sands industry in northern Alberta, Canada, is a possible source of polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs). Monitored PACs, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), alkylated PAHs, and dibenzothiophenes (DBTs), in precipitation and in air at three near-source sites in the Fort MacKay and Fort McMurray area during January 2011 to May 2012, were used to generate a database of scavenging ratios (Wt) for PACs scavenged by both snow and rain. Higher concentrations in precipitation and air were observed for alkylated PAHs and DBTs compared to the other PACs. The sums of the median precipitation concentrations over the period of data analyzed were 0.48 μ g L-1 for the 18 PAHs, 3.38 μ g L-1 for the 20 alkylated PAHs, and 0.94 μ g L-1 for the 5 DBTs. The sums of the median air concentrations for parent PAHs, alkylated PAHs, and DBTs were 8.37, 67.26, and 11.83 ng m-3, respectively. Median Wt over the measurement period were 6100 - 1.1 × 106 from snow scavenging and 350 - 2.3 × 105 from rain scavenging depending on the PAC species. Median Wt for parent PAHs were within the range of those observed at other urban and suburban locations, but Wt for acenaphthylene in snow samples were 2-7 times higher compared to other urban and suburban locations. Wt for some individual snow and rain samples exceeded literature values by a factor of 10. Wt for benzo(a)pyrene, dibenz(a,h)anthracene, and benzo(g,h,i)perylene in snow samples had reached 107, which is the maximum for PAH snow scavenging ratios reported in the literature. From the analysis of data subsets, Wt for particulate-phase dominant PACs were 14-20 times greater than gas-phase dominant PACs in snow samples and 7-20 times greater than gas-phase dominant PACs in rain samples. Wt from snow scavenging were ~ 9 times greater than from rain scavenging for particulate-phase dominant PACs and 4-9.6 times greater than from rain scavenging for gas-phase dominant PACs. Gas-particle fractions of each PAC

  20. The Itteville Oil Field: An example of a stratigraphic trap in mid-Jurassic carbonates of the Paris Basin

    SciTech Connect

    Bez, M.; Sambet, G.

    1995-08-01

    The Itteville Oil Field is located 30 km south of Paris. The top of the reservoir lies at an average depth of 1450 m below sealevel. The field is situated on a large scale monocline dipping gently toward the present center of the Paris Basin. At reservoir level, no anticline closure is seen to explain the oil accumulation. The reservoir is composed of oolitic, peloidal and bioclastic carbonates of Lower Callovian age, regionally known as {open_quotes}Dalle Nacree{close_quotes}. These carbonate sands were deposited by storm-dominated processes during a phase of major sealevel fall which caused the emersion of the main Burgundy Platform. This shoal is completely isolated from the main platform and surrounded by coeval marine shales. Marls corresponding to the Mid-Callovian major flooding event seal the reservoir. The occurrence of these shoals appears to be tectonically controlled. The Itteville Field is situated on a Liassic faulted block seated on the eastern flank of the so-called {open_quotes}Deep Magnetic Anomaly{close_quotes}. Sedimentological studies and high resolution sequential analysis, carried out on cores from 17 wells of the field, help define three main tabular correlable units within the reservoir. Geochemical studies, including cathodo-luminescence and isotope analysis, help define the diagenetic history. Original poroperm properties are strongly enhanced by contemporaneous dissolution events related to high frequency sealevel fluctuations.

  1. Volatile-organic molecular characterization of shale-oil produced water from the Permian Basin.

    PubMed

    Khan, Naima A; Engle, Mark; Dungan, Barry; Holguin, F Omar; Xu, Pei; Carroll, Kenneth C

    2016-04-01

    Growth in unconventional oil and gas has spurred concerns on environmental impact and interest in beneficial uses of produced water (PW), especially in arid regions such as the Permian Basin, the largest U.S. tight-oil producer. To evaluate environmental impact, treatment, and reuse potential, there is a need to characterize the compositional variability of PW. Although hydraulic fracturing has caused a significant increase in shale-oil production, there are no high-resolution organic composition data for the shale-oil PW from the Permian Basin or other shale-oil plays (Eagle Ford, Bakken, etc.). PW was collected from shale-oil wells in the Midland sub-basin of the Permian Basin. Molecular characterization was conducted using high-resolution solid phase micro extraction gas chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Approximately 1400 compounds were identified, and 327 compounds had a >70% library match. PW contained alkane, cyclohexane, cyclopentane, BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene), alkyl benzenes, propyl-benzene, and naphthalene. PW also contained heteroatomic compounds containing nitrogen, oxygen, and sulfur. 3D van Krevelen and double bond equivalence versus carbon number analyses were used to evaluate molecular variability. Source composition, as well as solubility, controlled the distribution of volatile compounds found in shale-oil PW. The salinity also increased with depth, ranging from 105 to 162 g/L total dissolved solids. These data fill a gap for shale-oil PW composition, the associated petroleomics plots provide a fingerprinting framework, and the results for the Permian shale-oil PW suggest that partial treatment of suspended solids and organics would support some beneficial uses such as onsite reuse and bio-energy production. PMID:26802271

  2. Assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources of the West Siberian Basin Province, Russia, 2010

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Klett, T.R.

    2011-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey, using a geology-based assessment methodology, estimated mean volumes of technically recoverable, conventional, undiscovered petroleum resources at 8 billion barrels of crude oil, 670 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 21 billion barrels of natural gas liquids for the West Siberian Basin Province in Russia as part of a program to estimate petroleum resources for priority basins throughout the world.

  3. Assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources of the Amu Darya Basin and Afghan-Tajik Basin Provinces, Afghanistan, Iran, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, 2011

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Klett, T.R.; Schenk, Christopher J.; Wandrey, Craig J.; Charpentier, Ronald R.; Brownfield, Michael E.; Pitman, Janet K.; Pollastro, Richard M.; Cook, Troy A.; Tennyson, Marilyn E.

    2012-01-01

    Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated volumes of undiscovered, technically recoverable, conventional petroleum resources for the Amu Darya Basin and Afghan–Tajik Basin Provinces of Afghanistan, Iran, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. The mean volumes were estimated at 962 million barrels of crude oil, 52 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 582 million barrels of natural gas liquids for the Amu Darya Basin Province and at 946 million barrels of crude oil, 7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 85 million barrels of natural gas liquids for the Afghan–Tajik Basin Province.

  4. Spatial Distribution of Lead Isotope Ratios and Inorganic Element Concentrations in Epiphytic Lichens from the Athabasca Oil Sands Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Graney, J. R.; Landis, M. S.; Puckett, K.; Edgerton, E.; Krupa, S.; Percy, K.

    2013-12-01

    Coupled studies of inorganic element concentrations and lead (Pb) isotope ratios have been conducted on Hypogymnia physodes samples collected in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR) in Alberta, Canada in 2002, 2008, and 2011. To investigate the spatial extent of air emissions, the lichens were collected from sites as far as 160 km from the mining and processing operations. 30 milligram sub-samples of the lichens were microwave digested, and the extracts were analyzed using DRC-ICPMS to determine elemental concentrations, and sector field ICPMS to measure Pb isotope ratios. Concentrations of elements in the lichens were found to reflect proximity to mining and oil processing sites as well as topography, ecosystem differences, and the metabolic biogeochemistry of the lichens. An exponential decrease in concentration of metals associated with fugitive dust (aluminum and others) versus distance from the mining sites, suggests elevated coarse particle emissions associated with mining operations. Near source concentrations of metals with an oil signature (vanadium and others) are less enhanced and more homogeneous than the metals in the fugitive dust, reflecting emission and deposition of smaller diameter particles at greater distances from oil processing sources. The mining and oil processing signatures are superimposed over elemental concentrations that reflect the nutrient needs of the lichens. These findings are being confirmed through ongoing studies using dichot samplers to collect coarse and fine particulate aerosol samples. The lichen samples collected beyond 50 km from the mining and processing sites cluster into a Pb isotope grouping with a 207Pb / 206Pb ratio of 0.8650 and a 208Pb / 206Pb ratio near 2.095. This grouping likely reflects the regional background Pb isotope ratio signature. 207Pb / 206Pb and 208Pb / 206Pb ratios decrease as one nears the mining and processing operations. This indicates that other Pb source(s), (e.g. Pb in the bitumen from the oil

  5. Distribution of Total Dissolved Solids in McMurray Formation Water in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, Alberta, Canada: Implications for Oil Sands Mining and In Situ Resource Development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cowie, B.; Mayer, B.

    2013-12-01

    Saline water management is a significant environmental challenge for mining and in-situ resource development in the Athabasca oil sands region (AOSR), Alberta, Canada. In the AOSR, the Cretaceous aged McMurray formation that bears the majority of the oil sands resources is underlain by saline Devonian formations containing saline water. Vertical connectivity between Devonian and Cretaceous aquifer systems has been uncovered by mining operations in the AOSR over the past several years, inducing occasional and local saline water flow into mining areas. The observed upward flow of groundwater from Devonian to Cretaceous systems necessitates detailed characterization of the spatial extent of high salinity formation waters to improve water management decisions in the AOSR. This study used published data from recent government reports and Environmental Impact Assessments to map total dissolved solids (TDS) of 355 McMurray formation water samples across the Athabasca oil sands region (54 to 58° N and 110 to 114° W). McMurray formation waters varied from non-saline (TDS < 4 000 mg/L) to brine (TDS > 100 000 mg/L) with a locally high salinity formation waters trending parallel to the dissolution edge of the Devonian-aged Prairie evaporite formation across the AOSR. The simplest hydrogeological explanation for the observed formation water salinity data is that Devonian aquifers are locally connected to the McMurray formation via conduits in the sub-Cretaceous karst system in the region overlying the partial dissolution edge of the Prairie evaporite formation. The driving force for upward formation water flow was provided by the Pleistocene glaciation events that reversed the regional flow system in the Devonian strata over the past 2 Ma. This study demonstrates that a detailed approach to hydrogeological assessment is required to elucidate total dissolved solids concentrations in McMurray formation waters at an individual lease-area scale, and to manage potential impacts

  6. Tectonic controls on Upper Permian lacustrine oil shales in the Junggar basin, NW China

    SciTech Connect

    Carroll, A.R.; Brassell, S.C.; Graham, S.A. )

    1991-03-01

    Collision of the Tarim craton with the southern margin of Asia during the Late Carboniferous-Early Permian resulted in uplift of an ancestral Tian Shan range and geographic isolation of the previously marine Junggar basin. Dramatic shifts from marine to nonmarine sedimentation took place in both the southern Junggar and northern Tarim basins during the Permina. Paleocurrent analysis indicate that by the Late Permian, coarse-grained sediments in both basins were being supplied predominantly from the area of the Tian Shan. During the Late Permian, the southern Junggar received in excess of 5,000 m of nonmarine sediments, including approximately 1,000 m of laminated, highly organic-rich lacustrine mudstones (oil shales). These deposits commonly have TOCs of 20-30%, and Rock-Eval pyrolitic yields reaching 2,000 mg/g, ranking them among the most prolific petroleum source rocks in the world. Based on a comparison of the distribution of steranes and extended tricyclic terpanes, these Upper Permian oil shales appear to be the primary source of oils in the giant Karamay field in the northwestern Junggar basin. Ancestral uplift of the Tian Shan thus produced a complex tectono-hydrologic partitioning of the Late Permina Junggar basin, which exerted a strong influence on the character of petroleum source rocks deposited within the basin.

  7. Airborne Trace Gas and Aerosol Measurements in Several Shale Gas Basins during the SONGNEX (Shale Oil and Natural Gas Nexus) Campaign 2015

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Warneke, C.; Trainer, M.; De Gouw, J. A.

    2015-12-01

    Oil and natural gas from tight sand and shale formations has increased strongly over the last decade. This increased production has been associated with emissions of methane, non-methane hydrocarbons and other trace gases to the atmosphere, which are concerns for air quality, climate and air toxics. The NOAA Shale Oil and Natural Gas Nexus (SONGNEX) aircraft campaign took place in 2015, when the NOAA WP-3 aircraft conducted 20 research flights between March 19 and April 27, 2015 in the following shale gas regions: Denver-Julesberg, Uintah, Upper Green River, San Juan, Bakken, Barnett, Eagle Ford, Haynesville, Woodford, and Permian. The NOAA P3 was equipped with an extensive set of gas phase measurements, including instruments for methane, ethane, CO, CO2, a new H3O+CIMS, canister and cartridge samples for VOCs, HCHO, glyoxal, HNO3, NH3, NOx, NOy, PANs, ozone, and SO2. Aerosol number and size distributions were also measured. This presentation will focus on an overview of all the measurements onboard the NOAA WP-3 aircraft and discuss the differences between the shale gas regions. Due to a drop in oil prices, drilling for oil decreased in the months prior to the mission, but nevertheless the production of oil and natural gas were near the all-time high. Many of the shale gas basins investigated during SONGNEX have quite different characteristics. For example, the Permian Basin is a well-established field, whereas the Eagle Ford and the Bakken saw an almost exponential increase in production over the last few years. The basins differ by the relative amounts of natural gas versus oil that is being produced. Previous work had shown a large variability in methane emissions relative to the production (leak rate) between different basins. By including more and qualitatively different basins during SONGNEX, the study has provided an extensive data set to address how emissions depend on raw gas composition, extraction techniques and regulation. The influence of these

  8. Erosion-corrosion in carbon dioxide saturated systems in presence of sand, inhibitor, oil, and high concentration of salt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hassani, Shokrollah

    Oil and gas production is usually accompanied by formation water which typically contains high levels of chloride. Some effects of chloride concentration on corrosion are not widely known in the literature, and this can result in misleading conclusions. One goal of this research was to contribute to a better understanding of the effects of chloride concentration in CO2 corrosion. Experimental and theoretical studies conducted in the present work have shown that increasing the NaCl concentration in solution has three important effects on corrosion results. First, standard pH meter readings in high NaCl concentration solutions require corrections. Second, increasing the NaCl concentration decreases the CO2 concentration in solution and therefore contributes to a decrease in the corrosion rate. Third, increasing the NaCl concentration increases the solubility of FeCO3 and therefore reduces the likelihood of forming an iron carbonate scale. High NaCl concentration also decreases the sand erosion rate of the metal slightly by increasing the density and viscosity of the liquid. There are two main contributions of this research. The first contribution is the experimental characterization of inhibited erosion-corrosion behavior of mild steel under CO2-saturated conditions with a high salt concentration. Chemical inhibition is one the most important techniques for controlling erosion-corrosion in offshore mild steel pipelines, tubing and pipe fittings in oil and gas industry. The second contribution is the introduction of a new approach for predicting inhibited erosion-corrosion in mild steel pipes including the effects of flow and environmental conditions, sand production, and an oil phase. Sand erosion can decrease the efficiency of corrosion protection systems including iron-carbonate scale formation and chemical inhibition. The need to be able to predict inhibitor performance under sand production conditions is particularly acute when the wells are deep or off

  9. Plate Tectonics: Geodynamic models of evolution of oil and gas bearing basins of Kazakhstan

    SciTech Connect

    Zholtayev, G. )

    1994-07-01

    Five types of sedimentary basins in Kazakhstan have been recognized by using plate tectonics to reinterpret geological and geophysical data: (1) intracontinental, central pre-Caspian, above rift, south pre-Caspian; (2) passive margin, east pre-Caspian; (3) back-arc, Turgan and Sir-Daria; (4) intra-arc, north Kisil-Koum, interior, Tengis and Chu-Sarisiu; and (5) marginal, north Usturt. Paleozoic history of these basins was connected with the spreading and collision of two lithospheric plates: east European and Kazakhstanian, which were separated by the paleo-Ural Ocean. Different tectonic positions of sedimentary basins were the reason for their different oil and gas potential.

  10. Bog Plant Tissue Chemistry and N and S Accumulation in Peat are Influenced by Elevated N and S Deposition from Alberta Oil Sands Development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wieder, R.; Vile, M. A.; Quinn, J.; Albright, C. M.; Scott, K. D.; Vitt, D. H.

    2013-12-01

    Development of the oil sands resource in northern Alberta, Canada has led to elevated atmospheric N and S deposition, the N coming mainly from the exhaust of diesel fueled-trucks that haul the raw oil sands from the mine sites and the S coming mainly from refining. Against a background deposition of < 1 kg/ha/yr for both N and S, at sites within 15 km of the oil sands mining region we have measured current N and S deposition to be as high as 2 and 27 kg/ha/yr. With a goal of developing monitoring tools to assess the spatial extent of elevated N and S deposition in the region, we collected leaves, needles, or whole plants of 12 bog species (lichens: Cladina mitis and Evernia mesomorpha; Sphagnum mosses: S. capillifolium and S. fuscum; a tree: Picea mariana; ericaceous shrubs: Ledum groenlandicum, Oxycoccos microcarpus and Vaccinium vitis-idaea; deciduous forbs: Rubus chamaemorus and Smilacina trifolia) from 5 bogs ranging from 11 to over 250 km from the oil sands mining area. Samples were collected on 23 dates between May and October of 2009-2012 and were analyzed for C, N, and S concentrations. Six species (C. mitis, E. mesomorpha, S. fuscum, O. microcarpus, V. vitis-idaea, and R. chamaemorus) exhibited statistically significant increases in C:N ratio with increasing distance from the oil sands mining area. Five species (C. mitis, E. mesomorpha, S. fuscum, S. capillifolium, O. microcarpus) exhibited statistically significant increases in C:S ratio with increasing distance from the oil sands mining area. For three species (S. fuscum, E. mesomorpha, O. microcarpus), N concentrations gradually and significantly increased (C:N ratios decreased) over the four years of the study, with the rate of increase as high as 1 mg/g/yr at sites in close proximity to the oil sands mining area. In contrast, S concentrations in plant tissues generally did not increase over the four years, possibly because of increasing efforts to control S emissions from stacks. Using 210Pb

  11. The exhumed ``Carlin-type'' fossil oil reservoir at Yankee Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hulen, Jeffrey B.; Collister, James W.; Stout, Bill; Curtiss, David K.; Dahdah, Nicolas F.

    1998-12-01

    The Carlin-type disseminated gold orebodies of Yankee basin in the southern part of the Alligator Ridge mining district in Nevada contain widespread oil as smears, open-space fillings, and fluid inclusions in syn- and pre-mineral calcite veins. These unusual oils are the relicts of an exhumed and deeply oxidized oil reservoir that encom-passes the orebodies at the crest of a dissected, anticlinal trap. Results of fluid-inclusion microthermometry and organic geochemistry demonstrate that the oils experienced peak paleotemperatures of no more than about 150°C, a temperature unusually low for Carlin-type mineralization, but ideal for the transport, entrapment, and preservation of liquid hydrocarbon. Similar geothermal systems are actively circulating at three of Nevada’s producing oil fields—Grant Canyon, Bacon Flat, and Blackburn. Accordingly, concealed Carlin-type fossil hydrothermal systems of this type, even if subeconomic for gold, could contain commercial concentrations of oil.

  12. Geologic controls on oil and gas occurrence in Taranaki basin, New Zealand

    SciTech Connect

    King, P.R.; Beggs, J.M. )

    1991-03-01

    Taranaki basin contains all the commercial oil and gas fields in New Zealand as well as several marginal and subeconomic accumulations. The basin has a polyphase tectonic history, with different phases controlling specific aspects of hydrocarbon occurrence. Basin formation began with oblique rifting in the mid-Late Cretaceous. Principal petroleum source rocks are coal measures deposited in southern, central, and eastern parts of the basin during the rift and immediate postrift phase. In the Latest Cretaceous and early Cenozoic, the Taranaki basin was part of a western passive margin bordering proto-New Zealand, a large region of thinned continental crust separating from Australia and Antarctica. Clastic sediment supply to the basin progressively diminished as the sea transgressed the land to the south and east. Coastal and fluvial sandstones deposited during this phase are major petroleum reservoirs; a late Eocene turbidite reservoir in the north contains a noncommercial accumulation. In the mid-Cenozoic, the modern plate boundary began to propagate through New Zealand. In initial response, the Taranaki basin evolved into a submerged foreland basin. A recent significant oil discovery is reservoired in fractured limestones deposited in the foredeep. Taranaki basin Neogene development is characterized by structure reactivation, eversion, overthrusting, and differential subsidence along its eastern margin and in the south. Mountain building adjacent to the basin caused an increase in clastic sediment supply and concomitant regression, during which some minor reservoirs were deposited. However, the major significance of the Neogene tectonic phase lies in the formation of all proven traps, and in maturation of source rocks with increasing burial.

  13. Coarse Woody Debris Increases Microbial Community Functional Diversity but not Enzyme Activities in Reclaimed Oil Sands Soils.

    PubMed

    Kwak, Jin-Hyeob; Chang, Scott X; Naeth, M Anne; Schaaf, Wolfgang

    2015-01-01

    Forest floor mineral soil mix (FMM) and peat mineral soil mix (PMM) are cover soils commonly used for upland reclamation post open-pit oil sands mining in northern Alberta, Canada. Coarse woody debris (CWD) can be used to regulate soil temperature and water content, to increase organic matter content, and to create microsites for the establishment of microorganisms and vegetation in upland reclamation. We studied the effects of CWD on soil microbial community level physiological profile (CLPP) and soil enzyme activities in FMM and PMM in a reclaimed landscape in the oil sands. This experiment was conducted with a 2 (FMM vs PMM) × 2 (near CWD vs away from CWD) factorial design with 6 replications. The study plots were established with Populus tremuloides (trembling aspen) CWD placed on each plot between November 2007 and February 2008. Soil samples were collected within 5 cm from CWD and more than 100 cm away from CWD in July, August and September 2013 and 2014. Microbial biomass was greater (p<0.05) in FMM than in PMM, in July, and August 2013 and July 2014, and greater (p<0.05) near CWD than away from CWD in FMM in July and August samplings. Soil microbial CLPP differed between FMM and PMM (p<0.01) according to a principal component analysis and CWD changed microbial CLPP in FMM (p<0.05) but not in PMM. Coarse woody debris increased microbial community functional diversity (average well color development in Biolog Ecoplates) in both cover soils (p<0.05) in August and September 2014. Carbon degrading soil enzyme activities were greater in FMM than in PMM (p<0.05) regardless of distance from CWD but were not affected by CWD. Greater microbial biomass and enzyme activities in FMM than in PMM will increase organic matter decomposition and nutrient cycling, improving plant growth. Enhanced microbial community functional diversity by CWD application in upland reclamation has implications for accelerating upland reclamation after oil sands mining. PMID:26618605

  14. Coarse Woody Debris Increases Microbial Community Functional Diversity but not Enzyme Activities in Reclaimed Oil Sands Soils

    PubMed Central

    Kwak, Jin-Hyeob; Chang, Scott X.; Naeth, M. Anne; Schaaf, Wolfgang

    2015-01-01

    Forest floor mineral soil mix (FMM) and peat mineral soil mix (PMM) are cover soils commonly used for upland reclamation post open-pit oil sands mining in northern Alberta, Canada. Coarse woody debris (CWD) can be used to regulate soil temperature and water content, to increase organic matter content, and to create microsites for the establishment of microorganisms and vegetation in upland reclamation. We studied the effects of CWD on soil microbial community level physiological profile (CLPP) and soil enzyme activities in FMM and PMM in a reclaimed landscape in the oil sands. This experiment was conducted with a 2 (FMM vs PMM) × 2 (near CWD vs away from CWD) factorial design with 6 replications. The study plots were established with Populus tremuloides (trembling aspen) CWD placed on each plot between November 2007 and February 2008. Soil samples were collected within 5 cm from CWD and more than 100 cm away from CWD in July, August and September 2013 and 2014. Microbial biomass was greater (p<0.05) in FMM than in PMM, in July, and August 2013 and July 2014, and greater (p<0.05) near CWD than away from CWD in FMM in July and August samplings. Soil microbial CLPP differed between FMM and PMM (p<0.01) according to a principal component analysis and CWD changed microbial CLPP in FMM (p<0.05) but not in PMM. Coarse woody debris increased microbial community functional diversity (average well color development in Biolog Ecoplates) in both cover soils (p<0.05) in August and September 2014. Carbon degrading soil enzyme activities were greater in FMM than in PMM (p<0.05) regardless of distance from CWD but were not affected by CWD. Greater microbial biomass and enzyme activities in FMM than in PMM will increase organic matter decomposition and nutrient cycling, improving plant growth. Enhanced microbial community functional diversity by CWD application in upland reclamation has implications for accelerating upland reclamation after oil sands mining. PMID:26618605

  15. Reservoir heterogeneity in Carter Sandstone, North Blowhorn Creek oil unit and vicinity, Black Warrior Basin, Alabama

    SciTech Connect

    Kugler, R.L.; Pashin, J.C.

    1992-05-01

    This report presents accomplishments made in completing Task 3 of this project which involves development of criteria for recognizing reservoir heterogeneity in the Black Warrior basin. The report focuses on characterization of the Upper Mississippian Carter sandstone reservoir in North Blowhorn Creek and adjacent oil units in Lamar County, Alabama. This oil unit has produced more than 60 percent of total oil extracted from the Black Warrior basin of Alabama. The Carter sandstone in North Blowhorn Creek oil unit is typical of the most productive Carter oil reservoirs in the Black Warrior basin of Alabama. The first part of the report synthesizes data derived from geophysical well logs and cores from North Blowhorn Creek oil unit to develop a depositional model for the Carter sandstone reservoir. The second part of the report describes the detrital and diagenetic character of Carter sandstone utilizing data from petrographic and scanning electron microscopes and the electron microprobe. The third part synthesizes porosity and pore-throat-size-distribution data determined by high-pressure mercury porosimetry and commercial core analyses with results of the sedimentologic and petrographic studies. The final section of the report discusses reservoir heterogeneity within the context of the five-fold classification of Moore and Kugler (1990).

  16. Controls on the composition of fluvial sands from a tropical weathering environment: sands of the Orinoco River drainage basin, Venezuela and Colombia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnsson, M.J.; Stallard, R.F.; Lundberg, N.

    1991-01-01

    On the alluvial plains of the western Llanos, storage of orogenically derived sediment allows time for substantial chemical weathering. Through reworking of the alluvial sequences, freshly eroded sediment is exchanged for older, compositionally more mature material. The chemically weathered component increases as rivers cross the Llanos, resulting in an increase in overall compositional maturity of bed-load sand away from the orogenic terranes. -from Authors

  17. Chemistry of sands from the modern Indus River and the Archean Witwatersrand basin: Implications for the composition of the Archean atmosphere

    SciTech Connect

    Maynard, J.B.; Ritger, S.D. ); Sutton, S.J. )

    1991-03-01

    Both the Indus River and the Witwatersrand basin contain sand with grains of detrital uraninite. Because this mineral is easily oxidized, its presence in Archean strata as a detrital particle has been used as evidence for a low-oxygen atmosphere before 2.5 Ga. However, its presence in modern sand from the Indus River system has been used to argue that detrital uraninite does not provide information about the oxygen concentration of Earth's early atmosphere. Petrographic and chemical study of sand from these two sources reveals differences that suggest the modern Indus sand cannot be used as an analog for the Archean Witwatersrand occurrences. The Witwatersrand quartzites are depleted in Ca, Mg, and Na, indicating that the original sand from which they formed had been subjected to intense weathering. The chemical index of alteration (CIA), a commonly used indicator of degree of weathering, yields an average value of about 0.80 for Witwatersrand quartzites, comparable to modern tropical streams such as the Orinoco that drain deeply weathered terrains under tropical conditions (CIA=0.75). In contrast, the CIA for Indus sand is 0.45, indicating virtually no chemical weathering. The significance of Archean quartz-pebble conglomerates is not just that they contain unstable detrital phases like uraninite and pyrite, but that these particles are associated with rocks whose compositions suggest intense weathering. These conglomerates must have been subjected to intense weathering under tropical conditions, either in their source area or at the site of deposition, and the preservation of minerals like uraninite such conditions is indeed strong evidence for a low-oxygen atmosphere.

  18. Fate and transport of oil sand process-affected water into the underlying clay till: a field study.

    PubMed

    Abolfazlzadehdoshanbehbazari, Mostafa; Birks, S Jean; Moncur, Michael C; Ulrich, Ania C

    2013-08-01

    The South Tailings Pond (STP) is a ~2300-ha tailing pond operated by Suncor Energy Inc. that has received oil sand process-affected (PA) water and mature fine tailings since 2006. The STP is underlain by a clay till, which is in turn underlain by the Wood Creek Sand Channel (WCSC). The sandy deposits of the WCSC provide greater geotechnical stability but could act as a potential flow pathway for PA water to migrate off site and into the Athabasca River. Preliminary modeling of the STP suggests that PA water from the pond will infiltrate into the underlying sand channel, but the extent and development of this impact is still poorly understood. Suncor Energy Inc. built interception wells and a cut-off-wall to control any potential seepage. Here we present the results of an investigation of the fate and transport of PA water in clay till underlying a 10 m × 10 m infiltration pond that was constructed on the southeastern portion of the STP. The geochemistry of pore water in the till underlying the infiltration pond was determined prior to filling with process-affected water (2008) and two years after the infiltration pond was filled with PA waters (2010). Pore water was analyzed for metals, cations, anions, and isotopes ((2)H and (18)O). The distribution of conservative tracers ((18)O and chloride) indicated migration of the PA waters to approximately 0.9 m, but the migrations of major ions and metals were significantly delayed relative to this depth. Uptake of Na and Mo and release of Ca, Mg, Mn, Ba, and Sr suggest that adsorption and ion exchange reactions are the foremost attenuation processes controlling inorganic solutes transport. PMID:23752067

  19. Histograms showing variations in oil yield, water yield, and specific gravity of oil from Fischer assay analyses of oil-shale drill cores and cuttings from the Piceance Basin, northwestern Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dietrich, John D.; Brownfield, Michael E.; Johnson, Ronald C.; Mercier, Tracey J.

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies indicate that the Piceance Basin in northwestern Colorado contains over 1.5 trillion barrels of oil in place, making the basin the largest known oil-shale deposit in the world. Previously published histograms display oil-yield variations with depth and widely correlate rich and lean oil-shale beds and zones throughout the basin. Histograms in this report display oil-yield data plotted alongside either water-yield or oil specific-gravity data. Fischer assay analyses of core and cutting samples collected from exploration drill holes penetrating the Eocene Green River Formation in the Piceance Basin can aid in determining the origins of those deposits, as well as estimating the amount of organic matter, halite, nahcolite, and water-bearing minerals. This report focuses only on the oil yield plotted against water yield and oil specific gravity.

  20. Crude oil in a shallow sand and gravel aquifer-II. Organic geochemistry

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eganhouse, R.P.; Baedecker, M.J.; Cozzarelli, I.M.; Aiken, G.R.; Thorn, K.A.; Dorsey, T.F.

    1993-01-01

    Crude oil spilled from a pipeline break in a remote area of north-central Minnesota has contaminated a shallow glacial outwash aquifer. Part of the oil was sprayed over a large area to the west of the pipeline and part of it accumulated in an oil body that floats at the water table to the east of the point of discharge. Total dissolved organic carbon (TDOC) concentrations in shallow groundwater collected in the oil spray area reach 16 mg/l. This is nearly an order of magnitude higher than the TDOC concentrations of native groundwater (???2-3 mg/l). The additional TDOC derives from the partial degradation of petroleum residues deposited at the land surface and transported to the aquifer by vertical recharge. In the vicinity of the oil body, TDOC concentrations in groundwater are 48 mg/l, 58% of the TDOC being composed of non-volatile organic C. The majority of the volatile DOC (63%) is a mixture of low-molecular-weight saturated, aromatic and alicyclic hydrocarbons derived from the oil. Downgradient from the oil body along the direction of groundwater flow, concentrations of all measured constituents of the TDOC pool decrease. Concentrations begin to decline most rapidly, however, in the zone where dissolved O2 concentrations begin to increase, ???50 m downgradient from the leading edge of the oil. Within the anoxic zone near the oil body, removal rates of isometric monoaromatic hydrocarbons vary widely. This indicates that the removal processes are mediated mainly by microbiological activity. Molecular and spectroscopic characterization of the TDOC and its spatial and temporal variation provide evidence of the importance of biogeochemical processes in attenuating petroleum contaminants in this perturbed subsurface environment. ?? 1993.

  1. Advanced analytical mass spectrometric techniques and bioassays to characterize untreated and ozonated oil sands process-affected water.

    PubMed

    Sun, Nian; Chelme-Ayala, Pamela; Klamerth, Nikolaus; McPhedran, Kerry N; Islam, Md Shahinoor; Perez-Estrada, Leonidas; Drzewicz, Przemysław; Blunt, Brian J; Reichert, Megan; Hagen, Mariel; Tierney, Keith B; Belosevic, Miodrag; Gamal El-Din, Mohamed

    2014-10-01

    Oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) is a toxic and poorly biodegradable mixture of sand, silt, heavy metals, and organics. In this study, qualitative and quantitative comparisons of naphthenic acids (NAs) were done using ultraperformance liquid chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UPLC TOF-MS), Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FT-ICR) MS, and ion mobility spectrometry (IMS). The unique combination of these analyses allowed for the determination and correlation of NAs, oxidized NAs, and heteroatom (sulfur or nitrogen) NAs. Despite its lower resolution, UPLC-TOF MS was shown to offer a comparable level of reliability and precision as the high resolution FT-ICR MS. Additionally, the impacts of ozonation (35 mg/L utilized ozone dose) and subsequent NAs degradation on OSPW toxicity were assessed via a collection of organisms and toxicity end points using Vibrio fischeri (nonspecific), specific fish macrophage antimicrobial responses, and fish olfactory responses. Fish macrophages exposed to ozonated OSPW for 1 week showed higher production of reactive oxygen and nitrogen intermediates; however, after 12 weeks the responses were reduced significantly. Fish olfactory tests suggested that OSPW interfered with their perception of odorants. Current results indicate that the quantification of NAs species, using novel analytical methods, can be combined with various toxicity methods to assess the efficiency of OSPW treatment processes. PMID:25211339

  2. Dispersants as Used in Response to the MC252-Spill Lead to Higher Mobility of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Oil-Contaminated Gulf of Mexico Sand

    PubMed Central

    Zuijdgeest, Alissa; Huettel, Markus

    2012-01-01

    After the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, large volumes of crude oil were washed onto and embedded in the sandy beaches and sublittoral sands of the Northern Gulf of Mexico. Some of this oil was mechanically or chemically dispersed before reaching the shore. With a set of laboratory-column experiments we show that the addition of chemical dispersants (Corexit 9500A) increases the mobility of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in saturated permeable sediments by up to two orders of magnitude. Distribution and concentrations of PAHs, measured in the solid phase and effluent water of the columns using GC/MS, revealed that the mobility of the PAHs depended on their hydrophobicity and was species specific also in the presence of dispersant. Deepest penetration was observed for acenaphthylene and phenanthrene. Flushing of the columns with seawater after percolation of the oiled water resulted in enhanced movement by remobilization of retained PAHs. An in-situ benthic chamber experiment demonstrated that aromatic hydrocarbons are transported into permeable sublittoral sediment, emphasizing the relevance of our laboratory column experiments in natural settings. We conclude that the addition of dispersants permits crude oil components to penetrate faster and deeper into permeable saturated sands, where anaerobic conditions may slow degradation of these compounds, thus extending the persistence of potentially harmful PAHs in the marine environment. Application of dispersants in nearshore oil spills should take into account enhanced penetration depths into saturated sands as this may entail potential threats to the groundwater. PMID:23209777

  3. The impacts of ozonation on oil sands process-affected water biodegradability and biofilm formation characteristics in bioreactors.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Geelsu; Dong, Tao; Islam, Md Sahinoor; Sheng, Zhiya; Pérez-Estrada, Leónidas A; Liu, Yang; Gamal El-Din, Mohamed

    2013-02-01

    To examine the effects of the ozonation process (as an oxidation treatment for water and wastewater treatment applications) on microbial biofilm formation and biodegradability of organic compounds present in oil sands process-affected water (OSPW), biofilm reactors were operated continuously for 6weeks. Two types of biofilm substrate materials: polyethylene (PE) and polyvinylchloride (PVC), and two types of OSPW-fresh and ozonated OSPWs-were tested. Endogenous microorganisms, in OSPW, quickly formed biofilms in the reactors. Without ozonation, the bioreactor (using endogenous microorganisms) removed 13.8% of the total acid-extractable organics (TAO) and 18.5% of the parent naphthenic acids (NAs) from fresh OSPW. The combined ozonation and biodegradation process removed 87.2% of the OSPW TAO and over 99% of the OSPW parent NAs. Further UPLC/HRMS analysis showed that NA biodegradability decreased as the NA cyclization number increased. Microbial biofilm formation was found to depend on the biofilm substrate type. PMID:23313671

  4. Assessment of Undiscovered Oil and Gas Resources of the West Siberian Basin Province, Russia, 2008

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schenk, Christopher J.; Bird, Kenneth J.; Charpentier, Ronald R.; Gautier, Donald L.; Houseknecht, David W.; Klett, Timothy R.; Moore, Thomas E.; Pawlewicz, Mark J.; Pitman, Janet K.; Tennyson, Marilyn E.

    2008-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) recently assessed the undiscovered oil and gas potential of the West Siberian Basin Province in Russia as part of the USGS Circum-Arctic Resource Appraisal program. This province is the largest petroleum basin in the world and has an areal extent of about 2.2 million square kilometers. It is a large rift-sag feature bounded to the west by the Ural fold belt, to the north by the Novaya Zemlya fold belt and North Siberian Sill, to the south by the Turgay Depression and Altay-Sayan fold belt, and to the east by the Yenisey Ridge, Turukhan-Igarka uplift, Yenisey-Khatanga Basin, and Taimyr High. The West Siberian Basin Province has a total discovered oil and gas volume of more than 360 billion barrels of oil equivalent (Ulmishek, 2000). Exploration has led to the discovery of tens of giant oil and gas fields, including the Urengoy gas field with more than 3500 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves and Samotlar oil field with reserves of nearly 28 billion barrels of oil (Ulmishek, 2003). This report summarizes the results of a reassessment of the undiscovered oil and gas potential of that part of the province north of the Arctic Circle; a previous assessment that included the entire province was completed in 2000 (Ulmishek, 2000). The total petroleum system (TPS) and assessment units (AU) defined by the USGS for the assessments in 2000 were adopted for this assessment. However, only those parts of the Aus lying wholly or partially north of the Arctic Circle were assessed for this study.

  5. Palaeoclimatic evolution during Eocene and its influence on oil shale mineralisation, Fushun basin, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meng, Qingtao; Liu, Zhaojun; Bruch, Angela A.; Liu, Rong; Hu, Fei

    2012-02-01

    The Fushun basin is a small, explored, coal and oil shale-bearing, Cenozoic fault basin in the Liaoning Province, northeast China. The basin mainly consists of Eocene swamp to lacustrine deposits of the Guchengzi to Xilutian Formation, and contains the biggest opencast oil shale mine in Asia. This mine has provided an ideal opportunity to undertake palaeoclimate reconstruction in this basin based on a single geological profile and the analyses of 93 samples, using various approaches, namely field geological observation, clay mineralogical and geochemical (Sr/Ba, Sr/Cu, stable C and O isotope) analyses, all of which were compared with palaeobotanical data. The Eocene climate of Fushun basin evolved from warm temperate to north subtropical, and generally changed from warm humid to subhumid-semiarid. Paleoclimatic and geochemical parameters shows that the very warm and humid climate during Jijuntun Formation increased the initial productivity of lake water, and caused a steady stratification of the lake water, then caused oxygen lack in the bottom of water. Productivity of the lake provides the mean origin of organic matters for oil shale formation, and steady anoxic environment is beneficial for the conservation of organic matters.

  6. The relationships among CYP1A induction, toxicity, and eye pathology in early life stages of fish exposed to oil sands.

    PubMed

    Colavecchia, Maria V; Hodson, Peter V; Parrott, Joanne L

    2007-09-01

    Exposure of the early life stages of fish to oil sands constituents is associated with mortality and larval malformations such as edemas, hemorrhages, and skeletal, craniofacial, and eye defects. In fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) and white sucker (Catostomus commersoni) larvae, indices of total eye pathology increased significantly following oil sands exposure. Structural, cytoplasmic, inflammatory, and degenerative eye alterations included poor retinal differentiation, microphthalmia, optic fissures, dysphasic retinas and lenses, inflammatory infiltrates, retinal epithelial lifting, and necrotic foci. Cytochrome P-4501A (CYP1A) was expressed in ocular (retina, lens) and kidney endothelial tissues, as indicated by immunohistochemistry. Although the kinetics of exposure-response curves for mortality and CYP1A expression were similar in both species, species differences in the magnitude and sensitivity of the responses were observed. Oil sands were twofold more toxic to fathead minnows (TPAH LC50 = 47-330 microg/g) than to white sucker (TPAH LC50 = 95-860 microg/g) larvae. For both species, larval mortality was significantly related to CYP1A protein concentrations in kidneys, and severity of these effects rose with oil sands exposure. The relationships among eye damage, mortality, and CYP1A indices warrants further investigation, and may lead to the use of CYP1A induction as an indicator of adverse effects rather than just contaminant exposure. PMID:17710614

  7. Desalination of oil sands process-affected water and basal depressurization water in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada: application of electrodialysis.

    PubMed

    Kim, Eun-Sik; Dong, Shimiao; Liu, Yang; Gamal El-Din, Mohamed

    2013-01-01

    The high content of inorganic species in water used to extract bitumen from the Alberta oil sands and in the groundwater below the oil sands is an increasing environmental concern. These water matrices require treatment before they can be reused or safely discharged. Desalination of the oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) and groundwater, or basal depressurization water (BDW), can be accomplished with deionization techniques such as electrodialysis (ED). In order to achieve the effective ED treatment, OSPW and BDW were pretreated with coagulation-flocculation-sedimentation to remove solid species and turbidity. We demonstrated that a conductivity range for industrial reuse of OSPW and BDW can be achieved with the ED treatment and showed the possibility of applying ED in the oil sands industry. A continuous ED system that reuses the diluate stream as a source for the concentrate stream was designed. The cost of a hypothetical ED water treatment plant in Fort McMurray, Alberta, was estimated to be C$10.71 per cubic meter of treated water. PMID:24355856

  8. Coupling lead isotopes and element concentrations in epiphytic lichens to track sources of air emissions in the Alberta Oil Sands Region

    EPA Science Inventory

    A study was conducted that coupled use of element concentrations and lead (Pb) isotope ratios in the lichen Hypogymnia physodes collected during 2002 and 2008, to assess the impacts of air emissions from the Alberta Oil Sands Region (AOSR, Canada) mining and processing operations...

  9. Assessment of Undiscovered Oil and Gas Resources of the Nile Delta Basin Province, Eastern Mediterranean

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kirschbaum, Mark A.; Schenk, Christopher J.; Charpentier, Ronald R.; Klett, Timothy R.; Brownfield, Michael E.; Pitman, Janet K.; Cook, Troy A.; Tennyson, Marilyn E.

    2010-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey estimated means of 1.8 billion barrels of recoverable oil, 223 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas, and 6 billion barrels of natural gas liquids in the Nile Delta Basin Province using a geology-based assessment methodology.

  10. Assessment of Undiscovered Oil and Gas Resources of the Appalachian Basin Province, 2002

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Appalachian Basin Province Assessment Team: Milici, Robert C.; Ryder, Robert T.; Swezey, Christopher S.; Charpentier, Ronald R.; Cook, Troy A.; Crovelli, Robert A.; Klett, Timothy R.; Pollastro, Richard M.; Schenk, Christopher J.

    2003-01-01

    Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated a mean of 70.2 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered natural gas, a mean of 54 million barrels of undiscovered oil, and a mean of 872 million barrels of undiscovered natural gas liquids in the Appalachian Basin Province.

  11. Assessment of Undiscovered Oil and Gas Resources of the Warrior Basin Province, 2002

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Black Warrior Basin Province Assessment Team: Hatch, Joseph R.; Pawlewicz, Mark J.; Charpentier, Ronald R.; Cook, Troy A.; Crovelli, Robert A.; Klett, Timothy R.; Pollastro, Richard M.; Schenk, Christopher J.

    2003-01-01

    Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated a mean of 8.5 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered natural gas, a mean of 5.9 million barrels of undiscovered oil, and a mean of 7.6 million barrels of undiscovered natural gas liquids in the Black Warrior Basin Province.

  12. Assessment of potential shale gas and shale oil resources of the Norte Basin, Uruguay, 2011

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schenk, Christopher J.; Kirschbaum, Mark A.; Charpentier, Ronald R.; Cook, Troy; Klett, Timothy R.; Gautier, Donald L.; Pollastro, Richard M.; Weaver, Jean N.; Brownfield, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Using a performance-based geological assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated mean volumes of 13.4 trillion cubic feet of potential technically recoverable shale gas and 0.5 billion barrels of technically recoverable shale oil resources in the Norte Basin of Uruguay.

  13. Assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources of the North Sakhalin Basin Province, Russia, 2011

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Klett, T.R.; Schenk, Christopher J.; Wandrey, Craig J.; Charpentier, Ronald R.; Brownfield, Michael E.; Pitman, Janet K.; Pollastro, Richard M.; Cook, Troy A.; Tennyson, Marilyn E.

    2011-01-01

    Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated volumes of undiscovered, technically recoverable, conventional petroleum resources for the North Sakhalin Basin Province of Russia. The mean volumes were estimated at 5.3 billion barrels of crude oil, 43.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 0.8 billion barrels of natural gas liquids.

  14. A history of the oil business in the Big Horn Basin, Wyoming

    SciTech Connect

    Hares, C.J.

    1988-01-01

    This paper provides a historical account of the discovery and development of the Big Horn Basin. It discusses the exploration and drilling history; government purchases and leasing programs; development of geophysical survey techniques; oil and gas market history; impacts of World War II; and production history.

  15. Assessment of shale-oil resources of the Central Sumatra Basin, Indonesia, 2015

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schenk, Christopher J.; Charpentier, Ronald R.; Klett, Timothy R.; Tennyson, Marilyn E.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Brownfield, Michael E.; Pitman, Janet K.; Gaswirth, Stephanie B.; Leathers-Miller, Heidi M.

    2015-01-01

    Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated means of 459 million barrels of shale oil, 275 billion cubic feet of associated gas, and 23 million barrels of natural gas liquids in the Central Sumatra Basin, Indonesia.

  16. Assessment of Undiscovered Oil and Gas Resources of the Bighorn Basin Province, Wyoming and Montana, 2008

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    U.S. Geological Survey

    2008-01-01

    Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated a mean of 989 billion cubic feet of undiscovered natural gas, a mean of 72 million barrels of undiscovered oil, and a mean of 13 million barrels of undiscovered natural gas liquids in the Bighorn Basin Providence of Wyoming and Montana.

  17. Critical loads and H+ budgets of forest soils affected by air pollution from oil sands mining in Alberta, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jung, Kangho; Chang, Scott X.; Ok, Yong Sik; Arshad, M. A.

    2013-04-01

    We investigated the critical load (CL) and exceedance (EX) of sulfur (S) deposition, temporal changes in soil chemistry, and H+ budget of soils in plots dominated by Pinus banksiana (jack pine) or Populus tremuloides (trembling aspen, aspen) in two acid-sensitive watersheds to assess the risk of soil acidification by S emissions from oil sands mining in the Athabasca oil sands region (AOSR), Canada. The CLs and EXs were determined by two methods: one was based on bulk deposition and the other based on total deposition (as a sum of bulk deposition and interception deposition). The CLs ranged from 223 to 711 molc ha-1 yr-1 based on bulk deposition. Those values were similar to that obtained based on total deposition. However, EXs based on bulk deposition were significantly lower (p < 0.001) than those based on total deposition due to the relative increase of SO concentrations in interception deposition, indicating that EXs based on bulk deposition only could underestimate the risk of soil acidification in the AOSR. The S deposition did not exceed CLs in the long-term for both methods. The pH in the forest floor increased and available SO (as the sum of soluble and adsorbed SO) in the forest floor and surface mineral soils increased in both jack pine and aspen stands between 2005 and 2010. The H+ budget ranged from -289 to -130 molc ha-1 yr-1 in jack pine stands and from -510 to -371 molc ha-1 yr-1 in aspen stands. Our results suggest that 1) soils in the studied forest stands have recovered from acidification based on the increasing soil pH over time and the negative H+ budget, and 2) the risk of soil acidification should be assessed by CL and EX calculated based on total deposition.

  18. Preferential methanogenic biodegradation of short-chain n-alkanes by microbial communities from two different oil sands tailings ponds.

    PubMed

    Shahimin, Mohd Faidz Mohamad; Foght, Julia M; Siddique, Tariq

    2016-05-15

    Oil sands tailings ponds harbor diverse anaerobic microbial communities capable of methanogenic biodegradation of solvent hydrocarbons entrained in the tailings. Mature fine tailings (MFT) from two operators (Albian and CNRL) that use different extraction solvents were incubated with mixtures of either two (n-pentane and n-hexane) or four (n-pentane, n-hexane, n-octane and n-decane) n-alkanes under methanogenic conditions for ~600 d. Microbes in Albian MFT began methane production by ~80 d, achieving complete depletion of n-pentane and n-hexane in the two-alkane mixture and their preferential biodegradation in the four-alkane mixture. Microbes in CNRL MFT preferentially metabolized n-octane and n-decane in the four-alkane mixture after a ~80 d lag but exhibited a lag of ~360 d before commencing biodegradation of n-pentane and n-hexane in the two-alkane mixture. 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing revealed Peptococcaceae members as key bacterial n-alkane degraders in all treatments except CNRL MFT amended with the four-alkane mixture, in which Anaerolineaceae, Desulfobacteraceae (Desulfobacterium) and Syntrophaceae (Smithella) dominated during n-octane and n-decane biodegradation. Anaerolineaceae sequences increased only in cultures amended with the four-alkane mixture and only during n-octane and n-decane biodegradation. The dominant methanogens were acetoclastic Methanosaetaceae. These results highlight preferential n-alkane biodegradation by microbes in oil sands tailings from different producers, with implications for tailings management and reclamation. PMID:26925736

  19. Naphthenic acids speciation and removal during petroleum-coke adsorption and ozonation of oil sands process-affected water.

    PubMed

    Gamal El-Din, Mohamed; Fu, Hongjing; Wang, Nan; Chelme-Ayala, Pamela; Pérez-Estrada, Leonidas; Drzewicz, Przemysław; Martin, Jonathan W; Zubot, Warren; Smith, Daniel W

    2011-11-01

    The Athabasca Oil Sands industry produces large volumes of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) as a result of bitumen extraction and upgrading processes. Constituents of OSPW include chloride, naphthenic acids (NAs), aromatic hydrocarbons, and trace heavy metals, among other inorganic and organic compounds. To address the environmental issues associated with the recycling and/or safe return of OSPW into the environment, water treatment technologies are required. This study examined, for the first time, the impacts of pretreatment steps, including filtration and petroleum-coke adsorption, on ozonation requirements and performance. The effect of the initial OSPW pH on treatment performance, and the evolution of ozonation and its impact on OSPW toxicity and biodegradability were also examined. The degradation of more than 76% of total acid-extractable organics was achieved using a semi-batch ozonation system at a utilized ozone dose of 150 mg/L. With a utilized ozone dose of 100 mg/L, the treated OSPW became more biodegradable and showed no toxicity towards Vibrio fischeri. Changes in the NA profiles in terms of carbon number and number of rings were observed after ozonation. The filtration of the OSPW did not improve the ozonation performance. Petroleum-coke adsorption was found to be effective in reducing total acid-extractable organics by a 91%, NA content by an 84%, and OSPW toxicity from 4.3 to 1.1 toxicity units. The results of this study indicate that the combination of petroleum-coke adsorption and ozonation is a promising treatment approach to treat OSPW. PMID:21907388

  20. Quantification of anthropogenic and natural changes in oil sands mining infrastructure land based on RapidEye and SPOT5

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Ying; Guindon, Bert; Lantz, Nicholas; Shipman, Todd; Chao, Dennis; Raymond, Don

    2014-06-01

    Natural resources development, spanning exploration, production and transportation activities, alters local land surface at various spatial scales. Quantification of these anthropogenic changes, both permanent and reversible, is needed for compliance assessment and for development of effective sustainable management strategies. Multi-spectral high resolution imagery data from SPOT5 and RapidEye were used for extraction and quantification of the anthropogenic and natural changes for a case study of Alberta bitumen (oil sands) mining located in the Western Boreal Plains near Fort McMurray, Canada. Two test sites representative of the major Alberta bitumen production extraction processes, open pit and in situ extraction, were selected. A hybrid change detection approach, combining pixel- and object-based target detection and extraction, is proposed based on Change Vector Analysis (CVA). The extraction results indicate that the changed infrastructure landscapes of these two sites have different footprints linked with their differing oil sands production processes. Pixel- and object-based accuracy assessments have been applied for validation of the change detection results. For manmade disturbances, except for those fine linear features such as the seismic lines, accuracies of about 80% have been achieved at the pixel level while, at the object level, these rise to 90-95%. Since many disturbance features are transient, a new landscape index, entitled the Re-growth Index, has been formulated at single object level specifically to monitor restoration of these features to their natural state. It is found that the temporal behaviour of the Re-growth Index in an individual patch varies depending on the type of natural land cover. In addition, the Re-growth Index is also useful for assessing the detectability of disturbed sites.

  1. The hydrogeologic connectivity of a low-flow saline-spring fen peatland within the Athabasca oil sands region, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wells, Corey M.; Price, Jonathan S.

    2015-12-01

    Saline springs can provide clues as to the nature of groundwater flow, including how it relates to subsurface wastewater storage and the distribution of solutes in the landscape. A saline-spring peatland neighboring a proposed in-situ oil facility was examined near Fort McMurray, Alberta (Canada). The study area is situated just north of a saline groundwater discharge zone, which coincides with the erosional edge of the Cretaceous Grand Rapids Formation. Na+ (mean 6,949 mg L-1) and Cl- (mean 13,776 mg L-1) were the dominant salts within the peatland, which increased by an order of magnitude in the opposite direction to that of the local groundwater flow. Rivers and freshwater wetlands within the study area had anomalously high salinities, in some cases exceeding 10,000 mg L-1 total dissolved solids within deeper sediments. Saline-spring features were observed as far as 5 km from the study area. A low-permeability mineral layer underlying the peatland restricted vertical groundwater exchange (estimated to be less than several mm over the 4-month study period). Sand and gravel lenses underlying the fen's high-salinity zone may function as areas of enhanced discharge. High Cl/Br ratios point to halite as a potential source of salinity, while δ18O and δ2H signatures in groundwater were lower than modern-day precipitation or Quaternary aquifers. The complex connectivity of saline-spring wetlands within the landscape has implications for industry and land-use managers, and justifies incorporating them into monitoring networks to better gauge the magnitude and flow history of natural saline discharge in the oil sands region.

  2. Effects of exposure to oil sands process-affected water from experimental reclamation ponds on Chironomus dilutus.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Julie; Wiseman, Steve B; Moustafa, Ahmed; El-Din, Mohamed Gamal; Liber, Karsten; Giesy, John P

    2012-04-15

    Effective detoxification of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) is one issue associated with bitumen extraction in the Alberta oil sands. It has been suggested that reclamation ponds can be used to passively treat OSPW, potentially allowing for its safe return to the environment. In this study, OSPW was sampled in two batches (A and B) from the Syncrude Canada Ltd. West In-Pit (WIP) settling pond and from three experimental reclamation ponds - Big Pit, FE5, and TPW. Acute (10 d) and chronic (until adult emergence) exposures of Chironomus dilutus larvae to OSPW were conducted and survival, growth, development, and behavior were assessed. Masses of larvae exposed to WIP-OSPW were 64-77% less than the freshwater control (p < 0.001). Similarly, chronic exposure to WIP-OSPW resulted in significantly (p < 0.05) less pupation than in the freshwater control, with 31% (A) and 71% (B) less pupation of larvae exposed to WIP-OSPW. Rates of emergence were significantly less for larvae exposed to WIP-OSPW, with only 13% (A) and 8% (B) of larvae emerging as adults when exposed to WIP-OSPW, compared to 81% in the freshwater control (p < 0.0001). Pupation and emergence rates were significantly less in TPW than freshwater control (p < 0.05), but there were no differences observed in Big Pit or FE5. Lesser toxicity was observed in reclaimed OSPW compared to fresh OSPW and this coincided with lesser concentrations of NAs. The results presented are consistent with the hypothesis that an organic fraction is the cause of the toxicity of OSPW toward C. dilutus and that OSPW aged in reclamation ponds retains toxicity and therefore, more aggressive, targeted treatment of OSPW is required to accelerate decreases. PMID:22265614

  3. LIDAR vertical profiles over the Oil Sands Region: an important tool in understanding atmospheric particulate matter transport, mixing and transformation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strawbridge, K. B.

    2013-12-01

    LIDAR technology is an excellent tool to probe the complex vertical structure of the atmosphere at high spatial and temporal resolution. This provides the critical vertical context for the interpretation of ground-based chemistry measurements, airborne measurements and model verification and validation. In recent years, Environment Canada has designed an autonomous aerosol LIDAR system that can be deployed to remote areas such as the oil sands. Currently two autonomous LIDAR systems are making measurements in the oil sands region, one since December, 2012 and the other since July, 2013. The LIDAR transmitter emits two wavelengths (1064nm and 532nm) and the detector assembly collects four channels (1064nm backscatter, 532nm backscatter and 532nm depolarization, 607 nm nitrogen channel). Aerosol profiles from near ground to 20 km are collected every 10-60 s providing sufficient resolution to probe atmospheric dynamics, mixing and transport. The depolarization channel provides key information in identifying and discriminating the various aerosol layers aloft such as dust, forest fire plumes, industrial plume sources or ice crystals. The vertical resolution of the LIDAR can determine whether industrial plumes remain aloft or mix down to the surface and also provide estimates as to the concentration of the particulate at various altitudes. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week except during precipitation events. The system is operated remotely and the data are updated every hour to a website to allow near real-time capability. An intensive measurement campaign will be carried out in August and September of 2013 and will provide coincident airborne and ground-based measurements for the two LIDAR systems. The first results from this field study will be presented as well as some statistics on the frequency and evolution of plume events that were detected by the LIDARs.

  4. Has Alberta Oil Sands Development Altered Delivery of Polycyclic Aromatic Compounds to the Peace-Athabasca Delta?

    PubMed Central

    Hall, Roland I.; Wolfe, Brent B.; Wiklund, Johan A.; Edwards, Thomas W. D.; Farwell, Andrea J.; Dixon, D. George

    2012-01-01

    Background The extent to which Alberta oil sands mining and upgrading operations have enhanced delivery of bitumen-derived contaminants via the Athabasca River and atmosphere to the Peace-Athabasca Delta (200 km to the north) is a pivotal question that has generated national and international concern. Accounts of rare health disorders in residents of Fort Chipewyan and deformed fish in downstream ecosystems provided impetus for several recent expert-panel assessments regarding the societal and environmental consequences of this multi-billion-dollar industry. Deciphering relative contributions of natural versus industrial processes on downstream supply of polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs) has been identified as a critical knowledge gap. But, this remains a formidable scientific challenge because loading from natural processes remains unknown. And, industrial activity occurs in the same locations as the natural bitumen deposits, which potentially confounds contemporary upstream-downstream comparisons of contaminant levels. Methods/Principal Findings Based on analyses of lake sediment cores, we provide evidence that the Athabasca Delta has been a natural repository of PACs carried by the Athabasca River for at least the past two centuries. We detect no measureable increase in the concentration and proportion of river-transported bitumen-associated indicator PACs in sediments deposited in a flood-prone lake since onset of oil sands development. Results also reveal no evidence that industrial activity has contributed measurably to sedimentary concentration of PACs supplied by atmospheric transport. Conclusions/Significance Findings suggest that natural erosion of exposed bitumen in banks of the Athabasca River and its tributaries is a major process delivering PACs to the Athabasca Delta, and the spring freshet is a key period for contaminant mobilization and transport. This baseline environmental information is essential for informed management of natural resources

  5. Evaluating officially reported polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon emissions in the Athabasca oil sands region with a multimedia fate model

    PubMed Central

    Parajulee, Abha; Wania, Frank

    2014-01-01

    Emissions of organic substances with potential toxicity to humans and the environment are a major concern surrounding the rapid industrial development in the Athabasca oil sands region (AOSR). Although concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in some environmental samples have been reported, a comprehensive picture of organic contaminant sources, pathways, and sinks within the AOSR has yet to be elucidated. We sought to use a dynamic multimedia environmental fate model to reconcile the emissions and residue levels reported for three representative PAHs in the AOSR. Data describing emissions to air compiled from two official sources result in simulated concentrations in air, soil, water, and foliage that tend to fall close to or below the minimum measured concentrations of phenanthrene, pyrene, and benzo(a)pyrene in the environment. Accounting for evaporative emissions (e.g., from tailings pond disposal) provides a more realistic representation of PAH distribution in the AOSR. Such indirect emissions to air were found to be a greater contributor of PAHs to the AOSR atmosphere relative to reported direct emissions to air. The indirect pathway transporting uncontrolled releases of PAHs to aquatic systems via the atmosphere may be as significant a contributor of PAHs to aquatic systems as other supply pathways. Emission density estimates for the three PAHs that account for tailings pond disposal are much closer to estimated global averages than estimates based on the available emissions datasets, which fall close to the global minima. Our results highlight the need for improved accounting of PAH emissions from oil sands operations, especially in light of continued expansion of these operations. PMID:24596429

  6. Oil spill contamination probability in the southeastern Levantine basin.

    PubMed

    Goldman, Ron; Biton, Eli; Brokovich, Eran; Kark, Salit; Levin, Noam