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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. 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.

  18. 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.

  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. 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.

  6. 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.

  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. 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.

  8. 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.

  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. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  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. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  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. 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.

  13. 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.

  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. 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.

  2. 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.

  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. 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.

  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. 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...

  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. 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.

  12. 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.

  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. 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

  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. 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.

  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. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  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. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  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. 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.

  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. 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

  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. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  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. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  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. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  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. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  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. 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.

  16. 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.

  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. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  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. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  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. 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

  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. 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

  9. 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.

  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. 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

  16. 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.

  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. 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

  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. 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.

  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%.