Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Drifting sands


The rapidly increasing exploitation of Canada's oil sands (NCE 27 July) is being driven by demand that is not being met by conventional sources.

Many geologists and oil industry analysts believe that production of conventional oil will peak within a decade, before starting its inexorable decline. However, alternative sources, such as oil sands, are definitely not the solution.

Producing one barrel of oil from oil sands emits three times more greenhouse gases than production of conventional light or medium crude oil.

The oil sands operations are already the largest industrial emitter of greenhouse gases in Canada and are only producing the tiniest fraction of the world's oil.

It has even been suggested that oil sands may be one reason why Canada is going back on its Kyoto Protocol commitments. This is further demonstration that there is no escape from a major reduction in global energy use in the decades ahead.

Jonathan Schofield (G), jcschofield@myway. com

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.