Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Several Companies Endorse CAODC's Oil Respect Campaign

By: Daily Oil Bulletin - March 30, 2016
Ensign Energy Services Inc. was one among many companies today that officially endorsed the Oil Respect campaign launched by the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors in mid-February.
“It really is time for Canada to come together in understanding that in a federation we do things that are beneficial for all Canadians,” said Bob Geddes, president and COO of Ensign. “Of course the environment is of critical importance and our industry leads and understands our responsibility in environmental stewardship.
“However, we also need to think about our citizens’ current and future employment opportunities and Canada’s long-term ability to deliver ethical, emission-efficient fuel to global markets. Pipelines are as important to the future of Canada as the Trans-Canada Railway and the Trans-Canada Highway have proven to be, and will certainly be of great benefit to ensure the continued growth, development and prosperity of our country and our citizens.”
The Oil Respect campaign aims to put a face and voice to Canadian workers and businesses currently struggling in today’s oil and gas market. The campaign seeks to communicate and raise awareness of the facts on the current economic situation, its impact on Canadian workers, and acknowledge the significant contributions the industry provides to Canadians across the country.
Other companies issuing news releases officially endorsing the campaign included: Rezone Well Servicing Ltd.; Roll'n Oilfield IndustriesAKITA Drilling Ltd.; Savanna Energy Services Corp.; Predator Drilling; Mustang Well Services Ltd.; Lea-Der Coatings; Jomax Drilling; Citadel Drilling; Victory Well Services; Control Technology Inc.; Crusader Drilling Corp.; Galleon Well Servicing; DC Drilling; AFD Petroleum; Beaver DrillingQuesterre Energy Corporation; Independent Well Servicing; Lasso Drilling; Performance Energy Services.

Read more: Several Companies Endorse CAODC’s Oil Respect Campaign | Daily Oil Bulletin 
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Advocacy Reqd by GeoScientists

This downturn has taken its toll on the workforce. It appears a whole generation has been retired or let go. As the environmental movement strengthens in opposition to Oil and Gas in Canada it makes me think that folks such as GeoScientists should do more to advocate for the Industry and their profession. John Harper is one such individual and writes the following:

Climate Change - the buzzword of the decade! Whenever we see anything anomalous in the experience of an individual, especially those in the urban world, we hear them invoke the climate change buzz. Interestingly, when asked about their meaning of climate change, most politicians and the public, cannot provide a consistent definition. Neither can many scientists and geoscientists because they tend to be so focussed in their interests that they lack the historical context within which to analyse the full scope of their data. The Earth’s climate is recorded in the rocks and geoscientists are those capable of deciphering the record. Advances in technology are greatly improving these capabilities. Geoscientific forensic climatology may become a trend for future scientific research.

The Earth’s climate during the last 600 Million years has repeatedly oscillated from the extremes of glacial conditions (very cold) to evaporitization (very hot) and back to glaciation. The geologic record is very clear in this regard. Glacial conditions occurred at the end of the Precambrian, end of the Ordovician, earliest Permian, and Tertiary Pleistocene. These climatic changes are first-order oscillations resulting from drift of large land masses into polar regions of the time. During intervening times continental breakup has led to climate warming through temperate to tropical to evaporite conditions. But oscillation orders do not end there.

Rock data clearly demonstrate second-order warming and cooling oscillations superimposed on the major first-order occurrences. Silurian salt/carbonate couplets, Pennsylvanian coal measures, Permian Rotliegendes salt/carbonate couplets, and Pleistocene interglacials are all examples of such second-orders. The geologic record suggests there are at least seven orders of cyclicity and there may be more. Geologic climate change research is still evolving but current data strengthen the characteristics of the recognized oscillation orders.

Carbon dioxide concentrations during Pleistocene glacial/interglacial couplets have been documented for the last 650,000 years and offer detail not readily available for earlier glaciations. Interglacials lasted an average of 45,000 years. The present interglacial we are experiencing has been active for the past 12,800 – 20,000 years. If the future is to result in a return to glaciation then there may be 25,000 years to go. However if we are beginning to experience a first-order oscillation to evaporitization then continuous warming is inevitable. Interestingly, glaciations are characterized by low carbon dioxide concentrations and warmings by high concentrations. It is evident from geologic data that carbon dioxide variations are a consequence of climate changes, not the cause. It is evident as well that the many orders of oscillations have nothing to do with the existence of humans. It is not possible for humans to interrupt those orders.

These geologic facts will continue to be bolstered by increasing geoscientific climatic research. Society would best be served by addressing controllable issues such as pollution (atmospheric, surface land and oceans, and subsurface rocks and reservoirs), and the consequences of the explosive population growth we will be facing in the next 50 years. Geoscientists need to be active contributors to the solutions.

John has broad experience in industry, academia and government geoscience. His background has been as a Petroleum research geoscientist, Consultant advisor to Domestic, National and International companies, Professor of Petroleum Geology and Sedimentology, and former Director – Energy, of the Geological Survey of Canada. John began his career at Shell Development Company, researching deepwater to fluvial systems in active tectonic margins.  Operationally while at Shell Oil, John worked Silurian –Devonian basins from the Houston-Denver line to the Atlantic Ocean.  While at Shell Canada, John was the Biostratigraphy Group Leader for geostatistical integration of sedimentology and depositional environments.  Upon leaving Shell, John was Vice President, Special Projects at Trend Exploration Ltd. where he worked with datasets from Libya, the Philippines, Indonesia, various Pacific regions, North Africa, Middle East, Europe, North America domestic and Frontier regions.  During his career, he also served as a Senior Geological Advisor for Conoco Phillips Canada, conducting frontier exploration for the East Coast, the Labrador Shelf and the Canadian Arctic. John is known for his academic contributions as Professor of Petroleum Geology and Sedimentology at Memorial University of Newfoundland where he taught and mentored many young minds to “take care of the basics”.   John has worked within government circles as the Director of Energy for the Geological Survey of Canada.  He championed research into Canadian energy issues including gas hydrates, carbon capture, Arctic research, Canadian sovereignty and the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin (WCSB).  John has served as a technical witness and advisor to the International Chamber of Commerce, Paris, France during an arbitration tribunal. 

From the Thursday Files

The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.

- Amelia Earhart

Thursday, 24 March 2016




By Robert Lyman | Energy Economist- Addressing Climate Change Targets | November 1, 2015


Most young Canadians today believe that we can reduce global warming by doing things that would not greatly affect our lifestyle or cost of living. Mesmerized by the environmentalist chant that we are saving the planet, young people simply refuse to believe that the changes entailed in meeting greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) reduction target are difficult.

To illustrate the size of the challenge we face in reducing emissions, let us examine one sector of the economy – transportation.

The following table shows Canadian GHG emissions by economic sector in selected years. The numbers show millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e).
Table 1

Canadian GHG Emissions by Economic Sector (MtCO2e)

2020 (projected)






Oil and Gas















Emissions Intensive










Waste and Others










Source: Environment Canada


The current federal government goal is to reduce GHG emissions from 2005 levels by 17% by 2020. The Conservatives made a general (non-binding) commitment to reduce emissions by 65% below 2010 levels by 2050. At the recent G7 leaders' meeting, the now former Prime Minister Harper signed a statement committing in principle to reduce emissions by somewhere between 40 and 70 per cent below
2010 levels by 2050, conditional on getting an acceptable multilateral emissions
reduction agreement. At the forthcoming COP 21 Conference in Paris in December
2015, countries like Canada will be asked to commit to reduce emissions by up to
80 per cent below 2010 levels by 2050 and to eliminate them completely before the end of the century.

As one can see from the previous table, transportation now represents about 23 percent of Canadian emissions. Transportation emissions are roughly divided among passenger cars and light trucks/SUVs (47%), trucks (26%), aircraft (10%),
rail (4%) and others.

Transportation = 23% of Cdn Emissions

Cars and light trucks/SUVs (47%)

Trucks (26%)

Rail (4%)


The first question to consider is whether Canada is likely to meet the 2020 target with respect to transportation, and what would be entailed in doing so. There are three main approaches usually considered: reducing emissions intensity (i.e. improving fuel efficiency); shifting from one transportation mode to others; and taxing users to get them to travel or transport less.

Environment Canada’s most recent projections of GHG emissions from 2012 to
2020 show transportation emissions rising very slightly to 167 Mt. Emissions from cars, trucks and motorcycles are projected to decline from 85 Mt in 2012 to 78 Mt in 2020, while bus, rail and domestic aviation emissions are projected to rise from
8 Mt to 9 Mt. Emissions from heavy-duty freight trucks and rail are projected to increase from 54 Mt to 59 Mt, while those from recreational and commercial freight transportation are projected to rise from 11 Mt to 12 Mt. Environment Canada’s projections can be found online here:


Just won’t do it.

The reductions in emissions from passenger vehicles to 2020 are almost entirely due to the effects of regulation. In October 2010, Environment Canada released the Passenger Automobile and Light Truck Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulations,
which prescribe progressively more stringent annual emission standards for new
vehicles in model years 2011 to 2016. In 2014, Environment Canada introduced even more stringent standards for the 2017 to 2025 model years. Under both phases of light-duty regulation, spanning years 2011 to 2025, the fuel efficiency of new cars will increase by 41% compared to model year 2010 and the fuel efficiency of new passenger light trucks will increase by 37%.

The vehicle fuel efficiency standards are expected to reduce vehicle emissions by
11.9 Mt by 2020. In addition, new emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles
(buses and trucks) are expected to reduce Canada’s emissions by about 2 Mt by

Environment Canada’s projections take into account the departments estimate of the effect on new cars sales of hybrid electric (HEV) and all-electric (BEV) vehicles, although they do not publish precisely what this is.

There have been many glowing estimates published concerning future electric vehicles sales, mostly by the companies that make them. A 2010 report by J.D. Power and Associates, the foremost source of analysis on motor industry vehicle trends, provided a far more pessimistic estimate of likely future global sales of hybrid and all-electric vehicles than those typically published by the vehicle manufacturers and environmental groups. The J.D. Power and Associates study concluded that the combined global sales of HEVs and BEVs might total 5.2 million units in 2020, just 7.3% of the 70.9 million passenger vehicles to be sold worldwide in that year. While this is up from 2010 sales of 954,000 vehicles, or
2.2 % of the 44.7 million vehicles sold through the end of 2010, it is far below the extremely optimistic numbers the Obama Administration in the United States often quotes. Further, of the 5.2 million vehicles J.D. Power projects will be sold in
2020, 3.9 million units are expected to be hybrids powered both by gasoline and electrical energy and only 1.3 million are expected to be all-electric vehicles.

The J.D. Power and Associates report can be found online here:


Where does electricity come from for an electric car?

John Lawson, one of Canadas foremost transportation economists, has studied the potential for reducing GHG emissions from transportation, and specifically the possibility of reducing emissions through modal shift (i.e. encouraging passengers or freight movers to switch from high-emission modes of travel to lower emission modes). The results may be surprising.

·    Doubling of intercity train passenger travel (1.43 billion passenger- kilometres) would actually increase emissions slightly, because of the low occupancy rates of trains
·    Doubling of intercity bus passenger travel (10.43 billion passenger- kilometres) would reduce emissions, but only by half a megatonne, because
traffic is so limited.
·    Doubling of urban passenger travel by transit (a very ambitious goal) would divert 16.25 billion passenger-kilometres, but that would only save 2.53 megatonnes.

There are even more limited prospects for massive reductions in freight transportation through inter-modal shifts. Shifting 10% of freight from truck to rail is considered a significant goal, as businesses prefer trucks because of their flexibility; unlike rail, trucks can pick up and deliver freight to many destinations.
If a 10% shift could be achieved from large trucks (23.36 billion tonne-kilometres)
to rail, this would reduce emissions by 0.42 megatonnes.

John Lawson’s analysis can be found here:

The National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy in 2012 published a report on how Canada could achieve the 2050 goal. It estimated that imposing a carbon tax of $300 per tonne on all fossil fuel combustion could do this. With respect to transportation, a $300 per tonne tax translates into a 69 cent per litre tax on gasoline.

Here's the problem with that. The NTREE used, as the basis of its estimate, a fairly high calculation for how much gasoline consumption would decline in response to higher pump prices. Their "elasticity of demand" was about .06. In fact, more recent studies show that demand elasticity is only about one third of that, or .02. That means even a 69 cent carbon tax will not come close to getting people out of their cars and SUVs. To greatly reduce gasoline and diesel fuel consumption, governments would have to place severe restrictions on who could own and operate a vehicle or when vehicles could be used. How popular would that be?

More realistically, perhaps, governments might impose carbon taxes of $100 per tonne, equal to about 24 cents per litre. Using traditional estimates of elasticity of demand, the result would be a reduction in emissions of 12 Mt by 2020; using the lower estimates based on recent research, the reductions would be about 6 Mt.

In summary, the ambitious and costly measures already taken plus those now contemplated to reduce transportation emissions through modal shifts, increased fuel efficiency and taxation would, in total and at best, reduce emissions by less than 30 Mt by 2020. Half of that is already reflected in Environment Canadas projection of 2020 emissions. The net 15 Mt reduction from the projected transportations emissions total of 167 Mt in 2020 would represent a 9% reduction from 2005, far below the 2020 target of a 17% reduction for the whole economy.

Looking further into the future, reducing emissions by 70% by 2050 would mean cutting 495 Mt. That is more than the current emissions from transportation, oil and gas, electricity generation, and emissions intensive industry combined. Eliminating cars and trucks altogether seems almost unthinkable given the importance of mobility for commuting, freedom of movement and trade in goods. Yet that extraordinary action would only reduce Canadian emissions from 2010 levels by about 77 Mt.

Remarkably, we are being told by global warming activists that we must attain this target within 35 years.

The answer to that demand should be clear from the numbers.

You can’t get there from here.

Robert Lyman is an Ottawa consultant and energy economist of 37 years

experience who contributed this report to Friends of Science Society. Text @ Robert Lyman 2015

Color Photos: Images under license of Shutterstock.

Silhouettes: rights free clip art.


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