It's about time SOMETHING gets started. New technologies - new methods.
An Albertan's plan to ease Kyoto pain
Head of oil organization says 'hardship' can become 'economic opportunity'
Tuesday, February 15, 2005 - Page B3
CALGARY -- The oil and gas industry may never love the Kyoto environmental accord, but Eric Lloyd at least wants the industry to learn to live with it.
He says the oil patch can save a billion dollars every year by introducing up-to-the-minute technologies for reducing greenhouse gases, which have the happy side effect of slashing energy bills and the amount of wasted reserves.
Although he has a green streak, Mr. Lloyd is no environmental lobbyist. No, he is a petroleum engineer with three decades of experience -- and the head of Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada, whose members include most of the big names in the oil patch.
He has a blunt message about Kyoto, which comes into force tomorrow, for conventional oil and gas producers. "It's not a hardship, it's an economic opportunity," Mr. Lloyd says, adding that oil sands operations face a much stiffer challenge.
Others have made the argument that reducing greenhouse gases can save money, but Mr. Lloyd's number-crunching goes much further, with PTAC building a business case for the oil patch to reduce its emissions by 29 megatonnes.
The essential thrust is this: Spend up to $4-billion in five years to save a billion every year, with environmental outlays paying for themselves after no more than four years, and as few as four months. Those expenditures would not only save money, they'd also meet the cutoff point the industry uses to assess the profitability of projects that produce oil and gas, meaning that a company would be better off after meeting its greenhouse gas target than if it had left the money in the bank.
Most of the savings, $780-million, would come from reducing energy use in the exploration and production end of the industry, with such expenditures paying for themselves in less than three years. Reducing fugitive emissions, which are unplanned but small gas leaks during transport and processing, would save another $141-million a year -- and those cuts would pay for themselves in just four to six months, PTAC says.
Reducing leakage from natural gas storage would save $21-million a year, because the resource could then be sold for a profit. Similarly, reducing the flaring and venting of natural gas by 25 per cent would not only eliminate three megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, it would save $68-million a year.
PTAC's numbers could even be on the conservative side, because they don't take into account the most recent runup in natural gas prices.
Also, if the oil patch were truly able to attain 29 megatonnes in reductions, it's possible that some companies would be in a position to sell emissions credits.
The industry agrees on some of these points, particularly on the benefits of reduced flaring and venting.
Pierre Alvarez, president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, says the recent increase in commodity prices means the economics are now tilting toward capturing that gas, rather than wasting it.
But he questions PTAC's larger assertion that the industry can turn a profit from reducing greenhouse gases. Some producers that have recently spent billions on machinery and equipment would be at a severe disadvantage if they were to immediately scrap it in favour of a slightly newer version -- in essence, paying the same bill twice, Mr. Alvarez says. If governments want older equipment replaced more quickly, he says, they should rejig capital cost allowances to spur such expenditures. However, even such measures have their limits, Mr. Alvarez says. "You do hit a point where you reach the limit of technology and economics."
Mr. Lloyd has no illusions that the oil and gas industry is about to become a Kyoto enthusiast, saying it has been a struggle to win people in Calgary over to his point of view. Although investments in emissions-reduction technologies will turn a profit, it will not be as big as that to be had from exploring for and producing oil and gas, he says. "They have bigger fish to fry."
And even this self-described environmental pragmatist says five years will be needed to achieve the targets he lays out -- leaving the industry very little leeway to meet Kyoto objectives.
Mr. Lloyd says he believes Canada is not likely to meet the letter of Kyoto's law, but it is necessary to start reducing greenhouse gases, even if the means and technology to do so may not be entirely clear at the moment.
"If you decide to go to the moon, you'll get there."
Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada says oil companies could save more than $1-billion a year by cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Here are the steps to those savings:
$21-million from reducing losses from the storage of natural gas by 25 per cent.
$68-million from reducing natural gas flaring and venting by 25 per cent, and selling the gas instead.
$141-million from a 75-per-cent cut in fugitive emissions, which are unplanned but small leaks during transport and processing.
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1-Nothing in the Kyoto Accord will actually have any real effect on actual world levels of ANY polloutants. It deals only with carbon levels and only in the most ephemeral ways. Ten years after this day, the atmosphere of this planet will be exactly where it was. Or worse.
2-Nothing that we humans can do will actually affect the natural, and not very well understood, weather cycles of this planet. Good bad or otherwise. The only scientists that actually think we CAN (or have) are the very same ones who are looking to get big grants to "study this in greater depth". The rest are dismissing the whole thing in no uncertain terms. Which brings me to point number 3.
3-In the light of record cold winters and less than record heat waves during recent summers, the major proponents of this movement have carefully changed the name of the supposed effect from "Global Warming" to "Global Climate Change".
Guess what? "Global Climate Change" is the NORM for this particular planet. In fact, RADICAL and RAPID global climate change is the real norm. The evidence of this is clearly written in the rocks right beneath your feet.
And somebody thinks they can actually CHANGE this? If so...how? What arrogance!
4-If Canada ceased to emit ALL greenhouse gasses tomorrow and the whole population of this country vanished overnight...it would only lessen measured atmospheric polloution levels by 2%. Wow.
Our actual Canadian "commitment" to Kyoto is a tiny fraction of this tiny fraction. Double wow.
5-The Federal Liberals, as usual, have NO actual plans in hand to implement any of the Kyoto Accord. None. Zero. Zip.
All they have is a bunch of hot air and empty rehtoric. No actual plans.
Perhaps we could do our part to eliminate excess hot air by placing a dome over Ottawa and locking the door to it. THAT, at least, might have a positive effect for some of us...although the planet will continue to heat and cool just as it always has.
6-If this flawed mess IS actually adopted by Canada and implemented...a big question, despite everything you may have heard...then many of our heavy industries (like auto factories, for instance) will be forced to spend huge amounts of their ready cash to purchase "Carbon Credits" from countries like Russia in order to stay in operation. This should make them even more competitive than they already are, don't you think? Especially with the rapidly rising Loonie.
Want to bet that GM and Ford et al will just shift production a few miles over to the Detroit factories...you know, the one's that are NOT affected by the Jyoto regs?
Think about it.
7-China and India...both hugely industrialised and accounting for almost HALF of the population on this planet...are NOT part of the Kyoto Accord. Want to bet that they won't see this as a major advantage, while they continue to polloute at will? And will take every opportunity to USE this advantage while they "catch up" to the developed western societies?
Gee...do ya THINK??
I won't even get into the rapid rise in fuel costs and the resultant rise in the cost of practically EVERYTHING that we Canadians consume on a daily basis that will result if we actually implement even a portion of this flawed mess.
While not doing a damn thing to affect atmospheric temperatures or polloution levels in any way shape or form.
Luckily...this current minority Liberal Government won't survive much longer. Neither will the already watered down and failing Kyoto Accord.
Once they are both gone, then maybe wqe can all get together and come up with a REAL government and some REAL plans to fix up our little part of the world.
And learn to accept the simple fact that this good green earth has a mind of it's own when it comes to temperature levels.
We are just along for the ride.
Last edited by MacNutt; Feb 18th, 2005 at 02:44 AM.
In the light of record cold winters and less than record heat waves during recent summers, the major proponents of this movement have carefully changed the name of the supposed effect from "Global Warming" to "Global Climate Change".
As a point of interest, the reason scientists don't call it "Global Warming" anymore is that it has always been an inaccurate term for the situation. In fact, many have been saying that for a long, long time.
The problem isn't that the Earth is getting warmer, in fact compared even to some of the previous interglacial periods the Earth is quite cool right now. The problem is the rapidity with which the the climate is changing. Compared to nearly all the collected data from previous interglacial periods and the times before that, the climate is warming at an increased rate. The problem with this is that many forms of life, while adaptable, can't keep up with the current rate.
And if you don't think that the Earth is warmer now than it was, say, 10 years ago, why can't i skate on the lakes on Salt Spring in the winter anymore?
Originally Posted by MacNutt
If this flawed mess IS actually adopted by Canada and implemented...a big question, despite everything you may have heard...then many of our heavy industries (like auto factories, for instance) will be forced to spend huge amounts of their ready cash to purchase "Carbon Credits" from countries like Russia in order to stay in operation.
Canada will have to buy them, not the companies themselves. The cost will most assuredly be pass on, but as a lump sum? Considering how many tax cuts and deferrals many of the companies already get, I doubt it.
Originally Posted by MacNutt
China and India...both hugely industrialised and accounting for almost HALF of the population on this planet...are NOT part of the Kyoto Accord.
China and India have both ratified Kyoto. You know those sources you're never willing to link to or talk about? You might want to start checking them a little more closely.
China and India have ratified Kyoto?? And are prepared to implement the regulations???
News to me!
Probably news to the Chinese environmental protesters who were on tonight's evening news. Loudly demanding that their country agree to go along with Kyoto.
Got any data or references to back this up PosterBoy?
As for your reference to "skating on the frozen lakes of Salt Spring"....
This is the crux of our misconception. The terribly short lifespan of the human animal when compared to planetary time. We are but a twitch of nature's eyelash.
When I first went to work in the oilpatch, the winters in the far north were MUCH colder and more brutal than they are now. Then they got warmer. Then they got colder. Now, they are warmer. Sort of. Mostly.
When my grandmother was a young girl out here on the west coast, she told me that she could swim in the ocean well into october and it was as warm as a bath. They used to raise cabbages all year round up at the northern tip of Vancouver Island because it was so warm. Later on...they had to move south because it got cold.
In 1985, when I moved to Salt Spring, the winter was so cold and snowy that no one could get around at all and the power was off for days. Same thing happened in 1996. Same thing happened this year, in 2005. Between those times, we had warm sunny winter days. Virtually no snow at all.
And I have personally seen and logged geological samples at wellsite that show massive and terribly rapid temperature changes. We are talking arctic to tropical and back again in amatter of a few months or weeks. It's a matter of scientific record that this has happened hundreds of times over the past several million years...long before mankind ever set foot on this planet.
There are paintings of people skating on the river Thames in England. But the Rennaissance is largely thought to be at least partly as a result of a warming trend in Northern Europe in the 15th century. There was a "little ice age" in the 17th century. There are flash frozen Mammoths in Siberia. Cold weather critters who were frozen so suddenly that they are perfectly preserved. LOTS of them, BTW.
All of this is clear evidence of sudden changes in global temperature. NONE of it was man made.
Every time you see some old-timer remarking on the evening news about a sudden flood or major storm and saying "..I've lived here for forty years and I've never seen anything like this!"....just remember that he'd have to have lived in the same place for four HUNDRED years before he had even the ghost of a sense of the real pattern of things.
And maybe not even then. We just don't live long enough to get a real sense of it.
Right...China will not implement the Kyoto Accord until well into the next decade.
That would be right about the same time that they would be well-established as the biggest single economic force on the whole planet, right? When no one, or no combination, of other countries could POSSIBLY muster the sort of economic pressure to force them to comply. Right?
Whereas...at THIS point in time we COULD actually force both China and India and ALL of the other nations to comply, by simply refusing to trade with them. Especially if we had a REALISTIC set of polloution controls in place? Ones that addressed real polloution levels, instead of the silly notion of altering the panets natural climactic cycles by buying and selling "Carbon Credits" among each other.
They are still "emerging" right now. They will be well ahead of us, seven years hence. And not beholden to anyone. Anywhere.
We need to dump this silly Kyoto Accord and come up with something REAL. WE need to do it NOW. There is no time to waste. We certainly won't have the same pull a decade from now.
You think that the Americans are worldwide bullies striding across the planet and running roughshod over everything? Buddy...you aint seen NOTHIN yet! Just wait till China is running the show.
Stop and think about it, Ironmac. And all the rest of you. Think hard about it.