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Title: Environmental, health, safety, and socioeconomic impacts associated with oil recovery from tar-sand deposits in the United States
Authors: Daniels, Jeffrey I.
Issue Date: 12-Sep-1981
Publisher: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Citation: UCRL-53197
Type: report
Pages: 190
Abstract: The tar-sand resources of the United States have the potential to yield as much as 36 billion barrels (bbls) of oil. The tar-sand petroleum-extraction technologies now being considered for commercialization in the United States include both surface (above-ground) systems and in situ (underground) procedures. The surface systems currently receiving the most attention include (1) thermal decomposition processes (retorting), (2) suspension methods (solvent extraction), and (3) washing techniques (water separation). Underground bitumen extraction techniques now being field tested are (1) in situ combustion and (2) in situ steam-injection procedures. At this time, any commercial tar-sand facility in the U.S. will have to comply with at least 7 major federal regulations in addition to state regulations; building, electrical and fire codes; and petroleum-industry construction standards. Pollution-control methods needed by tar-sand technologies to comply with regulatory standards and to protect air, land, and water quality will probably be similar to those already proposed for commercial oil-shale systems. The costs of these systems could range from about 31.20 to 32.45 per barrel of oil produced. Estimates of potential pollution-emission levels affecting land, air, and water were calculated from available data related to current surface and in situ tar-sand field experiments in the U.S. These data were then extrapolated to determine pollutant levels expected from conceptual commercial surface and in situ facilities producing 20,000 bbl/d. The likelihood-of-occurrence of these impacts was then assessed. Experience from other industries, including information concerning health and ecosystem damage from air pollutants, measurements of ground-water transport of organic pollutants, and the effectiveness of environmental-control technologies was used to make this assessment. Conclusions reached from this assessment are that certain effects are more likely to occur than others. In this final report these effects are discussed and ordered according to their likelihood-of occurrence for surface and in situ tar-sand oil-extraction technologies.
URI: http://ds.heavyoil.utah.edu/dspace/handle/123456789/4746
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