Innovations push bitumen mining, economics; cut environmental effects

Over the years various innovations have improved the economics for mining bitumen and reduced the effects of the mining operation on the environment in the Athabasca region of Northern Alberta. Rob Birkholz, manager oil sands technology development for Shell Canada Energy, explained to Oil & Gas Journal the mining and processing operations Shell uses and highlighted some innovations that have improved economics and lessened the effect of the operations on the environment.Currently Alberta has four ongoing mining operations in the Athabasca. Suncor Energy Inc., Syncrude Canada Ltd, Shell Canada Ltd., and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (Horizon) operate the four ventures that in 2...

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