Just when the Alberta oilsands are being fingered for their environmental impact along comes some welcome news. Bruce McGee of E-T Energy Ltd claims an extraction solution that is environmentally friendly.
At the project site, a stone’s-throw north of Fort McMurray, 55 strategically placed electrodes — each one encased by a 16-metre length of steel pipe — have for the past several weeks been turning E-T’s oilsands reservoir into an "underground storage tank" of melted bitumen.
Electricity purchased from the Alberta grid passes from a transmission line located near E-T’s section of land into the well bores. Once underground, the current passes from electrode to electrode, with existing underground water acting as the conductor.
McGee figures it takes about $4 worth of power to produce one barrel of oil.
Existing oilsands operators currently produce a surplus of electricity, so supply is not an issue for a small player such as E-T.
E-T has joined rival Petrobank Energy and Resources with a novel solution to extracting oil from the bitumen of Alberta.
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