Thursday, August 04, 2005

Total Buys Big Into Canadian Oilsands

Here's another Green Car Congress article on Canadian tar sands, this time indicating Total France has bought a large Canadian outfit, Deer Creek Energy, for CN $1.35 billion. The most interesting bit is at the end, where the article mentions how dependent the whole process is on natural gas to operate. To reduce -- eliminate, possibly? -- this dependence, Total is looking to work with Canada Fuel Systems to burn what appears to be producer gas from converted bitumen, something they call Multiphase Superfine Atomized Residue, or MSAR. (Here's a more expansive PDF on the process.) It's just another reminder that just because tar sands production is natural gas intensive now doesn't mean it has to stay that way indefinitely.