Target on methane

PETROCHEMISTRY

A high-efficiency incinerator at Cenovus Energy’s terminal near Edmonton destroys all noxious hydrocarbon emissions as tank cars are loaded with crude oil.  Photo credit: Questor Technology Decades before climate change became an environmental crisis, Canada’s petroleum industry disposed of then-unmarketable natural gas, or methane, simply by burning it. In Alberta’s Turner Valley oilfield in the 1920s,...

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Risky Business

PETROCHEMISTRY

In the run-up to the May 2013 provincial election in British Columbia, Premier Christy Clark announced an optimistic new economic plan. One of the major planks in her platform was the export of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Asia. Clark called it “the opportunity of a lifetime,” one that would make it possible to sell...

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Pipe dream

PETROCHEMISTRY

The Aframax-class tanker — 245 metres long and loaded with oilsands bituman piped in from Alberta — pulls away from the marine terminal at Burnaby, BC, moving through Burrard Inlet past Stanley Park.

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Tracking the chemical fracking controversy

ENVIRONMENTAL CHEMISTRY

The line of wheat waving in a field in the Alberta countryside is broken abruptly by a dark earthen wall. Packed in behind this berm are more than a dozen tractor-trailer big rigs, including 10 powerful pumper trucks running full bore, generating more than 22,000 horsepower.  As we drive up to the worksite, located near...

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