No community is more comfortable with the tradeoffs associated with the oil sands than Fort McMurray, but Suncor’s proposed Voyageur South Mine has even its residents asking some hard questions.
It’s no wonder given that the mine, which is expected to produce 250,000 barrels per day of bitumen over its estimated 28-year lifespan, would be located just six kilometers north of the city’s urban service area.
But while Suncor has expressed its intention to file an integrated application with the Alberta Energy Regulator and the Environmental Assessment Agency sometime next year, nearby residents don’t need to worry. That’s because it’s never going to get built – not, at least, if Suncor is behaving rationally.
In an ironic twist, it appears that capitalism – that instrument of evil that many of the energy sector’s most vociferous critics love to hate – will do what environmentalists have spent the last few years trying to achieve: slowing growth in the oil sands.
Thus begins an excellent commentary by Max Fawcett that appeared in the September 08, 2015 edition of Alberta Oil Magazine.
Fawcett’s article is an insightful look at the present and future prospects for oil sands development, and while that future might not look great in the near and medium terms, the long-term view still has room for plenty of heavy Canadian crude.
Max Fawcett is an award-winning writer and the editor of Alberta Oil magazine. His work has been published in the Walrus, Hazlitt, Eighteen Bridges, BC Business, the Globe and Mail, the National Post, the Toronto Star, Avenue Magazine, THIS Magazine, and Corporate Knights Magazine, among other places.