Canadians evenly split when it comes to the oilsands: Poll -

Canadians evenly split when it comes to the oilsands: Poll

Quebec, Saskatchewan and Manitoba most opposed to oilsands


According to a new Ipsos Reid poll released to CBC News, Canadians are evenly split on the issue of oilsands development in Alberta. To the statement “while there are some risks to the environment with this development, the need for energy in Canada outweighs those risks,” 51 per cent of those surveyed agreed, while 49 per cent of Canadians agreed with the sentiment that “while there is a need for energy in Canada, it does not outweigh the environmental risks with this development.” Interestingly, the country was not divided along East-West lines about this subject. Residents of Atlantic Canada (64 per cent), Alberta (62 per cent) and Ontario (58 per cent) are most likely to agree that the need for energy outweighs the environmental risks. Residents of Quebec (71 per cent) and Saskatchewan and Manitoba (both 60 per cent) are more likely to think that the environmental risks outweigh energy needs. Also, 22 per cent of Canadians who have heard about oilsands development either don’t know or don’t care enough to determine whether or not it’s a good thing or a bad thing.

CBC News

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Canadians evenly split when it comes to the oilsands: Poll

  1. Unless all oil consumers make deliberate lifestyle changes and world oil demand decreases, as world oil fields mature and production levels off, the oil sands will form a vital part of oil supply. As we've seen this spring and summer, deep water and ultra deep water drilling have their own environmental risks. The easy to find oil has already been found and oil companies are in a position where they have to stretch the limits of risk when attempting to find significant oil reserves.

    The BP Statistical Review of World Energy shows that the worlds reserve-to-production (reserve life index) has been stuck between 40 and 45 years since the late 1980s despite drilling thousands of wells around the world in increasingly hostile environments and despite the use of advanced technology to assist in the discovery of "elephants". We have reached the end of peak cheap oil which makes the low risk tar sands are highly attractive to oil companies; other than the environmental risk which we are all aware of, the risk of outlaying capital and drilling unsuccessful wells in the tar sands is zero.

    Yes, I agree that the environmental issues related to tar sands exploitation are difficult to swallow, but as the world passes peak oil, we have very few viable options at this point in time.

    Here's more information on peak cheap oil and how it is going to impact the world's political situation:

    • I agree, I think most people doesn't even understand the whole process.

  2. Have you read and interesting take on Canada's Tar Sands; "Ethical Oil" by Ezra Levant? It is a very interesting take.

  3. Who cares what Canadian provinces think? It's what the customers (ie US) think. They are the ones who determine whether they want the output, and are willing to be responsible for its environmental impacts.

  4. I'm afraid that the 550 square km currently under oil sands development isn't large enough for half the population. Or was there some other, larger piece of land that looks like Mars that you were thinking of?

    • England can fit in that area, it's about the same size, there's enough room for one small country.

      • After there are done there and need more oil do think it will stop there? Next will be BC, where else these tar sands will just take time, unless something is done about it.

        • The current oil sands development covers approximately 550 km. TOTAL. There is no "size of England" piece of land anywhere that is slated for development. That is a figment of the imaginations of the Gore-Suzuki-Monbiot crowd. And some of the land is already reclaimed and back under vegetation again. It's not like the land is ruined forever.

          • By the way, England is 130,281 square km. That means the current total size of the oil sands development is approximately 0.42% of the size of England. That means you are stating that oil sands development will soon expand over 200 fold.

          • u should look at the pictures of the reclaimed land, looks like a poor version of someone's front yard with stumped trees too. Better investigation and research, don't believe everything you hear go check, look, read, etc, double check, triple check, back up, references, did you miss this lesson?

          • Now you just need to explain how you made 50 square km equal 50,345 square miles. Because last time I looked, 50,000 square miles was approximately equal to around 130,000 square km.

          • Most of the oil sands of Canada are located in three major deposits in northern Alberta. These are the Athabasca-Wabiskaw oil sands of north northeastern Alberta, the Cold Lake deposits of east northeastern Alberta, and the Peace River deposits of northwestern Alberta. Between them *** they cover over 140,000 square kilometres (54,000 sq mi) – an area larger than England-**** and hold proven reserves of 1.75 trillion barrels (280×10^9 m3) of bitumen in place. About 10% of this, or 173 billion barrels (27.5×10^9 m3), is estimated by the government of Alberta to be recoverable at current prices using current technology, which amounts to 97% of Canadian oil reserves and 75% of total North American petroleum reserves.[1] The Cold Lake deposits extend across the Alberta's eastern border into Saskatchewan. In addition to the Alberta oil sands, there are major oil sands deposits on Melville Island in the Canadian Arctic islands which are unlikely to see commercial production in the foreseeable future.

          • When i heard about the same size of england, I looked at the lakes, but these tar sands are that size…according to at a glance the square miles look like square kms but the actual tars sands are 50 square miles, check article. Where did you get 550 km from, what source was that? I was looking for that?

          • oops typo they cover over 140,000 square kilometres (54,000 sq mi) according to this article tar sands

            they cover over 140,000 square kilometres (54,000 sq mi) – an area larger than England-****
            check reference

          • The question is, it seems like Canada is talking about increasing it's production of oilf from tar sands which get off far more then regular oil productions. In time all this whole area will be used up. I dont think they will stop at 550 km only.

            7. Producing a barrel of oil from the oil sands produces**** three times more greenhouse gas emissions than a barrel of conventional oil.**** In 2004, oil sands production surpassed 160 000 cubic metres (one million barrels) per day; by 2015, oil sands production is expected to more than double to about 340 000 cubic metres (2.2 million barrels) per day.

          • The trees and grass don't grow back like their original state, it only took me a few hours to find out how extensive this is. Now there's talk of pipe line all the way down to Texas carrying all this toxic stuff past millions of people's water supplies. They are forming hotlines now for that as it seems most politicians are swayed too easily buy oil/tar sand money.

          • typos today, by oil/tar sand money, or should say the oil sand companies buy politicians maybe better. jk

          • I got that from a newsletter from the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers awhile back. The sum total of all oil sands lands currently under development is around 550 square km (I'm rounding of course, but it is in that range). To visualize a piece of land that size, imagine it as a perfectly square, contiguous area. It would be approximately 23.45 km long and 23.45 km wide. The large tailings pond you mentioned, at 50 square km, can be visualized as 10 km long by 5 km wide, or about 1/11 the size of the total area under development.

            Now, if you are talking about the entire area covered by tar sands deposits, that indeed is a large area. But most of that will never be developed. As it says in your post, only about 10% is thought to be recoverable. That is 10% of total oil deposits, not 10% of total area. The recoverable 10% of deposits are concentrated in smaller areas. It is this concentration that makes these deposits economical to extract.

          • Are they only going to disturb 10% of that surface to get that, or will they rake, scratch up huge sections to do that. From what I understand they got to do alot of damage to get a little bit of oil?

          • The Alberta oil sand deposits contain at least 85% of the world's reserves of natural bitumen (representing 40% of the combined crude bitumen and extra-heavy crude oil reserves in the world), but are the only bitumen deposits concentrated enough to be economically recoverable for conversion to synthetic crude oil at current prices. The largest bitumen deposit, containing about 80% of the Alberta total, and the only one suitable for surface mining, is the Athabasca Oil Sands along the Athabasca River. The mineable area (as defined by the Alberta government) includes 37 townships covering about 3,400 square kilometres (1,300 sq mi) near Fort McMurray. The smaller Cold Lake deposits are important because some of the oil is fluid enough to be extracted by conventional methods. ****All three Alberta areas ***are suitable for production using in-situ methods such as cyclic steam stimulation (CSS) and steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD).
            Sounds like the 10% will cover this whole area using different methods and this is a but section…"All three Alberta areas are suitable for production using in-situ methods such as cyclic steam stimulation (CSS) and steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD), besides the regular methods. From reference above.

  5. Why should anyone pay the slightest attention to the majority opinion of a few activist readers of a weekly newsmagazine about a technical issue? One can think of no reasons at all.