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Canada’s Quest to Mine Bitumen With Steam is Quietly Spelling Disaster – June 16, 2014

Since 2013 more than 12,000 barrels of steamy bitumen have erupted through fissures in the earth in Alberta

You’ve heard the ads. Beyond the ugly open pit mines lies a different sort of oil sands, intones a friendly Cenovus voice. The difference, goes the ad, consists of some 100 gleaming steam plants in Alberta’s boreal forest where industry can safely recover oil from 450 metres beneath the ground with little impact.

The message is clear: given that 80 per cent of Canada’s bitumen is too deep to be mined, steaming it out of the ground represents a trouble-free Oz, if not a future world of innovative cleanliness.

But it’s all a grand illusion. And you can thank Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., (CNRL) a major bitumen player, for pulling back the… more

by: Andrew Nikiforuk

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