Industrialized Cyclist Notepad


Still more North American energy security

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper approved Cnooc Ltd. (883)’s $15.1 billion takeover of Nexen Inc. (NXY) and Petroliam Nasional Bhd.’s C$5.2 billion ($5.2 billion) takeover of Progress Energy Resources Corp. (PRQ)

via Canada Approves Both Cnooc-Nexen, Petronas-Progress Deals – Bloomberg.



EPA and local regulators’ epic fail on Chevron Richmond refinery

People should be enraged about this. Enraged at Chevron, enraged at the fake govt. investigations and blatantly captured regulators that continue to blow sulfur dioxide up the public’s ass.

Air quality officials say Chevron fashioned a pipe inside its refinery that routed hydrocarbon gases around monitoring equipment and allowed them to be burned off without officials knowing about it. Some of the gases escaped into the air, but because the company didn’t record them, investigators have no way of being certain of the level of pollution exposure to thousands of people who live downwind from the plant.

“They were routing gas through that pipe to the flare that they were not monitoring,” said Jack Broadbent, executive director of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, whose inspectors uncovered what Chevron was doing and ordered the bypass pipe removed.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s criminal enforcement unit opened an investigation in early 2012, more than two years after the local inspectors made their discovery, according to air-quality officials and others familiar with the probe. The investigation is still open, and Chevron employees have been interviewed.

via Criminal investigation at Chevron refinery – SFGate.

In case you missed it, years ago Chevron was required to install pollution monitoring equipment as part of one of those sweetheart settlement deals after they were caught violating the rules. Years ago, it was discovered that the plant had installed pipes bypassing this pollution monitoring equipment so the refinery’s unmonitored poison gases could be flared into the open air. Years ago. This became public recently only after the SF Chronicle was able to review records, which they requested as a result of the unrelated fire at the refinery.

Interesting parallels with Denver’s chronically leaking Suncor refinery. A refinery in blatant violation of all sorts of laws, but without any fear of a real crackdown by those public officials who are supposed to do something about it. So the violations continue, for years, until the truth manages to escape the regulators who’ve been keeping it from the public.



Suncor Refinery Unleashes Plume of “Catalyst Material” in Malfunction

Burnett said it appeared a blower on the unit that processes crude oil stopped working, causing the catalyst material to escape as a yellowish, grayish material until the unit could be shut down.

The unit is is involved in processing gasoline from crude oil, she said.

“It was very short,” Burnett said. “It lasted less than a few minutes.”

She said federal agencies that regulate the plant will be notified to allow them to investigate further, if they wish, she said.

via Plume of "dust" from Suncor refinery shuts roads briefly – The Denver Post.

I don’t know how to break it to people, but toxic clouds are spewing out of that place all the time, by design.



Suncor’s benzene still flowing into South Platte

It’s one of Denver’s many delightful quirks!

Six months after Suncor Energy’s oil refinery contaminated Sand Creek and nearby property, obstacles remain in containing the pollution, and a full cleanup may be years away.

via Suncor spill clean-up months, years away – The Denver Post.

This is Denver’s drinking water. Serves us right?



Economic threshold of oil from Canadian tar sands

More commonly, less accurately known as oil sands.

From Canada’s Energy Future (pdf), a 2011 report from the National Energy Board.

The threshold will be highly dependent on the price of natural gas.



Skeletal remains unearthed near Suncor leak

The discovery happened Friday on the west side of Suncor Energy property, according to Mike Saunders, a Commerce City Police Department spokesman.

Workers at the property were doing “hydro-excavation” work, moving earth with high-pressure hoses, when they uncovered human bones, said Suncor spokeswoman Brandy Radey.

via Skeletal remains unearthed in Commerce City near Suncor refinery – The Denver Post.

Company spokesman was tight lipped about what work was being done when the corpse was found. Reporters apparently didn’t ask. The skeleton was unearthed in the same general location as the leak into Sand Creek.

See Suncor Refinery Benzene Still in Platte River and Denver: Taste the Benzene



U.S. Refineries ranked by output

Top U.S. Refineries – Energy Information Administration. Energy Rankings.



Denver: Taste the Benzene

I’m offering that up as a possible new official slogan for the city.

“Benzene, also known as benzol, is a colorless liquid with a sweet odor. Benzene evaporates into air very quickly and dissolves slightly in water. Benzene is highly flammable. Most people can begin to smell benzene in air at 1.5-4.7 parts of benzene per million parts of air (ppm) and smell benzene in water at 2 ppm. Most people can begin to taste benzene in water at 0.5-4.5 ppm. One part per million is approximately equal to one drop in 40 gallons….”

From http://www.eco-usa.net/toxics/chemicals/benzene.shtml



Suncor refinery benzene still in the Platte River

From a new article by Bruce Finley in the Denver Post.

Yes, this is Denver drinking water. They don’t even know where the leak is.



Another Pipeline Map


click to enlarge

The blue lines are product pipelines. Greens are oil and reds are gas.

From this James Hamilton post on the petroleum product net export situation.




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