In recent years, BP has spent a lot of money trying to convince the world it had moved ‘Beyond Petroleum’. But having junked its solar energy programme, and been responsible for one of the largest oil spills in history, the only thing left that’s green about this huge multinational corporation is its famous logo. With its entrance into the tar sands, it’s safe to say that Beyond Petroleum has gone Back to Petroleum…
BP has recently dived into its first big Tar Sands extraction venture. The Sunrise Project, a partnership with Husky Energy, will pump out a planet-destroying 3 billion barrels of oil, whilst polluting the local environment and creating serious health and safety concerns for local First Nations communities.
Despite opposition from environmental groups, First Nations communities, climate activists, pension groups and concerned UK citizens they have decided to go ahead with the Sunrise Project. However, no oil will be extracted until at least 2013, so there is still time to stop the project from going ahead.
The Sunrise Project is set to produce 200,000 barrels per day by 2014. Sunrise will use so-called SAG-D (Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage), where water is superheated into steam with vast amounts of natural gas, then injected deep into the earth to melt” the oil from the sand and clay.
John Teeling, the chairman of exploration firm Petrel Resources, has said Irish oil prospects could pay the entire cost of austerity in December’s Budget or €3.5bn a year.
Mr Teeling, whose Petrel has identified a target off the west coast with the potential to produce one billion barrels of oil, said he was hopeful that Ireland’s reignited oil industry could produce enough oil to eventually make the country energy independent.
“There is still risk of course,” he said. “The only lie detector in the world is a drill hole.”
Petrel plans to embark on a road-show to the Far East, China and Middle East with its new technical data. “This is like the wildcatters in the old days,” Mr Teeling said. “You take extreme risks and then the big companies come in.”
Mr Teeling estimated between €60m and €100m would need to be invested to bring a project to fruition. Petrel’s share price rose by up to 350 per cent last week.