Alberta, Canada – Chris and Andreas Schneider, Chemac Inc NJ and TX, are firm believers in the Oil Sands of Alberta. The region has oil reserves that rival the Middle East. According to CAPP, about 96% of Canada’s oil reserves are in oil sands or about 164 billion barrels of oil. The oils sands require special processing to convert bitumen to high grade oil and this is where equipment supplied by Chemac can be of service…
For over 30 years, the Schneider brothers have visited Canada in hopes of further developing this business for high pressure pumps and accessories. “The energy sector is going through some major readjustments”, Andreas said, talking about how the US energy boom impacted the global markets over the least years. “When oil passed $100/barrel, no one expected the USA to become a major exporter of oil and few could predict the price to drop back under $60/barrel. The dynamics of this business are incredible”, he said.
Enter the Oil Sands – oil sands have been around for a long time. The problem was always getting the oil from the “sand”. The oil rich “sand” is called Bitumen. During the spike in oil prices, the prospects for the oil sands made Alberta the Black Gold Province of Canada. Money poured into many projects to convert bitumen and take advantage of the spike in oil. Since the price of oil pulled back, many projects where shelved, delayed or killed in the drawing room. Nevertheless, the province is pushing forwards with innovative projects to improve refining and conversion in Alberta.
“During our trips to attend shows and seminars in Canada, I remember most fondly contacting Robert Butler. It was not long before he passed away in 2005, we talked about the opportunities for our firm in Canada’s energy sector. He was friendly and very humble,” Said Andreas. Mr. Butler is considered the father of the SAGD an in situ process used by approximately 78% of all extraction sites in Alberta. Mr. Butler worked as a consultant until his final days. An innovator and believer in the oil sands until the end.
Presently, Alberta is focusing on refining and further developing cleaner processes for the extraction and processing of oil grade bitumen. The planning in Alberta cant be based on the present oil price, but on future expected oil prices. The risks are great for Alberta, but the risk of doing nothing may be greater in the long run. Oil and energy have been creating fortunes and costing fortunes since the earliest days of the industry. Boom to glut is always a risk.
In the future, we have no choice but to find alternate means for driving our economy, but until there is a clear solution, the energy sector will still be “driven” by oil. “Even if you gave everyone an Electric car, they still would need to generate the energy to charge the battery,” Chris said. “We are just not there yet. It may take more time, but we have faith that great minds will find a solution. Until then, we must do the best and cleanest job we can with what we have,” he noted.
“Our friends to the North are doing their best in a difficult climate with extremely cold winters. We wish them luck in their goals and stand ready to continue to be of service for the next 50+ years”, said Chris. As a supplier of quality pumps & sealing technology, Chemac, Inc. has been serving industry since 1966.