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Untold History - Athabaska Oil Sands

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  • Untold History - Athabaska Oil Sands

    Local Push - Global Pull (Untold History-Athabaska Oil Sands)

    "Joyce Hunt's illustrated book entitled "Local Push - Global Pull" is a documented history of Canada's Oil Sands from 1900 to 1930.

    "If the Oil Sands have been a curiosity to you and you want to fully understand and appreciate the events that shaped the development of the Oil Sands industry in Alberta, this book is must read. In order to have an educated opinion about the Oil sands, one must first understand the history that led to the development of this massive resource."...

    The Untold History of the Athabaska Oil Sands

    Last edited by KC; 11-01-2012, 01:05 PM. Reason: cleaned up posting, removed quotes, etc., changed subject line to book's title

  • #2
    Von hammerstein oilsands entrepreneur

    I am happy to answer the question on Von Hammerstein.
    He was born in Germany in 1870 and died in St Albert on Dec 20th 1941.
    In between he accorded himself the title of Count in Count Alfred Von Hammerstein and he was undoubtedly one of the most colourful characters in the early days of the oilsands. He was also a really tough explorer and pictures of him wearing a feathered hat and riding a white horse has put him in the legends of the northern pioneers.
    He entered the Athabasca Region in 1897 and began his serious quest for oil in 1903.What that really meant was navigating the waters of the Athabasca with over 80 miles of rapids and loads of rigs up to 60,000 pounds, a tremendous feat of endurance during winters of -50 degrees below and with summers and mosquitoes that irritated even moose.
    Hammerstein survived many life threatening situations including rafts tipping over and crews drowned, and a shooting incident with a bullet in his leg.
    He formed a Company called Athabasca Oil and Asphalt and his determined search for pools of oil which never materialised but he did find natural gas in several places. As an entrepreneur he secured a number of leases (Steepbank) in his name for many years, and now Suncor Energy, the first successful pioneering Company owns them.Hammerstein also played flute in the University of Alberta Orchestra alongside the father of the oilsands hotwater process, Dr Karl Clark. Both are inducted into the Canadian Petroleum Hall of Fame.


    • #3
      Interesting speech notes with short summaries:

      Peter McKenzie-Brown
      to the
      Canadian Association of Lifelong Learners Calgary; January 22, 2013

      Karl Clark,
      Ernest Manning,
      J. Howard Pew,
      Frank Spragins,
      Peter Lougheed,
      Rick George


      • #4
        A bit more history:

        “Bitumen is like peanut butter, while conventional oil is like maple syrup, said Livingston, making bitumen much more difficult and expensive to both ship by pipeline and refine. Early Alberta oilsands plants all had upgraders on-site to turn the bitumen into synthetic oil. But strong market forces drove bitumen refining to the U.S. starting in the 1980s.” source: see below

        David Staples: Will new $2-billion refinery be public investment fiasco or fortune? | Edmonton Journal

        “First, costs for material and labour were ... huge markets. Our own refineries were also getting almost all the oil this region needed from stable conventional oil sources.

        “But as Alberta’s oil economy shifted to exporting bitumen, the PC government became alarmed. In 2006, premier-to-be Ed Stelmach proclaimed: “Shipping raw bitumen is like scraping off the topsoil, selling it, and then passing the farm on to the next generation.” “
        Last edited by KC; 03-02-2019, 12:41 PM.