Athabasca tar sands gathering system study

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  • This study reviews constraints that should be considered in connection with synthetic crude pipe line gathering systems and routes within the Athabasca tar sands area. Specifically the terms of reference of this study were defined as: a) Study and identify all the important constraints in locating a route for synthetic crude pipe line gathering systems in that area of the Athabasca tar sands amenable to open-pit mining. Assumed plant locations will be supplied to the consultant by the Department of the Environment. The gathering system should be considered to extend to the northern terminus of the main pipe line corridor. b) Make recommendations with respect to the feasibility and desirability of combining services supplying the plants; gas, power and water lines; and transportation systems; in the same corridor as the gathering line. c) Make recommendations which will enable the Government of Alberta to select the optimum routes or patterns for a synthetic crude gathering system and for utilities as part of a long-range tar sands development policy. The bases of recommendations were agreed to be: i) Examination of existing technology respecting pipe line, transportation, and utility corridors, extrapolated to conditions which will exist during development of the tar sands. ii) Mining and reclamation plans of companies who are, or will be, engaged in mining the tar sands. iii) A route which will have minimum destructive effects on the environment and the ecosystems involved. iv) Current planning for urban and recreational areas to minimize the potential detrimental impact of a gathering system on the human environment.

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