Carbon output from Canada oil sands higher than thought-study

Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:49pm EST
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* Oil sands emit 9 percent more greenhouse gases than average oil

* Many other crudes in U.S. are similar

* Obama faces decision on Keystone XL crude pipeline

By Timothy Gardner

WASHINGTON, Nov 14 (Reuters) - As President Barack Obama faces a decision on whether to approve the Alberta-to-Texas Keystone XL pipeline, a study said Canadian oil sands release more planet-warming gases compared to other crudes than originally thought.

Oil sands refined in the United States released 9 percent more greenhouse gases last year than the average of other crudes processed in the country, according to the study released Wednesday by IHS CERA, an energy research group.

In 2010, the group estimated that the emissions from oil sands refined in the United States were only 6 percent higher than those from other crudes.

IHS CERA analyzed data from government, academic and industry sources to that conclude oil sands were more carbon intensive than thought two years ago.

Many environmentalists oppose oil sands crude projects because they believe the fuel is higher in emissions.   Continued...