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Good news for people used to bad news about oil

Amidst the tragedy of the Gulf oil spill, here’s some good news from Businessweek regarding Canada’s tar sands, which has been called the most destructive project on Earth:

Technip SA, Europe’s second-largest oil-services provider, said protests against the development of Canada’s oil sands have made it harder for energy companies to get permits to tap the deposits.“We don’t expect an oil-sands rush like the one we saw three or four years ago,” even as oil prices are sufficient to justify development, Chief Executive Officer Thierry Pilenko said today. “A number of organizations that were against development of the tar sands have organized themselves.”

Environmental groups have objected to the exploitation of Canada’s oil sands because the energy needed to extract the crude generates more greenhouse gases than conventional oil production. In September, Greenpeace forced Royal Dutch Shell Plc to suspend 155,000 barrels of daily output at a project in Alberta after protesters chained themselves to equipment.

“It will be a bit more difficult to get permitting,” Pilenko said on a conference call from Paris. Oil companies “will look very carefully at costs and resources before awarding large projects” in Canada.