In rugged northern Alberta near the oilfields of Fort McMurray, where fortunes are made and lost by pulling resources from the ground, trouble has come. Prevented by protesters and governments from cutting through forbidding mountains and rivers to lay their pipelines, the oil companies will try anything to get their black gold to the coast.
To bypass all those annoying pipeline-blocking protesters and provide plausible technical cover to controlling politicians, Canadian big-oil executives turn to OCD-tempered seasoned oilsands veteran Alex Tremblay who has the perfect solution to get the precious bitumen to the coast: rollout massive industrial-scale 3D printing and just charge through, or rather under, all those non-believers in a race to the sea. It get complicated of course, and innovative technology can only get one so far as the costs go beyond the merely financial. In this entertaining hard-core popular science read, our gritty builder pays dearly in blood, lost relationships, and self-doubt in the pursuit of his quest to prove that tomorrow’s technology will solve today’s problems.
As he travels the world to raise financing, build an engineering team, and secure the 3D printing technology to complete his project in Canada, Alex will learn what is the true cost of building a pipeline to the coast as he confronts CEOs, government officials and predators, all while trying to win the heart of the woman who is opposed to everything he does.
A fast-paced and imaginative work covering all the innovative aspects of designing and 3D printing a pipeline hundreds of metres beneath the surface, from political battles and moral self-questioning to engineering hurdles and financial risks and rewards, this science fiction tale is a gripping read and an eye-opening look at the future of the oil business and heavy industry.