Alberta Oil Sands

By Brett

What to do? Here are Alberta's Oil Sands, next door to the world's biggest energy consumer who wants’ a dependable supply of oil from a non-terrorism supporting source... Perfect, right? Maybe not.

The oil sands, extra heavy oil, or tar sands. The sands are naturally occurring mixtures of sand or clay like play dough, water and an extremely dense and viscous form of petroleum called bitumen. They are found in large amounts in many countries throughout the world, but are found in extremely large quantities in Canada and Venezuela.
Oil sands reserves have only recently been considered to be part of the world's oil reserves, as higher oil prices and new technology enable them to be profitably extracted and upgraded to usable products. Oil sands are often referred to as unconventional oil or crude bitumen, in order to distinguish the bitumen extracted from oil sands from the free-flowing hydrocarbon mixtures known as crude oil traditionally produced from oil wells.
Making liquid fuels from oil sands requires energy for steam injection and refining. This process generates two to four times the amount of greenhouse gases per barrel of final product as the production of conventional oil. If combustion of the final products is included, the so-called "Well to Wheels" approach, oil sands extraction, upgrade and use emits 10 to 45% more greenhouse gases than conventional crude.
There are several good reasons for the expansion of the Alberta oil sands but some side effects including heavy pollution and deforestation in Alberta James Cameron “The Canadian-born filmmaker says he wants to learn more about the controversial Athabasca Oil Sands Project after being contacted by indigenous groups concerned by its impact.” ( James Cameron

(Map of Alberta Oil Sands)

Some pros and some cons include the oil...