Oil Sands

Oil Sands are sedimentary rocks formed from sand, clay materials, water, and bitumen. The oil inside of the rock is in the form of bitumen. Bitumen can be either a very heavy liquid or a sticky solid with a low melting temperature. There are different ways to remove the oil in the oil sands. It depends on the location of the sediment. If it is deep below the surface then they have to drill to extract the oil sand. If it is close to the surface it is then mined. Most of our earths Oil Sands are located in Alberta, Canada. It is estimated that 14% of the worlds total oil is located there. In Canada Oil Sand production is a very necessary and valuable part of their economy. However with oil you will always have enviornmental concerns and effects of drilling/mining. Greenhouse gases, land disturbances, and destruction of wildlife habitats are all results of the mining and procession of oil sands. There is also a concern for water contamination because for each barrel of oil produced it requires several barrels of water. I find it amazing how sedimentary rocks contain such essential and valuable natural resources. The resources were developed over a long time span and once they are gone there is no way we can get them back.

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One Response to Oil Sands

  1. jasonrossetti says:

    Is this stuff anything like quicksand? seems like its not something you want to get involved with without serious knowledge. I have never heard of it but it sounds like a great topic for a cheesy scientific movie that will one day be shown throughout the sciences at Queens.

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