Advantages and Disadvantages of Oil Sands Essay

784 Words Oct 30th, 2012 4 Pages
Advantages and Disadvantages of Oil Sands

Oil sands are a type of unconventional petroleum deposit. They are loose sand or partially consolidated sandstone that contains natural mixtures of clay and sand, saturated with a viscous form of petroleum. Natural petroleum deposits are reported in many countries, but are found in extremely large quantities in Canada; 70.8% of the globally estimated oil sand reserves are in Canada.

Most of the oil sands of Canada are located in northern Alberta. They cover over 140,000 square kilometers—an area larger than England—and hold proven reserves of 1.75 trillion barrels (280×109 m3) of petroleum in place. Canadians have worked on the technology of extracting oil sands for energy production since
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Heavy metals such as nickel, lead, mercury, copper, and zinc are naturally present in oil sands and may be concentrated by the extraction process. This could be damaging to the local ecosystems and human population. The environmental impact caused by oil sand extraction is frequently criticized by

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