Oil Sands Essay

1219 Words Jul 19th, 2013 5 Pages
Canada has always had extensive deposits of oil sands, and has been a fascination to the explorers and settlers of earliest Canada, when Europeans saw how First Nations people used it to water proof their birch bark canoes. That being said, the majority of oil sands in Canada are contained in Alberta. Alberta’s oil reserves play an important role in the Canadian and global economy, supplying stable, reliable energy to the world. Alberta 's oil sands have been described by Time Magazine as "Canada 's greatest buried energy treasure." (Alberta) Oil sand is a naturally occurring mixture of sand, clay or other minerals, water and bitumen, which is a heavy and extremely viscous oil that must be treated before it can be used by refineries to …show more content…
The process of making synthetic crude oil requires an enormous amount of water, especially in the separation process. Each barrel of oil requires two tons of oil sands and up to five barrels of hot water. Water is also needed along with electricity to convert it steam. The steam is pushed by steam injections making bitumen less viscous. It is quite evident that oil sands are not practical in terms of its process. Also three-quarters of the bitumen can be recovered from the sands, leaving behind 25% as waste. With the technology in our present society, oil sands are not entirely practical in terms of efficiency; however, in the future, this may change. To reflect, there are many disadvantages associated with oil sands, especially in the way it is processed.
As the issue of global warming becomes more prevalent, we must evaluate choices that are “green” or do not impact our environment in a negative way. Thus, the impacts of oil sands as an energy resource on the environment will be discussed. The Canadian and Global environment take the hardest hits from the tar sands. Depleting and contaminating water, air pollution, processed lands and tailing ponds are left barren with their geology disrupted, and take years to generate new life. Wildlife patterns and populations are disturbed, and greenhouse gases are emitted at an incredible rate, to accompany the huge expense of natural gases. The oil sands do not just produce

More about Oil Sands Essay

Open Document