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Oil sands overview

January 14, 2013

It’s hard to get a grasp on the scope and size of the oil sands of Alberta. The government of Alberta publishes a quarterly report on the oil sands that covers the technology, the projects and companies, production metrics and status of the project.

Source a) below provides a link to the site that gives the link.

Canada has the third-largest oil reserves in the world, after Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Of Canada’s 174 billion barrels of oil reserves, 170 billion barrels are located in Alberta, and about 169 billion barrels are recoverable from bitumen. This is a resource that has been developed for decades but is now gaining increased global attention as conventional supplies—so-called “easy” oil—continue to be depleted. The figure of 169 billion barrels of bitumen represents what is considered economically recoverable with today’s technology, but with new technologies, this reserve estimate could be significantly increased. In fact, total oil sands reserves in place are estimated at 1.8 trillion barrels. There are three major bitumen (or oil sands) deposits in Alberta. The largest is the Athabasca deposit, which is located in the province’s northeast in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.The main population centre of the Athabasca deposit is Fort McMurray. The second-largest oil sands deposit is referred to as Cold Lake, just south of Athabasca, with the main population centre the City of Cold Lake. The smallest oil sands deposit is known as Peace River, which is located in northwest-central Alberta. A fourth deposit called Wabasca links to the Athabasca and is generally lumped in with that area.