OIL SANDS crude prices have hit rock bottom. The future could be in the tar -the bitumen. The original name for the deposits, tar sands, should be restored because that’s where their potential value exists.
Extracting oil from tar sands is done at great cost. Huge tracts of land are stripped and the tar sands are dug up or injecting with steam. Once it’s dug up, the thick goo has to be diluted just to get it through pipelines.
To turn into useable petroleum, it has to be sent to refineries thousands of kilometres away. Because there aren’t enough pipelines to get it to refineries, and because convention oil is relatively cheap, the extraction of oil from tar sands is not profitable.
David Charbonneau is a retired TRU electronics instructor who hosts a blog at http://www.eyeviewkamloops.wordpress.com.