Canada Alive!

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The oil sands of northern Alberta, sometimes called the Athabasca Tar Sands, consist of more than a 1.7 trillion barrels of heavy crude bitumen (heavy oil), making it the third, and possibly second, largest oil reserves in the world after Saudi Arabia and Russia. The Oil Sands have become the economic engine in Canada’s success, providing more than 600,000 jobs and incomes that are above-average in North America ($101,000 compared to $52,000). But the Oil Sands have not come without controversy. Global protests about the destruction of Alberta’s pristine environment have brought the companies operating in northern Alberta under scrutiny, and created a dialogue concerning the future of the Oil Sands, and Canada’s economy.

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The Athabasca Tar Sands contain deposits of bitumen, a heavy crude oil that is difficult to extract.Only until recently did the technology and engineering know-how to extract oil from tar sands exist, creating a sudden boom…

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