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Alberta Oil-Sands

OIl, Oil, Oil!

1.7 trillion barrels of oil exists in Tar Sands located in Athabasca. Alberta shares an oil pipeline with Chicago. The oil sand company has been booming since the last 10 years. The crude bitumen contained in the Canadian oil sands is described by Canadian authorities as "petroleum that exists in the semi-solid or solid phase in natural deposits. Bitumen is a thick, sticky form of hydrocarbon, so heavy and thick that it will not flow unless heated or diluted with lighter hydrocarbons. Making liquid fuels from oil sands requires energy for steam injection and refining. This process generates 12 percent more greenhouse gases per barrel of final product than extraction of conventional oil. Bituminous sands are a major source of unconventional oil, although only Canada has a large-scale commercial oil sands industry.

What Is Happening?

Boreal Forests are the lungs of North America, and our citizens are facing severe health issues due to the contamination of air, animals and water. The Alberta oil sands have been in commercial production since the original Great Canadian Oil Sands mine (which is now called Suncor Energy) began operation in 1967. Conventional crude oil is normally extracted from the ground by drilling oil wells into a petroleum reservoir, allowing oil to flow into them under natural reservoir pressures, although artificial lift and techniques such as water flooding and gas injection are usually required to maintain production as reservoir pressure drops toward the end of a field's life. Since Bitumen flows very slowly, to produce wells under normal reservoir conditions, the sands must be extracted by strip mining or the oil made to flow into wells by in-situ techniques, which reduce the thickness by injecting steam, or better known as hot air into the sands. Diluted water that leaked from Suncor’s oil sands facility into Alberta’s Athabasca River had a “short-term, negligible impact” on river water, the company says. Suncor discovered Monday that a pipe had frozen and burst, sending process-affected water into a pond of treated water.

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Beloved Fauna

The Government of Alberta has stated that the tar sands are prisoning the water ways. Species near infrastructures of tar sands are disappearing. Endangered species are now under major risks. Deep drilling, which is used to extract deeper Bitumen deposits has caused up to 14.5 million birds to be lost. Climate change is happening faster than animals are able to adapt. Fish are found to be deformed from the extreme measures of water contamination. Tailing ponds are often somewhat dangerous because they attract wildlife such as birds, or caribou as they appear to be a natural pond, but they can be highly toxic and harmful to the health of these animals.

Where are the trees?

The Boreal forests are a major source of clean fresh air for the people but they are also home to hundreds of different species of animals. But with the forests being demolished at the rate that it is going at for the purpose of crude oil it s causing not only major environmental damage to the land but also to the people living within the area and the animals. Also with the methods of strip mining and deep drilling to get to the oil sands it is destroying the layers of soil that has been built for thousands of years ruining that piece of land forever.
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Is It Clean?

The Athabasca River is home not only the animals living near by but also home to the native population of the Cree people. The Cree people have been living off this river for thousands of years until recently. SInce the creation of this mine there have been many toxic spills and leakage into the river which is poisoning the water, that also leads to many other problems like the mutation of marine life and unsafe drinking water. Also the oil-sand company is over consuming the water using it to purify and extract the oil-sands from the ground.

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Annie Vang

THIS ONE (environment Canada) by Annie Vang