The Environmental Performance of Canadian Oil Sands

(Note: Please don’t exceed 2000 words including citations.)
The potential impact that Canada’s oil sand industry may have on the planet has made the industry extremely unpopular outside of Alberta; however, given that the Justin Trudeau’s federal government has invested $4.5 billion into the project, it is clear that both Alberta and the federal government are committed to this industry. To that end, they are equally committed to improving the environmental performance.

The oil sand industry collaborates on the biggest environmental challenges and develops engineering technologies that lessen the impact on air, land and water. These can provide benefits for Canada. Innovation and technological advances can help Canada achieve its global environmental commitments and move towards a cleaner energy future. It is therefore important to understand the strengths and limitations of past and current methods used to extract this valuable resource.

This paper will first introduce and explain what oil sands are and how they differ from conventional crude oil sources. You will then detail, compare, and contrast at least five different methods of extracting oil from the oil sands. In each, you will analyze and discuss the cost effectiveness and environmental impact, as well as any geographic considerations you think are important to consider.

The extraction methods may include but are not limited to

primary production,
surface mining,
oil sands tailings ponds,
cold heavy oil production with sand (CHOPS),
cyclic steam stimulation (CSS),
steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD),
vapor extraction (VAPEX),
toe to heel air injection (THAI), and
combustion overhead gravity drainage (COGD).
Suggested search engine: Google Scholar

When analyzing these options, you may compare and contrast methods used in Canada with those used in other countries, such as Venezuela. You are also encouraged to discuss any differences between Canada’s three oil sands locations:

Cold Lake,
Peace River.
The paper will be an argument paper, which means that you must make an argument for which method or methods you think are most ideal when considering cost effectiveness and environmental concerns. This will require your introduction to have a clear thesis.

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