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Oil sands and heavy oil; origin and exploitation

Stephen R. Larter and Ian M. Head
Oil sands and heavy oil; origin and exploitation (in Unconventional hydrocarbons, David R. Cole (editor) and Michael A. Arthur (editor))
Elements (August 2014) 10 (4): 277-283


Oil sands are a mixture of "bitumen" (a very viscous, heavily biodegraded crude oil), unconsolidated sand, and water bound together by the bitumen and confining stresses. Economic incentives to produce reserves from the western Canada oil sands have driven geological and geochemical mapping to assess fluid quality controls and improve our understanding of the fundamental principles of the biodegradation of oils. While much of this activity has been for practical application, researchers have also had the opportunity to make fundamental advances in our understanding of subsurface biogeochemical processes and the boundaries of life in Earth's crust. Indeed, the huge size and shallow location of oil sands, coupled with the many thousands of wells drilled, mean that on a per cell basis, oil sands represent a most accessible portion of the deep biosphere. Perhaps the most exciting future for the oil sand resource is on the biological front rather than as an energy resource.

ISSN: 1811-5209
Serial Title: Elements
Serial Volume: 10
Serial Issue: 4
Title: Oil sands and heavy oil; origin and exploitation
Title: Unconventional hydrocarbons
Author(s): Larter, Stephen R.Head, Ian M.
Author(s): Cole, David R.editor
Author(s): Arthur, Michael A.editor
Affiliation: University of Calgary, Department of Geoscience, Calgary, AB, Canada
Affiliation: Pennsylvania State University, Department of Geosciences, University Park, PA, United States
Pages: 277-283
Published: 201408
Text Language: English
Publisher: Mineralogical Society of America and Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland and Mineralogical Association of Canada and Geochemical Society and Clay Minerals Society, International
References: 34
Accession Number: 2014-099610
Categories: Economic geology, geology of energy sources
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. geol. sketch map
N53°00'00" - N58°00'00", W118°00'00" - W110°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Ohio State University, USA, United StatesNewcastle University, GBR, United Kingdom
Country of Publication: International
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Abstract, copyright, Mineralogical Society of America
Update Code: 201450
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