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Oil Sands and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo

The Alberta oil sands are a resource of global significance, with oil reserves that can meet energy needs for years to come. While the significance of this resource has been known for decades, the economic and technological conditions necessary for commercial production have developed only recently. Strong demand for energy, the population and economic growth fuelled by the oil sands industry, and the tension between industrial development and protection of the environment have focused the world’s attention on the Athabasca oil sands region. This section describes the oil sands resource, methods used in oil sands extraction and production, and the potential impacts of resource development on aquatic ecosystems. For more information see:



The oil sands regions of Alberta.
Source: N. Einstein, 2006.
( click to enlarge )

The Syncrude oil sands retired upgrader plant
Source: Copyright © 2005 The Pembina Institute. Photo: David Dodge, The Pembina Institute.
( click to enlarge )

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