Oil Sands Today



What are oil sands?

Oil sands are a mixture of sand, water, clay and bitumen. Bitumen is oil that is too heavy or thick to flow or be pumped without being diluted or heated. At 10°C/50°F, bitumen is hard as a hockey puck. Some bitumen is found between the surface and 70 metres (200 feet) underground, but the majority is much deeper. 

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GHG Emissions

Canada’s oil sands industry continues to reduce GHG emissions intensity. 

  • Oil sands account for 8.7% of Canada’s GHG emissions and just over 0.13% of global GHG emissions. Source: Environment Canada 2013 and United Nations Statistical Division.
  • Canada, with 0.5% of the world’s population, produces 2% of GHG emissions.
  • On a full cycle basis, about 30% of oil-related GHG emissions come from exploration and production.
  • On a full cycle basis, about 70% of oil-related emissions come from combustion - including automobile exhaust. Oil sands crude has similar CO2 emissions to other heavy oils and is 9% more intensive than the U.S. crude supply average on a wells-to-wheels basis. “Wells-to-wheels” measures CO2 emissions from the start of oil production through to combustion.

Learn more about the industry progress to lower GHG emissions.

STT Enviro Corp: Storage Tank Innovation for the Oil Sands



Canada's Energy