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Oil sands facts that will blow your mind

Fourty years ago Canada began producing crude bitumen from its oil sands. Today, the oil sands are a huge part of the Canadian economy and also one of the country’s biggest political debates.

The Motley Fool recently compiled a list of the some very interesting oil-sands statistics.

Here are a few of them, plus a few from

168 billion barrels
Canada hs 173 billion barrels of recoverable oil – 168 billion of these barrels are located in the oil sands
Source: Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers

Alberta oil sands | Creative Commons image by Howl Arts Collective

Greenhouse gas emissions
About 7% of Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions came from oilsands plants and upgraders in 2010.
Source: Pembina Institute
Greenhouse gas emissions

56% of accessible reserves
Only a fifth of the world’s oil reserves are accessible to private sector investment. Of that figure, 56% are found in Canada’s oil sands.
Source: The Motely Fool

2012 World Proved Reserves | Map adapted from US Energy Information Administration

2.5 trips around the world
If laid end-to-end, Canada’s existing oil and natural gas pipelines would circle the earth 2.5 times. And yet this still isn’t enough capacity to accommodate the rapid growth of the oil sands. Midstream companies, like TransCanada, Kinder Morgan, and Enbridge, plan to add 3.1 million barrels of daily pipeline capacity – almost double today’s level – over the next decade just to keep up.
Source: The Motley Fool

1.6 million barrels
For every day in 2010, Alberta’s oil sands produced 1.6 million barrels of crude.
Source: Alberta government

If Alberta were a country …
If Alberta were a country, its per capita greenhouse gas emissions would be higher than any other country in the world.
Source: Pembina Institute

Canadian oil sands deposits | Image from Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers