The Trillion-Barrel Tar Pit

I spotted this story on Slashdot last week, intersting for the oil debate going on for the last few weeks.

Alberta sits atop the biggest petroleum deposit outside the Arabian peninsula – as many as 300 billion recoverable barrels and another trillion-plus barrels that could one day be within reach using new retrieval methods. (By contrast, the entire Middle East holds an estimated 685 billion barrels that are recoverable.) But there’s a catch. Alberta’s black gold isn’t the stuff that geysered up from Jed Clampett’s backyard. It’s more like a mix of Silly Putty and coffee grounds – think of the tar patties that stick to the bottom of your sandals at the beach – and it’s trapped beneath hundreds of feet of clay and rock.






One response to “The Trillion-Barrel Tar Pit”

  1. Peter Nolan avatar

    The process is pretty dirty in terms of its waste products, which can end up covering large areas, plus the process generates LOTS of CO2. The investment needed isn’t small change either.