Success of Tar Sands Prompts Expansion Globally

The successful development of the controversial oil sands in Canada has prompted oil companies to invest in similar operations elswhere, including Russia, Venezuela, the Congo, and Madagascar, according to a new report.

With the price of crude oil rising, companies — including BP and Shell — are increasingly looking to so-called “unconventional” oil deposits similar to the massive resources of bituminous sands found in Alberta, according to the report by the environmental group, Friends of the Earth.

While Canada remains the only major center of oil sands production, BP is beginning to tap into deposits in Venezuela — which has the world’s second-biggest supply — and Shell is targeting a reserve in Tatarstan in the Russian Federation.

In its report, the Friends of the Earth urged the European Union to resist supporting further expansion of the industry, calling it more harmful to the environment than conventional oil production because it requires more energy and produces more greenhouse gases.

Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.

photo: SkyTruth

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