Oil Sands Through Time

Alberta Oil Sands

Crude oil extracted from the Athabasca oil sands (commonly called "tar sands") of Alberta, Canada is at the center of some of the most highly visible political debates today. For instance, the Keystone XL pipeline would provide a shortcut for oil sand syncrude and dilbit on its way to tanks and refineries in Oklahoma and the Gulf of Mexico. In fact, oil sands-related material is already making its way into the U.S. Refineries in Alberta and Saskatchewan that "upgrade" the mined oil sand bitumen ship some of their byproducts to the U.S. for treatment. The maps above illustrate how the trade has changed over time.