Opencast mine, Athabasca Oil Sands

Opencast mine, Athabasca Oil Sands

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Credit: DAVID NUNUK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Opencast mine. Aerial photograph of an opencast mine in the Athabasca Oil Sands, Alberta, Canada. This mine is operated by Suncor Energy. This company was the first to extract crude oil from the Athabasca Oil Sands, doing so in 1967. The oil-bearing sands are excavated, and then processed to obtain crude oil and bitumen. In 2007, Suncor produced more than 260,000 barrels of oil a day. The Athabasca oil reserves are among the largest in the world.

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