MARTIN BOND / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARTIN BOND / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Oil sand. Gloved hands holding oil sand from the Athabasca oil sands deposits in northern Alberta, Canada. Oil sands are a form of bitumen deposit. They are created when crude oil is digested by micro-organisms, leaving bitumen and a higher concentration of sulphur compounds and metals. Oil sands typically contain about 12 percent bitumen and are extracted by surface mining. The Athabasca oil sands are the world's largest known hydrocarbon resource.
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