Is more energy used getting the oil from the tar sands than can be made from the oil in the tar sands?



  1. 0 Votes

    It depends to some extent on how you calculate the energy invested. Most sources a few years ago would say you get about 2 barrels out for 1 barrel invested in the tar sands (compare conventional oil at more like 20 or 30 to 1 for extraction, and 6 to one for the whole process including refining and transportation). The first link is a little dated (2004) but is typical of tar sands energy return estimates, at 1.5 or 2 barrels produced for one barrel consumed. The second link puts tar sands at about 3 for 1 and includes interesting reasoning and information.

    A company would not spend more money than it can make, although it is possible it could spend more cheap energy than it makes if the produced energy was more valuable.

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