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➔ Oil sands, or tar sands, are an unconventional source of petroleum extracted from an asphalt bitumen sand-like substance

➔ With the projected expansion of oil demand over the next twenty years, unconventional fuels, like synthetic crude from oil sands, will make up a significant proportion of the new supply

➔ Oil sands involve large scale localized ecological damage that is costly to remedy: some environmental damage is thought irreversible

➔ Oil sand exploitation is highly concentrated with over 90% of all today’s production in Canada , although a small number of mainly developing countries also have important reserves