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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 65 (1981)

Issue: 5. (May)

First Page: 888

Last Page: 888

Title: Methodology for Determining Relative Favorability for Development of United States Tar Sand Deposits: ABSTRACT

Author(s): Paul L. Aamodt, Joyce Gross Freiwald

Article Type: Meeting abstract


As part of the Department of Energy's overall program to stimulate petroleum production from unconventional sources, the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory is developing a methodology to compare and rank the U.S. tar sand deposits on the basis of favorability for production. Major categories were first defined and included resource characteristics, technologic parameters, extraction process costs, environmental impacts, and institutional constraints. Under each of these major headings are the factors identified as bearing on favorability for production. These factors are assessed by their interrelations and relative importance, and are prioritized by individual and combined impact. This ranking methodology is being verified by analyzing eight reasonable well characterized t r sand deposits, selected on the basis of available information and diversity of both location and character. Ultimately, it will be expanded to include all U.S. tar sand deposits that may have commercial potential.

A major goal of this work is to assist industry and government in the timely and systematic development of U.S. tar sands, potentially a very significant petroleum resource. If it is assumed that only 30 billion bbl of oil are contained in the U.S. tar sand deposits, and that only half that amount is recoverable, the tar sand resource could still reduce our current import needs by 50% for over a decade. Furthermore, world tar sand and heavy oil resources are estimated to be greater than all of the conventional oil produced or discovered to date.

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Copyright 1997 American Association of Petroleum Geologists