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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

Grand Junction Geological Society


Western Synfuels Symposium Proceedings, 1985
Pages 11-13

Oil Mining and Tar Sands: United States Potential and Priority

Ralph Avellanet


With conventional crude oil reserves dwindling in the United States, to maintain secure and reliable domestic oil production as needed, the nation will have to realize more of the potential of its unconventional hydrocarbon resources. Such resources requiring the least conversion penalties are depleted conventional oil reservoirs and untapped heavier oil and tar sand deposits.

Both surface and underground oil mining and reservoir stimulation on an in-situ basis can increase ultimate resource recovery. Prospects for economical and substantial incremental oil recovery are seen highest, however, for stimulation of reservoirs that are deeper than strip mining limits and have an overburden seal sufficient to allow induction of incremental oil recovery drive mechanisms. Accordingly, DOE oil research efforts are focussed on thermal, chemical and other recovery treatment for tar sand and oil reservoirs no longer capable of conventional production.

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