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The Oil IndustryThis report will outline how the oil industry benefits Canada and overall how sustainable of a natural resource it is. The oil industry is the leading resource to Canada’s economy making $23 billion a year. Oil is the number one energy provider throughout Canada, just Alberta alone makes 62.8% of Canada’s energy all coming from oil and natural gases, from their many tar sands and oil wells. Oil was formed millions of years ago, the oil formed from dead marine animals and other organic matter that once lived in Alberta long ago when an ocean had covered most of the prairies. As heat and pressure built up over many years it slowly started to create oil and natural gas trapping it into the ground. As glaciers moved over the the oil wells, they left debris and rocks creating tar sands. Most of the oil deposits in Canada are located in Alberta but a number of them are scattered all across Canada. Oil was first mined in 1859 but it became more popular in the 1950’s as a demand for it had increased. Unrefined oil is more commonly known as crude oil. Crude oil can be classified into three categories, Light Oil, Heavy Oil, and West Texas Intermediate (WTI). They are categorised by how much their viscosity compares to water as light being very much like water and heavy being thick and sticky. Light oil is more in demand as it is used for common things such as gasoline and heavy oil is used for more heavy duty jobs such as rocket fuel. WTI oil is considered a premium high value oil as its a light oil which is sweet. Furthur more these oils are then classified as either being “Sweet” or “Sour”, Crude oil with low sulfur distribution is considered sweet and oil with a higher distribution in sulfur is considered sour. Sweeter oils are usually more desired and valuable making WTI oil one of the best. All these factors determine the value and price of oil but there’s one more mechanism to define the value of oil, if an oil undergoes less processing and refining to become oil it is considered more valuable. The oil industry is important to Canada because it heavily contributes to Canada’s economy and also that it is Canada’s biggest energy supplier. The oil industry is a juggernaut of an industry, as said before making 62.8% of our energy just from Alberta alone. The oil industry creates around 151,000 job opportunities in Canada and that number is expected to grow as the oil industry grows larger. The industry roughly makes 3.5 million barrels of oil everyday and makes $23 billion dollars every year for Canada. As you can see the oil industry is a major contributor to Canada’s economy and much more. As oil prices rise further into the future this industry will end up making more and more ensuring Canada’s economic future. It is estimated that in twenty years the oil industry will end up making up to $4 trillion for Canada, lots of this will be donated to the Canadian government and will help pay taxes for Canadian citizens. The second reason of oil’s importance to Canada is because its Canada’s number one energy provider. Because of Canada’s vast prairies and empty lands most residents end up purchasing a car sometimes more than one, thus leading Canada to need generous amounts of gasoline (oil) to prosper. That’s why oil is generally used for gasoline and heating purposes in Canada. The whole region has very harsh weather throughout the year thus causing an excess of oil being used for heating purposes. The reason oil is Canada’s number one energy provider is because oil has a high energy density meaning that small amounts of oil can produce large amounts of energy (electricity), this helps Canada’s economy as we don’t have to spend as much to get high volumes of energy unlike other natural resources like coal. One of the numerous methods we use to exploit and extract oil is by a machine called a “Christmas Tree”. The Christmas Tree is machine with a series of valves in a crucifix pattern thus having the name the “Christmas Tree”. The Tree’s valves help navigate and control the pressure stored in the oil wells, once a certain valve is turned it helps push out the oil unleashing it into the surface. The tree usually has up to five valves each with their own independent task on controlling the machine. Valves on the left side are used for pumping in water and chemicals to help corrode or push out the oil making extraction much easier. On the right side is a main flowing valve which is a valve that helps regulate the natural pressure compacted into most oil wells that naturally push the oil out with a bit of help. There are two classifications for oil extraction machines, whether it’s for a non-flowing well or for a flowing well. Non-flowing wells have little to none natural pressure inside as on the other hand flowing wells usually have abundant amounts of natural pressure, this pressure helps with extraction and the tree is used for flowing wells. The tree is used for petroleum and natural gas extraction, the petroleum is than most likely turned into gasoline. Canada exploits oil in many ways but the most common use for it is transportation as 44% of it goes into gasoline, 19% goes into heating and diesel fuel, and 8% for jet fuel, 5% for electricity, and 24% for other uses.The negative effects that this method has on the environment is that it creates oil spills and that it gives off many emissions when extracted and refined. Oil extraction and refinement unleash five main emissions into the air these emissions have a number of effects on the Earth, from causing diseases to animals and humans to increasing global warming, it can even cause acid rain to occur. These emissions either come from the machinery used to extract oil or are released into the air from opening up the long ago sealed oil wells. They can also come from the corrodents used to help extract the oil that are sent into the ground. The second negative effect is that oil spills are a common occurrence both on land and sea which is detrimental to the surrounding environment. Even small oil spills can affect the surrounding land for years. It doesn’t only affect animals but humans too, it contaminates food supplies and can cause cancer to animals and humans. Depending on spillage amounts the average spill usually takes about three years to clean up, affecting the land for years after too. These spills are very expensive to clean up causing countries to spend millions of dollars to clean up.To ensure sustainability of the resource and to lessen the impact it has on the natural environment, there are a few precautions and new innovative ways to help us reach this goal. Using up all of our oil supplies is inevitable whether its in five years or the next fifty, its going to happen. Some companies around the world are taking this problem into their own hands to help sustain the forever depleting resource. Ukraine is currently working on a way to recycle and reuse oil which will benefit the whole industry tremendously.Another company that is helping out is one in Alberta, they are now creating wooden mats as substitutes for asphalt when creating roads, these mats are temporary but provide about five years of usage which helps in saving oil supplies for the near future. Those ideas help sustain the resource but not many companies are working on ways that will lessen the effect to the environment around as much. One thing a company can do is to try using eco friendly chemicals to clean, extract, and refine the oil. Safer techniques in transporting oil will also help prevent future spills from happening saving large sums of money and protecting the environment. More money should be used into research and funding to find better alternatives. These are just a few ways to help sustain the resource. Overall this was my informative report for the oil industry and how we exploit it and will sustain it.

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