← Back to Ten Years After 9/11 – Canada’s True Cost of Oil

Syncrude Upgrader and Tar Sands © Garth Lenz

The refining or upgrading of the tarry bitumen which lies under the Tar Sands consumes far more oil and energy than conventional oil production and produces almost twice as much carbon. Each barrel of oil requires 3-5 barrels of fresh water from the neighboring Athabasca River. About 90% of this is returned as toxic tailings into the vast unlined tailings ponds that dot the landscape. Syncrude alone dumps 500,000 tons of toxic tailings into just one of their tailings ponds everyday.