The Oil Sands Research and Information Network (OSRIN) is an independent organization operating within the School of Energy and the Environment at the University of Alberta.  Our aim is to be the destination of choice for those seeking reliable information related to mineable oil sands reclamation. For more information look at About OSRIN.

If you Google "oil sands" you will secure some 1.3 M hits; another 1.52 M for "oilsands"; 816 K for “tar sands" and 205 K for “tarsands”.  Trolling through these hits will yield a range of content, including science-based research, government and industry data and reports, government policy and legislation, stakeholder and Non-Government Organization information and views, and media articles.  We strongly encourage you to read from a variety of these sources so you can develop an informed opinion about oil sands development, its environmental impacts and the ways government and industry are preventing or managing the impacts.

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What's New

  1. A cleaner way to get petroleum out of oil sands

    MCW uses a patented closed-loop technology that treats the sands with a solvent that helps remove the oil. The oil and solvent are separated, with the latter recycled for the next batch of production.

  2. Just how much is the oil price drop hurting oil sands projects?

    For an oil sands project, there are four key factors that determine supply costs: the costs of building and operating the project, the discount between light oil and diluted bitumen, the costs of diluent, and the Canadian dollar exchange rate

  3. TransCanada plots new pipelines for surging North American oil output

    Chances are good TransCanada will get into the rail business regardless of whether its long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline is built

  4. Suncor goes against the grain with plan to boost overall spending

    Suncor said it plans to pump more than $2-billion into the oil sands next year.

  5. Bear-safety training to be mandatory for oil sands workers

    Suncor Energy is ordering all its employees to take bear-safety training following the death of a worker earlier this year

  6. »more
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Did You Know

  1. What Happens After a Mine is Suspended

    November 14 2014

    In May, 2014 Total and Suncor announced that the Joslyn North mine project was suspended indefinitely. What does this mean in terms of environmental management and regulatory oversight of the mine site?

  2. Oil Sands in Fiction

    October 30 2014

    In 1980, Alistair MacLean wrote a novel called Athabasca about saboteurs attacking a tar sands mine, and concurrently the trans-Alaska pipeline. Fast forward to 2008 and a novel by Clive and Dirk Cussler called Arctic Drift about a carbon capture and storage (CCS) project at Kitimat gone bad.

  3. Dry Tailings

    October 14 2014

    The Holy Grail for tailings disposal is dry tailings (or stackable tailings) which reduces water use (faster recycling back to process), water loss from storage areas (seepage), and speeds up reclamation (little or no time lost in waiting for a trafficable surface).

  4. History of Syncrude Canada Ltd. Partnership

    September 26 2014

    Syncrude is currently a partnership of seven companies, though the number has varied since 1965 from four to nine. Partners have changed over the years through purchases, corporate amalgamations and corporate name changes.

  5. Monster Tires Supporting Oil Sands Development

    September 15 2014

    Iconic pictures of the mineable oil sands include big trucks and people standing beside the monster tires that support them.

  6. »more