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 1.46 M hits; another 1.52 M for "oilsands"; 867 K for “tar sands" and 195 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. Public unsure of oilpatch benefits, surveys find

    Public-opinion research contracted by Ottawa suggests the pro-resource-development Conservative government has not yet convinced Canadians of the national benefits of the energy industry

  2. Oil sands talking point collides with reality

    If you’ve been following the Canadian government’s sales pitch for the Keystone XL pipeline, you’ve probably heard this claim before: “Emissions per barrel have been reduced by 26 per cent between 1990 and 2011.”

  3. Cost of oil transported by pipelines up 60% in five years, NEB says

    A combination of higher costs for system expansions, larger payouts to landowners and more strident regulatory conditions is pushing up fees charged by pipeline companies to shippers

  4. Canada becoming launch-pad of a global tar sands and oil shale frenzy

    With little fanfare, Alberta’s extraction zone has become an inspiration and launch-pad for these companies’ ambitions – a world-wide expansion not only of the tar sands but also of oil shale, an even dirtier form of crude oil.

  5. Rising prices for natural gas put pressure on oil sands producers

    Oil sands companies, which have benefited from years of low natural gas prices, are once again facing rising costs as the commodity they need to fuel much of their operations becomes more expensive

  6. »more
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Did You Know

  1. The $100,000 Beetle

    April 16 2014

    The headline for this Did You Know comes from a 2013 Financial Post article by Peter Foster. As eye-catching as that headline is, the 2014 article by Adam Wilmoth states that Chaparral Energy Inc. spent $6M to trap and relocate six beetles from its CO2 pipeline route in Oklahoma.

  2. Lots of Science and Engineering Disciplines Involved in Oil Sands

    March 24 2014

    Monitoring and managing the impacts of oil sands development is very complex, which is why there are so many science and engineering disciplines involved.

  3. Wildfires

    March 12 2014

    The Richardson Fire in 2011, north of Fort McMurray, was the second largest forest fire in Alberta’s history at over 700,000 hectares.

  4. Railway Service to Fort McMurray

    February 20 2014

    The option of shipping bitumen by rail continues to receive a lot of media attention as pipeline access is delayed. Where exactly does the railway to the oil sands region go, who runs it, what is the history behind it, and what about the future?

  5. The Mines that Weren't

    February 04 2014

    Most of us are familiar with mines that are active or proposed or somewhere in the regulatory process. But what about mines that had been proposed but never got developed?

  6. »more