Oil sands dating

The US-funded anti-fossil fuels campaign set its sights squarely on the oil sands and blocked all exits for Alberta's heavy oil.

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US refiners who relied on this lucrative heavy oil stream went into panic mode, as their main supplier was dwindling fast.

Alberta can thank Venezuela in part for the strong growth in oil sands production seen over the past 10 years.

French oil major Total bought its way into Alberta's oil sands through the purchase of Deer Creek in 2005, Synenco in 2008 and UTS in 2010.

Conoco Phillips, who already owned 9% of Syncrude, divested its mining assets in 2010 and moved its eggs into the thermal in-situ basket through a partnership with Cenovus.

Oil majors like Shell and Exxon have long had a stake in Alberta's oil sands, dating back to the 1950s.

Exxon, through its ownership of Imperial Oil, bet big on the oil sands, launching the behemoth Kearl Oil Sands Mine.

Thousands of highly-skilled Venezuelans left the country, taking their technical expertise with them.

The state-owned oil entity no longer possessed the know-how to develop its resources and production began declining.

Venezuela was once the largest supplier of heavy oil to the US.

The country took steps to liberalize its petroleum sector in the 1990s, allowing private investment into its oil and gas industry.

That's because 50% of the world's oil reserves are heavy, an estimated 8 trillion barrels of known reserves, a good fraction located in Canada and Venezuela.

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