CANADA TARSANDS ALBERTAAdd to Cart Add to Lightbox
CANADA ALBERTA FORT MCMURRAY 23JUL09 - Tailings pipe spews toxic sludge into a pond bordering the Boreal forest at the tarsands mining site of CNRL (Canadian Natural Resources Limited) Horizon site north of Fort McMurray, northern Alberta, Canada.
The tar sand deposits lie under 141,000 square kilometres of sparsely populated boreal forest and muskeg and contain about 1.7 trillion barrels of bitumen in-place, comparable in magnitude to the world's total proven reserves of conventional petroleum. Current projections state that production will grow from 1.2 million barrels per day (190,000 mÂ³/d) in 2008 to 3.3 million barrels per day (520,000 mÂ³/d) in 2020 which would place Canada among the four or five largest oil-producing countries in the world.
The industry has brought wealth and an economic boom to the region but also created an environmental disaster downstream from the Athabasca river, polluting the lakes where water and fish are contaminated. The native Indian tribes of the Mikisew, Cree, Dene and other smaller First Nations are seeing their natural habitat destroyed and are largely powerless to stop or slow down the rapid expansion of the oil sands development, Canada's number one economic driver.
jre/Photo by Jiri Rezac / GREENPEACE
Â© Jiri Rezac 2009
- Â© Jiri Rezac 2009
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- Canada Tarsands