Location of Oil Sands

Screen capture: The Government of Alberta – Environment and Sustainable Resource Development – Oil Sands Information Portal

• The three oil sands deposits are located in the Peace River, Athabasca and Cold Lake areas throughout northern and central Alberta. One section of the Athabasca area also bulges into western Saskatchewan. [1]

• The Athabasca deposit is the largest one, spanning 93,000 square kilometres and totals 66 per cent of all three oil sands areas. [2]

• Athabasca’s surface mineable area, north of Fort McMurray, spans 4,750 square kilometres and accounts for three per cent of all the oil sands. [3]

• Peace River is the second largest, spanning 29,000 square kilometres and totals 21 per cent of all three oil sands areas. [4]

• Cold Lake is the smallest, spanning 18,000 square kilometres and totals 13 per cent of all three oil sands areas. [5]

• Other nations with oil sands include Venezuela, Trinidad/Tobago and Russia. Across the world, oil sands are found in more than 70 countries. [6]

• Presently, a few example areas where woodland caribou habitat zones and oil sands development areas overlap include Suncor’s Firebag project in the northeast section of the surface mineable area east of the Athabasca River and north of the Firebag River; Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.’s Kirby North project southwest of Christina and Winfred Lakes; and Sothern Pacific Resource Corp. Red Earth CCS Pilot in the Peace River deposit west of Peerless and Graham Lakes. [7]

• First Nations Reserves nearby oil sands deposits and along the Athabasca River basin area include Mikisew Cree First Nation, the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation at Fort Chipewyan, Fort McMurray No. 468 First Nation, Fort McKay First Nation and the Chipewyan Prairie First Nation. All are members of the Athabasca Tribal Council on Treaty 8 land. [8] [9]

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[1] Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers – Upstream Dialogue: The Facts on Oil Sands

[2] Alberta Energy – Oil Sands Leased Area map

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Alberta Geological Survey – Alberta Oil Sands

[7] Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development – Oil Sands Information Portal

[8] Athabasca Tribal Council

[9] Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta