Oil sands, or tar sands, are sand and rock material which contains crude bitumen, a dense, viscous form of crude oil. Bitumen is too thick to flow on its own, so extraction methods are necessary. Oil sands are found primarily in the Athabasca, Cold Lake and Peace River regions of northern Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada, and in areas of Venezuela, Kazakhstan, and Russia. Bitumen is extracted and processed using two methods, mining and in situ.
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