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Heritage Community Foundation Presents
Alberta Online Encyclopedia
Canadian Petroleum Heritage
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Extracting oil and gas from the earth can be a daunting process. At times, the land will not easily yield the petroleum treasures that lie beneath, and Canadians have had to be innovative to tap into these underground riches. Some of Canada’s brightest minds attacked the problem of fossil fuel resource extraction, and have developed many innovations over the years that have accelerated the evolution of Canada’s Petroleum history as a whole.

One major area of innovation has been that of drawing oil out of oil sands deposits. Scientists like Dr. Karl Clark and Dr. Tawfik Nasr have worked on developing innovative ways to extract oil from the oil sands, while companies like Syncrude have advanced methods of transporting oil sands to extraction plants.

Drilling for oil in more conventional oil reserves has also been an area that has seen a lot of innovation over the years. Drilling rigs have evolved from the early cable tool rigs to the rotary drilling rigs of the modern day. Other innovators, like those at the Alberta Research Council, have concerned themselves with solving the problems associated with drilling, like keeping water from water reservoirs from entering oil wells while pumping oil up from the ground.

As the petroleum industry continues to explore for new reserves of oil and gas, there will be new challenges to meet in regards to the extraction and refining of petroleum products. New innovations will always be called upon to address these challenges, and to ensure that the oil treasures buried beneath are brought up to the surface for human use.


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            For more on the oil industry in Alberta, visit Peel’s Prairie Provinces.
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