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Oil Sands Mining Uses Up Almost as Much Energy as It Produces

Thanks to high global oil prices, industry can afford the large amount of energy needed to extract the oil and turn it into a usable fuel.

By Rachel Nuwer
Feb 19, 2013

The average "energy returned on investment," or EROI, for conventional oil is roughly 25:1. In other words, 25 units of oil-based energy are obtained for every one unit of other energy that is invested to extract it.

But tar sands oil is in a category all its own.

Tar sands retrieved by surface mining has an EROI of only about 5:1, according to research released Tuesday. Tar sands retrieved from deeper beneath the earth, through steam injection, fares even worse, with a maximum average ratio of just 2.9 to 1. That means one unit of natural gas is needed to create less than three units of oil-based energy.

read more http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20130219/oil-sands-mining-...