My watch list  

Orinoco tar sands

The Orinoco Oil Sands, also known as the Orinoco Tar Sands, are deposits of oil sands located near the Orinoco River in Venezuela. The Orinoco River starts in the Venezuelan-Brazilian border and ends in the Atlantic Ocean at the Gulf of Paria. The Orinoco Tar Sands are known to be one of the largest, if not the largest oil sand deposit in the world, along with the Athabasca Tar Sands in Alberta, Canada. It is estimated that at least 66% of the world's petroleum reserves are preserved in oil sand form, with 32% (270 km³ or 1.7 trillion barrels) of oil sand deposits in Athabascan deposits and 34% (286 km³ or 1.8 trillion barrels) in the Orinoco deposits.

Orinoco tar sands are, according to experts, more economical to extract, at $16 per barrel of oil, than Canada's Athabasca oil sands at around $20 per barrel, but with the Oil price increases of 2004-2007 to over $90 per barrel, this cost differential has become less important.

Venezuela's non-conventional oil deposits of about 1,200 billion barrels, found primarily in the Orinoco oil sands, are estimated to approximately equal the world's reserves of conventional oil. An estimated 267 billion barrels were producible at 2006 prices and technology.[1] In addition to the Orinoco tar sands, some deposits are also found in the Maracaibo Basin and Guanoco Lake, near the Caribbean coast.[2]


  1. ^ Pierre-René Bauquis (2006-02-16). What the future for extra heavy oil and bitumen: the Orinoco case. World Energy Council. Retrieved on 2007-07-10.
  2. ^ (2004). "Survey of energy resources" (PDF). World Energy Council. Retrieved on 2007-07-13.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Orinoco_tar_sands". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE