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Oil sand samples obtained from the Yousha Mountain in the Qaidam basin located in the northwestern region of China have been sampled, tested and deemed "feasible" for further development and exploration. As the China Petroleum Daily reports, samples contain a high percentage of clean oil that should make the process of extraction and refinement a relatively low-cost operation.

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Just in case you needed another reason to cut back on your gasoline consumption, you might consider the pollution catastrophe we are creating in Canada, America's main oil supplier. A new report (PDF) released by Environmental Defense, using industry figures, estimates that tailings ponds created by oil sands projects may be leaking 2,750,000 gallons of contaminated water every day. While that sounds like a lot, the problem may actually be even worse considering the conservative methodology used

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The recent drop in oil prices, in combination with the failing economy, is taking a toll in the development of Canadian oil sands. Because of low labor productivity and increasing costs, the Canadian-based industry is finding it increasingly difficult to compete in the global marketplace. Poor environmental practices and an "uncertain regulatory picture" are, according to a recent report by consultants McKinsey & Co., also contributing factors to a slew of development slowdowns and "postpone

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Oil sands mining transforms the landscape Photo: David Dodge, Pembina Institute

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