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It's pretty common knowledge - especially if you're the type to regularly visit sites such as AutoblogGreen and its ilk - that it's simply cheaper to drive a mile on electrical power than on gasoline. We also know that it is inefficient to convert oil sands into usable fuel relative to other sources of oil. Yet the demand for gasoline remains high, mining the tar sands of Canada remains profitable and it has also undeniably created a lot of jobs, so that petroleum is coming out of the ground.

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.

Last year Shell Canada announced their intention to increase oil production from the Athabasca Tar Sands in Alberta. At the time they said they intended to add 100,000 barrels a day of production. Now they have revealed new plans to increase production to 770,000 barrels a day which is four times the current production level. The initial 100,000 barrel expansion was approved in November, and should begin production in 2010.