I spotted this story on Slashdot last week, intersting for the oil debate going on for the last few weeks.
Alberta sits atop the biggest petroleum deposit outside the Arabian peninsula – as many as 300 billion recoverable barrels and another trillion-plus barrels that could one day be within reach using new retrieval methods. (By contrast, the entire Middle East holds an estimated 685 billion barrels that are recoverable.) But there’s a catch. Alberta’s black gold isn’t the stuff that geysered up from Jed Clampett’s backyard. It’s more like a mix of Silly Putty and coffee grounds – think of the tar patties that stick to the bottom of your sandals at the beach – and it’s trapped beneath hundreds of feet of clay and rock.