Future Options for Alberta's Bitumen Resources
Published On: March 27, 2020
Crude Oil Commodity Update - April 2020
Bitumen reserves in Alberta are the third-largest oil reserves in the world, after Venezuela and Saudi Arabia. At present, over 90 percent of oil, including bitumen, is converted into combustion products. The market for combustion products is experiencing a period of slow growth, even decline in some regions, due to the changes driven by various factors including climate change concerns, electrification of transportation, and global regulations regarding the use of petroleum-based fuels. Diversifying oil uses and finding new/expanded markets for non-combustion products from bitumen are attractive strategies that work well whether the demand for combustibles goes up or down. In general, three main categories of non-combustion products from bitumen are producible through different process technologies, which include organic (e.g., asphalt, polymers and carbon fibre), inorganic (e.g., metals and minerals), and combinations. This article reviews carbon fibre and its combination products.