Wednesday, July 04, 2012 -
The Kazakh government is currently analyzing proposals proffered by Kazakh scientists for extracting oil from sand and clay, a senior researcher said on Wednesday.
Production is expected to begin in 2013, said Valentine Yemelyanov, deputy director of Research Institute of New Chemical Technologies and Materials in Almaty.
Central Asia’s leading energy-rich state is able to boast dozens of oil sand deposits – dark, sticky reservoirs of sand, clay, water, and bitumen – that will potentially yield crude.
More than 50 oil sands have been identified in Kazakhstan, according to the expert, the local Kursiv.kz news agency reported.
Nadir Nadirov, an academician of the National Academy of Scientists, said that Kazakhstan has the domestic know-how to pump oil out of both sand and clay.
He said the technology was available in Kazakhstan in the 1990s, but remained undeveloped owing to a lack of investment.
Oil sand can be found in several locations around the globe, but the Athabasca deposit in Alberta, Canada is the largest and most developed, using special technologies.
Its oil sands provide Canada with the world’s second largest recoverable reserves in the world, after Saudi Arabia, but environmentalists have sharply criticized the project saying it causes irrevocable damage.