Unconventional Oil

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Definition of 'Unconventional Oil'

Unconventional oil is a type of petroleum that is found in difficult-to-access locations, such as deep underground or in remote areas. It is often referred to as "tight oil" or "oil sands". Unconventional oil is more expensive to extract than conventional oil, but it is also more abundant.

There are three main types of unconventional oil:

* **Tight oil** is found in shale formations. Shale is a type of sedimentary rock that is composed of fine-grained particles. Tight oil is difficult to extract because it is trapped in the pores of the shale.
* **Oil sands** are a type of sandstone that contains a high concentration of bitumen. Bitumen is a sticky, black substance that is similar to asphalt. Oil sands are difficult to extract because the bitumen is mixed with sand and water.
* **Heavy oil** is a type of oil that has a high viscosity. This means that it is thick and difficult to flow. Heavy oil is difficult to extract because it requires a lot of energy to process.

The extraction of unconventional oil has a number of environmental impacts. These impacts include:

* **Water pollution**. The extraction of unconventional oil can contaminate water sources with chemicals and heavy metals.
* **Air pollution**. The extraction of unconventional oil can release harmful pollutants into the air, such as methane and volatile organic compounds.
* **Land disturbance**. The extraction of unconventional oil can damage land and wildlife habitat.

Despite the environmental impacts, the extraction of unconventional oil is expected to increase in the coming years. This is because conventional oil reserves are declining, and unconventional oil is a more abundant source of energy.

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