fossil fuel reserves

alternative fossil fuels

As the easy-to-reach fossil fuel sources are depleted, alternative sources of fossil fuels are increasingly being exploited (Figure 1.2). These include oil shale and tar sands. Oil shale is rock that contains dispersed oil that has not collected in reservoirs. To extract the oil from the shale requires enormous amounts of hot water. Tar sands are rocky materials mixed with very thick oil. The tar is too thick to pump and so tar sands are strip-mined. Hot water and caustic soda are used to separate the oil from the rock. The environmental consequences of mining these fuels, and of fossil fuel use in general, along with the fact that these fuels do not have a limitless supply, are prompting the development of alternative energy sources in some regions. Click image to the left or use the URL below. URL: A satellite image of an oil-sands mine in Canada. Click image to the left or use the URL below. URL:



fossil fuel reserves

Fossil fuels provide about 85% of the worlds energy at this time. Worldwide fossil fuel usage has increased many times over in the past half century (coal - 2.6x, oil - 8x, natural gas - 14x) because of population increases, because of increases in the number of cars, televisions, and other fuel-consuming uses in the developed world, and because of lifestyle improvements in the developing world. The amount of fossil fuels that remain untapped is unknown, but can likely be measured in decades for oil and natural gas and in a few centuries for coal (Figure 1.1).

instructional diagrams

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being nonrenewable resources, fossil fuels will last on the order of decades for coal and centuries for oil and natural gas.

a) true

-->  b) false

oil from shale is different from oil from petroleum because it is

a) much purer

b) very easy to extract and refine.

c) is collected in shale reservoirs.

-->  d) is dispersed through rock.

although petroleum, coal and natural gas will eventually run out, tar sands and oil shale will be available for centuries at no more cost than traditional sources of fossil fuels.

a) true

-->  b) false

if people everyone in the developed world froze their use of oil at its current level the annual amount of oil used would not increase.

a) true

-->  b) false

much of the concern about the dangers of fracking is due to

a) the distance the oil must travel from where it is obtained to where it is used.

-->  b) the chemicals that are in the fracking fluids.

c) the amount of rock disturbed at the land surface.

d) all of the above

___ are rocky materials mixed with very thick oil.

a) oil shales

b) tar pits

c) conglomerates

-->  d) tar sands

as of today, fossil fuel provides about __ of the worlds energy.

a) 50%

b) 65%

-->  c) 85%

d) 100%

what is a reason tar sands are strip-mined rather than pumped?

-->  a) tar sands are too thick to pump.

b) tar sands are solid and cannot flow.

c) tar sands are too watered down to pump.

d) none of the above

the keystone xl pipeline is controversial because the oil it carries could cause environmental damage.

-->  a) true

b) false added

the environmental consequences of obtaining energy from tar sands include

a) pumping the sands in pipelines that go for thousands of miles.

b) freezing the sands so that they can be mined as solids, which uses energy.

-->  c) using a lot of water that must be heated, plus caustic chemicals.

d) none of the above

diagram questions

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