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A Resource Whose Time Has Come? The Alberta oil Sands as an Economic Resource

Abstract:
The Alberta oil sands, which comprise over 170 billion barrels of proven recoverable reserves, are a resource of an order of magnitude similar to many estimates of ultimate world conventional oil reserves. Campbell Watkins maintained a long-standing emphasis on the essential economic component of any meaningful definition of the world�s natural resources. The fact is that the Alberta oil sands have had a very shaky economic foundation until only recently. The intention of this paper is to examine this emerging resource from an economic perspective; one, it is hoped, similar to that which Watkins evinced, in order to fully assess the extent to which the Alberta oil sands may be regarded as being no different in any meaningful way from other oil resources.

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Energy Specializations: Petroleum – Markets and Prices for Crude Oil and Products; Energy Investment and Finance – Public and Private Risks, Risk Management; Unconventional Fossil Resources –Synfuels; Unconventional Fossil Resources – Oil and Liquids; Unconventional Fossil Resources – Policy and Regulation

JEL Codes:
L13 - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
D81 - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
Q42 - Alternative Energy Sources
E60 - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook: General

Keywords: Oil sands, Alberta, Unconventional oil, Oil Investment

DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol29-NoSI-6


Published in Volume 29, Special Issue of The Quarterly Journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.