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Oil is the single and most important commodity in the entire world today and also the largest resource for man’s demand for energy. Crude oil or petroleum is the oil believed to have originated from plants and animals remains over a long period of time. The proceeds from oil production in Nigeria have no doubt contributed to the social, economic and political development at the same time causing negative impact to both the environment and those living in that environment. It has rendered the ecosystem nearly useless due to oil spillage.  It is not peculiar to Nigeria alone but the distinguishing mark is its management where there are found. Now the question is on the Future of Nigeria without crude oil.
Bitumen and heavy oil are unconventional oil resources that are characterized by high viscosities (i.e. resistance to flow) and high densities compared to conventional oil. Most Bitumen and heavy oil deposits are very shallow. They originated as conventional oil that formed in deep formations, but migrated to the surface region where they were degraded by bacteria and by weathering, and where the lightest hydrocarbons escaped. Bitumen and heavy oil are deficient in hydrogen and have high carbon, sulfur, and heavy metal content. Hence, they require additional processing (upgrading) to become a suitable feedstock for a normal refinery.



1.0                                                        INTRODUCTION
2.1                                           BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Heavy oil, extra-heavy oil, and bitumen are unconventional oil resources that are characterized by high viscosities (i.e. resistance to flow) and high densities compared to conventional oil. Most heavy oil, extra-heavy oil, and bitumen deposits are very shallow. They originated as conventional oil that formed in deep formations, but migrated to the surface region where they were degraded by bacteria and by weathering, and where the lightest hydrocarbons escaped. Heavy oil, and bitumen are deficient in hydrogen and have high carbon, sulfur, and heavy metal content. Hence, they require additional processing (upgrading) to become a suitable feedstock for a normal refinery.
There are very large heavy oil, extra-heavy oil, and bitumen resources whose extent and locations are well known. The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that there are 6 trillion (6·1012) barrels in place worldwide; with 2.5·1012 bbl in Western Canada, 1.5·1012 bbl in Venezuela, 1·1012 bbl in Russia, and 100 to 180·109 bbl in the United States.2 Heavy oil and bitumen resources in Western Canada and the United States could provide stable and secure sources of oil for the United States. Most of these resources are currently untapped. Exploration technology is of minor importance, since large resources have already been discovered, but optimizing production technology is important. Because heavy oil and bitumen do not flow readily in most reservoirs, theyrequire specialized production methods. Very shallow oil sands can be mined. Slightly deeper deposits can be produced by increasing reservoir contact with horizontal wells and multilaterals, producing the oil with large amounts of sand, or by injecting steam, which lowers the viscosity and reduces the residual oil saturation, thus improving recovery efficiency. In situ combustion has also been used to heat the reservoir, but it has faced several technical and economic challenges that have limited its application. A few reservoirs are sufficiently hot that heavy oil can be produced with essentially conventional methods.
Historically, bitumen outcrops have been used as sources of fuel, asphalt, and water sealant. The modern version is mining the bitumen in oil sands, which accounts for over half of Canada’s current unconventional oil production.3 The overburden is stripped, and the oil sands are mined, transported, and mixed with water to separate the oil. The recovery factor is up to 90% of the original oil in place.
Conventional or “cold” production of heavy started in California in the early 20th century. Indonesian and Venezuelan heavy oil fields were also using cold production by mid-century. Cold production has a low recovery factor, typically 5% to 10%.
Water floods in a few limited cases have been used with heavy oil to enhance formation pressures and help displace the heavy crude.
In the 1960s, operators began to inject steam to reduce the heavy oil viscosity and increase recovery. In cyclic steam stimulation (CSS), steam is injected into a well for a time period from several days to several weeks. The heat is allowed to soak into the formation surrounding the well for an additional time (weeks). The oil is then produced (possibly for up to a year) until the rate drops below an economic limit. A steamflood may follow CSS to sweep oil between wells. Steam is injected in one well and oil is produced in another well, for example in a 5-spot pattern. Steamflooding operations have produced recovery factors of over 70%, such as in the Duri Field in Indonesia and in several fields in the San Joaquin Valley in California.
Steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) was developed recently in Canada and is now one of the fastest growing techniques. Two horizontal wells are drilled parallel to each other and separated by a constant vertical distance, typically 5 m. Steam is injected into the upper well, and oil is produced from the lower well. Predicted recovery factors of 50% to 70% are reported.
In situ combustion of heavy oil has been tried with modest success only in special situations. Currently, in situ combustion is only used in Eastern Europe. However, there is ongoing research and development for in situ combustion using a combination of vertical and horizontal wells.
The production of heavy oil, extra-heavy oil, and bitumen is economic at current oil prices with existing production technologies. However, heavy oil, extra-heavy oil, and bitumen sell at a lower price than conventional oil because of the difficulty in processing the heavier crude to create refined products, and because fewer refineries have the capability to process it. In addition, production is more costly than for conventional oil, so the profit margin is less. If an oil company has equal access to conventional oil and to heavy oil, then economics would favor conventional oil.
However, gaining access to conventional oil resources is becoming more difficult in many countries. On the other hand, heavy oil deposits are both abundant and well known, which means very little or no exploration costs are required. This has motivated oil companies looking to increase their reserves to move into heavy oil.
Because Canada has stable political and economic environments and a very large unconventional resource, companies are racing to take positions. There is a boom economy in the oil fields of Western Canada with consequent price inflation.
There are no purely technical reasons why heavy oil and bitumen production cannot be increased dramatically. For example, Canada produced approximately 1 million barrels of heavy oil and bitumen per day (BOPD) in 2005, and production is forecast at 4 million BOPD by 2020. With 175 billion barrels of reserves, given existing technology, Canada could produce 4 million BOPD for over 100 years. The
International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook projects that heavy oil and bitumen production from Canada and Venezuela together could reach 6 million barrels per day by 2030.4 Given sufficient incentives, heavy oil and bitumen production rates could be far greater.
However, there are several issues that must be addressed if production is to be increased significantly.
First, very large capital investments must be made to increase the extraction, upgrading, transportation (pipeline and trucking) facilities, and infrastructure. While production from a heavy oil well may last for many years, the production rate may be low compared to that for a well producing light oil. This can result in a relatively long payback period. This increases risks due to potentially low oil prices in the future, and to potentially higher future operating costs (e.g. from natural gas), or to increased restrictions (e.g. CO2 quotas).
Second, a greatly expanded workforce will be needed, especially in northern
Canada. Community infrastructures, such as schools, housing and social services are inadequate to absorb a large population increase. The impact on the aboriginal society must also be considered.
Third, producing and upgrading heavy oil, extra-heavy oil, and bitumen require considerable energy input. Currently, natural gas provides most of the energy for
steam generation, as well as providing a source of hydrogen for upgrading. There are insufficient quantities of natural gas in North America to sustain the planned expansion of heavy oil, extra-heavy oil, and bitumen production.
Alternative fuels such as coal, coke, and heavy ends could be used, but burning them will increase CO2 emissions. If a carbon tax is enacted, then the energy costs will increase. Nuclear power could provide energy and hydrogen without CO2, but faces public resistance.
Fourth, increased heavy oil, extra-heavy oil, and bitumen production could have a major impact on the environment if only current technologies are used. Increased emissions of carbon dioxide are the most immediate concern, especially if carbonintensive alternative fuels are burned. Gasification combined with CO2 capture and sequestration could mitigate this problem. Mining operations have greater environmental issues than in situ techniques. These include water usage, footprint, land reclamation, reforestation, and the disposal of byproducts such as sulfur, fine tailings, acid, and heavy metals.
While heavy oil, extra-heavy oil, and bitumen production could be increased using commercial methods, advances in technology could mitigate all of the issues listed above. The potential impact of new technologies on economics, recovery factor, environmental effects, and manpower requirements could be substantial.
The Canadian government has sponsored research and development activities for heavy oil, extra-heavy oil, and bitumen production for many years. This has resulted in many advances that have been instrumental in advancing the industry. A similar model has been suggested for the United States to develop the large shale oil deposits in the West.

1.2                                      USES OF BITUMEN AND HEAVY OIL

The vast majority of refined bitumen and heavy oil is used in construction: primarily as a constituent of products used in paving and roofing applications. According to the requirements of the end use bitumen is produced to specification. This is achieved either by refining process or blending.
It is estimated that the current world use of bitumen is approximately 102 million tonnes per year. Approximately 85% of all the bitumen produced is used as the binder in asphalt for roads. It is also used in other paved areas such as airport runways, car parks and footways. 
Typically, the production of asphalt involves mixing sand, gravel and crushed rock with bitumen, which acts as the binding agent. Other materials, such as polymers, may be added to the bitumen to alter its properties according to the application for which the asphalt is ultimately intended.
A further 10% of global bitumen production is used in roofing applications, where its waterproofing qualities are invaluable.
The remaining 5% of bitumen and heavy oil is used mainly for sealing and insulating purposes in a variety of building materials, such as pipe coatings, carpet tile backing and paint.
1.3                                   ECONOMICS OF BITUMEN HEAVY OIL
Heavy oils provide an interesting situation for the economics of petroleum development. The resources of heavy oil in the world are more than twice those of conventional light crude oil. In October 2009, the United States Geological Survey updated the Orinoco deposits (Venezuela) recoverable value to 513 billion barrels (8.16×1010 m3), making this area one of the world's largest recoverable oil deposits. However, recovery rates for heavy oil are often limited from 5-30% of oil in place. The chemical makeup is often the defining variable in recovery rates. The technology utilized for the recovery of heavy oil has steadily increased recovery rates.
On one hand, due to increased refining costs and high sulfur content for some sources, heavy crudes are often priced at a discount to lighter ones. The increased viscosity and density also makes production more difficult. On the other hand, large quantities of heavy crudes have been discovered in the Americas, including Canada, Venezuela and California. The relatively shallow depth of heavy oil fields (often less than 3000 feet) can contribute to lower production costs; however, these are offset by the difficulties of production and transport that render conventional production methods ineffective. Specialized techniques are being developed for exploration and production of heavy oil.

With current production and transportation methods, heavy crudes have a more severe environmental impact than light ones. With more difficult production comes the employment of a variety of enhanced oil recovery techniques, including steam flooding and tighter well spacing, often as close as one well per acre. Heavy crude oils also carry contaminants. For example, Orinoco extra heavy oil contains 4.5% sulfur as well as vanadium and nickel. However, because crude oil is refined before use, generating specific alkanes via cracking and fractional distillation, this comparison is not valid in a practical sense. Heavy crude refining techniques may require more energy input  though, so its environmental impact is presently more significant than that of lighter crude if the intended final products are light hydrocarbons (gasoline motor fuels). On the other hand heavy crude is a better source for road asphalt mixes than light crude.
With present technology, the extraction and refining of heavy oils and oil sands generates as much as three times the total CO2 emissions compared to conventional oil, primarily driven by the extra energy consumption of the extraction process (which may include burning natural gas to heat and pressurize the reservoir to stimulate flow). Current research into better production methods seek to reduce this environmental impact.
In a 2009 report, the National Toxics Network, citing data provided by the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center of the government of the United States and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), emissions of CO2 per unit of energy produced were ~84% of those for coal (0.078/0.093), higher than CO2 emissions of conventional oil.
Environmental Research Web has reported that "because of the energy needed for extraction and processing, petroleum from Canadian oil tar sands has higher life cycle emission" versus conventional fossil fuels; "up to 25% more."
1.5                                   CHEMICAL PROPERTIES OF HEAVY OIL
Heavy oil is asphaltic and contains asphaltenes and resins. It is "heavy" (dense and viscous) due to the high ratio of aromatics and naphthenes to linear alkanes and high amounts of NSO's (nitrogen, sulfur, oxygen and heavy metals). Heavy oil has a higher percentage of compounds with over 60 carbon atoms and hence a high boiling point and molecular weight. For example, the viscosity of Venezuela's Orinoco extra-heavy crude oil lies in the range 1000–5000 cP (1–5 Pa·s), while Canadian extra-heavy crude has a viscosity in the range 5000–10,000 cP (5–10 Pa·s), about the same as molasses, and higher (up to 100,000 cP or 100 Pa·s for the most viscous commercially exploitable deposits).A definition from the Chevron Phillips Chemical company is as follows:
The "heaviness" of heavy oil is primarily the result of a relatively high proportion of a mixed bag of complex, high molecular weight, non-paraffinic compounds and a low proportion of volatile, low molecular weight compounds. Heavy oils typically contain very little paraffin and may or may not contain high levels of asphaltenes.
There are two main types of heavy crude oil:
  1. Those that have over 1% sulfur (high sulfur crude oils), with aromatics and asphaltenes, and these are mostly found in North America (Canada (Alberta, Saskatchewan), United States (California), Mexico), South America (Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador) and the Middle East (Kuwait, Saudi Arabia).
  2. Those that have less than 1% sulfur (low sulfur crude oils), with aromatics, naphthenes and resins, and these are mostly found in Western Africa (Chad), Central Africa (Angola) and East Africa (Madagascar).

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