6 Future sources of oil
The debate as to when, or if, 'peak oil' will occur, centres in part on the extent to which it will be possible to exploit new sources of oil. There are many in the oil industry who argue that the new, so-called 'non-conventional' sources of oil will become far more important in the future.
These new sources of oil are all more expensive than conventional oil, and their exploitation will pose questions about what environmental consequences we are prepared to accept in order to satisfy our oil habit. You will look at each of these non-conventional sources of oil in turn, in order to assess their potential to fill the gap between demand and supply of oil, and to assess their possible environmental impacts. Firstly, you need to know how 'conventional' oil is extracted.