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Energy and Energy Sources
16
in the ground. Both sets of deposits were formed over millions of years, as
organisms fell to the bottom of nutrient-rich seas and were buried before they
could decay, under a layer of sediment. Then heat and pressure slowly baked
the mass of energy-rich material into oil. But whereas rock formed a protective
layer over the fields of the Persian Gulf and Texas, the Alberta oil leached
out,
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mingling with sand, rock and other materials on the surface. Separating
the oil out is difficult and expensive – in Kuwait, it costs a mere $ 2 to get a
barrel of oil out of the ground. The trucks dump the sand into huge crushers,
which grind it down to fine oil-coated grains. Conveyor belts carry the result
into huge vats
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and mix the sand with hot water, then spin it in centrifuges to
separate out the oil. Deep-water oil, where reserves are sunk more than 7,000
metres below the surface, is a newly hot contender for extraction. High-speed
computers monitor the treacherous currents swirling around floating oil rigs,
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and adjust drills continuously to make sure they remain on course.
(Adapted from
Newsweek
)
GLOSSARY
7
removed matter from
something by the action
of a percolating fluid
8
large containers for
holding liquids
9
equipment for special
purpose
READING COMPREHENSION
l
Answer the following questions.
1
What is oil?
2
Why are many oil companies exploring new
oilfields?
3
How is oil produced?
4
Why is oil extraction more expensive in
Alberta than in the Persian Gulf?
5
How are computers used in oil extraction?
VOCABULARY
l
In the text, find synonyms for the following words.
1
thick and sticky ................................................
2
countries
................................................
3
plans
................................................
4
quantity
................................................
5
to decompose ................................................
6
enormous
................................................
WRITING
l
Write a short summary of the passage you have just read (max. 80 words). Try to change as many words as you
can. Below you will find some useful guidelines about summary writing.
activities
Oil Industry in Alberta, Canada