Oil sands and heavy oil deposits represent approximately two-thirds of the world’s estimated oil reserves. Current technology used in tar sands extraction has environmental problems and uses large amounts of fresh water resources. The IL Fuels separation method reduces environmental damage as all solvents are recycled and reused and all operations are at ambient temperatures. The technology uses very little energy and water.

Canada is now the largest source of oil imports to the United States. Oil imports from Canada are targeted to grow 50% in the next few years.

In the U.S., Utah has large deposits of oil sands that have so far proved too expensive to develop with current technologies. Heavy oil deposits can also be found and mined in other areas of the country.

A particularly interesting opportunity lies in reclaiming oil or bitumen from waste products. Presently, the oil and gas industry is generating large quantities of oil coated drill cuttings as a result of drilling in formations such as the Marcellus shale. Another potential market is associated with material like recycled asphalt shingles, most of which are presently landfilled.