Խաղաքարտերը Բացվեց, Նիկոլ Փաշինյանը ամբողջ ազգին շոկի մեջա գցելու,Խաղաքարտերը Բացվեց, Նիկոլ Փաշինյանը ամբողջ ազգին շոկի մեջա գցելու
The extra-heavy crude oil or crude bitumen extracted from oil sands is a very viscous semisolid form of oil that does not easily flow at normal temperatures, making it difficult to transport to market by pipeline. To flow through oil pipelines, it must either be upgraded to lighter synthetic crude oil (SCO), blended with diluents to form dilbit, or heated to reduce its vicosity.
In the Canadian oil sands, bitumen produced by surface mining is generally upgraded on-site and delivered as synthetic crude oil. This makes delivery of oil to market through conventional oil pipelines quite easy. On the other hand, bitumen produced by the in-situ projects is generally not upgraded but delivered to market in raw form. If the agent used to upgrade the bitumen to synthetic crude is not produced on site, it must be sourced elsewhere and transported to the site of upgrading. If the upgraded crude is being transported from the site by pipeline, and additional pipeline will be required to bring in sufficient upgrading agent. The costs of production of the upgrading agent, the pipeline to transport it and the cost to operate the pipeline must be calculated into the production cost of the synthetic crude.
Upon reaching a refinery, the synthetic crude is processed and a significant portion of the upgrading agent will be removed during the refining process. It may be used for other fuel fractions, but the end result is that liquid fuel has to be piped to the upgrading facility simply to make the bitumen transportable by pipeline. If all costs are considered, synthetic crude production and transfer using bitumen and an upgrading agent may prove economically unsustainable.
When the first oil sands plants were built over 50 years ago, most oil refineries in their market area were designed to handle light or medium crude oil with lower sulfur content than the 4–7% that is typically found in bitumen. The original oil sands upgraders were designed to produce a high-quality synthetic crude oil (SCO) with lower density and lower sulfur content. These are large, expensive plants which are much like heavy oil refineries. Research is currently being done on designing simpler upgraders which do not produce SCO but simply treat the bitumen to reduce its viscosity, allowing to be transported unblended like conventional heavy oil.
Western Canadian Select, launched in 2004 as a new heavy oil stream, blended at the Husky Energy terminal in Hardisty, Alberta, is the largest crude oil stream coming from the Canadian oil sands and the benchmark for emerging heavy, high TAN (acidic) crudes. :9   WCS is traded at Cushing, Oklahoma, a major oil supply hub connecting oil suppliers to the Gulf Coast, which has become the most significant trading hub for crude oil in North America. While its major component is bitumen, it also contains a combination of sweet synthetic and condensate diluents, and 25 existing streams of both conventional and unconventional oil making it a syndilbit— both a dilbit and a synbit.:16
The first step in upgrading is vacuum distillation to separate the lighter fractions. After that, de-asphalting is used to separate the asphalt from the feedstock. Cracking is used to break the heavier hydrocarbon molecules down into simpler ones. Since cracking produces products which are rich in sulfur, desulfurization must be done to get the sulfur content below 0.5% and create sweet, light synthetic crude oil.
In 2012, Alberta produced about 1,900,000 bbl/d (300,000 m3/d) of crude bitumen from its three major oil sands deposits, of which about 1,044,000 bbl/d (166,000 m3/d) was upgraded to lighter products and the rest sold as raw bitumen. The volume of both upgraded and non-upgraded bitumen is increasing yearly. Alberta has five oil sands upgraders producing a variety of products. These include: