The materials handling industry has a keen interest in recent developments in possible oil extraction from tar sands, oil shales and coals. The existence of vast reserves of these raw materials have stimulated the imagination of forward thinking people and organizations for many years. Much has been published about specific plans and projects and much more is to come. Known oil shale deposits in the Green River formation in Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah alone have a potential recoverable oil content exceeding one trillion barrels. Tar sands in Alberta, Canada, in McMuray formation alone have indicated reserves of the same order of magnitude. Bituminous coal reserves in the United States are nearly one trillion tons. World reserves of these materials are doubtless many times greater. A vast new segment of a vital industry may be in the making. To the materials handling industry, a trillion barrels of potentially recoverable product is translated into a potentially large number of unique, high capacity handling systems. For instance, at 50,000 barrels per day per plant, it would take some five hundred plants to recover just one of the trillions of barrels in one hundred years.

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