Trace elements in Nigerian oil sands and extracted bitumens
The Nigerian oil sands are very extensive with an estimated in place reserves of bitumen/heavy oil of over 30 billion barrels. Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA) has been used to determine the trace and minor elements in the raw oil sands and bitumens. About 43 trace elements in the raw oil sands and 30 in bitumen extracts were determined. The results are compared with values of Canadian bitumens and some Nigerian conventional light crude oils. In general, the Nigerian bitumens has higher hydrocarbon concentration than the Athabasca bitumen but slightly lower than in the Nigerian crude oils. The sulphur, vanadium and nickel contents of the Nigerian bitumens and crude oils are appreciably lower than those of Athabasca bitumen, thus indicating that the extraction and refining of Nigerian tar sand oil would pose less technological and environmental problems than the Athabasca syncrude.
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