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Different Oil Surface Mining Techniques

The number of oil surface mining techniques are very limited. However, there are different combinations that can be conducted using some equipment to make this process a success. Some of these extractive techniques oversee the removal of the rock that bears the oil. It’s removed and later processed elsewhere. All the potential oil surface mining techniques can be categorized into the following categories. 

Terrace Mining

This is a technique that involves the removal of the overburden. This piece is excavated using heavy machines and then transported. The material collected around the pit is then dumped inside the pit where the ore was excavated. Terrace mining technique is quite complex. It requires a reasonable tubular deposit with a vast areal extent. 

Other than the two mentioned factors, the technique is considered quite flexible. The barriers set for terrace mining are generally because of the economic stripping limit ratio. 

Strip Mining

This technique entails the removal of the overburden. The removal is conducted using an excavating machine that then directly transports the material. The extracted material is taken through excavation and then dumped in the exact area from where the ore was extracted. 

According to experts, strip mining is a suitable method for all tubular deposits that are shallow dip or flat. The shallowness of the pit should at least be 10 degrees. The maximum overburden depth is not allowed to be more than 150 fits. The general depth pit shouldn’t exceed 200 fits. 

The strip limits of various mine operations are always determined by the capacity of the equipment applied. 

The Open Pit Method 

According to experts, there are various reasons laid down as to why thermal enhanced oil recovery method can’t be successfully used in some reservoirs in the manner the open pit method is applied. This technique basically entails the removal of waste materials. The waste is conveyed out using dumper trucks, trains, and conveyors. These equipment dump waste outside the excavation area. 

Mostly, the topography of the area permits to haul the waste bumps. These levels are always achieved. However, there are some topographies that don’t allow this. Open pit methods have the utmost flexibility compared to all the other systems. However, it is a costly method to practice. 
When it comes to the open pit method, there are limits of operations and they are directly determined by the economic stripping ratio. 

Terrace and Strip Mining Combination 

This specific method involves the removal of the overburden material. The removal of the material is overseen by terrace mining. The final cutting of the ore is overseen by strip mining. Experts have approved that this method is dependable as it’s able to reach greater depths than the normal terrace mining technique. 

The reason behind this is that the last phase of mining using stripping mining technique is quite cheap. Terrace mining is then applied to handle the excess material that the dragline is not able to get rid of. 

Extraction of oil using mine openings doesn’t approve a clear and complete recovery. For a thorough recovery, the rock acting like a rock reservoir should be removed to the surface for processes like treatment which is conducted and then returned to the ground openings to cover cave-ins.

 

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