Definition - What does Unconventional Oil mean?
Unconventional oil has not been formally defined, but can be said to consist of oil that has been extracted using techniques other than traditional oil wells. These currently include the extraction of oil from oil shales and sands, synthetic crude oils, coal-base or biomass-based liquid supplies and gas to liquid processes.
Safeopedia explains Unconventional Oil
The rise of unconventional oil as an industry was promoted by dwindling oil reserves and high prices that made the exploitation of non-traditional sources of oil not only economically viable, but an economic necessity. The potential environmental impact of the processes used in the extraction of unconventional oil have proved controversial, particularly with regard to pollution and water-use. The current reduced price of imported conventional oil has led to a reduction in the urgency of unconventional oil production, but it is believed that in the not too distant future, unconventional oil will become the primary source of oil production.