US Oil Sands, Inc, a subsidiary of US Oil Sands with main offices in Calgary, announced recently that the Canadian Intellectual Property Office granted its patent application for an extraction methodology. US Oil Sands Inc for now is focused on a large exploration and extraction project in the state of Utah. The patent covers an oil sands extraction process which the company says dramatically reduces greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption. According to the announcement, the process uses a unique bio-solvent to extract bitumen – a low-grade hydrocarbon which can be refined into oil – without the need for tailings ponds. Tailings ponds are typically used to contain the residuals of oil sands mining operations. The company is confident that this innovative technology will provide it with a substantial competitive advantage as well as a leap forward for the US in meeting its domestic energy requirements.