Canada's oil sands written history has been around for over 200 years. Historical documents as far back as 1715 illustrated by James Knight, Factor of Fort York, writes in his journal about "gum or pitch that flows out of the banks of a river” (the Athabasca); this is the first report by a European of the oilsands deposits in Western Canada
More information on the history of the oil sands:
Centre for Energy
Syncrude Canada Ltd.