NPR logo Infographic: How Tar Sands Oil Is Produced

Energy

Infographic: How Tar Sands Oil Is Produced

The oil product extracted from Canada's tar sands isn't like conventional crude. Known as bitumen, it's sticky and so thick, it can't flow down a pipeline without extensive processing. There are two methods for getting bitumen out of the ground and turning it into usable products. Both are complex, energy-intensive and expensive processes – but high oil prices are finally making tar sands profitable.

Infographic: Explaining the process of processing / refining tar sands into oil.