Infographic: How Tar Sands Oil Is Produced High oil prices and technological advances have made it economically viable to ramp up oil production from Canada's tar sands. The oil pulled out of the ground is so thick and sticky that it needs complex, energy-intensive processing just to get it into a pipeline.
NPR logo Infographic: How Tar Sands Oil Is Produced

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.