INFOGRAPHIC: Oil from the oil sands
NPR has a neat infographic showing how oil sands are processed using mining and in-situ methods:
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.