As you can see below oil sands cover an extremely large part of Alberta and that resource is going to be extracted. The question is how?
The two most common ways of separate the oil from the sand in the Alberta Oil / Tar Sands is to boil it or put it under pressure while still in the ground.
Oil that is on or near the surface is scrapped up by massive loaders and transported to ‘upgrader’ facilities that separate the oil from the sand:
Oil that is buried too far down in the earth to extract from surface uses a process the industry calls SAGD. SAGD stands for Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage.