How are heavy oil and bitumen transported?
Pipelines are the least expensive and most efficient way to move petroleum on land. In fact, pipelines transport about 95 per cent of Canadas crude oil and natural gas production. However moving bitumen and heavy oil by pipeline is very difficult because of their inability to flow freely. To overcome this, producers reduce the density of the bitumen, generally by diluting it with light, low-viscosity petroleum. Condensate and/or naphtha, a very light oil obtained from natural gas production, are the most common diluents. Bitumen might require as much as 40 per cent dilution.