Our oil sands crude oil, derived from the Bitumen was always referred to as "Crude Oil from McMurray" or more recently "The Oil Sands" but for 25 years known as "The Tar Sands" It has never, ever been referred to as either Heavy Oil or Bitumen.!
Drawing on literature from Valenzuela they explain a decision must be made before extracting the oil from the Bitumen as to what the final desired viscosity is required for a crude oil!
At the mines, bitumen is handled not in pipelines and tank cars! It is handled on conveyor belts and mining cars, some of the latest technology.
Alberta shut in the sweet natural gas north of High Level for use in the processes in the Tar Sands. There has never been any figure put out about how much this cost the taxpayers but gas companies ere compensated and the oil companies didn't barter prices.
The Conservatives and the US oil companies are stringing a long list of press releases about "Bitumen" being shipped in tank cars and pipelines. Beyond being impossible it is an outright lie and misdirection only for the purpose of leaving the prices rock bottom on the product we are shipping south in pipelines.
It is a win win thing for the US parent companies! They get the best light crude in the world blessed as a heavy crude by a country they pretty much run. Alberta uses its water for the production of this light crude oil while the US is suffering water shortages. The US gets the benefit of a lower carbon footprint while Alberta solicits the beating being taken on dirty oil.
We so very much need a Government in place that is not Conservative! The futures of your kids have gone; as have the glory days. YOU elected to give it away by mindless support of the Conservatives in a vain hope someone, somewhere, will throw you a crumb.
Here is a link to industries view on the Natural gas Prices.