To see what the extraction process involves, take a look at some short videos and satellite pictures.
Greenpeace (2.14 minutes) This provides a quick short look at what the extraction of bitumen from Alberta Tar Sands looks like.
Oil Story (animation 2.32 minutes) Fun look at dirty oil.
Dirty Oil – Introduction (part of a web series 3.31 minutes) includes Lester Brown, Earth Policy Institute
Dirty Oil – Trailer (for feature film on Alberta Tar Sands) The full documentary is a behind-the-scenes look “into the strip-mined world of Alberta, Canada, where the vast and toxic Tar Sands deposit supplies the U.S. with the majority of its oil.
Also see Wikipedia – Athabasca oil sands for details on history, production, transportation, governance, oil companies involved, economics, Indigenous peoples, and a good map of the potential area involved in extraction. For a stark view, take a look at pictures of Tar Sands from Space.