There are several technologies to extract oil sands bitumen. Mining operations are used to produce the oil near the surface, and for oil deeper underground, processes such as Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) and Cyclic Steam Stimulation (CSS) are used. However, new technologies include:
Experts estimate that the cost to develop the many announced oil sands projects will be in the neighborhood of $150 billion Canadian dollars. Many billions of dollars have already been spent, obviously.
Operating costs to produce a barrel of oil from bitumen vary greatly, fluctuating based on labor and material costs, the cost of natural gas, and other variables. It has gone up year to year.