Heavy oil is the North Slope's future

Alaska’s North Slope is a place where there’s lots of envelope pushing, using new techniques and technologies to get more from these massive yet aging fields.
According to AP this push is going to keep the field busy for many more years as producers figure out how to get heavy oil, the super-thick and hard to pump oil that’s found in the area, out of the ground:

The Alaska Division of Oil and Gas reports heavy oil production accounts for about 6.5 percent of this year’s production on the North Slope, up from 5 percent in 2005.
Conoco Phillips and BP increased investment in heavy oil five years ago, and Italian firm Eni’s new Nikaitchuq project focuses partly on heavy oil production, according to the division.
The North Slope has an estimated 30 billion barrels of “in place” heavy oil, up to one-fifth of which could be recoverable, said Kurt Gibson, division deputy director.