The Cold Lake oil sands plant is the largest thermal in situ heavy oil operation in the world. Cold Lake bitumen (unrefined asphalt) is located more than 400 meters below the surface of the ground. It is extracted by injecting steam into the oil sands to thin the heavy bitumen and enabling it to flow to the surface through wellbores. Cold Lake produced more than 160,000 barrels of bitumen a day in 2011. Edward Burtynsky has made photographing the industrial landscape his specialty.