Some crude oil is thick like maple syrup or molasses. Alaska’s North Slope has a lot of it — tens of billions of barrels — but the thick goo is hard to pump out of the ground, and most producers drill for light oil.

The University of Alaska Fairbanks has been testing ways to produce heavy oil and announced on Friday that results so far are promising, and the research is moving to a new phase.

Contact staff writer Amanda Bohman at 907-459-7545, at or follow her at