What it is:
Unconventional oil is crude oil produced by means other than a conventional oil well.
How it works/Example:
Crude, unrefined oil stock is traditionally extracted from underground reservoirs through an oil well. However, crude oil can also be found in shale formations and sand. Unconventional oil is oil that is extracted from shale, sand, or other alternatives to oil wells.
Why it matters:
Unconventional oil has traditionally been too expensive to extract. But advances in technology, along with increases in oil prices and diminishing supply, has resulted in higher demand for unconventional oil.