A method is provided for recovering oil from a subterranean oil-bearing formation. One or more pairs of electrodes are inserted into the ground in proximity to a body of oil in said formation. A voltage difference is then established between the electrodes to create an electric field in the oil-bearing formation. As voltage is applied, the current is manipulated to induce oxidation and reduction reactions in components of the oil. The oxidation and reduction reactions lower the viscosity in the oil and thereby reduce capillary resistance to oil flow so that the oil can be removed at an extraction well.