|Industry||Oil and Gas|
|Headquarters||Fort McMurray, Alberta|
Syncrude Canada Ltd. is one of the world's largest producers of synthetic crude oil from oil sands and the largest single source producer in Canada. It is located just outside Fort McMurray in the Athabasca Oil Sands, and has a nameplate capacity of 350,000 barrels per day (56,000 m3/d) of oil, equivalent to about 13% of Canada's consumption. It has approximately 5.1 billion barrels (810,000,000 m3) of proven and probable reserves (11.9 billion when including contingent and prospective resources) situated on 8 leases over 3 contiguous sites. Including fully realized prospective reserves, current production capacity could be sustained for well over 90 years.
The company is a joint venture between seven partners. As a result, Syncrude is not traded directly, but rather through the individual owners. As of August 2010, the partners (by percentage): Canadian Oil Sands Limited (36.74%), Imperial Oil (25%), Suncor Energy (12%), Sinopec (9.03%), Nexen (7.23%), Mocal Energy (a subsidiary of Nippon Oil Exploration) (5%), and Murphy Oil (5%). Because of Nexen's subsequent takeover by CNOOC, over 16% of the shares in Syncrude are controlled by State Owned Enterprises (SOE).
The ownership board must approve all annual operating budgets and proposed capital spending projects, and are required to provide the funding for said activities based on their ownership share.
Syncrude was formed as a research consortium in 1964. Construction at the Syncrude site began in 1973, and it officially opened in 1978. Starting in 1996, Syncrude has been expanding its operations. Between 1996 and 1999, the original mine was expanded and the plant was "debottlenecked", increasing production from 73.5 million barrels (11,690,000 m3) per year in 1996 to 81.4 million in 1999. The total cost of this stage of expansion was $470 million. Between 1998 and 2001, a new mine, Aurora, was opened 35 km north of the original site, and further debottlenecking was undertaken. Production started in Aurora in July 2001. Syncrude's production increased to 90 million barrels (14,000,000 m3) per year by the end of 2001. Total cost for this stage was $1 billion.
A third stage of expansion was undertaken between 2001 and 2006, in which a second train at the Aurora line came online and the Mildred Lake upgrader was expanded. The expansion added 100,000 barrels per day (16,000 m3/d) to Syncrude's production (36.5 million barrels (5,800,000 m3) a year assuming this is average). The cost was $8.4 billion, a substantial cost overrun over the original estimate of $5.7 billion.
Air releases of combined gases without volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by Syncrude Canada in 2005 were 129,741,321 (kg) in total, including ammonia (4,302,361 kg), sulphuric acid (1,129,425 kg), xylene (501,461 kg), etc. The company was also ranked as having the seventh highest air releases of combined gases (without VOC) in Canada in 2005. Syncrude's Mildred Lake Plant Site is the third largest greenhouse gas emitter in Canada. Syncrude reduced CO2 emitted per barrel produced by 23% from 1990 to 2001.
In August 2008, Syncrude Canada filed a lawsuit against Greenpeace Canada for $120,000, plus costs, after 11 Greenpeace activists went onto the company's Aurora North oil sands site July 24, 2008, to unfurl anti-oilsands banners and unsuccessfully block a tailings pipe. Company spokesperson Mark Kruger said the company filed the lawsuit—which also names the activists individually—largely because of safety concerns as the activists were "unfamiliar with an industrial operation, and unfamiliar with some of the safety hazards that can be present... We just want to ensure that, in the future, nobody is putting themselves at unnecessary risk.”
In 2004, Syncrude announced an $800,000 multi-year donation, $500,000 of which was dedicated to the new community Syncrude Sport and Wellness Centre and the balance to Keyano Theatre’s Arts Alive Series and student scholarships. In 2005, Syncrude took the naming rights to the Syncrude Sports and Wellness Centre at Keyano College.
- Canadian Centre for Energy Information
- History of the petroleum industry in Canada (oil sands and heavy oil)
- Scotford Upgrader
- "Syncrude Project". Canada Oil Sands Trust. Retrieved 2009-07-09.
- "Canadian Oil Sands Trust: Syncrude Project". Retrieved April 13, 2010.
- "Review of Syncrude Operations". Canada Oil Sands Trust - pg 2. Retrieved 2009-09-16.
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- "Business Description".
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- Janet Mowers (April 2005). "Gearing up". Oilweek. Retrieved April 13, 2010.
- "China's Sinopec takes $4.65-billion US stake in oilsands with ConocoPhillips buy". Vancouver Sun. 13 April 2010. Retrieved 1 April 2012.
- "ConocoPhillips Sells Syncrude Stake to Sinopec". Press Release. RigZone. 25 June 2010. Retrieved 25 June 2010.
- "Company Profile". Pollution Watch. Retrieved 2008-05-05.
- Jeremy Klaszus, "Syncrude sues greenpeace for $120,000", Fast Forward Weekly, August 28, 2008