Investing in Community and Leading Through Innovation
Syncrude is one of Canada’s leading producers of crude oil from oil sands, shipping more than 2.1 billion barrels since the start of its operations in 1978.
The joint venture now operates two surface mines north of Fort McMurray. Syncrude also operates a permanent research facility in Edmonton and a project development team located in Calgary.
First incorporated in 1964 as a joint research project by energy companies seeking to commercially develop the oil sands, Syncrude began operations in 1978. Syncrude initially used draglines and bucketwheels to mine ore that was processed at its extraction and upgrading plant in Mildred Lake, about 35 kilometres north of Fort McMurray.
Syncrude switched its mining operations to trucks and shovels in the 1990s. Through its investment in R&D efforts, Syncrude developed a technology called hydrotransport, which allowed it to open a satellite mine and extraction facility at its Aurora north location and pump the extracted bitumen by pipeline for processing at Mildred Lake plant more than 30 kilometres away.
With more than 5,700 employees in the province, Syncrude is one of the largest private-sector employers in Alberta. The organization’s operations provide direct and indirect employment for another 14,000 people across the country. Because Syncrude believes its workforce should reflect the communities where it operates, the company is the largest industrial employer of Aboriginal people in the country. In addition to employing almost 500 Aboriginal people directly, Syncrude has done more than $1.4 billion in business with Aboriginal companies since 1992.
Syncrude remains the industry pacesetter in reclaiming its former mines. It has reclaimed almost 5,000 hectares to date, planting more than 5.6 million trees and shrubs. Its investment in R&D is paying dividends in this area as Syncrude has developedsome breakthrough technologies to manage tailings, including composite tails, water-capping and centrifuge, and reclamation projects, including the Base Mine Lake project and the first constructed fen in the oil sands.
Committed to sustainability, Syncrude has also invested heavily to reduce its environmental footprint through the $1.6 billion SERP project, which will cut its sulphur dioxide emissions by 60 per cent from 2005 levels. Syncrude has also cut its consumption of fresh water by an average of seven million cubic metres annually and lowered its energy use per barrel produced by 39 per cent since 1982.
for more information about Syncrude please visit www.syncrude.ca