Research Highlights

From the very beginning, research and development has played a crucial role in our commitment to responsible oil sands development through innovation and world-class technologies. Here’s a glimpse of our R&D team’s dedication to advance oil sands science over the years.

Features

New production milestone fuelled by innovation

Stephen Morrison has never set foot in Syncrude’s R-and-D centre in Edmonton but his 31-year career has been shaped by the technologies developed by Syncrude’s scientists, which have touched just about every part of the operation.

Posted on November 14, 2019
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Construction completed at Syncrude’s commercial water release project

Syncrude has wrapped up the construction of its demonstration water release project at Mildred Lake.

Posted on October 24, 2019
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Syncrude set to mark 55 years of advancing oil sands science

The Syncrude Research and Development Centre in Edmonton is celebrating its 25th birthday in 2019. While truly a time for celebration, this milestone is also an opportunity to reflect on R&D’s contributions to advancing science, technologies and innovation behind Canada’s oil sands industry over more than five decades.

Posted on September 26, 2019
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Alberta Energy Regulator approves MLX project and Mildred Lake tailings plan

The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) has approved Syncrude’s Mildred Lake Extension (MLX).

Posted on July 31, 2019
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A Look Back: ‘Discovery’ Dragline was a Towering Presence in Syncrude Mine

Lorne Wyatt used to climb to the top of the dragline boom or the mast every dayshift, to a metal grated perch more than 180 feet above the mine.

Posted on July 8, 2019
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Syncrude preparing to commission full-scale closed circuit water return treatment demonstration project

Syncrude’s full-scale closed circuit water return demonstration project will start operating this summer, 14 years after initial research began on treating mine water using petroleum coke.

Posted on May 17, 2019
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Syncrude researchers trek through kilometres of snow as part of annual survey

Syncrude annually conducts a variety of reclamation research studies and one of the largest is our snow survey. The Snow Survey Field Program quantifies snow depth, snow quality and snow chemistry across reclaimed sites. With snow shoes and sample jars in hand, Syncrude staff and contractors head out to collect snow samples and record snow measurements just before the start of spring.

Posted on April 17, 2019
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Celebrating our mining history: 20th anniversary of first bucketwheel reclaimer retirement

Big trucks and shovels – that’s usually what comes to mind when you think of mining at Syncrude today. However, looking back 20 years ago, Syncrude’s mining machines were even bigger. Standing at about 30 metres above ground and 120 metres in length (longer than a football field), Syncrude’s bucketwheel reclaimers were first-generation oil sands equipment and are remembered as giants of mining. On March 11, 1999, Bucketwheel Reclaimer No. 2 was retired, marking a shift in mining at Syncrude.

Posted on March 12, 2019
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Innovation puts Syncrude in the oil sands spotlight

In 2014, the Alberta Science and Technology Leadership (ASTech) Foundation recognized Syncrude’s Research & Development (R&D) Team with a Special Award for their collective 50-year contribution to the advancement of the science behind Canada’s oil sands. That commitment to innovation began in 1964 and continues to this day.

Posted on November 13, 2018
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