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Understanding Our Process

Syncrude is one of the largest producers of crude oil from oil sands. Our crude oil production facility has the capacity to produce around 15% of Canada's total oil requirements.

To do this, we surface mine oil sand, extract the raw oil known as bitumen from the sand using water-based processes, and upgrade that bitumen into a high quality, light sweet crude oil through fluid coking, hydroprocessing, hydrotreating and reblending.

Our final product, Syncrude Crude Oil (SCO), is sent by pipeline to Edmonton area refineries and to pipeline terminals which ship it to refineries in Canada and the United States. Once the product leaves our plant site, transportation and marketing become the responsibilities of our joint venture owners. Bitumen is not shipped from our operations.

The Syncrude operation

The Syncrude operation is comprised of five major areas or processes: Mining, Extraction, Upgrading, Utilities and Reclamation. As well, Syncrude invests around $60 million annually in science and technology, and is among the top 50 companies in Canada for investment in research and development. In 2015, Syncrude was issued patents for 15 new technology innovations, bringing Syncrude’s total count of Canadian and U.S. patents to more than 160.