Canadian Oil Sands - Who Are the Major Players

by Carmen Jackson - Date: 2007-01-25 - Word Count: 506 Share This!

The Canadian oil sands represent one of the most lucrative investment opportunities to oil and gas investors.  With a reserve life of 35 – 50 years the oil sands will be a major source of crude oil for the years to come and will have a dramatic impact on crude oil prices.  From an investor perspective it is valuable to know who the major players are in the Canadian Oil sands.  Below are 4 of the major players in the Canadian oil sands.


Syncrude is currently the worlds largest producer of crude oil from oil sands, in 2005 Syncrude produces 78.1 million barrels of crude oil from the oil sands.  Syncrde is currently completing the Syncrude 21 project which is expected to increase Syncrudes oil production from the Alberta Oil sands to 350,000 barrels per day.  Syncrude spends over $40 million dollars on research and development in an attempt to determine more efficient ways to obtain crude oil from the oil sands.   Thirty-two percent of Syncrude is owned by  the Canadian Oil Sands Trust, 25% by Imperial Oil,  12 % by Petro Canada and the remainder by other oil and gas companies.

Petro Canada

Petro Canada’s oil sands strategy is to grow the business profitably through phased and integrated development of this world-class resource. Petro-Canada is strategically positioned to capture full value from Alberta’s oil sands – the largest such deposits in the world.  Petro Canada possesses large lease holdings in the Alberta oil sands in additiona to owning a large refinery in the Edmonton area which is in the process of being converted to process oil sands feedstock exclusively.  Petro Canada possesses a 12% interest in Syncrude, 100% ownership of the MacKay River Oil sands project.  Petro Canada is a 55% owner in the Fort Hills oil sands project where they plan to develop an estimated 2.8 billion barrels of bitumen.  Total oil sands reserves are estimated at 5 billion barrels.


Synenco Energy Inc. was incorporated in 1999 to acquire and develop oil sands resources in the Athabasca region of Northern Alberta. Since its inception, Synenco has advanced steadily towards its goal of developing oil sands mining, bitumen extraction and upgrading facilities, together called the Northern Lights Project. The independent best estimate of the Northern Lights Project’s resources is 1.49 billion barrels of in-place bitumen.

In May 2005, Synenco created the Northern Lights Partnership (NLP) with SinoCanada Petroleum Corporation, the Canadian subsidiary of China based Sinopec.  Synenco holds a 60% interest in and is the managing partner of NLP.  The current cost of the NLP project is $5.3 billion.  When fully operational the NLP is expected to produce 100,000 barrel a day of light sweet synthetic crude oil, with first production beginning in late 2010.   

Suncor began crude oil production from the Alberta Oil Sands in 1967 and has produced over 1 billion barrels of oil in its history.  Suncor exited 2005 producing 260,000 barrels of crude oil from the oil sands per day.  Suncor expects to reach 550,000 barrels of crude  per day from the oil sands by 2012.

A valuable resource for anyone looking for more information on the oil and gas industry is which includes information on the oil sands , oil and gas stocks , and a comprehensive listing of oil and gas jobs. Your Article Search Directory : Find in Articles

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