CALGARY – Imperial Oil Ltd. says it will relinquish its contract to provide operational, technical, and business management services to Syncrude Canada Ltd. when Suncor Energy Inc. takes over operation of its oilsands mine and upgrader at the end of 2021.
Under the contract, which has been in place for about 14 years, staff from Imperial were seconded to certain positions at Syncrude and provided team members to assist in implementing strategies, while Syncrude remained the day-to-day operator.
On Tuesday, Suncor, which has a 58.74% stake in Syncrude, announced it had agreed with partners Imperial (25%), CNOOC Oil Sands Canada (7.2%) and Sinopec Oil Sands Partnership (9%), that it would become the operator at Syncrude by the end of 2021.
In an email, Imperial spokeswoman Lisa Schmidt says Imperial agrees with the decision and will continue to provide management services while working on a detailed transition plan with the other partners.
The agreement was reached as bidirectional pipelines are put in place connecting Suncor’s Base Plant and Syncrude’s operations, a project expected to improve efficiency by providing optionality for each mining and upgrading operation in the event of planned and unplanned production outages.
Suncor says it hopes to realize cost-saving synergies of about $300 million per year by becoming the Syncrude operator
Suncor was Canada’s first oilsands mining project, opening in 1967. Syncrude followed 11 years later in 1978 and has cumulatively produced more than three billion barrels of oil. 29dk2902l