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Syncrude turns 50

July 21, 2014

Probably most Canadians outside of Alberta have never heard of Syncrude. Likely few would care. Yet the Syncrude story is a remarkable one for Canada. The economic impact of Syncrude is colossal.

Syncrude Canada Ltd. was incorporated in 1964 and started operations in 1978. Its current production capacity is 350,000 barrels per day of high quality light, low sulphur crude oil – enough to supply 6.2 million Canadians with their petroleum requirements.  Cumulative production now exceeds 2.4 billion barrels.

In 1965 Syncrude operated a 35-tonne per day pilot plant and R&D lab at Mildred Lake. In 1969 the company received approval to build a commercial plant, with construction to start in 1976.

A few interesting facts about Syncrude:

97% of Canada’s oil reserves are contained in the oil sands. Syncrude over its 50 year history has mined into about 2% of the oil sands.

Economic Impact:



Syncrude has been a Canadian success story on many levels: a pioneering effort to commercially develop the oil sands, an employer for many thousands in well-paying positions and a conscientious corporate citizen.