Brian W. McKinstry1,
Donald A. Riva1
(1) Suncor Energy Inc, Calgary, AB
Abstract: Suncor Energy’s strategy for economic development of oil sands and oil shales worldwide beyond year 2000
The precursor of Suncor Energy, Great Canadian Oil Sands Ltd., began large-scale surface mining of the Athabasca oil sands in 1967. Recent advances in large-scale mining equipment and processing technology have enabled oil sands mining to be highly competitive with conventional crude production.
Building upon this success, Suncor is now pursuing opportunities to expand the business globally. The company, in concert with Australian partners, is presently commissioning a demonstration plant to process oil shales in Queensland, Australia. This undertaking, an investment of 200 million US dollars, will test Canadian-developed process technology that has been designed to achieve high volume throughput with high efficiency. The goal is to attain operational costs comparable to those realized at the Canadian oil sands operations.
In anticipation of a successful demonstration, Suncor is also investigating additional oil shale and oil sand opportunities throughout the world. The utilization of mining and ore quality screening parameters, gained from current operational experience, assist in short-listing viable opportunities. Examples include business opportunities in Estonia and Jordan that have been identified and are currently being pursued.
In assessing the available literature, it is evident that previous oil shale and oil sand exploration efforts have been in response to high oil prices prevailing at that time. Not surprisingly, many areas of the world have not been adequately explored and where information is available, it is limited in scope and detail. Suncor is continuing to investigate these other opportunities and is currently focused on Northern Asia, Southeast Asia and South Am
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90914©2000 AAPG Annual Convention, New Orleans, Louisiana