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Syncrude Athabasca Oil Sands Mine, Alberta

Producer of

Synthetic crude oil


40km north of Fort McMurray, in northern Alberta.


Canadian Oil Sands Partnership #1 (36.74%); Imperial Oil Resources (25%); Suncor Energy Oil and Gas Partnership (12%); Sinopec Oil Sands Partnership (9.03%); Nexen Oil Sands Partnership (7.23%); Mocal Energy (5%) and Murphy Oil (5%)

Geology type

Oil sands – a mixture of 83% silica sand, 10% crude bitumen, 4% water, 3% clay contained in a fluvial sedimentary horizon

Mineral type

Natural bitumen

Reserve base

2,700Mbbl crude oil proven, plus 6,300Mbbl possible

Annual production

350,000 barrels of Syncrude Sweet Blend a day (2010)

Mining method

Shovel-and-truck surface mining; one remaining dragline/bucket-wheel reclaimer unit

Processing method

Crushing followed by raw bitumen extraction using warm water, then upgrading to produce synthetic crude oil


4,325 plus construction and engineering contractor staff; 14,000 people directly and indirectly across Canada



2x Bucyrus-Erie 395B Electric, 1x O&K RH200, 4x O&K RH400, 8x P&H 4100 TS and 8055.


15x Cat 793, 33x Cat 797, 13x Haulpak 930E, 5x Liebherr T282


1x Marion 8750

Bucket wheel

1x O&K (Krupp)


12x Cat 24H, 3x Cat 16G


2x Cat D10R, 20x Cat D11 N/R, 22x Cat D7; Komatsu D375


Diesel: 54x Gorman Rupp; Electric: 9x Gorman, 10x Hazelton, 1x Flygt 2400, 1x 2200, 10x 2250, 4x Warman VFD slurry


MMD double-roll



24 Bird scroll, 56 Alfa Laval disc

Settling vessel

8 Inclined plate


10 Cuno

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