Strong economic performance, along with social responsibility and environmental stewardship, is an important part of being a sustainable energy company. A vibrant energy industry acts as an engine for the larger economy, creating well paying jobs, promoting economic growth, and providing governments and suppliers with valuable revenues. In Suncor’s case, it also allows us to make significant investments in our renewable energy business and in new technologies to improve environmental performance.
In 2011, Suncor’s integrated business model demonstrated its full value — maximizing margins on our barrels of oil to generate record operating earnings and cash flow. It was also a year when we made significant gains in the overall efficiency and reliability of our operations — progress that is expected to help us meet our corporate-wide “beyond compliance” environmental performance goals of:
- improving energy efficiency,
- reducing water use and air emissions and
- accelerating the pace of land reclamation.
Last, but far from least, the financial success of Suncor’s oil sands operations and conventional energy projects allowed us to continue investing in an expanded renewable energy portfolio and new environmental technologies. In 2011, Suncor brought on-stream two new wind power projects; we currently have six wind farms in operation. We also completed the expansion of our St. Clair ethanol facility, Canada’s largest biofuels production plant. By the end of 2012, we expect our existing and planned investments in renewable energy to total approximately $750 million.
From 2010 through 2012, Suncor also expects to invest more than $1 billion implementing our TROTM strategy for managing mine tailings. We expect our patented TROTM technologies to help us rapidly reduce our existing inventory of oil sands tailings and the need for future oil sands tailings storage ponds. It is expected this will, in turn, significantly accelerate the rate at which we are able to reclaim former mine sites.
Read more about TROTM
Suncor’s Growth Strategy
In 2011, Suncor embarked on the first full year of a 10-year growth strategy to increase total production to more than one million barrels of oil equivalent per day by 2020. Of that planned production, it is expected approximately four of every five barrels will flow from the oil sands.
Suncor’s growth strategy includes the development of Stages 3 through 6 of the company’s Firebag in situ project, a second stage of the MacKay River in situ project and ongoing production in international and offshore operations. The plan also features a strategic partnership with Total E&P Canada Ltd. (Total), a subsidiary of Total SA and a company with capabilities and resources that complement our own, and one that shares our vision of responsible energy development.
Together, the two companies plan to develop two key oil sands mining projects with other partners:
- the Fort Hills mine, which is expected to be operated by Suncor and
- the Joslyn mine, which is expected to be operated by Total.
Together, we are also restarting construction of the 200,000 barrel per day Voyageur upgrader at Suncor’s oil sands operations north of Fort McMurray, Alberta, now slated for completion in 2016.
Suncor is targeting average oil sands production growth of approximately 10% per year and company-wide production growth of approximately 8% per year through to 2020.
As we grow, Suncor is committed to prudently managing both the costs and potential impacts of our expansion projects. Our partnership with Total is part of that strategy. Instead of competing on separate upgrader and mine projects, Suncor and Total will work together to better manage growth and alleviate the impact on neighbouring communities and the natural environment.
Going forward, Suncor will continue to maintain a strong focus on cost management and quality control, which will ultimately dictate the pace of our growth plan. By focusing more on costs and quality and less on schedules — and by carefully phasing in our capital projects — we are working to smooth out some of the peaks and valleys of labour, materials and services demands.
Suncor remains strategically focused on responsibly developing Canada’s oil sands, and our other energy operations, in a way that maximizes benefits for our shareholders and the larger economy. We also remain focused on achieving safe, reliable and cost-effective energy production across all of our operations.
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