Suncor pioneered oil sands development. Our early investments in technology helped unlock the potential of the oil sands by improving reliability and environmental performance, expanding productivity and driving down costs while reducing our environmental footprint.
Today, technology remains fundamental to how we do business. Our investments in incremental and game-changing technologies target:
- higher production
- enhanced profitability
- reduced environmental impacts
"When it comes to technology, there is no shortage of people with good ideas," says Gary Bunio, who was appointed Suncor's general manager, technology development, in September 2012. "But there can be a gaping divide between conception and implementation. Our number one job is to find the technologies that can be applied to our real-world challenges and then to do the technology development work required to use them to reduce the resource intensity necessary to deliver our products to market."
Suncor's technology and innovation strategy is focused in three key areas:
- continuous improvement — applying known techniques to existing issues
- operations technology — applying new technologies to existing assets and issues
- growth technology — applying new technologies in new assets, processes and businesses
In some cases, Suncor aggressively leads the research and development of new technologies. In others, we collaborate through consortiums or third parties. We also monitor technologies being developed by external parties to determine if, and when, it makes sense to adapt them for our business.
"The common thread to all this," says Bunio, "is an emphasis on achieving tangible performance improvements. We need to focus our technology and innovation efforts where we know they will make a difference."
Some examples of Suncor's technology journey so far:
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