Read about Suncor's oil spill prevention and our emergency response plans in our 2016 Report on Sustainability

Read about Suncor's oil spill prevention and our emergency response plans in our 2016 Report on Sustainability

Read about Suncor's oil spill prevention and our emergency response plans in our 2016 Report on Sustainability

Read about Suncor's oil spill prevention and our emergency response plans in our 2016 Report on Sustainability

Suncor employees at the Nikanotee Fen, an environmental reclamation initiative

Spills and releases

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Incident prevention

Our focus is always on incident prevention. This means having:

  • capable and well-trained people
    • Suncor has response teams that receive ongoing training and participate in regularly scheduled exercises
    • Suncor has agreements in place with spill response agencies
  • rigorously controlled working procedures
    • Suncor has spill prevention processes and procedures, as well as emergency response plans that are reviewed at least annually
  • equipment and technology designed for our operating environment
  • appropriate third party vetted contractors

All of these elements, combined with careful planning and risk assessment, reduce the probability that a spill or release will occur.

We manage spills by sharing best practices to increase awareness and mitigate risks of future incidents.

Spill events are recorded and investigated. Root cause is determined and remedial actions are implemented to minimize risk and chance of recurrence.

Spill reporting and emergency response plans

We have systems in place to inspect and audit our facilities and have emergency response and spill reporting plans at all our locations, including:

  • upstream and offshore facilities
  • refineries and other downstream operations
  • distribution terminals
  • our network of service stations

In addition to our own internal response capability, we’re a participating member in a number of response organizations, including:

Growth and increasing complexity in our operations mean we must continuously improve our reporting practices and strengthen mitigation efforts to further reduce the number and volume of spills.

A tiered approach to offshore oil spill response

We have three tiers of spill response:

  1. This is the immediate front-line response conducted by trained staff and contractors using procedures and equipment identified in the oil spill response plan. Tier 1 equipment is kept readily available on both support vessels and the offshore installation.
  2. This response is provided by local onshore oil spill resources. For example, the Eastern Canada Response Corporation (ECRC) provides support services for our operations off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. ECRC is a Transport Canada-certified response organization contracted to provide additional resources for regional oil spill response staff and equipment.
  3. This response is provided by an international company that specializes in oil spill response, Oil Spill Response Limited (OSRL). OSRL provides access to oil spill response resources and equipment that can be deployed rapidly to any of our assets globally.

Continually improving response capability

We are committed to continually improving our oil spill response capability.

As part of our contingency plans, we conduct regular tabletop and on-water training exercises. We invite regulatory agencies and oil-spill response organizations to participate in these preparedness exercises.

We work with other companies in the regions where we operate, to build capacity through shared knowledge, experience and resources.

We also work with industry associations to ensure subsea well control equipment, including capping devices and dispersant tool kits, are available to our operations in the unlikely event of a subsea release during drilling. For example, Oil & Gas UK, through the Oil Spill Prevention and Response Advisory Group, has designed, constructed and tested a capping stack which is now available for use by companies with operations on the United Kingdom continental shelf.

To ensure that well control/intervention equipment is also available for our operations on Canada’s East Coast and in Norway, we subscribe to the Subsea Well Intervention Service through a supplementary agreement with OSRL.

Our primary focus is to execute our drilling projects with careful planning and due diligence to prevent incidents from occurring. We also ensure suitable well control/intervention equipment is in place for our drilling operations.

Watch a video from the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers about spill prevention and response in the offshore energy industry