"Our entry into the oil sands business was deemed 'a daring venture into an unknown field'," said Rick George, president and chief executive officer. "Now, almost 40 years later, that pioneering spirit of innovation, hard work and vision continues to be the hallmark of our success."
Suncor's oil sands operations began on September 30, 1967 and, during the early years, the company's main focus was to strengthen operational reliability and achieve steady production rates of about 45,000 barrels of oil per day.
Through the years, Suncor continued to grow, expand and adjust to meet market demands and stakeholder expectations. Today, Suncor's production capacity stands at 260,000 barrels per day, with plans in place to further expand to more than half a million barrels per day by 2010 to 2012.
"With our ambitious growth plans, we expect our next billion barrels to be reached much more quickly than the first billion," said George. "We have an experienced team of employees focused on safe, efficient operations and a company-wide vision for responsible growth - and I'm confident in our continuing success."
Suncor milestones along the journey to a billion barrels of oil sands crude:
- 1963 - Sun Oil announces investment of almost $250 million to build Suncor's oil sands facility, which was then known as the Great Canadian Oil Sands (GCOS) project. It was the largest, single private sector investment in Canada's history at the time. - 1967 - Opening day on September 30, Alberta's Premier Ernest Manning stated, "...no other event in Canada's centennial year is more important or significant." - 1981 - 200 millionth barrel of oil is sent down the pipeline. - 1994 - Acquisition of new oil sands leases mean that expansion is possible. One lease, located across the Athabasca River, is later developed into Steepbank Mine. - 1996 - 500 million barrels of oil produced since opening. - 2001 - Commissioning of Project Millennium expands production capacity to 225,000 bpd. The Voyageur growth strategy, a multi-phased plan to increase oil production to more than half a million barrels per day, is announced. - 2005 - Further expansion of upgrading facilities increases production capacity to 260,000 barrels per day.
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