CSR News

Suncor Celebrates 1 Billion Barrels of In Situ Production


Suncor Celebrates Barrels of In Situ Production

Suncor – This month, Suncor produced its one billionth barrel of oil from its in situ oil sands operations, marking a significant achievement. Our MacKay River and Firebag facilities, which started generating in 2002 and 2004, respectively, took 20 years to reach this milestone. The accomplishment exemplifies our dedication to creativity, innovation, and technological advancement.

Shelley Powell, Senior Vice President, E&P and In Situ, believes that reaching one billion barrels is a significant accomplishment for Suncor’s in situ operations. I’m tremendously pleased of all of our staff members and independent contractors that have helped MacKay River and Firebag succeed for more than 20 years.

Located near Fort McMurray, AB, both sites use steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) (SAGD).

In situ was introduced with assistance from Dale Bayford, a senior operations support trainer at Firebag who worked at Suncor for more than 40 years. Before Firebag was put into service, Dale worked on a few of the in-situ pilot projects.


Dale recalls that “Firebag’s launch was absolutely spectacular.” You would hardly believe what is there now if you hadn’t seen it from the start. Early on, not a lot was constructed.

However, Dale and the team had high hopes for the future of the institution from the beginning.

“An incredible oil reserve was a factor in the selection of Firebag’s location. The reservoir’s purity was beyond dispute, according to Dale.

Patrick Spargo, a specialist process engineer at MacKay River who has worked exclusively with our in situ operations for the entirety of his 21-year Suncor career, echoes that sentiment.

“Most people you know by name. And those personal interactions are what make it pleasurable, but also successful, in that we all have a motivation to do our best for our colleagues,” adds Patrick.

We appreciate everyone of our staff who helped us produce the first billion barrels of in situ oil sands.