Suncor Energy Inc. was formed in 1979 but its history is much deeper than that. The company was first formed in 1919 as a subsidiary of Sun Oil and was later merged with another of Sun Oil’s (now Sunoco’s) subsidiaries to form the entity traded today. The merger combined Sunoco’s refinery, oil sands, and refinery businesses into a single unit as part of its exit from Canada and repositioning as a pure play on fuel distribution.
Today, Suncor Energy operates as an integrated energy company in Canada and the U.S. After several major acquisitions and mergers, it is also the 2nd largest energy company in Canada and the 11th largest publicly traded company. Suncor Energy went public in 1992 and has seen its shares rise meteorically in that time.
The company’s primary focus is developing petroleum resource basins in Canada's Athabasca oil sands. Notably, Suncor Energy Inc.’s predecessor was the 1st company to extract oil from the Athabasca oil sands where it is the largest operator. The company is headquartered in Calgary, Alberta where the bulk of its operations lay. The company has diversified into International and Offshore production of natural gas, liquids, and crude oil but the oil sands make up 7.37 billion barrels of the company’s 7.79 billion barrels of proveable reserves (as of November 2022).
Suncor Energy’s downstream operations include more than 1800 retail locations that market petroleum and petrochemical products under the Petro-Canada name. The company owns 4 refineries as well, with a daily capacity of 460,000 barrels, and Canada’s largest ethanol plant as well. That plant, located in St. Clair, is capable of producing 400 million liters of ethanol annually.
The Oil Sands segment recovers bitumen which is a combination of clay, sand, and crude by mining and other operations. The company upgrades the bitumen into refinery feedstock and diesel fuel or prepares it for direct sale to the market. The company has 3 surface mining operations but 80% of the oil sands are too deep to reach so are mined using other methods including Steam-Assisted-Gravity-Drainage.
The company is also focused on reducing its impact on the environment by investing in wind farms and cogeneration technology. The company’s wind farms are capable of generating 111 megawatts of electricity which is enough to sustain about 53,000 homes. The cogeneration technology uses natural gas to generate steam and electricity and is the most efficient use of carbon-sourced energy for industrial purposes. The company is also working toward building out a solar power generation system.