Suncor, as 58.74% owner of the Syncrude Joint Venture, said Nov. 23 that together with the other Syncrude joint venture owners—Imperial Oil Resources Ltd., CNOOC Oil Sands Canada and Sinopec Oil Sands Partnership—have agreed in principle for Suncor to become the operator of the Syncrude project by the end of 2021.
The agreement still requires formal approval from each of the owners.
The bi-directional pipelines connecting Suncor’s base plant and Syncrude’s operations, which are now complete and being commissioned, will provide increased integration and operational flexibility between the two assets.
Adding Syncrude operatorship to Suncor’s current operations—Fort Hills Ltd. partnership, Suncor’s Oil Sands Base Plant and Suncor’s in situ assets—will mean a stronger regional operations model to drive greater competitiveness across all assets.
Suncor’s confidence in the Syncrude project and the opportunity to improve its operational performance is evidenced by Suncor’s strategy to increase its ownership in Syncrude. Since 2016, Suncor has grown its ownership from 12% to 58.74% through acquisitions.
The Syncrude joint venture owners are Suncor (58.74%), Imperial Oil Resources Ltd. (25.0%), Sinopec Oil Sands Partnership (9.03%) and CNOOC Oil Sands Canada (7.23%).
The sale to Enerplus consists of non-strategic interests in Bakken acreage in North Dakota that CEO John Hess said the company wasn’t planning on drilling before 2026.
The acquisition of privately held oil and gas companies by mature operators, like Pioneer Natural Resources’ recent multibillion-dollar agreement to acquire DoublePoint Energy, should help alleviate concerns that U.S. shale could again oversupply the market and crash prices, says analyst.
Pioneer Natural Resources said the acquisition of DoublePoint Energy will increase Pioneer’s acreage position to greater than 1 million net acres in the Permian Basin with no exposure to federal lands.