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Canadian Oil Sands Limited 2000 First Canadian Centre 350–7th Avenue SW Calgary, Alberta T2P 3N9

Tel: 403 218 6200
Fax: 403 218 6201

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Sustainability
Syncrude is one of the largest employers of Aboriginal people in Canada.  Aboriginal people represent about 9% of its total employee population, and many more are employed by Syncrude’s contractors. Syncrude’s Aboriginal Relations program is focused on the following six key commitment areas: corporate leadership, employment, business development, education and training, community development and the environment.

Syncrude provides significant opportunity to Aboriginal-owned businesses in the Wood Buffalo region. Since 1992, Syncrude has conducted over $1.8 billion in total business volume with Aboriginal companies, providing substantial opportunities for Aboriginal-owned businesses. In fact, if all other factors in a contract proposal are equal, preference is given to local Aboriginal businesses. Syncrude also encourages contractors to employ Aboriginal people and subcontract work to Aboriginal businesses.

Syncrude believes that Aborginal people and communities have an important role to play in the planning, implementing and monitoring of its environmental commitments. Representatives from Syncrude routinely meet with Aboriginal communities to discuss the impacts of oil sands including reclamation progress, challenges and concerns.  

Syncrude is one of 13 companies in Canada, and the only oil sands operator, to be accredited at the Gold Level in the Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) Program of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB). PAR measures corporate performance in Aboriginal employment, business development, capacity development and community relations.

Syncrude Aboriginal Review

A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z  
A
Alberta Oil Sand(s) Deposits

The four deposits, Athabasca, Peace River, Cold Lake and Wabasca, have total resource in place estimated at 1.7 trillion to 2.5 trillion barrels. The Athabasca Oil Sands deposit, Alberta's largest and most accessible source of bitumen, contains more than one trillion barrels of bitumen over an area encompassing more than 30,000 square kilometers.

 
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B
Bitumen
The molasses-like substance that comprises up to 18 per cent of oil sands. Bitumen, in its raw state, is black, asphalt-like oil. It requires upgrading or blending to make it transportable by pipeline and usable by conventional refineries.
 
Bitumen cracking
A process that breaks large, complex hydrocarbon molecules into smaller, simpler compounds by means of heat.
 
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C
Carbon dioxide (CO2)
A non-toxic gas produced from decaying materials, respiration of animal life, and combustion of organic matter, including fossil fuels; carbon dioxide is the most common greenhouse gas produced by human activities.
 
Cokers
Vessels in which bitumen is cracked into its fractions and from which coke is withdrawn to start the process of converting bitumen to upgraded crude oil.
 
Conventional oil
Petroleum found in liquid form, flowing naturally, or capable of being pumped without further processing or dilution.
 
Cyclofeeder
Specialized equipment that receives oil sand feed and turns it into a slurry form for transport to the pump box.
 
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D
Debottleneck
An undertaking to systematically remove plant capacity limitations through modifications of existing facilities and/or addition of capital facilities.
 
Diesel cetane count
A quality specification important in the production of diesel fuels.
 
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E
Extraction
The process of separating bitumen from oil sand.
 
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F
Feedstocks
Raw material supplied to refinery, oil sands upgrader, or petrochemical plant.
 
Flue gas scrubber/desulphurizer
Equipment that removes sulphur dioxide and other emissions.
 
Fluid coking
A major part of the upgrading process whereby high temperatures in a coker break down the complex bitumen molecules, reject carbon and cause bitumen molecules to reformulate into lighter fractions that become the main ingredients in upgraded crude oil.
 
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G
Greenhouse gases
Any of the various gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect.
 
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L
LC-Finer hydroprocessor
A major upgrading unit that breaks down bitumen by adding hydrogen with the aid of a catalyst to produce gas oil.
 
Line-out
The process of optimizing an operational unit or facility to reach its design capacity.
 
Low-energy extraction
A process for extracting bitumen that uses about one-third of the energy of the traditional process, bringing significant cost and environmental benefits.
 
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M
Middle distillates
A classification of refined petroleum products that includes kerosene, diesel, and jet fuel.
 
Mine train
Modular units for crushing and mixing the oil sands with warm water to facilitate the extraction of bitumen from the oil sands.
 
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N
Naphtha
A refined petroleum product in the lighter classification that is often used to make gasoline.
 
Netback
Average realized selling price, after hedging, less operating costs and Crown royalties.
 
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O
Oil sand(s)
A composition of sand, bitumen, mineral-rich clays and water.
 
Oil sand(s) lease
A long-term agreement with the provincial government that permits the leaseholder to extract bitumen, other metals and minerals contained in the oil sands in the specified lease area.
 
Ore grade
The percentage of bitumen by weight in the oil sands.
 
Overburden
Layer of rocky, clay-like material that lies under muskeg and above oil sands deposits.
 
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S
Strip ratio
The ratio of waste (overburden material that covers mineable ore) to ore; used to define the quality of an oil sands ore body.
 
Sulphur dioxide (SO2)
A compound of sulphur and oxygen produced by burning sulphur.
 
Synbit
Typically, a synbit blend is a ~50/50 mix of bitumen and synthetic crude oil.
 
Syncrude Project
Canadian Oil Sands is a pure investment opportunity in light, sweet crude oil. Through our 36.74% interest in the Syncrude project, we offer a solid, robust production stream of fully upgraded crude oil, exposure to future crude oil prices, potential growth through high-quality oil sands leases and an attractive dividend.
 
Synthetic crude oil (SCO)
A high-quality product resulting from the mining, extraction and upgrading of bitumen.
 
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T
Tailings
A combination of water, sand, silt, fine clay particles and residual hydrocarbon that is a by-product of removing bitumen from oil sand.
 
Tailings systems
Separation of water from sand and clay to enable incorporation of solids into reclamation landscapes and recycling of water back into the operations.
 
Tar sands
Oil sands are also referred to as tar sands. Oil sands are a naturally occurring combination of clay, sands, water and bitumen (a heavy, black viscous oil), whereas tar is a man-made substance.
 
Total volume to bitumen in place (TV/BIP)
The ratio of total ore plus overburden volume to total bitumen in place.
 
Turnaround
A unit shutdown essential for good maintenance of the mining, producing and upgrading facilities. A turnaround reduces production but does not usually halt it entirely as the various operating units are often duplicated.
 
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U
Upgrader
A facility that upgrades bitumen (extra heavy oil) into synthetic crude oil.
 
Upgrading
The conversion of heavy bitumen into a lighter crude oil by increasing the ratio of hydrogen to carbon, either by removing carbon (coking) or adding hydrogen (hydroprocessing).
 
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V
Vacuum Distillation Unit (VDU)
Capable of processing 285,000 barrels of bitumen a day, the VDU pulls streams of light and heavy-gas oil from hot bitumen feed delivered by the diluents recovery unit.
 
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