Canada is an export focused economy. It makes economic sense for Suncor, as the largest operator and bitumen producer in the oil sands, to support the development of infrastructure that opens access to other parts of Canada, the United States and beyond.
We support the development of pipeline projects, rail infrastructure and marine transportation infrastructure that enables safe access to markets, enhancing the competitiveness and flexibility of our refinery operations and contributing to the economy.
Pipelines are the safest, most efficient means of transportation for crude oil and other petroleum products over land. Transmission pipelines in Canada operate with a 99.999% safety record, and incidents on pipelines are rare relative to other modes of transportation.
Suncor supports multiple shipping options, including projects that have received or are pending regulatory approval in Canada:
For more information on pipelines, visit Canadian Energy Pipeline Association.
Rail is one of the options for shipping Western Canada’s oil production and many refined products to market.
Rail infrastructure provides operational flexibility in a shorter timeframe on existing networks. Tapping into rail and its vast existing network is a viable option to access most parts of North America.
Suncor has used rail for many years as a means to move petroleum products from refineries to distribution terminals and customers. Moving crude by rail is part of our integrated logistics capacity and is complementary to shipping by pipeline.
Suncor ensures that all legal and regulatory requirements are met and all required permits and regulatory approvals are in place in relation to its operations. As part of our commitment to public safety, Suncor uses the newest generation of rail cars and has established an Emergency Response Assistance Plan for rail transportation throughout Canada.
Suncor’s ERAP is a formal plan that would be activated to support local first responders in the event of a rail emergency and involves Emergency Response Assistance Canada (ERAC). Suncor is a leading industry supporter of ERAC, a rail emergency response organization with expertise in flammable liquids that provides around-the-clock emergency response personnel and support. As part of our commitment to public safety, we have helped to build the capacity of this growing organization to meet Transport Canada requirements.
Suncor is working closely with regulators, rail operators and stakeholders to ensure the safe transportation of crude oil.
For more information about rail safety, visit Transport Canada.
According to the US Energy Information Administration, over half of the total world’s oil production is moved by marine oil tankers on fixed maritime routes.
Suncor understands marine safety is integral for greater global market access for Canadian bitumen products. Suncor has developed a Marine Transportation Policy and Standard to ensure all movement of product meets or exceeds national and international marine shipping requirements and that crews operate in a safe manner.
- Every vessel transporting Suncor crude oil products is subject to regulation by federal authorities in line with international treaty obligations, as well as Suncor’s own Marine Transportation Policy and Standard
- Before a vessel is chartered for transportation, it is individually vetted by qualified Suncor personnel
- We only transport oil on modern tankers operated by reputable owners
- Older tankers between 15 and 25 years (if used) must satisfy an additional condition assessment program which is beyond statutory requirement
- We only use double hulled vessels to carry Suncor products
For more information about marine safety, visit Transport Canada.
We believe that responsible infrastructure development should provide stakeholders with opportunities to participate in an open and transparent consultation process that facilitates engagement, participation and input. That means listening and communicating directly and openly with communities. For more information, visit Suncor’s community consultation and Indigenous Relations webpages.