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Suncor Energy is the largest producer and refiner of oil in Canada. However due to ballooning costs it is now looking to create a partnership with Chinese firms as it realises plans to expand its oil sands projects.
Steven Williams, the new president and chief executive officer of Suncor, said that “the availability of highly skilled labour is a challenge to oil sands, so we are looking at the option to help with that.”
He has already held preliminary talks with some Chinese companies about the possibility of creating partnerships, as he tries to determine “whether China can compete in the EPC (equipment, procurement and construction) world.”
Suncor has already set targets of increasing oil production by 10 percent each year up until 2020, and Williams believes that this target is achievable. However they will need help with their joint venture partnership with Total SA, where the two are planning to make the largest expansion project ever to the oil sands, by constructing two new mines and an upgrader with a potential capacity of 200,000 barrels of oil per day.
No cost estimates have as yet been released for the project, and no final decision will be made until next year. Maybe Suncor are awaiting a Chinese partner before committing to such a large investment, especially as fears that raising inflation could reduce profit margins in the coming months.
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com