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Nov 24, 2020

Suncor CEO says there will be layoffs with Syncrude agreement

Taking over Syncrude operations will allow us to become much stronger: Suncor CEO

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The chief executive of Suncor Energy Inc. says the company’s agreement to begin operating the Syncrude project next year will cost some people their jobs.

“There will be layoffs,” Little said in an interview Tuesday without specifying the number of anticipated reductions. “It’s a heartache when we have a downsizing related to this.”

“We’re still just in the process now of starting to work out the details associated with it. But there’s thousands of people that work for Syncrude and most of them are operating the facilities – and all that is unchanged. It’s really the administrative side.”

Little said some of Syncrude and Suncor’s departments such as procurement, information technology, and human resource will be consolidated.

“We’ll put those teams together and it’ll be stronger,” he said.

Little said the agreement – which would see Suncor begin operating the Syncrude project by the end of 2021 – could yield $300 million a year in savings.

Suncor owns a 58.74-per-cent stake in the Syncrude Joint Venture, increased from 12 per cent in 2016.

Other Syncrude stakeholders including Imperial Oil Resources Ltd., CNOOC Oil Sands Canada and Sinopec Oil Sands Partnership must also formally approve the agreement.

“There is a downsizing, which is the challenge with [the deal],” Little said. “The good thing is that we become much stronger and the performance of this asset will improve.”

With files from The Canadian Press