Oil Sands Mining & Upgrading

Canadian Natural’s zero decline oil sands mining and upgrading assets form the basis of the Company’s portfolio of long life low decline production. These assets include a surface oil sands mine and bitumen extraction plant, complemented by on-site bitumen upgrading, ultimately producing high quality SCO. Canadian Natural holds extensive leases containing a massive resource base, with the mine and plant facilities expected to produce for decades to come without the production declines normally associated with conventional crude oil production. 


The Horizon Oil Sands include a surface oil sands mining and bitumen extraction plant, complemented by on-site bitumen upgrading with associated infrastructure to produce high quality SCO. In late 2017, the Phase 3 expansion was completed at Horizon, the final step in the Company’s transition to a long life low decline asset base. At Canadian Natural’s Horizon operations, there are opportunities to increase reliability and enhance capacity from approximately 250,000 bbl/d of SCO.

Athabasca Oil Sands Project (AOSP)

Canadian Natural’s oil sands mining portfolio includes its 70% operated working interest in the two AOSP mines and 70% non-operated interest in the Scotford Upgrader, located north of Edmonton. The two mines produce diluted bitumen via a paraffinic froth treatment process, which is then shipped via the Corridor pipeline to the Scotford Upgrader where it is upgraded via LC Fining technology to SCO. As a result of optimization projects, process improvements, and enhanced reliability, Canadian Natural has increased gross production capacity at AOSP and the Scotford Upgrader by 20,000 bbl/d to approximately 320,000 bbl/d in Q3/20. This additional capacity at AOSP provides Canadian Natural with increased margins and flexibility, maximizing the value of the Company’s Oil Sands Mining and Upgrading assets. 

In addition to the AOSP assets, the Company also owns a 70% interest in the Quest Carbon Capture & Storage facility near Scotford.