Suncor expects to shed 1,000 more employees

CALGARY — Suncor Energy Inc. (TSX:SU) expects to cut its workforce by about 1,000 more employees as Canada’s largest energy company sells off some of its natural gas and international assets.

CALGARY — Suncor Energy Inc. (TSX:SU) expects to cut its workforce by about 1,000 more employees as Canada’s largest energy company sells off some of its natural gas and international assets.

Spokesman Brad Bellows said Tuesday that 1,000 is a “very round number,” and the company will have a firmer idea of precisely how many people will be leaving as the divestiture program continues throughout the year.

“I wouldn’t characterize these as layoffs,” Bellows said.

“The expectation in situations like this is that many jobs go with the asset to the new owner.”

Another 1,000 jobs, mostly at head office, were cut as part of the Petro-Canada merger, which closed in August. The company had later signalled its natural gas business in particular would be subject to “significant downsizing.”

Suncor plans to sell between $2 billion and $4 billion in non-core assets that it inherited through its merger with Petro-Canada last summer.

Since Suncor intends to remain an oilsands-focused player, that means natural gas assets in Canada and operations overseas are on the block.

Once Suncor pares some of its more peripheral holdings, it has said it expects to be roughly 70 per cent weighted toward oilsands and 30 per cent weighted toward everything else.

Earlier this month, Suncor said it had sold natural gas operations in Colorado to Houston-based Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE:NBL) for US$494 million.

In addition to the U.S. production, Suncor has signalled its intention to shed some of its smaller North Sea holdings and Trinidad and Tobago operations.

Chief executive Rick George said in November that big projects in Libya and Syria could be worth keeping, as would cash-flow generating offshore operations in Eastern Canada.

Last month, Suncor sold 98 of its retail gas stations to Husky Energy Inc. (TSX:HSE). Suncor was required to divest some of its downstream assets as one of the Competition Bureau’s conditions for allowing the company to merge with Petro-Canada.

In the oilsands, Suncor is pressing ahead with Phase 3 of its Firebag project near Fort McMurray, Alta., but has said the fate of the Fort Hills project would be decided further out into the future.

Bellows said Tuesday that Fort Hills, a proposed mining operation in which Petro-Canada used to be the lead partner, still remains very much on the back burner.

“We’re looking at what the options are for Fort Hills, the timing and how the overall project might be put together,” he said.

“We don’t expect to have a real decision until well into 2010, probably towards the end of the year.”

Suncor has a 60 per cent stake in Fort Hills with Vancouver miner Teck Resources Ltd. (TSX:TCK.B) and oilsands junior UTS Energy Corp. (TSX:UTS) evenly splitting the remaining stake.

Shares in Suncor closed down 71 cents at $37.87 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ice shifted to the shoreline at Sylvan Lake on April 21. (Photo contributed by Andrea Swainson)
Icy shores of Sylvan Lake

A local photographer has captured how the ice has shifted to the… Continue reading

Curtis Labelle (second from left) and his band are planning a cross-Canada tour in 2022. Meanwhile, Labelle is continuing to host his weekly livestreamed talk show, Chattin 88. (Contributed photo).
Red Deer rock pianist takes on a talk show role

Curtis Labelle’s Chattin 88 gets views from around the globe

A boat sits idle on the banks of Villa Victoria Dam, the main water supply for Mexico City residents, on the outskirts of Toluca, Mexico, Thursday, April 22, 2021. The mayor of Mexico City said the drought was the worst in 30 years, and that problem can be seen at the series of reservoirs that bring in water from other states to supply the capital. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)
FILE - In this Jan. 18, 2020, file photo Caitlyn Jenner speaks at the 4th Women’s March in Los Angeles. Jenner has been an Olympic hero, a reality TV personality and a transgender rights activist. Jenner has been consulting privately with Republican advisers as she considers joining the field of candidates seeking to replace Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom in a likely recall election later this year. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
Jenner adds celebrity, questions to California governor race

Celebrity activist immediately stands out in a growing field

FILE - In this Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019 file photo, Jeremy Fleming, head of the British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), in London. Western countries risk losing control of technologies that are key to internet security and economic prosperity to nations with competing values like China and Russia if they don’t act to deal with the threat, one of the U.K.’s top spy chiefs warned on Friday, April 23, 2021. “Significant technology leadership is moving East” and causing a conflict of interests and values, Jeremy Fleming, director of government electronic surveillance agency GCHQ, said in a speech. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, file)
UK spy chief says West faces ‘moment of reckoning’ on tech

China’s Foreign Ministry condemn the remarks

Brooke Henderson, of Canada, watches her tee shot on the 17th hole during the final round of the Tournament of Champions LPGA golf tournament, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Canadian Brooke Henderson vaults into tie for fourth at LPGA Tour event

Henderson is sixth in the world women’s golf rankings

Switzerland’s skip Silvana Tirinzoni makes a call during a women’s curling match against Canada at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Natacha Pisarenko
Previously unbeaten women’s teams suffer setbacks at Grand Slam curling event

Top six women’s and men’s teams qualify for the playoffs.

FILE - Gal Gadot arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Gadot is using her Hollywood star power to spotlight remarkable women from around the world. The “Wonder Woman” actor is host and executive producer of a new documentary series “National Geographic Presents IMPACT with Gal Gadot,” premiering Monday, April 26. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)
Gal Gadot spotlights women’s stories in new docuseries

First episode follows a young Black figure skating coach in Detroit

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino listens to speakers during a news conference in Ottawa, Friday October 2, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Retaking language test unfair during COVID-19: applicants to new residency pathway

New program aims to grant 90,000 essential workers and international graduates permanent status

LtE bug
Letter: Questions around city funding for Westerner

The Advocate article on April 21 on page 3 “Council to discuss… Continue reading

Most Read