Suncor’s Commerce City refinery is the largest in the Rocky Mountain region, processing about 98,000 barrels of crude oil per day to make quality, high-demand products like gasoline and diesel. Our logistics and pipelines teams are responsible for the safe, reliable transportation of this crude – the majority of which comes from Colorado and Wyoming – into the refinery.
One of the ways crude makes its way to our facility is by truck. On average, the logistics team oversees the delivery of more than 4,700 truckloads – or about 1.5 million barrels – of crude to the refinery per month.
The safe transportation and intake of such large crude volumes requires excellent communication and collaboration. And with crude being the refinery’s most significant input cost, it’s critical that we continue to improve our processes for bringing crude into the refinery, including tracking deliveries and ensuring quality of the crude we’ve purchased.
This year, Suncor implemented an electronic ticketing system with our crude carriers to ensure we have accurate data on both the quantity and quality of crude.
“This has significantly reduced the amount of paper we’re dealing with,” said Nancy Thonen, director, U.S. logistics. “More importantly, it enables everyone involved in crude delivery to stay focused on safety.”
The logistics team also collaborates closely with crude supply and refinery teams to sample crude purchases to ensure we understand the qualities of each truckload. The more we understand the quality of the crude coming into the refinery, the more effectively we can optimize refinery operations and reliability.
This past summer, Nancy spent a day riding along with one of our crude truck drivers, literally going the extra mile to understand day-to-day challenges and how we can help our carriers improve safety and reliability, while managing our costs.
“There’s nothing like putting yourself in someone else’s shoes to see first-hand how we can collaborate on continuous improvement,” said Nancy.
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