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Suncor (SU), Fort McKay Partner on Oil Sands Development

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Suncor Energy Inc. (SU - Free Report) , a major Canadian integrated energy company, recently signed a significant memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Fort McKay First Nation (“FMFN”) to develop an oil sands lease on FMFN Reserve Lands. This collaboration marks a key moment in the relationship between industry and Indigenous communities, emphasizing sustainable development and economic prosperity.

Suncor's Commitment to Responsible Resource Development

Early-Stage Feasibility Assessments

Suncor wants to conduct comprehensive technical and commercial feasibility assessments under the terms of the MOU. These assessments will determine the viability of developing Lease 174C, located on FMFN Reserve Land in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. By leveraging expertise in technical and commercial domains, Suncor seeks to ascertain the quality and quantity of economically recoverable mineable ore in the region.

Synergies With Existing Operations

Peter Zebedee, Suncor's executive vice president for Oil Sands, highlights the potential synergies between the proposed development and SU’s existing operations. This collaboration offers Suncor strategic bitumen supply options post-2040, aligning with the company's long-term objectives.
Here are some potential benefits for Suncor from the MOU.

Access to Potential Resources: The MOU grants Suncor access to the oil sands reserve on Fort McKay land (Lease 174C). If proven viable, this could provide Suncor with a new source of bitumen, a key component in oil production.

Long-term Supply Option:  The MOU lays the groundwork for a potential lease agreement. This could secure Suncor's bitumen supply post-2040, potentially for decades to come.

Improved Community Relations: Partnering with FMFN demonstrates Suncor's commitment to working with Indigenous communities. This can improve public perception and social license to operate in the region.

Collaborative Development: The MOU allows for collaboration on the development project. FMFN’s knowledge of the territory could be valuable in navigating environmental and social aspects.

Mutual Goals and Commitments

Economic Self-Determination: Suncor and FMFN share a commitment to facilitating economic self-determination for Indigenous communities. Through mutual trust and respect, both parties aim to maximize prosperity while minimizing environmental impacts. This aligns with Suncor's broader goal of achieving net-zero emissions from its operations by 2050.

Community Impact and Benefits: FMFN, comprising more than 900 band members of Dene and Cree heritage, stands to benefit from this collaboration. The community, situated along the Athabasca River, views this partnership as a means to secure future growth and prosperity.


The collaboration between Suncor and FMFN represents a paradigm shift in the relationship between industry and Indigenous communities. Through shared goals of sustainable development, economic prosperity and environmental stewardship, both parties are paving the way for a future marked by mutual respect and cooperation.

Zacks Rank and Key Picks

Currently, SU carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).  

Investors interested in the energy sector might look at some better-ranked stocks like Murphy USA Inc. (MUSA - Free Report) and Energy Transfer LP (ET - Free Report) , both sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), and Subsea 7 S.A. (SUBCY - Free Report) , carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Murphy USA is valued at around $8.66 billion. In the past year, the company’s shares have surged 64.4%.

MUSA markets retail motor fuel products and convenience merchandise, operating retail stores under the brands Murphy USA, Murphy Express and QuickChek.

Energy Transfer is valued at $50.64 billion. The company currently pays a dividend of $1.26 per share, or 8.38%, on an annual basis.

ET is an independent energy company, principally engaged in the acquisition, exploration, development and production of crude oil and natural gas.

Subsea 7 is valued at $4.61 billion. The company currently pays a dividend of 38 cents per share, or 2.53%, on an annual basis.

SUBCY offers offshore project services for the energy industry. It specializes in subsea field development and covers project management, design, engineering, procurement, fabrication, survey, installation and commissioning of seabed production facilities.

See More Zacks Research for These Tickers

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Energy Transfer LP (ET) - free report >>

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