Canada's Syncrude operation has passed a milestone. The open pit, bitumen mining project in Northeast Alberta was scheduled Sept. IS to send its 600 millionth bbl of synthetic crude oil into a pipeline to Edmonton. The event was to occur 14 years after the official opening of the plant Sept. 15, 1978. Syncrude said only three conventional oil fields in Canada have produced more than 600 million bbl. In each case, the time involved was much greater than Syncrude's length of operation. "So far this year we have produced more than 45 million bbl of oil, and our operating costs are approaching $15/bbl, making us m...

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