CALGARY, April 23 /CNW/ - (TSX - COS.UN) - Canadian Oil Sands Trust
("Canadian Oil Sands") today announced that the Syncrude Joint Venture owners
have approved the recommendations of the Opportunity Assessment Team and have
started implementing the Management Services Agreement between Syncrude Canada
Ltd. ("Syncrude Canada") and Imperial Oil Resources Ltd. ("Imperial"),
previously announced on November 1, 2006.
The Management Services Agreement provides Syncrude Canada, as operator,
with the opportunity to access Imperial's downstream expertise in refining,
and through their association with ExxonMobil, global expertise, leading-edge
technologies and management and operating best practices. The expectation is
that this initiative will deliver sustained improvement in Syncrude's
Since late 2006, an Opportunity Assessment Team comprised of experts from
Syncrude, Imperial, ExxonMobil and the other Joint Venture owners has been
examining possibilities for improvement at Syncrude. In April, the team
presented their specific recommendations, which were approved by Syncrude
owners. Such approval was required to proceed with implementation of the
Management Services Agreement.
The implementation phase will involve the secondment of Imperial and
ExxonMobil personnel and perhaps personnel from other owner companies to
Syncrude. The secondees will work closely with Syncrude management and staff
to assist in the implementation of the Opportunity Assessment Team's
recommendations and Imperial/ExxonMobil's global best practices and systems.
Secondments from Syncrude to ExxonMobil also will occur to enhance career
development and broaden employee knowledge and experience.
To lead this effort, Mr. Tom Katinas has been appointed to the role of
President and Chief Executive Officer of Syncrude Canada effective May 1,
2007. Mr. Katinas succeeds current CEO, Charles Ruigrok. Mr. Ruigrok will work
with Mr. Katinas to ensure a smooth transition of responsibilities. Charles'
next assignment will be announced separately at a later date.
"Syncrude has entered a promising new era with the support of the
Management Services Agreement, which should further improve operational
performance, thereby strengthening the foundation from which to pursue our
growth plans," said Marcel Coutu, Syncrude Chairman, and President and CEO of
Canadian Oil Sands. "Tom's proven leadership will be an important catalyst in
combining the MSA with the contributions of Syncrude's highly-skilled and
committed people to generate the optimal results."
Mr. Katinas brings extensive worldwide operating experience, having
worked at a number of ExxonMobil refining facilities. His most recent
assignment was in the ExxonMobil Fawley Refinery where he was the refinery
manager for the last four years. The Fawley refinery is the largest refinery
in the United Kingdom and one of the most complex in Europe.
"Syncrude has always had a solid reputation when it comes to the strength
of its people, its commitment to sustainable development, and the value it
places on relationships with stakeholders and the community," said Mr.
Katinas. "My vision is to reinforce these distinctions by building us into a
worldwide model for safety, reliability and production."
Mr. Ruigrok joined Syncrude in December of 2003 on a secondment
assignment from Imperial Oil to oversee the completion and integration of
Syncrude's Stage 3 expansion.
"I want to thank Charles for his significant contribution and leadership
in successfully overseeing the completion of Stage 3," said Syncrude Chairman
Marcel Coutu. "In addition to being the largest expansion in Syncrude's
history, Stage 3 also was one of the most complex and substantial engineering
and construction projects in Canadian history."
Located near Fort McMurray, Alberta, Syncrude Canada operates large
oil-sands mines and an upgrading facility that produces a light, sweet crude
oil on behalf of its joint venture owners, which include Canadian Oil Sands
Limited, ConocoPhillips Oilsands Partnership II, Imperial Oil Resources, Mocal
Energy Limited, Murphy Oil Company Ltd., Nexen Oil Sands Partnership, and
Petro-Canada Oil and Gas.
Canadian Oil Sands Trust provides a pure investment opportunity in the
Syncrude Project through its 36.74 per cent working interest. The Trust is an
open-ended investment trust managed by Canadian Oil Sands Limited and has
approximately 479 million units outstanding, trading on the Toronto Stock
Exchange under the symbol COS.UN.
Advisory: In the interest of providing Canadian Oil Sands Trust
("Canadian Oil Sands", the "Trust" or "we") unitholders and potential
investors with information regarding the Trust, including management's
assessment of the Trust's future plans and operations, certain statements
throughout this press release contain "forward-looking statements".
Forward-looking statements in this release include, but are not limited to,
statements with respect to: the expectation that the agreement between
Syncrude and Imperial Oil will result in sustained improvement in Syncrude's
operating performance; the belief that secondments from Syncrude to ExxonMobil
will enhance career development and broaden employee knowledge and experience;
and the expectations regarding future secondment and staff locations.
You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking
statements, as there can be no assurance that the plans, intentions or
expectations upon which they are based will occur. By their nature,
forward-looking statements involve numerous assumptions, known and unknown
risks and uncertainties, both general and specific, that contribute to the
possibility that the predictions, forecasts, projections and other
forward-looking statements will not occur. Although the Trust believes that
the expectations represented by such forward-looking statements are
reasonable, there can be no assurance that such expectations will prove to be
correct. Some of the risks and other factors which could cause results to
differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements
contained in this press release include, but are not limited to: the
difficulties and risks involved in any complex mining and upgrading operation;
labour disruptions and disputes; the limitations in directing Imperial Oil and
ExxonMobil's processes and personnel in providing the services; regulatory
requirements and general economic conditions in Canada and in the Fort
McMurray area in particular; and such other risks and uncertainties described
from time to time in the reports and filings made with securities regulatory
authorities by the Trust. We would refer you to the risks and assumptions
further outlined in the Trust's annual information form and annual and
quarterly financial reports.
Canadian Oil Sands Limited
President & Chief Executive Officer
Units Listed - Symbol: COS.UN
Toronto Stock Exchange
For further information:
For further information: Siren Fisekci, Director Investor Relations,
(403) 218-6228, email@example.com, Web site: www.cos-trust.com