• Assets

Marathon Oil holds interests in both operated and non-operated exploration stage oil sand leases in Alberta, Canada, which could be developed using in-situ methods of extraction. These leases cover approximately 142,000 gross (54,000 net )acres, near Fort McMurray, Alberta, in four project areas:

  • 100 percent operated interest in the Birchwood project;
  • 70 percent operated interest in the Namur project;
  • 20 percent in the non-operated Ells River project; and
  • 33 percent in the non-operated Saleski project.

Marathon Oil owns a 20 percent non-operated interest in the AOSP, which includes the Muskeg River and Jackpine mines, the Scotford Upgrader and rights to participate in developed and undeveloped leases totaling approximately 159,000 gross (32,000 net) acres.


Marathon Oil holds a 20 percent non-operated interest in the AOSP, an oil sands mining and upgrading joint venture located in Alberta, Canada. The joint venture produces bitumen from oil sands deposits in the Athabasca region utilizing mining techniques and upgrades the bitumen to synthetic crude oils and vacuum gas oil.

The AOSP’s mining and extraction assets are located near Fort McMurray, Alberta, and include the Muskeg River and the Jackpine mines. The AOSP operations use established processes to mine oil sands deposits from an open-pit mine, extract the bitumen and upgrade it into synthetic crude oils. Ore is mined using traditional truck and shovel mining techniques. The mined ore passes through primary crushers to reduce the ore chunks in size and is then sent to rotary breakers where the ore chunks are further reduced to smaller particles. The particles are combined with hot water to create slurry. The slurry moves through the extraction process where it separates into sand, clay and bitumen-rich froth. A solvent is added to the bitumen froth to separate out the remaining solids, water and heavy asphaltenes. The solvent washes the sand and produces clean bitumen that is required for the upgrader to run efficiently. The process yields a mixture of solvent and bitumen which is then transported from the mine to the Scotford upgrader via the approximately 300-mile Corridor Pipeline.

The AOSP's Scotford upgrader is located at Fort Saskatchewan, northeast of Edmonton, Alberta. The bitumen is upgraded at Scotford using both hydrotreating and hydroconversion processes to remove sulfur and break the heavy bitumen molecules into lighter products. Blendstocks acquired from outside sources are utilized in the production of our saleable products. The upgrader produces synthetic crude oils and vacuum gas oil. The vacuum gas oil is sold to an affiliate of the operator under a long-term contract at market-related prices, and the other products are sold in the marketplace.