Northern Lights Project

The project is a joint venture between Synenco and the Chinese based Sinopec

The Northern Lights oil sands project is a $4.4 billion proposed oil sands and bitumen extraction project located about 100 kilometers north of Fort McMurry, Alberta.

Additional aspects of the project could include onsite coal development as well as a $6.3 billion downstream bitumen upgrader in the Alberta Heartland industrial area near Redwater.

Our role

Our role as the preferred survey consultant requires that we meet the needs of the client and the client’s engineering design contractor on both the upstream and downstream proposed facilities.

Preliminary activities included control monument installation and determining coordinates, creating individual site mapping projections, acquiring imagery and Lidar, bridge site surveys, water level control surveys, quality assurance of third party Lidar information, the complete topographic survey of the proposed Upgrader site and the legal survey of the Upgrader site.

The team

The project team included an engineer, project manager, Alberta Land surveyor, a survey engineer, and CAD and field staff including engineering and survey technicians and technologists.

The technology

The project team used Lidar, digital mapping, GPS, StarNet adjustment software, AutoCAD, helicopters and Zodiac.


C.O.R.E. accreditation was a key requirement of the project, resulting in the development of a detailed safety program for the company including regular scheduled safety meetings, hazard assessment, job procedures and documented statistics. Those using helicopters completed hazard assessments and equipment familiarization activities.