• The Shell-operated Scotford Complex consists of an upgrader, oil refinery, two chemicals plants and a carbon capture and storage (CCS) facility. It is one of North America’s most efficient, modern and integrated hydrocarbon processing sites, converting oil sands derived bitumen into finished products via upgrading, refining, and chemical products.
  • The upgrader was expanded in 2011 and the Quest CCS facility was added in 2015. 

Shell Scotford employs about 1,100 people. This includes roughly 650 employees who work full time at the upgrader and about 450 who work at the refinery. Additionally, contractors provide support for both routine operations and major maintenance activities. The number of contractors on site at any given time varies according to the type of work underway.

If you have questions about our operations, please call (780) 992-3600.


The upgrader takes bitumen from Shell Albian Sands north of Fort McMurray. Shell uses a hydrogen-addition process at Scotford to upgrade bitumen to a light, sweet crude oil as well as other medium to heavy crude products. Much of the crude produced at the upgrader is sold to the adjacent Scotford refinery and Shell’s Sarnia Refinery.


  • 255,000 barrels of oil equivalent daily of diluted bitumen

Upgrading Technology:

The upgrading process used at the Scotford Upgrader is called hydrogen-addition or hydro-conversion. This process adds hydrogen to the bitumen, breaking up the large hydrocarbon molecules to create synthetic crude oil. Adding hydrogen rather than removing “coke” (through a process called coking) means there is no carbon byproduct and also yields a slight volume gain.


The refinery processes synthetic crude oil from the upgrader into other products such as gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, propane and butane. These products are then shipped to the nearby Sherwood Terminal, where they are marketed across Western Canada. The refinery also produces benzene that is used by the chemical plants.


  • 100,000 barrels of synthetic crude oil daily.


  • Gasoline - Shell Canada refines only low sulphur gasoline, which contains approximately five parts-per-million sulphur content. To ensure that only Shell stations and customers receive Shell nitrogen-enriched gasoline, Shell injects its additive packages at the truck loading facility, instead of at the refinery.
  • Diesel - Shell Scotford refines only ultra low sulphur diesel, which contains less than 10 parts-per-million sulphur content. Shell supplies different grades and types of diesel fuel to Shell-branded as well as other retail, cardlock and bulk agents across Canada. Diesel fuel is commonly used for commercial road transportation, public transportation, industrial applications, and farming.
  • Jet Fuel - More information on Shell Aviation products or aviation site locations.
  • Propane - Propane is used for residential and commercial heating, automotive propane and industrial fuel applications. Shell markets propane to retail, wholesale and industrial consumers.
  • Butane - Butane is primarily used for seasonal gasoline blending and is stored under pressure at the refinery. A portion is sold as industrial feedstock for other industries.
  • Benzene - Benzene is a clear liquid formed by natural processes and human activities. Benzene is a natural part of crude oil and most benzene is extracted during the refining process. The benzene is then sent to Scotford Chemicals where it is used to produce Styrene Monomer.


  • ISO 14001:2001
  • EnviroVista Leader (Alberta government certification since 2005)


The chemicals plant uses byproducts from the adjacent refinery to help manufacture styrene monomer and ethylene glycol. The chemicals plant is made up of two parts – the styrene plant and the glycol plant. Covers of magazines, fast-food breakfast trays, antifreeze are just some of the products Shell helps to make possible through the chemicals plant.


  • Ethylene Glycol (MEG): 450Kt/yr
  • Styrene monomer: 450Kt/yr


  • Styrene Monomer - Styrene monomer is sold to customers in North America for the manufacture of a variety of commercial and consumer products such as food containers, home insulation, safety helmets and car interiors.
  • Ethylene Glycol - Ethylene Glycol is primarily sold to customers in North America for use in making products such as plastic drinking bottles and antifreeze.


  • Chemicals is accredited by the Canadian Association for Laboratory Accreditation (CALA) to ISO/IEC 17025 for specific tests listed in the scope of accreditation approved by CALA.
  • ISO 14001
  • ISO 9001-2000 certification achieved for styrene monomer, ethylene glycols and hydrocarbon feedstocks
  • Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series 18001

Responsible Care Verified

The Scotford Chemicals Plant is Responsible Care verified.

Responsible Care is a global, chemical industry performance initiative that helps member companies continuously improve in the critical areas of health, safety, security, product stewardship, environmental protection and social responsibility.

It is an ethics and principle-based approach to the safe and environmentally sound management of chemicals. The approach started in Canada and has spread to 50 countries around the world. For Canadian member companies, Responsible Care is administered by the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada.

All members of Responsible Care are required to successfully complete re-verification every three years. The Responsible Care verification is conducted under strict protocols. These protocols ensure that the principles and codes of practices are not only in place, but are practiced and continuously improved.

Safety & Environment

Emergency response, safety and the environment are important parts of operations at Scotford. Our goals are no harm to people and to protect the environment.

Scotford process units and equipment are designed, built, operated and maintained to be clean, safe and acceptable to the community. Shell continues to invest in new technology, implement better operating procedures and strengthen its training programs to improve environmental performance.

The upgrader, refinery, chemical plant and carbon capture and storage facility work diligently to ensure that the environmental footprint of Scotford is minimized.

Mutual Aid

Scotford is an active member of Northeast Regional Community Awareness and Emergency Response (NR CAER). This organization brings together local and municipal response groups to assist each other in situations that are beyond the capabilities of an individual member company or municipality.

If neighbors notice any unusual activity around our operations, such as loud noises or alarms, prolonged or increased flaring, smoke or fire, smells, or increased traffic levels, they can call the NR CAER UPDATEline (1-866-653-9959)to hear updates about Shell and other operations in the region.


Shell has operated in Strathcona County for more than 30 years and is recognized as one of the area’s largest employers and a valued neighbour to the local communities. Shell creates regular opportunities – both formal and informal – for community members to learn more about our operations, ask questions and share any concerns they may have.

Shell also contributes to the general well-being of the communities near our operations through community investment as well as volunteerism.

Some of the community initiatives we support:

  • Tree Canada
  • United Way
  • Fort Saskatchewan Community Hospital
  • Strathcona County Library Bookmobile
  • Bruderheim Fire Department
  • Shell Theatre in Fort Saskatchewan
  • Boys & Girls Club of Fort Saskatchewan

Shell also recognizes the thousands of volunteer hours Scotford employees donate to the community each year through our Community Service Fund program. Hundreds of not-for-profit organizations and associations benefit from this program, receiving a grant of up to $1,000 where Shell employees regularly volunteer.

Furthermore, Shell encourages employee volunteer participation through the United Way Day of Caring program by providing paid time off for employees to volunteer.

How To Reach Us

For more information about the Shell Scotford facility or if you have any concerns that you would like to share with us, please contact us.

24-Hour Phone Number

(780) 992-3600

Mailing Address:

External Relations Manager, Shell Scotford, PO Bag 23, Fort Saskatchewan  AB  T8L 3T2

Members of the Media

Contact the Shell Canada Media Line at 1-877-850-5023 or submit an inquiry through media-desk@shell.com.

more in about us

Who we are

Learn about our business and people, and how we grew from a small shop in London nearly 200 years ago.

What we do

Shell is a global group of energy and petrochemical companies. We employ around 8000 employees in Canada.

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Shell in the community

We aim to be a good neighbour wherever we work, by contributing to the well-being of neighbouring communities. We do so by working together to manage the social impacts of our business activities, address any concerns about our operations, and enhance the benefits that we are able to bring.

Scotford Community Grants

Non-profit organizations can apply for grant funding for one-time projects that are sustainable after the conclusion of the grant.