Employee profile: Warren Zubot - Syncrude

Syncrude Research Associate, Warren Zubot in the field with Senior Technology Development Engineer, Gail Buchanan.

Employee profile: Warren Zubot - Syncrude


Warren Zubot loves water. As a member of Syncrude’s research and development team and as a representative on COSIA’s Water Environmental Priority Area (EPA) Steering Committee, he has spent the last eight years of his career conserving it. As a white water rafting enthusiast, he spends his vacations playing in it.

COSIA’s EPA Steering Committees are made of industry experts from COSIA’s member companies. They help set the priorities and direction that the EPAs take. This determines the scope of projects that member companies pursue in order to effectively achieve the performance goals set for each EPA.

Warren has a broad range of experience in the energy sector. Since graduating from university with a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry and another in Civil Engineering, he has worked in engineering consulting, operations, development and, most recently environmental research at Syncrude, where he also picked up a Master’s Degree in Environmental Engineering.

He has helped share about 50 years of Syncrude’s water research and knowledge with the Water EPA. He flies to Calgary every two weeks from Edmonton to sit in on the Steering Committee meetings and shares his knowledge with the other members.

Warren exemplifies the true meaning of collaboration through COSIA, says Bradley Komishke, Process Technology Advisor at Teck and fellow Water EPA Steering Committee representative. He has brought his vast knowledge of water and water treatment to the COSIA Water EPA Steering Committee and to the many Water EPA-led studies we have conducted. He has been an immense help to me and the rest of the EPA members.

Warren says that sitting on the Steering Committee isn’t just about sharing what he knows. In addition to the access he gets to shared research and knowledge, he says for him the benefit of COSIA is being exposed to the different approaches the member companies take when solving problems.

I get to take those best practices and apply them with my team to help us find more effective ways of managing our water on site.

He has been heavily involved in Syncrude’s Base Mine Lake commercial demonstration project and is now the lead on COSIA’s Demonstration Pit Lake joint industry project (JIP), which is being taken on by all seven of COSIA’s member companies with mining operations.

Warren explains that end pit lakes have long been used in the mining industry to clean process water, store tailings until they settle and create hydrologically and ecologically sustainable lakes that reconnect water ways disturbed during active mining. These two research projects will help operators understand the best way to use them in the reclamation of oil sands mines.

The work we are doing through COSIA aligns perfectly with the work being done within Syncrude, he says. The Demonstration Pit Lake project will help us answer additional questions beyond the Base Mine Lake commercial demonstration. These two projects will ensure industry has all the knowledge needed to successfully reclaim aquatic landscapes.

Warren is excited to see what 2014 brings. He looks forward to continuing the process of collaboration and innovation as the JIP members get the Demonstration Pit Lake project under way. He also looks forward to the new perspectives and knowledge he will take away from his work with COSIA and applying them to the work he is doing at Syncrude.