We are a leading in-situ oil sands producer, putting safety and sustainability first.

Japan Canada Oil Sands is owned by Japanese interests, being the very first Asian-owned oil company in the Athabasca region. Our major owner is JAPEX with a 94% share. Our story starts in the Athabasca area in 1978 when we farmed in on leases held by Petro-Canada (Suncor Energy Inc.), CNOOC International (formerly Nexen Energy) and Esso (Imperial Oil Ltd.), to form what is referred to as the PCEJ group. Currently, these companies remain active in pursuing oil sands development in the region.

From 1983 to 1994, JACOS and its partners experimented with a cyclic steam stimulation pilot project on the Hangingstone Lease and participated in SAGD pilot experiments at the Underground Test Facility (UTF) from 1992 to 1997.

With the positive results from the UTF project, JACOS decided to further pursue SAGD technology at Hangingstone. The pilot plant DEMO successfully produced a cumulative total of 35 million barrels of bitumen (ultra-heavy crude oil extracted from oil sands) from 1999 till 2016.


Based on the success of the pilot plant, JACOS approved the Hangingstone commercial development. The Hangingstone Oil Sands Project is a joint venture between JACOS having a participating interest of 75% and acting as the operator and CNOOC with a participating interest of 25%, aiming to produce 20,000 barrels of bitumen per day.

With on-site construction beginning in February 2013, the drilling of wells required for bitumen production using the SAGD method took 2 years to complete. The completion of the Central Processing Facility took place in February 2017.

JACOS started injecting steam into the wells at the end of April and operations of bitumen production began on August 3, 2017.