Canadian Oil Sands Ltd. (TSX:COS), which owns the biggest slice of the massive mine, says the MLX project will make use of existing equipment and environmental infrastructure at the site.
The Syncrude partners are currently working out the scope of the project.
Assuming it receives regulatory approval, construction and spending would begin in the next 10 years.
The Syncrude mine, north of Fort McMurray Alta., churned out an average of 359,500 barrels of crude per day in August.
The other Syncrude partners include Imperial Oil Ltd. (TSX:IMO), Suncor Energy Inc. (TSX:SU), Nexen Inc. (TSX:NXY), Chinese state-owned firm Sinopec, Mocal Energy and Murphy Energy.