Oil production gets back on track Canada’s oil sands, as producers restart operations; although the wildfire continues to spread.
Evacuation orders have already been lifted for all work camps and workers are expected to return by the end of the week.
“We have some hot, dry conditions coming this week, so we’ll really be put to the test here to see how that holds. We feel fairly confident in the coming days that we’ll hold most of the ground there”, Alberta Wildfire Compliance and Investigations Manager Chad Morrison, said.
Oil Sands Production Gets Back On Track
According to Alberta officials, the fire continues to grow and has now reached a footprint of 2,008 square miles.
Athabasca Oil Corporation is one of the firms resuming operations at its Hangingstone site following a shutdown on May 5, caused by the wildfire. “Prior to the shutdown, production volumes reached in excess of 9,000 barrels per day”, the company stated.
The company is expected to return to normal operating levels over the next weeks with no anticipated long-term impacts.
Suncor Energy has also announced it is getting ready to resume its operations. “Given our current assessment, we are confident we can safely return people to the region to begin the process of restarting operations,” Suncor president and CEO Steve Williams, said.
ConocoPhillips and Nexen Energy are also reported to have announced the restart of crude oil production following the removal of the mandatory evacuation orders.
Wildfires Close To Canada’s Oil Sands
Production Cut In Half By Blaze
According to a report disclosed in mid-May, the wildfire has caused the shutdown of around 1.2 million bpd of oil sands production with twelve operators shut down and several more curbing production.
This has resulted resulting in output from the region to be cut in half. Overall, US$1 billion (£684.4 million) of oil sands production has been lost, according to estimates by the Conference Board of Canada.
The wildfire has forced the evacuation of more than 800,000 people from the area.