Production Shutdown As Wildfires Rage On Near Oil Sands 

Published at 05:18PM - 09/06/16

Oil sands producers Canadian Natural Resources (CNR) and Cenovus Energy have been forced to shut down production and evacuate all workers in northern Alberta as wildfires continue to be active in the region.

While Cenovus had to evacuate 118 workers from its 23,000 bpd Pelican Lake project, Canadian Natural Resources had to shut in 800 bpd in the same area. According to Cenovus, production should resume today if conditions remain safe.

“The wildfire is a safe distance from our major facilities at Pelican Lake. Canadian Natural has moved non-essential personnel from our northern camp to other camps within our Pelican Lake operations,” CNR spokeswoman Julie Woo said.

Production Shutdown As Wildfires Rage On Near Oil Sands 

According to a statement by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), “a state of emergency remains in place throughout Alberta, Canada, and the temporary shutdown of the area’s oil sands production site continues”.

The EIA estimates that disruptions to oil production in the area have reached an average of 800,000 bpd in May, with a daily peak of over 1.1 million bpd and total disruptions could average 400,000 bpd in June.

“Although projects are slowly restarting as fires subside, it may take weeks for production to return to previous levels”, EIA added.

Wildfire 70% Contained

According to an update by the Government of Alberta issues last night, the Fort McMurray wildfire showed a slight growth on Tuesday, “but the fire remains nearly 70% contained”. According to a statement by Alberta Environment and Parks, “there are 28 active wildfires in Alberta, with eight out of control”.

So far, oil sands companies that operate near the area have shut down completely or are operating at reduced rates, but restrictions caused by the dangerous air quality are delaying the return of works.

The local pipeline capacity was also shut down, causing a decrease in crude oil takeaway capacity, EIA stated further.

Last updated on 05:19PM - 10/06/16