The out-of-control wildfire that is scorching large swathes of land and displacing thousands of people in Alberta, Canada, has also knocked out nearly a third of Canada’s daily crude oil production, DW reported.
A massive blaze has ravaged the Canadian oil town of Fort McMurray, forcing many oil companies in the heart of Canada’s oil sands region to reduce or cease production as a precaution. According to The Wall Street Journal, the town of Fort McMurray became the symbol of Canada’s oil boom in the last decade, attracting some of the world’s biggest energy producers amid a rush to build mega projects to extract nearby oil sands.
Tragically, the fire has engulfed entire communities, and officials are now warning that two oil sands sites south of the city are in danger. One, a facility known as Long Lake that is owned by Nexen Energy, a subsidiary of China’s CNOOC, can produce around 50,000bp/d, although it’s been operating at reduced rates since a deadly explosion at the plant in January.
The other, Athabasca Oil Corp’s Hangingstone Project, also sits in the fire’s projected path as winds have shifted. The exact production capacity of that facility wasn’t clear, but the company said on its website that it plans to pump 12,000bp/d by the end of the year.