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Canadian Operators Restart Oil And Gas Production As Wildfires Subside

Major oil and gas operators in Canada’s energy-producing province of Alberta have restarted part of the production and processing facilities that were shut during the weekend as wildfires prompted an evacuation.

Early this week, the wildfires in Canada resulted in the shut-in of 319,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) from the country’s oil and natural gas production or 3.7% of all output.

Alberta, the main energy-producing province in Canada, declared this weekend a state of emergency, with tens of thousands forced to evacuate amid raging wildfires in Canada’s oil country.   

On Saturday, there were 110 active wildfires in the province, of which 36 were out of control. Some 24,000 people were forced to evacuate because of the fires. By Monday, the number of people affected by evacuation orders had risen to nearly 30,000, according to the Edmonton Journal.

By mid-week, the situation had eased due to cooler temperatures, but authorities warned that the wildfires could rage again when temperatures rise.

Still, several producers said on Wednesday they had resumed production and restarted facilities.

TC Energy said it continues to safely run under normal operations on the NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. (NGTL) System and other pipeline systems in Western Canada. As conditions have improved, the company completed the safe and controlled restart of compressor units at all locations that were shut down due to wildfire precautions.

Crescent Point Energy, which had temporarily shut in around 45,000 boepd in the Kaybob Duvernay due to the wildfires – has since restored some 75% of the production with no damage reported to its assets, and plans to fully restore the remaining production once it is safe to do so.

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Tourmaline Oil Corp said that seven of its nine facilities, previously shut in due to the wildfires, had resumed operations and are operating at previous production rates. The remaining two facilities, West Wolf and Columbia are undamaged and ready to resume operations; both are awaiting final start-up clearance from the Ministry of Forestry. Net production shut-in from these two facilities is around 16,000 boepd. Tourmaline Oil expects the start-up of these two facilities to commence in the next several days.  

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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