Image courtesy of Alberta Wildfire Info/Facebook.

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNRL) expects to resume normal production rates at two Alberta oil sands projects by the end of the week after severe wildfires cubed production in the province.

The Alberta-based company said on Monday that its 80,000 barrel per day Primrose site and its 30,000 barrel per day Kirby South project will likely be producing at normal rates by the end of this week.

CNRL was forced to temporarily halt operations and evacuate workers from its Primrose site after massive wildfires broke out in Alberta late last month.

The blazes also prompted a third-party pipeline shut down that forced CNRL to cut production at Kirby South down to 12,000 barrels per day, Reuters said.

“The repairs to equipment were minor in nature and have not impeded our ability to ramp up production volumes,” CNRL said.

The blazes also forced Alberta-based Cenovus Energy to evacuate its Foster Creek site in the Lac la Biche area.

Fire officials gave Cenovus the all clear to return to Foster Creek last week and the company deployed a group of workers to inspect the site.

Cenovus told Reuters it expects Foster Creek to be fully operational by Monday.

One fire in the Lac la Biche region remains out of control.

According to the Alberta government, the wildfires have burnt 71,386 hectares with five fires in the province still classified as out of control.

At the blaze’s peak, producers in the province were forced to shut in about 233,000 barrels of per day of oil sands production.


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