Alberta Premier Rachel Notley. Image courtesy of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo/Twitter.

Although a massive wildfire is still burning in Alberta, officials said Tuesday that the majority of Fort McMurray’s structures have survived the blaze.

According to Reuters, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley estimated that about 90 percent of the city’s buildings are still standing although an estimated 2,400 structures suffered damage.

About 88,000 Fort McMurray residents were evacuated last week and are still unable to return to the city that is located near some of Canada’s largest oil sands mines.

The blaze has cut Canada’s oil sands output by about 1 million barrels per day, or about half of Canada’s total daily oil sands capacity, according to Reuters.

Shell Canada said Monday that it has been able to safely restart production at a reduced rate at the Shell Albian Sands mining operations due to improved conditions, including improved air quality and weather.

“Safe restart is important to our company and staff to allow us to contribute to the recovery efforts of the Fort McMurray area,” Shell Executive Vice President, Oil Sands Zoe Yujnovich said.

Suncor said Sunday that it has safely moved over 10,000 people, including employees, their families and Fort McMurray residents, out of the region.

The company has shut down its Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo operations in a controlled manner “to facilitate a quick and reliable start-up.”

“Although the fire reached the southern end of our mine at our oil sands base operations, fire mitigation efforts were successful,” Suncor said.

There has been no damage to Suncor’s assets.

Nexen Energy’s Long Lake facility remains shut down and all site personnel were safely evacuated per mandatory evacuation orders.

“Nexen is in contact with the provincial emergency response team and has received reports on the fire situation, but until we gain access to our site, the status of our facility is still unknown at this time,” the company said.

Statoil Asia told Reuters on Sunday that it expected to close the 20,000 bpd Leismer facility within 24 hours.

Husky Energy also told Reuters on Sunday that it has shut production at its 30,000 bpd Sunrise Energy Project.


Leave a Reply