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Canada Wildfires Shut In Nearly 4% Of Oil And Gas Production

Wildfires in Canada have so far 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, as operators shut down producing fields and processing plants.

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.

“Alberta has requested assistance from the federal government to deal with the devastating wildfires,” Alberta Premier Danielle Smith said on Monday.

“Prime Minister Trudeau assured me that Canada would be there to support Alberta in any way possible.”

As of Monday, at least 145,000 boepd in the oil-rich province of Alberta were shut in due to the wildfires. The figure has doubled as of Tuesday, with nearly 320,000 boepd out of operations, mostly natural gas.

Natural gas exports from Canada to the United States dropped this weekend to the lowest level in more than two years, per Refinitiv data cited by Reuters. Canadian gas exports slumped to 6.7 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) on Sunday, which was the lowest since April 2021.

One of the largest oil and gas producers, Cenovus Energy, said in its latest update on Monday that on May 4, as a precaution, it had begun safely and methodically shutting in a number of producing conventional fields and bringing down processing plants. Around 85,000 boepd of production, primarily dry gas, has been impacted in the company’s Rainbow Lake, Kaybob-Edson, Elmworth-Wapiti, and Clearwater operating areas. The company is monitoring the situation closely, and at the time of the update, it wasn’t aware of any significant damage. Cenovus said it would resume operations as soon as it was safe and permitted to do so.  

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By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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