Wildfires In Canada Force 30,000 To Flee, Slash Oil And Gas Production

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by Tyler Durden
Monday, May 08, 2023 - 10:40 PM

Canada's top oil-producing province, Alberta, declared a state of emergency on Saturday as more than 100 wildfires raged across the region. 

On Monday, there were 100 wildfires, 29 of which were classified as out of control. Evacuation orders have been posted for 30,000 residents in the province. 

Bloomberg said numerous companies shut down 234,000 barrels a day of oil and gas production. 

The fires are striking Canada's main natural gas production region, including the prolific Montney and Duvernay formations, an area studded with wells and processing plants and criscrossed by pipelines. The region also is a major center for light oil production, and the disruptions have sent prices for some local grades of crude surging.

Edmonton Mixed Sweet's discount to West Texas Intermediate narrowed by more than a third to $2.50 a barrel, the smallest discount since March, and Syncrude Sweet's premium grew to $3.50 a barrel, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Condensate's discount narrowed to $3.20 a barrel.

One community under evacuation order as of Sunday was Fox Creek, a major center for light oil and gas drillers. Energy facilities and local residents were also being evacuated in Grande Prairie, provincial officials said. -Bloomberg

NatGas for spot delivery at the Alberta Energy Co.'s hub jumped 34% to the equivalent of $2 per million British thermal units due to disruptions. 

The list (courtesy of Bloomberg) is the following energy companies whose operations have been impacted by out-of-control fires. 

  • Crescent Point Energy Corp. has shut in 45,000 barrels a day of production in the Kaybob Duvernay region, though the company said it has seen no damage to its assets.
  • Vermilion Energy Inc. temporarily shut 30,000 barrels a day of production, but added in a statement that initial assessments indicate minimal damage to key infrastructure.
  • Pipestone Energy Corp. has shut in around 20,000 barrels a day of production, the company said in a statement.
  • Tourmaline Oil Corp. has closed down nine South and West Deep Basin gas processing facilities as nearby fires expanded and new wildfires rapidly emerged.
  • Paramount Resources Ltd. has shut the equivalent of about 50,000 barrels a day of oil production as of May 5 as a precaution and because of disruptions to third-party infrastructure, the company said Sunday. Its operations in the Grande Prairie and Kaybob regions are being affected.
  • TC Energy Corp. halted two compressor stations on its Nova Gas system nearest to active wildfires, the company said in an email Sunday. Other sections of the system and other networks continue to operate safely. The company is keeping workers away from facilities near active blazes unless necessary.
  • Tidewater Midstream & Infrastructure Ltd. shut its Brazeau River Complex, a gas processing facility, west of Edmonton and evacuated all personnel, the company said in an email.
  • Cenovus Energy Inc. has shut down some production and halted plants in some areas, a company spokesperson said.
  • Kiwetinohk Energy Corp. shut in the majority of its Placid operations in response to third-party service interruptions.
  • The government-owned Trans Mountain Pipeline, the sole link carrying Canadian crude to the Pacific coast, is still in operation but the company has deployed mitigation measures, including a perimeter sprinkler system at its Edson pump station, and is ready to deploy additional protection measures if needed, the company said.
  • Tamarack Valley Energy Ltd. had to shut in less than 300 barrels a day of production after the gas processing plants operated by Tidewater and another run by Keyera Corp. went out of operation due to the blazes, Chief Executive Officer Brian Schmidt said by phone.
  • Pembina Pipeline Corp. also said it evacuated some workers west of Edmonton.

Here are scenes from the ground.

Alberta's oil and gas production has been impacted by wildfires before. In 2016, about 1 million barrels a day of output were shut down due to fires in the province's eastern region.