Wednesday, 18 May 2016

$763m is the value the BBC puts on the Alberta wildfires

The BBC is one of the few news corporations that's even covering the fire. No refugees apart from the almost unmentionable oil workers.

Everything expressed in terms of dollar loss to the Empire's economy.

Better go and find another war to fight.

Canada fires cost oil sands production $763m

A new report into the financial impact of the McMurray fires says some C$763m (£527m) in oil sands production has been lost.
17 May, 2016
The analysis says the blaze has meant the loss of 1.2 million barrels of oil a day over two weeks.
The sum is equivalent to 0.33% of the province of Alberta's projected GDP this year, as well as representing 0.06% of the country's projected GDP.
"These are big numbers," Kevin Birn, an analyst at IHS Energy, said.
"The industry was already feeling the impact of a very low price environment in the first quarter of the year, with prices lower than in the rest of the world," he told the BBC's Bill Wilson.

The analysis, by economic research organisation the Conference Board of Canada, projects that national economic impacts will be "minimal".
He said the oil sands firms affected were among the biggest energy companies in the world, and that they would be "pushing to get facilities up and running as soon as possible".
"Some facilities had already started ramping up ready to restart production, but have had to stand down again and evacuate workers. There is rain forecast for this weekend which will hopefully bring an end to this disruption."
Mr Birn added that most of the Canadian sands oil produced was sent to the US mid-west for processing, and that a knock-on effect would be that refineries there would be having to look for alternative sources, "which comes with additional costs for them".
A car parked in front of a huge wildfire in Canada

The uncontrolled blaze has moved back towards Fort McMurray

The fire is now 1,366 square miles (3527km) and conditions are getting more dangerous for fire fighters north of Fort McMurray.
It is moving east and encroaching the border with Saskatchewan, officials said on Tuesday, and continuing to "burn out of control".
The Alberta government is taking a "second look" at plans for re-entry into Fort McMurray, said Alberta premier Rachel Notley.
"We're not going to have people going back until we know it's safe," she said.
She said said it is unclear when oil production can resume.
Gas service has returned to 60% of the city and electricity is restored in undamaged areas, she said.
Workers who were sent to Fort McMurray to begin working on the hospital have now been evacuated.
Alberta Highway 63 is likely to be threatened and could be closed for a period of time, she said.
A map showing the spread of a wildfire in CanadaGrey line

Canada's oil sands industry

  • Oil sands are a mixture of sand, water, clay and a thick, heavy oil called bitumen
  • Bitumen is extracted using surface mining and drilling, and must be treated before it can be turned into petrol and other usable fuels
  • Canada has the third largest oil reserves in the world after Venezuela and Saudi Arabia
  • The Alberta oil sands produced about 2.3 million barrels a day in 2014
From the Edmonton Journal

Wildfire’s return halts Fort McMurray oilsands industry recovery plans

Plans to quickly restart oilsands production in northern Alberta have been turned upside down after the Fort McMurray wildfire erupted with renewed vengeance Monday, forcing thousands of workers to scramble to safety.

Oilsands miners, including Syncrude Canada and Suncor Energy, had been gradually returning staff to the area to begin the process of restarting production at facilities undamaged by fire but shut down because of the threat.

However, a change in wind direction sent the rapidly moving fire north toward oilsands projects Monday afternoon, forcing the evacuation of about 4,000 workers from 12 work camps, according to the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.

Oilsands camp destroyed by fire, another threatened and thousands evacuated from area

17 May, 2016

In what officials expected to be an active fire day on Monday, a massive fire near Fort McMurray grew to the north of the city, reaching one oilsands camp, and threatening others – prompting the evacuation of thousands of workers.

On Tuesday, officials confirmed that one camp, called Blacksand Executive Lodge, sustained significant damage when it was breached by wildfires burning north of Fort McMurray.

Officials at Horizon North Logistics Inc. said at about 10 p.m. Monday, the Blacksand Executive Lodge, along with a number of other lodges locate don Aostra Road, was evacuated under a mandatory evacuation order.

The company announced late Tuesday morning that the 665 room facility sustained “significant damage” due to the wildfire.

Provincial officials said Noralta Lodge has been evacuated, that camp is considered to be at risk.

That destruction came after 8,000 people were eventually evacuated from the work camps on Monday as the massive wildfire – at larger facilities like Syncrude and Suncor, some critical staff remained, and officials said Tuesday that those facilities are not threatened by the fire.

This area will be the primary focus of suppression efforts today by firefighters, and as I have already said weather conditions will make this work extremely challenging,” Premier Rachel Notley said.

Chad Morrison with Alberta Wildfire said many of the oilsands facilities are resilient to wildfire.

The issues are the industrial camps, the Northlands facility at this point, in the past experience has taught us that because they are clear of vegetation and have lots of gravel on site and have industrial firefighting service on site, we are working closely with them, we are confident the sites are okay,” Morrison said.
The province said the massive fire grew significantly overnight, was at more than 355,000 hectares – up from 285,000 hectares on Monday.

The fire, which has been slowly nearing the Saskatchewan border for the last few days, was expected to reach the border at some point on Tuesday.

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