Blazing Wildfire in Canada Cuts Crude Oil and Pipeline Operations

Evacuees flee from a raging wildfire in Fort McMurray, Alberta on Tuesday.
Source: Greg Halinda, The Canadian Press, AP

A massive wildfire that erupted Sunday in the oil sands region of Canada knocked out roughly a third of Canada’s crude oil capacity and closed several pipelines.

As a precautionary measure, multiple production companies and pipeline operators have slowed or stopped activity and will work only if the movement of the wildfire permits operation in a safe environment.

According to Reuters’ calculations, some 680,000 barrels per day of capacity were offline on Thursday. Some pipeline companies were affected more than others, as Enbridge reported it shut all of its pipelines in and out of the Cheecham Terminal but TransCanada’s deliveries of natural gas are safe.

The fire, which started at 18,500 acres in size and has grown to a daunting 210,000 acres in a span of three days, is still ablaze and has no current end in sight as the weather continues to be unpredictable for persistent firefighters.

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