At least 240,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day of production, mostly in Canada’s Montney and Duvernay plays, is offline as wildfires across Alberta return in full force, with much of the 2.7 million barrels per day of oil sands production in “very high” or “extreme” wildfire danger rating zones, according to Rystad Energy.
Wildfires in the region hit the energy industry last week, taking 320,000 boepd offline, but several days of rain gave the area some respite, Rystad vice president Thomas Liles said on Wednesday.
Although reports based on operators' communications indicate lower volumes being affected, Liles says the impact of the fires could now in reality be cutting production by more than 300,000 boepd, if not higher.
Uncertainties remain as some companies that announced shut-ins earlier this month have not provided updates to their production volumes.
The most impacted operators are Chevron, Paramount Resources and Crescent Point Energy, Rystad reported.
US supermajor Chevron announced it had shut in its Duvernay production at Kaybob, impacting an estimated 59,000 boepd based on March volumes.
Paramount and Crescent Point each reported an impact of 45,000 boepd at Wapiti and Kaybob.
However, Vermilion Energy has reinstated some of its production. The company initially had 30,000 boepd of output impacted, but this has now decreased to 12,000 boepd.
For now, the largest unknowns focus on five operators: Cenovus Energy, Whitecap Resources, NuVista Energy, Canadian Natural Resources and Tourmaline Oil, said Liles.
Cenovus on 4 May shut in 85,000 boepd but has not provided an update since 10 May. NuVista and Canadian Natural shut in 40,000 boepd apiece from 5 May and also have not provided any further updates.
Rystad reported that if these impacted volumes have remained static, about 480,000 boepd could currently be affected by the wildfires.
More to come
The Alberta government has posted updates on the wildfires, saying temperatures are expected to increase again by the end of the week.
Other areas of Alberta and Canada are also at risk of production production outages if the fires get worse.
British Columbia is facing fires as well, with essentially all of the province’s 1.2 million boepd Montney production located in “extreme” wildfire danger areas, noted Rystad.
These blazes are closest to Montney wells operated by ConocoPhillips, Arc Resources and Pacific Canbriam Energy.