Canadian Natural Resources last week evacuated its Pelican Lake and Woodenhouse operations in northern Alberta, the first major shut-in of oil production triggered by wildfires in 2019, Kallanish Energy reports.
The producer removed all 240 people working at the two sites, stopping a combined 65,000 barrels per day of heavy crude production, according to a statement late Friday, Bloomberg reported.
In 2016, fires destroyed entire neighborhoods in the oil-sands town of Fort McMurray and disrupted nearby oil-related operations.
This year, wildfires in northern Alberta had so far spared production facilities, but Friday morning smoke blanketed the city of Calgary, where most of the industry has its headquarters operations.
While Calgary is no stranger to smoke from Alberta wildfires, the haze more often appears in August, when the season is at its peak.
Some pedestrians walked around the city with surgical masks on, while further north in the province thousands of people were evacuated from remote communities where dry conditions have spawned the forest fires, Bloomberg reported.
CTV Edmonton reported roughly 14 homes were destroyed and dozens of others are in danger in the Metis settlement of Paddle Prairie, about 600 miles north of Calgary.
The nearest big wildfires are about 300 miles away from Calgary. The town of High Level has been under an evacuation order since May 20. Evacuations have also been ordered for other areas including Keg River and Wabasca.
This post appeared first on Kallanish Energy News.