In a recent interview on CBC news, Tim McMillan, CEO of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) discussed how the energy industry in northern Alberta has been affected by the Fort McMurray wildfires, and the next steps that oil sands producers are taking to return to normal.
While many of the projects to the north of Fort McMurray were left unscathed, such as the Shell Albion facility, which has re-started production at a reduced rate, some facilities to the south of the city sustained smoke damage, and access to some sites remains restricted as recovery teams assess the damage. Timelines are uncertain, but it may take days or weeks for some facilities to re-start production.
One of the biggest obstacles facing the industry is the logistics associated with securing housing for workers. Getting people back to work is an important part of the recovery process, but McMillian stresses that the safety of the workers is of the utmost importance. With the fires still burning, smoke inhalation remains a safety concern.
McMillan notes how the safety culture in the oil sands contributed to the safe and orderly evacuation of almost 90,000 people with very little notice.
If you’re looking for ways to support relief efforts for those affect by the wildfires, the CBC’s ‘We’ve Got Your Back, Fort Mac‘ charity blitz event is on today until 6 p.m.
Sportsnet 960 is also hosting the ‘Friends of Fort McMurray Radio-athon‘ on Friday, May 13 from 5:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.