Wildfires burn millions of acres in Canada, send oil prices higher

By Emma Newburger
May 17, 2023
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Wildfires burning across western Canada have forced thousands of people to evacuate their homes and have prompted some oil and gas companies to curb production as blazes approach pipelines. The fires have burned about 478,000 hectares, or 1,800 square miles, across Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan as of Monday — 10 times the average area burned for this time of year, according to the NASA Earth Observatory. The fires have had a notable impact on the region’s oil industry, as some drillers were forced to halt a small percentage of production in a precautionary measure due to shifting fire conditions. This week, benchmark Canadian heavy crude prices tightened to multi-month highs over concerns about the blazes. Nearly 2.7 million barrels of daily oil sands production in Alberta is in “very high” or “extreme” wildfire danger zones, according to Rystad Energy, an energy consulting firm.

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