Oil sands operators shelter refugees


CALGARY, May 4, 2016 – Operators working in Alberta’s oil patch have opened up their work camps to locals fleeing from the raging wildfires, Canadian media reported on Wednesday. As part of the province of Alberta’s largest-ever wildfire evacuation, the whole population of Fort McMurray – some 80,000 people – is being evacuated.


Shell’s Albain village camp was opened up to local residents, as were the Noralta Lodge facilities. Producer Syncrude shared a map on Twitter indicating the locations of nearby work camps. It also cancelled its day shift and reduced oil sands production. China National Offshore Oil Corporation subsidiary Nexen had a modified staffing plan in the works at the time.

The wildfires are a major setback for Alberta, which has been hit hard by the drop in oil prices. Some 40,000 oil- and gas-related jobs have been lost in Canada since mid-2014, the majority of which were in Alberta.

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Photo credit: Robert Murray