Foster Creek resumes operations after CLAWR forest fire

Cenovus Energy Inc. reported on June 11 that it has resumed operations at its Foster Creek oil sands project in northern Alberta after a forest fire on the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range (CLAWR) led to a precautionary, 11-day shutdown of the operation on May 23 (OGJ Online, May 26, 2015).

The company expects the shutdown will result in a 10,500-b/d net reduction in output during the second quarter, and 2,600-b/d net reduction for the full year. However, Cenovus expects full-year production to remain within its annual guidance of 62,000-68,000 b/d net.

Essential staff was cleared to return to Foster Creek on June 1 to inspect the site and begin start-up activities. The company says that crews found no damage to the facility and infrastructure, and the restart of operations went smoothly. The company is assessing expected costs incurred as a result of the evacuation and the shutdown.

The Athabasca natural gas operation, also shut down due to the forest fire, has returned to normal operations as well. The facility produces 20 MMcfd of gas used as fuel for Foster Creek. While the forest fire caused minor damage to peripheral equipment at some well sites, the natural gas wells were not affected.

Alberta Agriculture and Forestry declared on June 9 that the forest fire on the CLAWR was being held and thus lifted the precautionary 2-hr evacuation notice for Foster Creek.

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