The McMurray fires: Counting the losses

Canada’s McMurray fires have been raging for weeks now, with their environmental impact clear to all. A new report shows that as well as the massive environmental damage, the fires have also stagnated economic activities in the affected regions.

18th May 2016


The McMurray fires: Counting the losses

Canada’s McMurray fires have been raging for weeks now, with their environmental impact clear to all. A new report shows that as well as the massive environmental damage, the fires have also stagnated economic activities in the affected regions.

According to the report, the fires have led to a loss of $760 million in oil production in the oil sands.

The report was compiled by a team of economic experts after a thorough analysis of the financial impact of the fires and indicates that for the past two weeks, at least 1.2 million barrels of oil was lost daily.

The figures make up 0.33% of Alberta province’s projected 2016 GDP, as well 0.06% of Canada’s projected GDP.

“These are big numbers,” said Kevin Birn, an IHS Energy analyst.

"The industry was already feeling the impact of a very low price environment in the first quarter of the year, with prices lower than in the rest of the world,” he told BBC's Bill Wilson. 

Calming nerves

The Economic research organisation, The Conference Board of Canada, has sought to provide assurances that impact on the national economy will be ‘minimal’.

According to Bill Wilson, the affected companies in the oil sands are some of the biggest in the world, and will push to reinstate normalcy in their activities as soon as possible.

“Some facilities had already started ramping up, ready to restart production, but have had to stand down again and evacuate workers. There is rain forecast for this weekend, which will hopefully bring an end to this disruption,” he said.

Close look

The government plans to restore life to normal in McMurray as soon as possible.

“We are not going to have people going back until we know it’s safe,” said Rachel Notley, Prime Minister of Alberta.

Published by Green Jobs Online - 18th May 2015

 

 

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