This part of the disaster will wait — RCMP photo
❝ Workers for one of the largest oil sands companies affected by a massive wildfire in northern Canada will begin returning to the shuttered facilities on Thursday…
Meanwhile, the premier of the province of Alberta and the head of the Canadian Red Cross announced that residents of Fort McMurray, the oil-boom town that was evacuated last week because of the fire, would be offered direct financial aid.
In Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau established a new ad hoc cabinet committee to coordinate federal relief efforts. Trudeau will tour the fire zone on Friday.
❝ Ken Smith, President of Unifor Local 707, a union that represents 3,400 Suncor Energy Inc workers, said the company was starting to fly employees back to its oil sands base plant from Thursday.
“It will take a few days to get the plant up and in condition to start handling feed. The mine can get going as soon as the trucks and shovels are ready, but it will take the plant a bit longer to become functional,” Smith said…
❝ Late Wednesday, Enbridge Inc said it had restarted its 550,000 barrel per day Line 18 pipeline after it was shut as a precaution. The line carries crude from Enbridge’s Cheecham terminal 380 kilometers south to the regional crude trading hub of Edmonton. Enbridge also said crews were on site at its facilities in the Fort McMurray region and confirmed its terminals were not damaged by the wildfire.
Royal Dutch Shell Plc was the first company to resume operations in the area, restarting its Albian Sands mines at a reduced rate. The facility can produce up to 255,000 bpd.
Syncrude, controlled by Suncor, restarted power generation at its oil sands mine in Aurora, north of the city, on Tuesday as it began planning to resume operations. The site has a total capacity of around 315,000 bpd.
I’m not surprised at the priorities established after this disaster. Dare I ask what percentage of profits will be allocated to rebuilding home and lives in Fort McMurray. Or will they continue to flow – like the oil – to benefit shareholders, first and foremost?