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Canadian oil sands begin to resume production

|About: Royal Dutch Shell plc (RDS.A)|By:, SA News Editor

Canadian oil sands companies near Fort McMurray are beginning to restart their operations, as the out of control wildfire continues to rage but has now moved far enough away from the oil sands' sites to allow the companies to return.

Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) is the first company to resume its operation in the area, restarting production at its Albian mine, and Enbridge (NYSE:ENB) has begun inspecting its facilities and prepares to restart operations shuttered during the blaze.

Suncor (NYSE:SU) says it has restarted power generation at its Syncrude oil sands mine in Aurora, and CEO Steve Williams says he expects oil sands companies would resume production “in the coming days and maybe a week or so, but you’re not talking longer periods.”

Alberta Premier Notley says there was no damage to oil sands facilities north of Fort McMurray, although the fire caused minor damage to Nexen’s (NYSE:CEO) oil sands facility south of the city and to ENB’s above-ground facilities along its pipelines in the area.

The decline to production reportedly reached at least 839K bbl/day, or close to one-third of Canada’s overall daily production, before Shell's restart.

While ~2,400 homes and buildings were destroyed by fire, officials say ~90% of buildings in Fort McMurray, including schools and a hospital, remain intact; two people died in accidents related to evacuating the fires.

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