In what could be a body blow to Alberta’s already strained infrastructure, a European energy consultancy is warning that up to 80% of the province’s oil sands production is at risk due to the worsening wildfire situation.

According to Oslo-based Rostand Energy, up to 2.7 million barrels per day (bpd) of mined and pumped bitumen is at risk due to “extreme” and “very high” wildfire warnings in the northern part of the province. Given that Alberta produces about 3.4 million bpd of upgraded synthetic oil and raw bitumen, that means about 80% of the province’s daily output is at risk of shut-ins or damage.

Of projected production for the month of May, Rystad said about 60% are subject to “extreme” wildfire warnings, while another 40% are in areas with “very high” risk, it said.

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