Canada's Oil Sands: highlights from Q1 2016 results
The oil sands industry continued an uphill battle in Q1 2016 as benchmark WTI oil prices continued their decline to prices not seen since the early millennium. Even though oil sands operators have reduced operating costs, bitumen realisations declined to the lowest prices yet in the current downturn. The depreciating Canadian dollar throughout the quarter helped producers mitigate some of the damage. An industry that has already been hit hard by prices will be further impacted by the massive wildfires in Fort McMurray. At the time of writing more than one million boe/d of production has been shut down. Projects impacted include the Suncor mine and upgrader, Firebag, MacKay River, Athabasca Oil Sands Project, Syncrude, Sunrise, Surmont, Hangingstone, and Long Lake. The fire is aggressive and has the potential to threaten further shut down of projects in the region.