Shell Canada closes 24 natural gas wells in Alberta due to wildfires


Shell Canada has shut down operations of 24 natural gas wells and associated pipelines in south-western Alberta in the wake of increasing wildfires.

The company’s Waterton sour gas processing complex, located south-west of Pincher Creek, however, continues to operate, although it is being monitored.

The Kenow wildfire currently covers about 33,000ha in Alberta, measuring around 42,000ha in total.

Firefighters are engaged in bringing the fires under control.

Shell Canada spokesman Cameron Yost was quoted by Reuters as saying: “We have reduced the number of employees in the field and plant to a handful performing critical services and have plans in place for their immediate evacuation once our facilities have safely been shut-in.”

"We have reduced the number of employees in the field and plant to a handful performing critical services and have plans in place for their immediate evacuation once our facilities have safely been shut-in."

The complex was designed to produce around 3,500 cubic metres and processes sour natural gas from the Waterton field, as well as produces sales gas (methane), natural gas liquids, condensate and sulphur.

In May this year, Royal Dutch Shell sold all its in-situ and undeveloped oil sands interests in Canada, besides reducing its share in the Athabasca Oil Sands Project (AOSP) from 60% to 10%.

Together, the transactions accrued proceeds of nearly $9.45bn to the company.

At present, the company’s operations in the country include shales, with large acreage positions in the Duvernay and Montney formations.

In addition, Shell has downstream operations covering chemicals, refining and marketing divisions.