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Wildfire forces Shell Canada to shut down oilsands mining project


FORT MCKAY, Alta. – Shell Canada has closed its oilsands mining operations 70 kilometres north of Fort McMurray because of the wildfire raging through the northern Alberta city.

The company says it shut down production at its Albian Sands project in Fort McKay to get employees and their families out of the region.

Spokesman Cameron Yost says it also wants to free up space at its 2,000-person work camp for some of the 80,000 people ordered evacuated from the city.

Shell is using its landing strip to fly employees and their families to Calgary or Edmonton and has provided two teams of firefighters to combat the blaze.

Shell’s two mines at the Albian Sands site have capacity to produce 255,000 barrels of oil per day.

Suncor Energy says it has reduced production and staffing levels at its main oilsands mine just north of Fort McMurray, but the facility is not in immediate danger from the fire.

Copyright (c) 2015 The Canadian Press