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2017 Oil and Drilling Forecast Rises for Alberta and Saksatchewan

The drilling forecast for Alberta has risen dramatically. The original expectation from the Petroleum Services Association of Canada was originally 1900 wells for 2017. That has now spiked 75 per cent to more than 3300 wells, leading all provinces.

In the first 3 months, Alberta has drilled nearly 1, 200 wells, compared to 519 last year, a 131% increase in activity. This was the highest increase in activity and largest number of wells drilled in Western Canada. The number of active rigs are also up, average 210 rigs drilling, which is a 101% increase from 2016. Each active rig can support 135 direct and indirect jobs.

Saskatchewan is also seeing a major increase to their drilling forecast. Their new estimated number is 2,670 wells, up from the original forecast of 1, 940 wells in 2017. In the first 3 months Saskatchewan has already drilled 856 wells, compared to 399 wells drilled in the same time in 2016.

“After an extended period of cost management and reductions, this industry is showing us once again the kind of resiliency and efficiency that makes it one of our most dynamic economic sectors and a major contributor to Saskatchewan’s economic growth,” said Energy and Resources Minister Dustin Duncan.

Across the country, the drilling activity forecast is up 60 per cent to 6, 680 wells. The updated numbers are based on P-SACK’s confidence that the price of oil will continue to hover around the $50 mark and the price of natural gas at $3. It also relies on deep cuts to service sector costs.

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President Mark Salkeld maintains Canada still desperately needs pipelines to be built and LNG trains to be approved.

This article was contributed to by Erica Fisher.

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