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Increased oil and gas investment in Saskatchewan

6/07/2016 by Usha Tyagi


Much of the oil and gas industry around the world remains in turmoil as falling prices and increasingly challenging operating environments make it difficult for many companies to carry on. However, amidst much downsizing, redundancy and business upheaval across the globe, investment remains. In Canada, for example, it has been revealed that though the oil and gas industry in Alberta continues to experience troubling times, the opposite is true in Saskatchewan, where investment in this industry is actually on the rise. Though well below overall operations in Alberta, new signs of growth are a positive sentiment for the sector.

Energy investors have had to become increasingly savvy over the past few years. Though the price of oil has plummeted, with much of the drop attributed to over-supply, energy is still required around the world and, as such, investment opportunities can still be attractive for the right people. Whilst Alberta has lost favour with many companies due to falling prices, it doesn’t mean that investors are sitting on their hands. In fact, recent deals have taken place in Saskatchewan and, as a result, have boosted the province’s position amongst the players in the oilfield service sector.

There are a variety of factors influencing just which opportunities seem the most lucrative and attractive to prospective investors. The recent commodity prices, for example, have made the light oil market more eye-catching to some. Meanwhile, Petroleum Services Association of Canada Chief Executive Officer and President Mark Salkeld said that politics also plays an important role. “Premiere [Brad] Wall is, no surprise to anybody, an unabashedly proud supporter of the oil and gas industry,” he said. Salkeld continued by saying that geographical location, particularly proximity to the US border, was a factor, as is transport. For example, train capacity can affect how attractive specific oil and gas areas can be. “The producers who were active in those plays in Saskatchewan were ramping up their railcar loading capacity because their product was in demand in the US,” he said.

It isn’t a complete loss for Alberta, however, with Salkeld saying that the province’s crude oil is still in demand. As a result, if and when prices begin to see upwards movement once again, it’s likely that local industry operations will pick up again. He added that even during slower periods, Alberta still has between two and three times as many new wells drilled in comparison to Saskatchewan.  




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