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Oil drilling activity to drop to lowest level since 1977

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It’s expected that 2016 will be the worst year on record for the oil and gas industry. In its revised activity forecast released Wednesday the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors predicted a 25 per cent drop in new oil and gas wells from what was expected in November.

It was originally forecast that companies would drill 4,728 wells this year, but that number’s been adjusted down to 3,562. That’s 68 per cent less than two years ago.

President Mark Scholz says the industry is facing its most difficult economic time in a generation. It’s estimated more than 5,000 people directly employed in drilling have lost their jobs since 2014. Another 29,000 employed indirectly are also out of work.

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