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Drilling forecast predicts production to pick up

More than half of the wells drilled in Canada next year are expected to be in Alberta.

The Petroleum Services Association of Canada has released its 2018 Canadian Drilling Activity Forecast, with a total of 7,900 wells predicted. Of that, 3,998 are estimated to be in Alberta, which is an increase of 152 over 2017.

The numbers are based on PSAC’s confidence that oil will stay in the low-to-mid $50 U.S. range, as well as a growing interest in Canada’s natural gas. The forecast used an average natural gas price of $2.50 CAD per Mcf, crude oil prices of $53 U.S. a barrel , and the Canadian dollar at $0.82 U.S.

However, while 2018’s activity is expected to be better than any of the last three years, it’s still 30 per cent lower than in 2014. PSAC president Mark Salkeld says the cancellation of TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline has hurt investor confidence.

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“The world’s energy needs are growing and polls show that countries would prefer Canadian oil and gas that is responsibly-developed and working to reduce carbon emissions through innovation. Market access and development of our natural resources would not only help reduce global emissions and help lift third-world countries out of energy poverty, but would continue to benefit Canadians too by providing energy security, LNG for remote and northern communities, great high-tech jobs and world prices for our resources so that they can continue to provide economic benefits to all Canadians.”

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