Crown land sales lag in the South­west

Southwest Booster - - NEWS -

While the prov­ince is on pace to set a new record in crude oil pro­duc­tion, in­ter­est in the South­west dur­ing Saskatchewan’s Crown petroleum and nat­u­ral gas rights land sales has been slow­ing.

Dur­ing the De­cem­ber land sale, only $122,697 was gen­er­ated in the South­west dur­ing a sale where $13.9 mil­lion was gen­er­ated prov­ince wide. The Wey­burn/Este­van area again led the prov­ince with $7.5 mil­lion in ac­tiv­ity, fol­lowed by the Lloy­d­min­ster area at $5.1 mil­lion, while $1.2 mil­lion was spent in the Kin­der­s­ley/Ker­robert re­gion.

De­cem­ber’s sale to­tals were also the low­est of the year in the South­west, marginally lower than the $139,326 from the June 2013 sale, and lag­ging be­hind other sales which ranged from $1 mil­lion to $1.3 mil­lion.

This year was over­all a quiet one for the South­west, with only $4.75 mil­lion in ac­tiv­ity gen­er­ated dur­ing the land sales. By fail­ing to crack the $5 mil­lion mark, 2013 ranks as the low­est to­tal since be­fore 1995 and the low­est yearly to­tal dat­ing back to 2000 when $5.55 mil­lion of ac­tiv­ity was gen­er­ated in this cor­ner of the prov­ince.

Provin­cially the $67.4 mil­lion in ac­tiv­ity is in the prox­im­ity of the pre­vi­ous re­cent slow years of 2000 ($48.34 mil­lion), 1999 ($45.6 mil­lion) and 1998 ($53.95 mil­lion).

Saskatchewan’s land sales in­ter­est con­tin­ues to be driven by the Wey­burn/Este­van re­gion where just over $40 mil­lion in in­ter­est has been shown, ac­count­ing for ap­prox­i­mately 60 per cent of the $67.4 mil­lion gen­er­ated across the prov­ince this year. The sec­ond hottest area of in­ter­est is the Lloy­d­min­is­ter area with $16.2 mil­lion in ac­tiv­ity.

The oil and gas in­dus­try in the prov­ince re­mains rid­ing high fol­low­ing the record 2008 where $1.12 bil­lion in Crown petroleum and nat­u­ral gas dis­po­si­tions were pur­chased.

The prov­ince is high­light­ing that Saskatchewan’s poli­cies are mak­ing it easy for com­pa­nies to do busi­ness in the prov­ince.

“Saskatchewan is now ranked as the num­ber one ju­ris­dic­tion in Canada for oil and gas in­vest­ment poli­cies ac­cord­ing Fraser In­sti­tute’s an­nual Global Petroleum Sur­vey,” En­ergy and Re­sources Min­is­ter Tim McMil­lan stated in a press re­lease high­light­ing the De­cem­ber land sales to­tals. “This vote of con­fi­dence from the in­dus­try shows that our gov­ern­ment is tak­ing the right steps to en­sure Saskatchewan re­mains com­pet­i­tive not only in Canada but glob­ally as well.”

McMil­lan points to pro­grams such as the Process Re­newal and In­fra­struc­ture Man­age­ment En­hance­ment (PRIME) pro­gram, in­tended to mod­ern­ize the min­istry’s oil and gas busi­ness pro­cesses and com­puter sys­tems, sends a strong sig­nal to in­dus­try that the prov­ince in­tends to re­main one of the best places to in­vest. Last year, PRIME suc­cess­fully in­te­grated Saskatchewan’s vol­u­met­ric re­port­ing into Petrinex, Canada’s petroleum in­for­ma­tion net­work, and has turned its at­ten­tion to re­new­ing pro­cesses and sys­tems re­lated to wells, fa­cil­i­ties and petroleum ten­ure, which in­cludes the land sale and in­stru­ment reg­istry.

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