Canada Oil, Natural-Gas Drilling to Rise, Group Says
Canadian energy explorers will drill 12,750 wells this year, up from 12,158 in 2010, according to the Petroleum Services Association of Canada.
Drilling in Saskatchewan will jump 11 percent to 3,075 wells as producers seek to tap the Bakken shale formation, according to the Calgary-based group, which represents oilfield services companies. Alberta will see the most wells drilled at 8,390, a 3 percent gain over 2010, the association said in an e- mailed statement.
“Due to strengthening oil prices and innovations in technology, we expect 2011 to see modest increases in drilling,” Mark Salkeld, president of the association, said in the statement. “The industry is still faced with weak natural- gas prices primarily related to oversupply in the market.”
The organization used a price assumption of $85 a barrel for benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude and a Canadian price of C$3.85 per thousand cubic feet ($3.84 per million British thermal units) for gas at the AECO ‘C’ hub in Alberta.
More than 5,000 horizontal wells will be drilled, the association estimated. Horizontal drilling is used in heavy oil production and to tap deposits of gas trapped in shale.
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