The Suncor oil sands facility seen from a helicopter near Fort McMurray, Alta., Tuesday, July 10, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Industry group forecasts $2-billion rise in oil and gas spending this year

Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers points to provincial government policies

Business friendly policies enacted by the Alberta and Saskatchewan governments are receiving much of the credit as the Canadian oil and gas industry forecasts a jump of about $2 billion in capital spending this year.

After spending declines in four of the past five years, about six per cent more will be invested in the Canadian upstream sector this year compared with 2019, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers said Thursday.

That will take the total to about $37 billion, which is less than half as much as in 2014 when investment levels reached $81 billion.

The association said the “main driver” for the spending jump is an improved economic environment due to provincial government policies, along with growing optimism that new export pipeline capacity will be built.

“The increase in capital investment is a very positive sign for the upstream sector, and there is a lot more work to be done to keep this momentum,” CAPP CEO Tim McMillan said.

“That includes the continued steps being taken, including the government of Alberta’s red tape reduction panel, as well as necessary work that must happen in terms of municipal tax reform in both Alberta and Saskatchewan to foster fairness and competitiveness.”

CAPP said Alberta’s moves to slash corporate tax rates and ease oil production curtailment levels, as well as Saskatchewan’s regulatory efficiency and recent target to boost oil output by 25 per cent by 2030, are both helping investor confidence.

The industry has been calling for changes to the way municipalities calculate property taxes, charging valuations are too high given recent hard times.

The Rural Municipalities of Alberta reported about $173 million in property taxes from oil and gas companies is owed to 69 municipalities across the province, up 114 per cent from last year.

Non-oilsands oil and natural gas capital investment for 2020 is forecast at $25.4 billion, CAPP said, up four per cent from an estimated $24.4 billion last year.

Oilsands spending is forecast at $11.6 billion in 2020, up eight per cent from an estimated $10.7 billion in 2019 and the first rise in five years.

“Last year was a pretty tough year so I think eight per cent is not surprising,” Alex Pourbaix, CEO of oilsands producer Cenovus Energy Inc., said in an interview.

In another encouraging sign for the industry, the Petroleum Services Association of Canada said Thursday it was revising its drilling forecast higher for 2020.

It now estimates 4,800 wells will be drilled across Canada, an increase of 300 wells or seven per cent from PSAC’s October estimate.

READ MORE: Oil and gas industry applauds top court’s dismissal of B.C.’s Trans Mountain case

“With three major oilsands companies planning higher activity this year with some curtailment quotas relaxed, we have increased our forecast by 300 wells,” PSAC CEO Gary Mar said.

“Overall, however, although many companies experienced a stronger start to 2020, we believe this is primarily due to work deferred from 2019 Q4 that will not translate into increased activity for the rest of the year.”

CAPP estimates the extra $2 billion in capital spending will create or sustain about 11,800 direct and indirect jobs across Canada, with 8,100 in Alberta.

The Canadian Press

oil and gas

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sylvan Lake plumbers ask for social distancing while working in homes

Fonda’s Plumbing and Heating says they went out to six service calls in one day during the outbreak

Town of Sylvan Lake temporally lays off 64 employees during COVID-19 pandemic

The Town has enacted a temporary 60-day layoff process for 64 employees

Sylvan Lake baseball season postponed until the end of April

Sylvan Lake Minor Ball made the announcement as a result of Baseball Alberta’s decision

Alberta’s new sport fishing regulations include more harvesting opportunities

The 2020 regulations feature more opportunities for recreational fishing and online licences

A message from the publisher

Consider a voluntary subscription to Sylvan Lake News

Wetaskiwin Food Banks are preparing for a surge in need due to COVID-19

Layoffs are expected to play a major role in need for the Food Bank.

Lacombe Rams football adapting to COVID-19 changes

Spring camp likely cancelled; players working on games from home

Trump says he expects Russia, Saudis to cut oil production

Energy prices haven’t been this low since 2002

Town of Blackfalds announces layoffs amid COVID-19 pandemic

Over 25 staff are being laid off or their contract terminated early

WATCH: Update from Prime Minister Trudeau

April 2 briefing from Ottawa

Unemployed during COVID-19? Here’s how to navigate federal programs

Here’s who qualifies for federal assistance

With US border work on track, rural towns fear an outbreak

Keystone XL oil pipeline raises COVID-19 concerns

Most Read