A pumpjack works at a well head on an oil and gas installation near Cremona, Alta., Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016. A key indicator of future oil and gas drilling activity in Western Canada is sliding lower as the industry deals with a lack of pipeline capacity, Alberta oil production curtailments and difficulty accessing capital markets. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Alberta drilling rights auctions post record low returns for province

key indicator of future oil and gas drilling activity in Alberta has fallen to a record low

A key indicator of future oil and gas drilling activity in Alberta has fallen to a record low as pipeline capacity constraints continue to restrain oilpatch spending.

This week’s auction of Crown drilling rights — which allow energy exploration on land where mineral rights are held by the province — raised just $3.9 million for the Alberta treasury, bringing the 12-month total to $119 million.

That’s less than the previous low mark of $137 million set in 2016 amid depressed global commodity prices and the lowest since the auction system was adopted in 1977.

The high was in 2011, when a bidding frenzy sparked by the Duvernay oil-bearing formation resulted in $3.5 billion spent on buying rights.

Auctions in British Columbia also posted a record low in 2019, with a total of $14.7 million invested, slightly below the $15.2 million in 2016 that was the previous low. The record high in B.C. was $2.66 billion in 2008.

In Saskatchewan, sales of drilling rights raised about $25 million in 2019, the lowest since 1992. The province’s record year was also 2008, when it raised $1.1 billion.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

Sylvan Lake and Eckville slowly climbing out of the deep freeze

The Weather Network says warmer, more moderate temperatures are on the way

Mystery thrillers were Sylvan Lake’s popular reads in 2019

Half of the top 10 borrowed titles from Sylvan Lake’s library in 2019 were mystery crime thrillers

School busses once again running in Sylvan Lake

School busses did not run for three days this week due to the extreme cold temperatures

Sylvan Lake RCMP seek assistance in locating missing male

Mark Crier, 17, was last seen in Sylvan Lake on Jan. 13

Advance care planning helps you document your healthcare wishes

It’s important that your loved ones and your healthcare team understand your wishes for healthcare

Rebels fight back from 3-1 Raider lead to win 4-3 in shootout

Two goals by Zak Smith key to Rebels comeback

‘Extensive’ work planned at Big Bar landslide ahead of salmon, steelhead migration

Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan visited the site of the slide from June

Royal deal clears way for Harry, Meghan part-time Canada move: experts

Keith Roy of the Monarchist League of Canada said the deal is exactly what Harry and Meghan asked for

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

RCMP Major Crimes Unit lays charges in Stettler death

Nicholas Climb Johnson, 32, of Stettler is charged with second degree murder in the death of his father

Metis nations ask Ottawa to negotiate directly with them, not national body

Three provincial Metis nations will work through the national council until after the federal government releases its 2020 budget

Most Read