Freeze-up hasn’t resulted in a bump in drilling

Crescent Point accounts for 39.3 per cent of drilling in Saskatchewan

Estevan – Winter seems to have taken hold in Saskatchewan, and with freeze-up, areas that were previously too muddy to work in are now an option.

But that hasn’t had a huge impact in Saskatchewan. As Crescent Point Energy Corp. has ramped up its drilling program to 13 rigs in Saskatchewan (plus two in Alberta), it appears other companies have fallen off. The result is Rig Locator reports only 33 drilling rigs active in Saskatchewan as of Oct. 30.

Notably, some companies that often run several rigs had reduced that to one. Vermillion Energy didn’t have any reported.

That means Crescent Point accounts for 39.3 per cent of all drilling activity in Saskatchewan. In the Flat Lake area they had one rig working south of Oungre, another working southwest of Torquay and a third at Bromhead. In their Viewfield play there were rigs working at Bryant, Viewfield, and, northeast of Stoughton, Melrose and Handsworth.  

Uncharacteristically, the company continued drilling with one rig northwest of Carnduff. This is notable as that area is one of those that Crescent Point has put up for sale, and most of the regions for sale have seen next to no drilling activity.

Crescent Point also had four rigs working near Shaunavon, three west of the town and one further south at Rapdan. Its final rig was at Dodsland.

As for the other companies working, Fire Sky Energy Inc. had a rig working south of Gainsborough. Astra Oil Corp. was drilling southeast of Lampman while Highrock Resources Ltd. was drilling northwest of the community, at Morrisview.

Ridgeback Resources Ltd. was drilling northeast of Stoughton. Torc Oil & Gas Ltd. ad one rig at Beaubier. Gear Energy Ltd. was drilling in close proximity to Deep Earth Energy Production, which is working on its second geothermal well, south of Torquay.

As usual, Mosaic has a rig reported at Esterhazy.  

In west central Saskatchewan, Pele Energy Inc was drilling at Tortnes.

Baytex Energy had rigs at Elrose, Dodsland, and a third northeast of Kindersley. Ish Energy Ltd. had one rig working at Prairiedale. Caltex Resources Ltd. had one rig at Druid.

In northwest Saskatchewan, Husky Energy, which recently announced an undisclosed number of layoffs, had rigs at Aberfeldy, Paradise Hill and Sandall.

Baytex had a rig at Big Gully, north of Lashburn.  

West Lake Energy Corp. had one rig south of Lashburn and another at Celtic.

Provincially, Saskatchewan’s 33 rigs made a 29 per cent utilization rate for the province, with the Canadian Association of Oilwell Contractors reporting 113 rigs in the province. Those numbers are similar to what we saw in 2017, but a bit lower than 2018. Alberta had just 98 rigs working out of 382, for a 26 per cent utilization rate. British Columbia seems to have found something of a bottom after a continual downward trend all year. It had 12 out of 46 rigs working, for a 26 per cent utilization rate. Manitoba had four of six rigs working, for a 67 per cent utilization.

Nationally, there were 148 rigs working out of 549, for a 27 per cent utilization rate. That included one rig working in Ontario.

That number is off considerably from the last two years, and neither of those years could be considered banner years in their own right. On Oct. 25, 2018, there were 226 rigs working, while on the same date in 2017, there were 215. The consistent trend since spring breakup has been roughly 50 to 60 fewer rigs working, nationwide, compared to the previous two years.  

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