Saskatchewan drilling flat, Manitoba picks up

Estevan – With Crescent Point Energy Corp. at the top of the leaderboard nation-wide with 17 active drilling rigs, Saskatchewan drilling activity remained relatively flat on Oct. 17 with 49 active rigs. Manitoba had seven rigs on the go.

That’s according to sister publication Rig Locator (

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Sixteen of those 17 Crescent Point rigs were working in Saskatchewan.

Two were in western central Saskatchewan, four were in the southwest, and the remaining 10 were in the southeast. Of those, four were in close proximity to the U.S. border southwest of Torquay, and another three were clustered just east of Bromhead. Another rig was working south of Griffin, one was working near the Viewfield townsite, and a third was east of Creelman.

Crescent Point’s rigs were indicative of noticeable trend in the southeast. While drilling near Torquay and Oungre has been concentrated for some time, there’s been a broader trend to see activity between Highway 361/702 and Highway 13, from just north of Midale to just east of Lampman. These rigs aren’t any particular concentration, but rather spread out, working for several operators.

What does stand out is that there is very little drilling east of Highway 9, with the exception of two rigs. Adonaii Resources II Corporation had one right west of Carnduff, and Vermillion Energy Inc. had a rig in the extreme southeast corner, at Elmore, near the Antler River and within sight of the U.S. border.

Vermillion also had rigs at Pinto, Bryant and Hoffer.

Torc Oil & Gas Ltd. had rigs at Hoffer and Huntoon.

Whitecap Resources Inc. had one rig at Weyburn.

Ridgeback Resources Inc. was drilling northeast of Stoughton. Keystone Royalty Corp. had one rig working at Browning, north of Lampman. Keystone had been the parent company of Villanova 4, which recently sold.

In the same area, Highrock Resources Ltd. had one rig at Minard Astra Oil Corp. had its own rig at Minard. A little further west, Firesky Energy Inc. had one rig at Bryant.

Cardinal Energy Ltd., which took over the former Apache field at Midale, now had a drilling rig working in that unit.

As usual, Mosaic Potash showed one rig at Esterhazy.

And speaking of non-oil drilling, North American Helium Inc. had one rig southeast of Swift Current, at Wymark.

The other four rigs in the southwest were the aforementioned Crescent Point units, at Clintonville (northwest of Shaunavon), east of Eastend, and two at Eastbrook.

West Central Saskatchewan saw four rigs for Teine Energy Ltd. Two were at Plato, one at Whiteside and another at Avon Hill.

Turnstone Energy Inc. had one rig at Totnes, which is southwest of Fiske. Crescent Point’s two rigs were at Dodsland.

Baytex Energy Ltd. (still showing up as Raging River Exploration inc.) also had a rig at Dodsland. They were drilling in the Ethmuir Lake area, just west of Kerrobert with a second rig. A third rig continued drilling at Soda Lake, south of Maidstone.

Despite extreme differentials on the price of heavy oil, Northwest Saskatchewan, heavy oil country, continued to see activity at levels that was unheard of during the downturn. Caltex Resources Ltd. had one rig at Cosine, south of Macklin, while north of Macklin Rifle Shot Oil Corp. had one rig going.

BlackPearl Resources Inc., currently subject to a takeover, had one rig at Onion Lake, where the company had been pursuing a SAGD project for several years.

Husky Energy also had rigs working in the northwest including Lashburn, Aberfeldy, Sandall, Bolney, Brightsand Lake and Edam.

Overall, Saskatchewan had 43 per cent of its drilling fleet in operation, with 65 of 114 rigs in the province listed as down.


Manitoba saw a spike in activity, with seven rigs working, one of the highest numbers it’s seen for some time.

In the south, Canadian Natural Resources Limited had one rig at Pierson. Corval Energy Limited had one rig at Daly.

Corex Resources Ltd. had rigs at Sinclair and Roselea.

Tundra Oil & Gast Ltd. had three rigs spread out through Manitoba’s oil region, from Birdtail in the north, to Sinclair in the middle and Waskada in the south.

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