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Energy & Mines

February 2018

BC Land Sales

Alberta Land Sales

Land Sale Spending For Q1

Oil Pipeline Transport Survey, 2016

Tourmaline Oil

Top Operator

Metres Drilled

February Licensing

Tourmaline Gundy Gas Plant

Black Diamond Group Opens Workforce Lodge

Licence Count In Q1

Top Crown Land Buyer For Q1

Rig Release Count Dips In Q1, But Metres Drilled Rises


BC Land Sales

By Richard Macedo

The B.C. government’s fiscal year land sale revenue rebounded to $140.93 million in 2017/2018, up 130 per cent from the previous fiscal year.

B.C.’s current fiscal year runs from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018. March was the final auction of the current year. During that period, it sold 103,292 hectares at an average price of $1,364.39. For 2016/2017, it took in $61.23 million on 112,107 hectares at an average price of $546.17.

At the March 2018 sale, BC took in $869,350 in bonus bids on 4,707 hectares at an average price of $184.69.

Highlights this week included Scott Land & Lease Ltd. picking up a licence for $249,868 at an average price of $238.88.

Also at the sale, Scott Land picked up a licence for $356,250 at an average price of $150.

Calendar year-to-date, the province has attracted $15.82 million in bonus bids for 48,196 hectares at an average price of $328.16. After the same period of 2017, it had brought in $48.14 million 24,142 hectares at an average price of $1,993.95. The first quarter 2017 land sale figures in BC were bolstered by a large $39.62 million sale in January of that year.


BC had a quiet land sale in April as, after a brisk start to the year, things have cooled off in the natural gas-prone province.

The province took in $197,904 on 1,056 hectares at an average price of $187.41 in April. Just two parcels were purchased after one was withdrawn.

Year-to-date, the government has brought in $16.01 million on 49,252 hectares at an average price of $325.14.

JuneWarren-Nickle's Energy Group

Alberta Land Sales

By Richard Macedo

Industry paid $44.23 million into provincial coffers on March 7th in an unusual Alberta land sale that featured some very high bids mixed in with a pile of "no offers" and also some basement low bids.

A total of 81,923 hectares were acquired at an average price of $539.88.

Year-to-date, the government has attracted $85.06 million on 236,613 hectares at an average price of $359.47. To the same point of 2017, industry had paid $62.83 million for 229,589 hectares at an average price of $273.67.

Highlights

There were some high bonuses paid this week, including a group of leases being sold for $11.31 million. One of these parcels was acquired by Britt Resources Ltd. for $4.42 million at an average of $8,627.88.

Buffalo Hill Resources Ltd. paid $4.68 million for a licence.. The 2,340-hectare licence attracted an average price of $2,001.16.

Several licences received bids over $1 million, including some generating over $4,000 per hectare, and some very low bids, including one that received $10.08 per hectare.

Meanwhile, a licence was picked up by Scott Land & Lease Ltd., which submitted a bid of $1.2 million, at an average price of $528.88. It’s a large parcel spanning 2,263 hectares.


Alberta’s March 21st land sale produced the lowest bonus haul of the calendar year so far, but it capped a fiscal year in which bonus bids more than doubled.

This week, the province attracted $4.23 million in bids on the sale of 22,408 hectares at an average price of $188.80.

In the first quarter of 2018, Alberta has collected $89.29 million on the sale of 259,022 hectares at an average price of $344.71 per hectare. In the comparable period last year, the province brought in $82.72 million for 290,786 hectares at an average price of $284.49.

This was the last sale of the fiscal year for Alberta, which runs from April 1, 2017, to March 31, 2018. During that period, Alberta collected $562.96 million on 1.45 million hectares at an average price of $387.63.

For 2016/2017, industry paid $203.01 million for 1.03 million hectares at an average price of $196.59. Land sale revenue fell precipitously over the past five years, and remained weak for the previous two fiscal years, stemming from the downturn in oil prices.


On April 4, the Alberta government kicked off its second-quarter land sale schedule with a $5.64-million auction, the second lowest so far this year.

Industry picked up 47,924 hectares at an average price of $117.68. The land sale featured several low bids, including 16 parcels that received no offers. A total of 87 petroleum and natural gas (P&NG) parcels were offered, and two oilsands parcels. The oilsands parcels were sold for $8,244.48 at an average of $21.47.

Year-to-date, the government has collected $94.23 million in bonus bids on 306,946 hectares at an average price of $309.26.

Windfall Resources Ltd. produced the land sale high bid of $1.5 million for a 4,096-hectare licence at 64-07W6. The average price was $366.25.


The Alberta government on April 18 attracted $3.98 million in bonus bids — only 14 parcels were on offer at this auction.

Industry acquired 7,733 hectares at an average price of $515.19.

After a positive start to the year, things have started to tail off. The government attracted $89.29 million at five sales in the first quarter, and just $9.62 million after two sales in the second quarter. Q2 is a busy one, with five more sales left in May and June.

Year-to-date, the government has attracted $98.91 million on 314,679 at an average price of $314.32.

JuneWarren-Nickle's Energy Group

Land Sale Spending For Q1

By Richard Macedo

Over 80 per cent of land sale spending in the first quarter of 2018 in Western Canada was directed at Alberta.

During Q1, the western Canadian provinces combined for $108.74 million in bonus bids as producers picked up 317,321 hectares at an average price of $342.68. That’s down from $132.74 million for the January-March period of 2017, with industry having tied up 320,737 hectares at an average price of $413.87.

The overall drop was largely due to reduced spending in B.C., where there was a decline of over $30 million year-over-year.

Alberta quarterly bonus climbs

While down overall in the four western provinces, Alberta was a bright spot. In the first quarter of 2018, Alberta collected $89.29 million on the sale of 259,022 hectares at an average price of $344.71 per hectare. In the comparable period last year, the province brought in $82.72 million for 290,786 hectares at an average price of $284.49.

The three-month period was highlighted by a $44.23-million sale in early March.  It was an unusual land sale that featured some very high bids mixed in with a pile of "no offers" and also some basement low bids.

The original posting contained 296 parcels — one was withdrawn before the sale, and 63 parcels at the March 7 sale received no offers. The Duvernay and Montney were drivers for this auction.

The first land sale of the year was also a strong one — a total of $18.69 million in bonus bids, as industry purchased 66,442 hectares at an average price of $281.23.

Seven parcels from B0098 through to B0104 were posted for the sale — about 81 sections (more than two townships) of mostly contiguous lands, mostly all rights, offsetting large First Nations and freehold blocks in southwestern Alberta.

British Columbia declines

After a strong start to the year with a $12.83-million sale in January, things cooled off in February and March in British Columbia.  Most of the parcels posted in the sale opening sale were within or flanking the boundaries of the Montney play fairways, and it’s likely that most or all of the higher bids for those parcels where Montney rights were included were driven by the Montney.

For Q1, though, land spending was down. The province attracted $15.82 million in bonus bids for 48,196 hectares at an average price of $328.16. After the same period of 2017, it had brought in $48.14 million on 24,142 hectares at an average price of $1,993.95. The first quarter 2017 land sale figures in B.C. were bolstered by a large $39.62 million sale in January of that year.

Lone Q1 Saskatchewan sale climbs, but still muted

Sustained interest in Saskatchewan’s southeast region generated the majority of revenue in the February public offering of Crown petroleum and natural gas (P&NG) rights, the only one held in the first quarter, with $3.44 million in bonus bids, which was actually up from 2017.

The Feb. 6, 2018, public offering sold 8,364 hectares at an average of $411.20. In last year's first sale of the year, industry picked up 5,633 hectares for $1.73 million, or $307.26 per hectare.

Manitoba climbs

Manitoba’s first land sale of 2018 — and the only one in Q1 — brought $198,583 into provincial coffers. Twenty-three lease parcels, covering 1,740  hectares, were sold at an average price of $114.13. The one sale in Q1 2017 brought $149,919 to the province on 176 hectares at an average price of $851.82.

JuneWarren-Nickle's Energy Group

Oil Pipeline Transport Survey, 2016

Canadian oil pipeline companies reported total operating revenues of $7.9 billion and total operating expenses of $3.5 billion in 2016. As a result, net revenue from operations was $4.4 billion, while net income after taxes totalled $2.4 billion.

Balance sheet

In 2016, total assets reported in the Canadian oil pipeline sector were $59.0 billion, which included fixed assets ($43.7 billion), total investments ($10.0 billion) and total current assets ($3.5 billion).

Canadian oil pipeline companies reported total liabilities of $28.3 billion, which included total long-term debt ($18.6 billion) and current liabilities ($7.7 billion), followed by deferred credit and appropriations ($2.0 billion).

Total capital stock and surplus was $30.7 billion in 2016.

Employment and wages

Canadian oil pipeline companies employed 4,917 people, whose salaries and wages totalled $589.3 million in 2016.

Pipeline distances

There were 48,485 kilometres (km) of oil pipelines operating in Canada in 2016. They consisted of gathering lines (27,585 km) and trunk lines (20,900 km). Almost 80% of the pipeline distances were located in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/180305/dq180305a-eng.htm

Tourmaline Oil

Tourmaline Oil Corp. is the most active deep driller 2018 in Alberta as of mid-March, focusing on a subset of wells drilled 3,000 metres or longer.

According to DOB data, of those wells drilled 3,000 metres-plus, Tourmaline has spud 39 wells (out of a total in Alberta of 390) for a total meterage tally of 169,946. The total meterage depth in Alberta is 1.8 million.

Next on the list in the province is Paramount Resources Ltd. with 19 spuds for a total of 101,529 metres.

Using this subset of data in B.C., Encana Corporation leads the way with 38 spuds for 183,170 metres (out of a total of 95 wells and 443,328 metres in the province). ARC Resources Ltd. is next with 12 spuds on 56,005 metres.

Crescent Point Energy Ltd. is by far the leader in Saskatchewan with 94 spuds for 328,365 metres (total in the province is 139 spuds for 484,624 metres).

JuneWarren-Nickle's Energy Group

Top Operator

By Stephen Marsters

Crescent Point Energy Corp. was the top operator during the first three months of 2018, excluding experimental/test wells — drilling the most metres across the basin and also rig releasing the most wells.

Crescent Point drilled 707,964 metres during the first quarter and rig released 240 wells.

Based on total metres rig released, Crescent Point was followed by Encana Corporation, which drilled 337,957 metres.

Third place was taken by Canadian Natural Resources Limited (275,228 metres), followed by Whitecap Resources Inc. (268,736 metres) and Tourmaline Oil Corp. (245,824 metres).

The top 10 was rounded out by: Raging River Exploration Inc. (229,208 metres), Teine Energy Ltd. (193,552 metres), Cenovus Energy Inc. (181,772 metres), Seven Generations Energy Ltd. (162,325 metres) and Paramount Resources Ltd. (132,571 metres).

The top explorers in Canada in the first quarter of the year, ranked by metres drilled, were Paramount (71,585 metres), Dienerian Resources Inc. (21,355 metres), along with Royal Dutch Shell plc (17,364 metres) and Raging River (17,712 metres).

Including both exploratory and development metres, Crescent Point was the top operator in Saskatchewan with a total of 671,523 metres drilled. Canadian Natural led in Alberta with a total of 219,671 metres, Encana was the top finisher in B.C. (261,388 metres) and Tundra Oil & Gas Partnership led in Manitoba (97,755 metres).

Ranking the operators by metres drilled, including test/experimental metres, the top operators were: Crescent Point (707,964 metres), Encana (337,957 metres), Canadian Natural (313,813 metres), Whitecap (268,736 metres), Tourmaline (245,824 metres), Cenovus (239,949 metres), Raging River (229,208 metres), Teine (193,552 metres), Seven Generation (170,907 metres) and Paramount (132,571 metres).

Top operator based on rig releases

Based on rig releases, excluding experimental/test wells, the top operators following Crescent Point were: Canadian Natural (153 wells drilled), Raging River (113), Whitecap (107), Teine (104), Cenovus (74), Encana (66), Husky Energy Inc. (65), Tourmaline (59) and Tamarack Valley Energy Ltd. (54).

Alberta’s top operator in the first three months of 2018 was Canadian Natural, which drilled 135 wells. Second-place finisher Cenovus rig released 74 wells, followed by Tamarack Valley with 54. Tourmaline drilled 49 wells, while Devon Canada Corporation rig released 37 wells.

Heading the list in Saskatchewan were Crescent Point (228), Raging River (106), Teine (101), Whitecap (79) and Husky (46).

In British Columbia, Encana led the pack with 53 wells rig released, followed by ARC Resources Ltd. with 17. Painted Pony Energy Ltd. drilled 14 wells, Tourmaline rig released 10 wells and Canbriam Energy Inc. drilled seven wells.

Tundra topped the list in Manitoba with 49 wells rig released in the first quarter of 2018, followed by Corex Resources Ltd. (14) and Crescent Point (seven).

Based on the rig release count, and including test/experimental wells, the top operators in the first quarter of 2018 were: Crescent Point (240), Canadian Natural (218), Cenovus (193), Syncrude Canada Ltd. (128), Raging River (113), Whitecap (107), Teine (104), Devon Canada (86), MEG Energy Corp. (79), and Husky and Encana with 66.

JuneWarren-Nickle's Energy Group

Metres Drilled

By Stephen Marsters

Operators drilled 4.76 million metres of hole across Canada (excluding experimental wells) in the first two months of 2018, an increase of about 11 per cent from 4.30 million metres in the comparable period last year.

The meterage lift is related to an increase in average well lengths, as the total rig release count is up only three per cent year-over-year to the end of February.

The total average length of wells rig released in Western and Northern Canada increased to a record 2,808 metres over the January-February period compared to 2,602 metres last year.

Bulletin records show there were 866 wells rig released last month, excluding experimental holes, compared to 829 in February 2017, an increase of four per cent.

The two-month total for this year is 1,694 wells rig released versus 1,642 wells in January-February 2017 (an increase of three per cent).

In Alberta, 448 wells were rig released in February compared to 413 in 2017 (up eight per cent). Over the first two months, 867 wells were rig released, up four per cent from 830 in January-February 2017.

There were 597 wells rig released in Alberta in January-February 2018 with oil (453) or bitumen (144) as an objective, compared to 551 wells rig released last year with oil (423) or bitumen (128) as an objective.

There were 199 wells rig released in Alberta with gas as an objective over the first two months of the year compared to 236 in 2017.

A total of 2.72 million metres were drilled in Alberta to the end of February, up 12 per cent from 2.44 million metres in the comparable period a year ago.

In British Columbia, operators drilled 45 wells in February compared to 61 a year ago (down 26 per cent). Over the first two months of 2018, there have been 96 wells rig released in the province, down 19 per cent from 118 wells drilled in the comparable period in 2017.

B.C. operators rig released 438,510 metres to the end of February, compared with 486,647 metres a year ago (down 10 per cent).

Many of the wells drilled last year are still under confidential status. Of those with a status, however, 87.72 per cent were listed as oil or bitumen wells to the end of February. That compared to 74.92 per cent listed as oil or bitumen wells in 2017.

Meanwhile, 6.59 per cent of the wells with a reporting status were listed as gas wells, down from 21.29 per cent in January-February 2017.

In Western and Northern Canada, 4.75 million metres of development and experimental hole were drilled to the end of February, up from 4.29 million metres last year.

Rig release counts, including experimental wells

Operators drilled 2,037 wells to the end of February, including experimental wells, down from the 2,048 wells rig released in the year-prior period.

In February, producers drilled 1,074 wells, including experimental holes, up about three per cent from 1,045 a year ago.

There were 922 wells rig released in Alberta in January-February 2018 with oil (453) or bitumen (469) as an objective, compared to 936 wells rig released last year with oil (424) or bitumen (512) as an objective.

JuneWarren-Nickle's Energy Group

February Licensing

By Stephen Marsters

Producers across Canada licensed 782 wells in February — up from 747 a year ago and a four-year high for the month — aided by oilsands evaluation well permitting.

Operators licensed 152 oilsands evaluation wells last month, up from 46 last year. Over the first two months of the year, 184 oilsands evaluation wells have been authorized compared to 63 in 2017.

Including experimental wells, the top licensees last month were: Syncrude Canada Ltd. (150), Canadian Natural Resources Limited (109), Crescent Point Energy Corp. (50), Raging River Exploration Inc. (34) and Husky Energy Inc. (30).

The top five licensees of new wells in February, excluding experimental holes, were: Canadian Natural (107), Crescent Point (50), Raging River (34), while Encana Corporation and Husky each licensed 29 wells.

To the end of February, 1,713 wells have been authorized compared to 1,733 in the first two months of 2017, a one per cent decline, according to Daily Oil Bulletin data.

Alberta licensed 465 wells in February 2018, up 17 per cent from 398 a year ago. In the January-February period, the licence count stands at 912, an increase of six per cent from 857 in the first two months of 2017.

Records show 244 wells were licensed Saskatchewan last month compared to 268 in February 2017. In the first two months of 2018 the province has permitted 586 wells versus 747 a year ago (off 22 per cent).

Gas-prone British Columbia approved 62 new licences last month compared to 63 permits the previous year. Over the first two months of the year, the province has approved 179 licences compared to 92 a year ago.

Permitting levels in Manitoba decreased to eight in February 2018 from 18 wells licensed last February. The two-month tally has declined to 32 from 35 in 2017.

Operators licensed 1,048 wells targeting oil or bitumen in Western Canada in the January-February period (last year: 1,146), compared to 320 gas or CBM targets (last year: 259).

Producers have licensed 1,298 horizontal wells over the first two months of the year — down from 1,364 horizontal wells permitted over last year’s January-February period.

JuneWarren-Nickle's Energy Group

Tourmaline Gundy Gas Plant

By Elsie Ross

Tourmaline Oil Corp. expects to ramp up drilling at Gundy Creek in northeast BC in late 2018 and early 2019 in preparation for its deepcut gas plant which is expected to go into service in the second half of 2019, says the company’s chief executive.

The company has already drilled three large pads and has a number of pads shut in because of limited production capacity “which is fine at this point in the gas price cycle,” Mike Rose, president and CEO.

The total cost of the plant, including installation, is $180 million. The 200-mmcf/d deepcut plant will not recover ethane.

JuneWarren-Nickle's Energy Group

Black Diamond Group Opens Workforce Lodge

Black Diamond Group Limited has entered into an agreement to assume the land lease and ongoing operations of its currently owned 1,244-room Sunset Prairie Lodge located between Fort St. John and Dawson Creek, B.C.

The camp, which was previously rented to a dedicated customer, will be converted into an open lodge and operated by the company’s Cygnus partnership with the West Moberly First Nations to service demand for workforce accommodations from multiple customers in the area.

Resource activity near Sunset Prairie Lodge

Sunset Prairie Lodge should benefit from activity related to oil and gas production from the prolific Montney shales, pipeline construction, general construction, forestry, and renewable energy projects. Sunset Prairie Lodge is also positioned to benefit from an increase in natural gas drilling if liquefied natural gas export terminals are developed on Canada’s Pacific Coast.

With the conversion of Sunset Prairie Lodge, Black Diamond’s capacity at its five open lodges will increase by 60 per cent to approximately 3,300 rooms. All of the company’s open lodges are listed on LodgeLink, Black Diamond’s convenient online marketplace for remote workforce accommodations.

JuneWarren-Nickle's Energy Group

Licence Count In Q1

By Stephen Marsters

Governments across Canada licensed 2,196 new wells in the first quarter of 2018 — down eight per cent from 2,384 licences approved in the first three months of last year.

Permitting levels during the quarter on a year-over-year basis were flat in Alberta and Manitoba, up in B.C. and down in Saskatchewan, with licensing counts also down in the three most western provinces in March.

Quarterly permit counts

Saskatchewan approved 734 new wells in the quarter, off 27 per cent from last year’s 1,007, but up from Q1 2016 when 341 wells were permitted.

In Alberta, 1,189 new licences were issued in the first quarter, a slight uptick from 1,183 permits in the first three months of 2017 and 577 in the first quarter of 2016.

The year-over-year permit count increased in British Columbia to 222 wells compared to 144 in the first quarter of 2017, and from 81 wells approved in January to March 2016. In Q1 of 2014 and 2015, B.C. approved 284 and 259 wells, respectively.

Manitoba approved 45 wells to the end of March compared to 47 a year ago, and 39 two years ago.

Industry licensed 1,731 horizontal wells in the first three months of 2018, down from last year’s 1,944 horizontal permits.

There were no oilsands evaluation wells licensed last month compared to only one in March 2017. Through the first three months of the year, producers have permitted 184 oilsands evaluation wells, up from 64 in the year-prior period.

Excluding oilsands evaluation and experimental permits, the top five operators securing licences in the first quarter were: Canadian Natural Resources Limited (227), Crescent Point Energy Corp. (172), Raging River Exploration Inc. (92), Tourmaline Oil Corp. (89) and Teine Energy Ltd. (87).

The top five licensees, including oilsands evaluation wells and experimental permits, were: Canadian Natural (242), Crescent Point (172), Syncrude Canada Ltd. (150), Raging River (92) and Tourmaline (89).

March permitting

Operators licensed 483 wells across Canada in March, down from 651 permits approved in March 2017, but up from 242 licences in March 2016.

There were 277 permits issued in Alberta last month compared to 326 in March 2017 (down 15 per cent), while in neighbouring Saskatchewan there were 148 new licences versus 260 a year ago (off 43 per cent).

B.C. approved 43 new wells in March compared to 52 a year ago (down 17 per cent).
Manitoba saw a rise in year-over-year permit counts last month, with 13 approvals in March 2018 compared to 12 a year ago.

JuneWarren-Nickle's Energy Group

Top Crown Land Buyer For Q1

Scott Land & Lease Ltd. was the top buyer of Crown land in the first quarter of 2018.

The broker acquired 110,011 hectares during the three-month period on behalf of its clients for $40.68 million at an average price of $369.74 per hectare.

Scott Land picked up 69,233 hectares in Alberta for $28.51 million and 39,305 hectares for $11.61 million in B.C.

The second most active Crown buyer during the January-March period was broker Britt Resources Ltd. which acquired 13,056 hectares for $9.34 million at an average price of $715.63. All of its activity was in Alberta.

JuneWarren-Nickle's Energy Group

Rig Release Count Dips In Q1, But Metres Drilled Rises

By Stephen Marsters

Producers rig released 2,258 wells across Canada in the first quarter of 2018, excluding experimental holes, a decrease of about two per cent from 2,303 wells drilled in Q1 2017.

Drilling counts over the three-month period rose slightly in Alberta, declined a bit in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and were off the most in British Columbia.

Total metres drilled across the country rose to 6.48 million metres (excluding experimental wells) in the January-March period, up six per cent from 6.12 million metres drilled the previous year.

In March, drillers rig released 582 wells, down 12 per cent from 665 in March 2017. Total meterage last month declined to 1.74 million metres from 1.82 million metres the prior year.

Provincial stats, excluding experimental wells

Producers working in Alberta rig released 1,198 wells during the first three months of 2018 compared to 1,174 a year ago (up two per cent). Operators drilled 3.81 million metres in the province compared to 3.5 million metres in the year-prior quarter (up nine per cent).

Saskatchewan’s three-month rig release tally declined two per cent to 841 wells from 859 in last year’s first quarter. However, metres drilled rose 10 per cent to 1.87 million metres from 1.7 million metres last year.

In British Columbia, rig releases for the quarter decreased to 135 from 181 a year earlier (down 25 per cent), and metres drilled decreased 16 per cent to 626,745 from 748,419 metres in January-March 2017.

Operators in Manitoba drilled 81 wells in the quarter versus 85 wells a year ago (down five per cent), while metres drilled slipped one per cent to 155,605 from 156,851 last year.

Many of the wells drilled in Q1 are still listed as standing. Of those with a final status, however, 92 per cent of the wells being drilled are resulting in oil wells this year, up from 72 per cent in 2017. Gas wells accounted for six per cent of the wells with a listed status, down from 23 per cent a year ago.

Of the wells rig released in the first quarter in Alberta, 800 were licensed to drill for oil or bitumen, up from last year’s 741 wells.

By contrast, there were 288 gas and CBM wells rig released in Alberta during the first quarter, down from 360 in the first quarter of 2017.

In Saskatchewan, 768 of the wells drilled were licensed to search for oil (compared to 771 last year), while none of the wells targeted natural gas (the same as last year).

Operators in Western and Northern Canada rig released 6.06 million metres of development hole in the first quarter of 2018, up six per cent from 5.74 million metres a year ago.

There were 2,149 development wells rig released in the first three months of the year, down from 2,220 wells a year ago. The average depth/length of a development well was 2,818 metres compared to 2,584 metres in the first quarter of 2017.

Operators rig released 107 exploratory holes in the first quarter compared to 98 a year ago, while 411,905 metres of exploratory hole were drilled in Western and Northern Canada, up from 367,863 metres in Q1 2017.

The average depth/length of development and exploratory wells rig released in Western and Northern Canada during the first quarter rose to a record 2,867 metres, up from 2,634 metres in the first three months of last year.

Rig release counts, including experimental wells

Operators drilled 2,751 wells to the end of March, including experimental wells, a decrease of two per cent from 2,817 wells rig released in the year-prior period.

In March, producers drilled 730 wells, including experimental holes, down five per cent from 769 a year ago.

JuneWarren-Nickle's Energy Group