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Energy & Mines

October 2018

BC Land Sales

Alberta Land Sales

Pipestone Montney Gas Processing Plant

Methanol Manufacturing Facility Planned For Grande Prairie

Precision To Buy Trinidad

LNG Project Gets Green Light

Western Canadian Land Sales

Scott Land

LNG Canada Project At A Glance

TransCanada To Construct Coastal GasLink Pipeline Project

Fluor JV To Design, Build LNG Canada

Rigstar Awarded Telecommunications Contract

ENTREC Acquires Capstan Hauling

License Count

Top Well Licensees

Rig Release Counts

Top Operators

Operating Days

BC Land Sales

The B.C. government kicked off its Q4 sales schedule with a $2.09 million sale, as auctions have been mostly muted since a large $42.08 million sale at mid-year.

The province sold 8,200 hectares at an average price of $254.88. Year-to-date, it has collected $62.6 million on 66,530 hectares at an average price of $940.86. To the same point of 2017, industry had paid $171.71 million for 69,598 hectares at an average price of $2,467.22.

The natural gas industry in B.C. received positive news with a final investment decision (FID) from LNG Canada.

JuneWarren-Nickle's Energy Group

Alberta Land Sales

By Richard Macedo

Alberta’s October 17th land sale drew $16.04 million in bonus bids as the Duvernay featured in some of the higher priced bidding, although year-to-date bonus totals trail last year’s pace by over $100 million.

Industry purchased 29,376 hectares at an average price of $545.99. Year-to-date, the government has attracted $319.89 million on 1.17 million hectares at an average price of $274.05. For the same stretch of 2017, industry had collected $434.69 million on 1.09 million hectares at an average price of $400.14.

So far in the fourth quarter of 2018, the province has collected $20.4 million in bonus bids.


Highlights of this sale included Meridian Land Services (90) Ltd. paying $808,696 at an average of $3,158.97 for a parcel. Synergy Land Services Ltd. acquired an adjacent parcel for $160,920 at an average of $2,514.39.

Also, Contiguous Resources Ltd. picked up a 1,664-hectare lease for $1.39 million at an average price of $833.88.

Canada West Land Services Ltd. acquired three leases, all for identical bids of $1.1 million, at $4,277.99 per hectare. The broker also picked up a lease for $547,582 at an average price of $4,277.99.

Millenium Land Ltd. acquired a lease for $1.54 million at an average price of $754.16.

Buffalo Hill Resources Ltd. acquired a lease for $1.13 million at an average price of $2,215.72.

Cenovus picks up parcel

Bidding under its own name, Cenovus picked up 2,304 hectares for $2.45 million at an average price of $1,061.89.

JuneWarren-Nickle's Energy Group

Pipestone Montney Gas Processing Plant

Tidewater Midstream and Infrastructure Ltd. received approval from the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) to construct and operate the previously announced Pipestone Montney, Sour Deep-Cut Gas Processing Complex.

The Pipestone Plant will be situated in the Pipestone area near Grande Prairie and is designed to process approximately 100 mmcf/d of natural gas.

JuneWarren-Nickle's Energy Group

Methanol Manufacturing Facility Planned For Grande Prairie

Nauticol Energy Ltd. announced plans to construct a $2 billion world-scale methanol manufacturing facility in Grande Prairie, beginning in 2019.

The project will produce up to three million metric tonnes of methanol per year, converting Alberta’s natural gas into a value-added product. While some of the methanol produced will supply local markets, most will be directed to Asian markets, which make up approximately 70 per cent of current global demand.

The facility will be built in three stages, using a modularized design. PCL Construction will construct the facility modules in Alberta and transport them to the Grande Prairie site about 10 kilometres south of the city in the County of Grande Prairie.

In addition to promoting economic development in Alberta, the project will create approximately 1,000 construction jobs and 200 permanent jobs in the province.

Nauticol has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Western Cree Tribal Council (WCTC) which will be equity participants in the project, setting a precedent in Alberta. The WCTC serves the communities of Duncan's First Nation, Horse Lake First Nation and Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation.

In the coming months, Nauticol will be working with all levels of government to obtain the required regulatory permits to successfully complete the project. The company has also started consultation and stakeholder engagement with the public, and has committed to continuing to do so throughout the project’s lifespan.

Methanol is a multi-purpose product with several end uses including fuels (automotive, marine, etc.), electronics, construction materials, solvents and petrochemicals. Methanol use in clean alternative fuels is leading to significant growth in global demand.

JuneWarren-Nickle's Energy Group

Precision To Buy Trinidad

By Stephen Marsters

Precision Drilling Corporation has entered into an arrangement agreement with Trinidad Drilling Limited.

The aggregate transaction value of the all-share deal is approximately $1.028 billion, including the assumption of approximately $477 million in Trinidad net debt.

Trinidad’s fleet of 141 drilling rigs includes 61 high spec AC rigs that fit 90 per cent within Precision’s standardization protocols and are equipped with major components that are well aligned for fleet integration.

Precision will now have a North American fleet that includes over 200 active rigs and 322 total rigs. Overall, the combined company will have 348 rigs. Fifty Canadian rigs will be held for sale.


Precision expects the combined Canadian fleet to be 152 rigs and it has identified 50 rigs held for sale.

The remaining 152 high-performance rigs will be capable of addressing every drilling program across Canada, and will be particularly well suited for high efficiency development drilling opportunities, including LNG and Deep Basin development.

JuneWarren-Nickle's Energy Group

LNG Project Gets Green Light

(Reuters) — The approval of a massive liquefied natural gas export (LNG) terminal in Canada is being touted as the return of the mega-project, ending a lean period where low energy prices and oversupply concerns kept investors from taking big risks.

The C$40 billion ($31 billion) LNG Canada project led by Royal Dutch Shell Plc was given the go-ahead by the Anglo-Dutch giant and its partners, making it the fuel’s first major new project to win approval in recent years.

Construction will start immediately, with first shipments of the super-chilled fuel expected before 2025, aiming to feed surging demand from Asian buyers, primarily China.

LNG from the project will reach Asia in about half the time it takes from the U.S. Gulf Coast, LNG Canada said. Global LNG demand is expected to double by 2035, with much of that growth coming from Asia where gas is displacing coal, it said.

At the same time, output from older projects is set to decline in coming years, just as soaring demand from China, India and Southeast Asia is devouring a supply glut previously expected to last for years, fanning fears that an LNG shortage may be looming.

LNG Canada, to be built in Kitimat, B.C., also marks the largest private-sector investment project in Canadian history.

The project was approved by all its stakeholders — Shell, Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas), PetroChina Co Ltd., Korea Gas Corp. (KOGAS) and Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp.


The project's C$40 billion price tag includes the export terminal, the associated pipeline, pre-construction and site work, contingency and upstream carrying costs.

Within that broader number, the cost of building the terminal has been pegged at $14 billion, with the Coastal GasLink pipeline running C$6.2 billion.

Pipeline operator TransCanada Corporation said it expects to start construction on the pipeline in early 2019, which will carry natural gas from the Montney gas-producing region of British Columbia and Alberta to the LNG Canada facility.

The project owners will provide their own natural gas supply and will individually market their share of LNG.

LNG Canada's initial output will be 14 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) from two trains, or processing units, with the option to add two more trains to expand to 28 Mtpa.

The project will boost Canada’s oilpatch, which has struggled to attract investment amid pipeline constraints and investor malaise over a recent court decision overturning the approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Natural gas producers such as Encana Corporation and Tourmaline Oil Corp. stand to gain as Canada's depressed gas prices rise. Smaller pipeline companies including Pembina Pipeline Corporation will also benefit.

JuneWarren-Nickle's Energy Group

Western Canadian Land Sales

Western Canadian land sale bonus revenue is down by over 30 per cent for the nine-month period of 2018 as a sizable decline in B.C. year-over-year has contributed most to the drop.

For the nine-month period, western Canadian governments have attracted $389.26 million in bonus bids on 1.21 million hectares at an average price of $321.16. To the same point of 2017, industry had spent $513.1 million tying up 1.03 million hectares at an average price of $496.15.

British Columbia spending falls most

The drop has been most pronounced in B.C., where year-to-date, the government has attracted $60.51 million in bonus bids on 58,330 hectares at an average price of $1,037.30. That compares to $169.18 million over the same stretch of 2017 for 64,050 hectares at an average price of $2,641.30.

The September sale capped off a weak third quarter in which the province took in just $1.06 million in bonus bids on an average price of $259.40. That compares to $15.82 million ($328.16/ha) in the first quarter and $43.63 million ($7,220/ha) in the second quarter.


Year-to-date, the province has taken in $299.49 million in bonus bids on 1.1 million hectares at an average of $273.45. To the same point last year, the province had collected $309.43 million on the sale of 902,119 hectares at an average price of $343.01.

Q3 most active for Alberta

Q3 was the most active quarter of the year for Alberta land sale purchases, although it produced the weakest average prices of the year. Industry paid $108.24 million at six sales on 546,802 hectares in Q3 at an average price of $197.96. That compares to $101.96 million at seven sales during Q2 for 289,412 hectares at an average price of $352.31. Q1, typically a period with fewer auctions, attracted $89.29 million at five sales on 259,022 hectares at an average price of $344.71.

Saskatchewan down slightly

The Kindersley area drove Saskatchewan’s August sale of petroleum and natural gas rights in Saskatchewan—this was the lone auction of Q3 in the province.

The August sale generated $6.54 million in bonus bids. The industry purchased 19,749 hectares at an average price of $331.07.

Year-to-date, the province has attracted $28.48 million on 53,628 hectares at an average price of $530.99. To the same point last year, industry had paid $33.81 million for 64,744 hectares at an average price of $522.20.

Manitoba land sale revenue climbs

Manitoba, meanwhile, has seen its nine-month bonus rise to $787,430 on 4,875 hectares at an average price of $161.51. To the same point last year, the province had attracted $681,885 for 3,242 hectares at an average price of $210.33.

JuneWarren-Nickle's Energy Group

Scott Land

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

The broker acquired 285,555 hectares during the nine-month period on behalf of its clients for $128.31 million at an average price of $449 per hectare.

Scott Land picked up 234,394 hectares in Alberta for $100.05 million and 44,525 hectares for $13.29 million in B.C. It also acquired 6,637 hectares in Saskatchewan for $14.97 million.

The second most active Crown buyer during the January-September period was broker Landsolutions LP which acquired 33,990 hectares for $57.97 million at an average price of $1,705. The bulk of its buying, $43.26 million for 5,485 hectares, occurred in British Columbia.

JuneWarren-Nickle's Energy Group

LNG Canada Project At A Glance

LNG Canada is a joint venture comprised of Shell Canada Energy (40 per cent), an affiliate of Royal Dutch Shell plc, and PETRONAS, through its wholly-owned entity, the North Montney LNG Limited Partnership (25 per cent); PetroChina Canada Ltd., a subsidiary of PetroChina (15 per cent); Diamond LNG Canada Ltd., a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation (15 per cent); and Korea Gas Corporation, through its wholly owned subsidiary Kogas Canada LNG Ltd. (five per cent). It is operated through LNG Canada Development Inc.

The cost to deliver LNG into Asia is expected to be structurally advantaged compared to a greenfield development on the U.S. Gulf coast.

Each joint venture participant will be responsible for providing its own natural gas supply and will individually offtake and market its own LNG. Shell's Groundbirch asset in northeast British Columbia can provide the majority of Shell's equity share of natural gas or Shell will buy gas from the market, depending on which option provides the most value.

TransCanada Corporation will build, own and operate the Coastal GasLink pipeline that will be built to connect upstream gas supply to the LNG Canada plant. TransCanada has more than 65 years of experience as a pipeline owner and operator with over 90,000 kilometres of installed gas pipelines in North America.

The joint venture of JGC-Fluor Corporation has been selected as the project's engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor and brings extensive experience. JGC has delivered 48 LNG trains globally, and Fluor has 60 years of construction experience on complex hydrocarbon projects in Canada.

LNG Canada plant will be constructed under a single EPC lump-sum contract at an estimated cost of some US$1,000 per tonne of LNG.

The construction will be a modular LNG train design using proven technology and built in Asian yards with recent experience delivering LNG modules on budget and on schedule.

The project has a 40-year export license in place and all major environmental permits are in place for the plant and the pipeline.

JuneWarren-Nickle's Energy Group

TransCanada To Construct Coastal GasLink Pipeline Project

TransCanada Corporation will proceed with construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline project, the company said, after a decision to sanction the LNG Canada natural gas liquefaction facility in Kitimat, B.C., was announced by the joint venture participants.

Coastal GasLink is a 670-kilometre pipeline designed to transport natural gas from the Montney gas-producing region near Dawson Creek, B.C., to the LNG Canada facility in Kitimat.

The pipeline will have an initial capacity of approximately 2.1 bcf/d with the potential for expansion of up to approximately five bcf/d. Construction activities are expected to begin in early 2019 with a planned in-service date in 2023.

The estimated C$6.2 billion project is underpinned by 25-year transportation service agreements (with additional renewal provisions) entered into with the LNG Canada participants and includes pre-development costs to date of approximately $470 million.

The majority of the spend on construction will occur in 2020 and 2021.

The company has directly awarded $620 million to Indigenous businesses and contractors for construction activities, with an additional $400 million anticipated to both B.C. northern communities and Indigenous communities during the construction period, totaling approximately $1 billion of local spend in the province of B.C.

The Coastal GasLink pipeline project will employ 2,000-2,500 people during construction and generate approximately $20 million a year in ongoing property tax benefits to B.C. communities, creating economic stimulus and additional funds to address community needs both locally and provincially.

JuneWarren-Nickle's Energy Group

Fluor JV To Design, Build LNG Canada

Fluor Corporation’s joint venture with JGC Corporation will provide the engineering, procurement, fabrication and construction on the LNG Canada project.

Fluor will book its $8.4 billion share of the about $14 billion contract value in the fourth quarter of 2018.

The project scope will initially consist of two liquefaction trains for a total of approximately 14 million tons per year of LNG. LNG Canada has the option to expand to four trains in the future.

More than 4,500 workers will be employed at the peak of construction. The joint venture will focus on hiring locally and then throughout British Columbia and Canada.

Fluor and JGC will begin site activities this year, with first LNG expected around the middle of next decade.

JuneWarren-Nickle's Energy Group

Rigstar Awarded Telecommunications Contract

Coastal GasLink Pipeline LP has selected Rigstar Communications Inc. as the project telecommunication services provider.

The contract will support 10 camps and associated offices along the 670-kilometre pipeline from the Dawson Creek area to the proposed LNG Canada facility near Kitimat, B.C. The pipeline will safely transport natural gas across northern B.C. to the west coast where LNG Canada will prepare it for export to global markets.

Rigstar has spent the last four years engineering and designing a unique and complex remote telecom network solution that will support more than 20,000 workers over a three-year period.

To further enhance its commitment to the region and ensure the overall success of the project, Rigstar intends to open a number of remote field offices along the route including its principal service centre in Prince George, B.C.

JuneWarren-Nickle's Energy Group

ENTREC Acquires Capstan Hauling

ENTREC Corporation has completed the acquisition of Grande Prairie-based Capstan Hauling Ltd., a leading provider of heavy haul transportation services to the oil and natural gas industry in northwest Alberta and northeast B.C.

Capstan has approximately 45 employees and lease operators and operates an equipment fleet valued in excess of $9.0 million. Capstan’s fleet consists of mobile cranes, picker trucks, winch trucks and a wide variety of multi-wheeled trailers.

In conjunction with the acquisition, ENTREC has also merged its Grande Prairie oilfield transportation division with Capstan and will operate the combined business under the Capstan brand.

JuneWarren-Nickle's Energy Group

License Count

By Stephen Marsters

Governments across Canada licensed 7,019 new wells in the first nine months of 2018, up two per cent from 6,873 permits granted in January-September 2017, with over 800 wells licensed during each month of the third quarter.

Bulletin records show 835 licences were approved across the country in September (2017: 696), 853 permits were granted in August (2017: 764), and 873 were authorized in July (2017: 898).

In Alberta, 468 wells were licensed last month, up 23 per cent from 382 a year ago. The nine-month tally is up seven per cent to 3,713 well authorizations compared to 3,460 in the year-prior period.

In Saskatchewan, 233 licences were granted last month compared to 211 in September 2017 (up 10 per cent). For the nine-month period, a total of 2,426 wells were authorized, down eight per cent from 2,646 in the first nine months a year ago.

British Columbia approved 107 new licences during September compared to 78 licences that were approved or input in September 2017. B.C. has approved 665 permits in January-September 2018 compared to 588 at the nine-month mark a year ago (up 13 per cent).

Manitoba’s well authorizations rose to 26 in September, up from 23 a year ago. The licence count to the end of September lifted 20 per cent to 201 from 167 a year ago.

Over the first nine months of this year, oil well permits across Western Canada have increased to 4,607 from 4,531 a year ago (up almost two per cent), while the tally for gas well authorizations to the end of September is 1,356 versus 1,202 in the comparable period in 2017 (up 13 per cent).

To the end of September, operators have licensed 5,831 horizontal wells, or about 87 per cent of the total wells authorized across Canada (excluding experimental wells), and about even with the 5,819 horizontal wells in January-September 2017 (86 per cent of the total wells authorized, excluding experimental wells).

Twenty oilsands evaluation wells were licensed in September, up from four last year. Year-to-date, 281 oilsands evaluation wells have been licensed compared to 84 in January-September 2017, 244 in the same period of 2016 and 212 in 2015.

JuneWarren-Nickle's Energy Group

Top Well Licensees

At the three-quarter mark of the year, including experimental wells, Canadian Natural Resources Limited has licensed 707 wells, followed by Crescent Point Energy Corp. (542), Encana Corporation (359), Teine Energy Ltd. (278) and Husky Energy Inc. (276).

In September, including experimental wells, Canadian Natural led producers by licensing 140 wells. Second-place finisher Encana permitted 73 wells.

Husky licensed 58 wells, followed by Crescent Point with 39 and CNOOC Limited with 36 permits.

JuneWarren-Nickle's Energy Group

Rig Release Counts

Operators rig released more wells in Alberta and Manitoba during the first nine months of 2018, compared to a year ago, but the counts were down in Saskatchewan and B.C.

Across Canada, excluding experimental wells, a total of 5,284 wells were drilled in the first nine months of 2018, down about two per cent from 5,384 wells rig released in January-September 2017.

Total metres drilled improved two per cent, however, to 14.72 million metres from 14.41 million metres to the end of September a year ago.

Excluding experimental wells, Alberta rig released 2,811 wells over the first nine months, up three per cent from 2,717 a year ago. Total metres drilled in the province lifted seven per cent to 8.68 million metres from 8.13 million metres to the end of September last year.

Saskatchewan’s rig-release count in January-September 2018 declined five per cent to 1,930 from 2,024 a year ago. Metres drilled increased three per cent to 4.08 million metres from 3.95 million metres over the first nine months of 2017.

In B.C., the rig release tally slumped 27 per cent to 334 after nine months compared to 457 last year, while operators in the province drilled 1.52 million metres versus 1.95 million metres to the end of September last year (a decrease of 22 per cent).

Manitoba is seeing a nice gain in rig release counts this year. To the end of September, operators in the province drilled 202 wells, up 15 per cent compared to 175 a year ago. A total of 407,348 metres were drilled to the end of September compared to 332,184 metres in January-to-September 2017 (up 23 per cent).

September rig releases, excluding experimental wells

Operators across Canada rig released 615 wells in September, down seven per cent from 661 wells drilled a year ago.

Alberta operators drilled 309 wells in September compared to 319 a year ago (down three per cent), while producers in Saskatchewan rig released 230 wells last month versus 257 in September 2017 (down 11 per cent).

In B.C., operators drilled 37 wells in September compared to 61 a year ago (off 39 per cent). Manitoba operators rig released 39 wells last month compared to 23 a year ago (up 70 per cent).

Wells drilled, including experimental wells

Including experimental wells, producers drilled 5,761 wells across Canada to the end of September compared to 5,923 in the first nine months of 2017 (a decrease of three per cent).

Of the wells drilled, to the end of September, 1,835 still have no final status (oil, gas, dry or service). Of those with a status designation, 71.14 per cent were reported as an oil well (2017: 62.78 per cent) and 14.16 per cent were listed as a gas well (2017: 21.70 per cent).

JuneWarren-Nickle's Energy Group

Top Operators

By Stephen Marsters

Crescent Point Energy Corp. was the top operator in the first nine months of 2018, excluding experimental/test wells, based on metres drilled, while Canadian Natural Resources Limited led the pack by drilling the most wells.

Crescent Point drilled 1.23 million metres to the end of September.

Second-place finisher Encana Corporation rig released 910,382 metres.

Canadian Natural drilled 823,025 metres during over the nine-month period, while Tourmaline Oil Corp. finished 659,327 metres. In fifth, Whitecap Resources Inc. rig released 533,239 metres.

Positions six through 10 were held by Seven Generations Energy Ltd. (459,363 metres), Teine Energy Ltd. (458,924 metres), Tamarack Valley Energy Ltd. (350,334 metres), Raging River Exploration Inc. (349,461 metres), and Cenovus Energy Inc. (315,554 metres).

The top explorers in Canada over the first nine months of the year, ranked by metres drilled, were Paramount Resources Ltd. (112,761 metres), Artis Exploration Ltd. (84,373 metres) and Canadian Natural (57,510 metres).

Including both exploratory and development metres (but excluding experimental), Crescent Point was the top operator in Saskatchewan with a total of 1.18 million metres drilled, while Canadian Natural led in Alberta with a total of 646,143 metres. Encana was the top finisher in B.C. (649,297 metres) and Tundra Oil & Gas Partnership led in Manitoba (270,137 metres).

Ranking the operators by metres drilled, including test/experimental metres, the top operators were: Crescent Point (1.23 million metres), Encana (910,382 metres), Canadian Natural (859,165 metres), Tourmaline (659,327 metres), Whitecap (533,239 metres), Seven Generations (459,363 metres), Teine (458,924 metres), Cenovus (371,233 metres), Tamarack Valley (350,334 metres) and Raging River (349,461 metres).

Top operator based on rig releases

Ranked by wells rig released, excluding experimental/test wells, top operator Canadian Natural (476) was followed by Crescent Point (421), Teine (257), Whitecap (226), Husky (199), Encana (185), Raging River (177), Tourmaline (157), Cenovus (155) and Tamarack Valley (142).

In Alberta, the top five operators from January to September, based on wells drilled, were Canadian Natural (411 wells), Cenovus (155), Tamarack Valley (138), Tourmaline (117) and Karve Energy Inc. (89 wells).

Saskatchewan’s busiest operators were Crescent Point (406 wells), Teine (251), Whitecap (188), Raging River (170) and Husky Energy Inc. (153).

Encana led the pack in B.C. with 142 wells, followed by ARC Resources Ltd. (47), Tourmaline (40), Painted Pony Energy Ltd. (21) and Canadian Natural (14).

In Manitoba, Tundra rig released 128 wells, while Corex Resources Ltd. drilled 38 wells. Canadian Natural and Crescent Point each rig released seven wells.

Ranked by wells drilled, the top three explorers were Paramount (20 wells), Artis (17) and Canadian Natural (10).

Based on the rig release count, and including test/experimental wells, the top operators in the first nine months of 2017 were: Canadian Natural (539), Crescent Point (421), Cenovus (268), Teine (257), Whitecap (226), Husky (199), Encana (185), Raging River (177), Tourmaline (157) and Tamarack Valley (142).

JuneWarren-Nickle's Energy Group

Operating Days

By Stephen Marsters

Members of the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors (CAODC) booked 51,943 operating days in the first nine months of 2018, down from 52,800 operating days in the comparable period last year, Rig Locator records show.

Total metres drilled by CAODC members during the January-to-September interval rose to 14.79 million metres from 14.57 million metres in the year-prior period.

Wells have averaged 2,600 metres over the first nine months of 2018 compared to 2,472 metres a year ago.

Precision Drilling Corporation was the top contractor over the first nine months of 2018 (including oilsands evaluation holes and experimental wells). The contractor drilled 1,412 wells and finished 3.6 million metres of hole.

The contractor’s main customer during the nine-month period was Canadian Natural Resources Limited, which accounted for 242 of its wells (17.1 per cent of the total). Cenovus Energy Inc. (111 wells, or 7.9 per cent of the total) and Devon Canada Corporation (99 wells, or 7.0 per cent of the total) were the next top customers for Precision.

Based on wells rig released, the next busiest contractors after Precision were: Ensign Drilling Inc. (694 wells drilled), Total Energy Services Inc. (647 wells), Trinidad Drilling Ltd. (572 wells) and Western Energy Services Corp. (374 wells).

The top five contractors all drilled more than one million metres to the end of September.

Ranked by metres drilled, after Precision, positions two through five were filled by: Trinidad (1.97 million metres), Ensign (1.61 million metres), Total (1.53 million metres) and Western (1.37 million metres).

Ensign’s main customers were Teine Energy Ltd. (233 wells, or 33.6 per cent of the total), Canadian Natural (89 wells, or 12.8 per cent of the total), and Whitecap Resources Inc. (62 wells, or 8.9 per cent of the total).

Ensign rig #356 drilled the most holes during the first nine months of 2017, with 69 wells rig released.

Total’s main customers were Raging River Exploration Inc. (136 wells, or 21.0 per cent of the total), Crescent Point Energy Corp. (122 wells, or 18.9 per cent of the total) and Baytex Energy Corp. (60 wells, or 9.3 per cent of the total).

For Trinidad, its main customers were Tundra Oil & Gas Partnership (136 wells, or 23.8 per cent of the total), Encana Corporation (65 wells, or 11.4 per cent of the total) and Canadian Natural (51 wells, 8.9 per cent of the total).

Western Energy’s prime customer was Crescent Point (75 wells, or 20.1 per cent of the total), followed by ISH Energy Ltd. (42 wells, or 11.2 per cent of the total) and Encana (35 wells, or 9.4 per cent of the total).

Precision was the top contractor for horizontal wells during the first nine months of the year with 1,048 wells rig released and 3.28 million metres of hole (excluding test/experimental or DSW wells). Ensign drilled 598 horizontal wells, followed by Trinidad with 559. Ranked by metres of horizontal hole drilled, second-place finisher Trinidad (1.95 million metres) was followed by Ensign (1.53 million metres).

Precision’s share of the market increased slightly to 24.51 per cent over the first nine months of 2018 from 24.30 per cent last year, while Ensign’s share declined to 12.05 per cent this year from 13.17 per cent in 2017.

Total’s market share lifted to 11.23 per cent from 4.25 per cent a year ago, while Trinidad’s market share rose to 9.93 per cent from 7.82 per cent. Western’s market share dipped slightly to 6.49 per cent from 6.80 per cent in January-September 2017.

Rig utilization in the third quarter for CAODC members was 34.97 per cent, up from 31.57 per cent a year ago. Nine-month rig utilization stands at 31.50 per cent this year compared to 28.07 per cent a year ago.

Excluding experimental or Eastern Canada wells, DC Drilling Inc.’s two rigs had an 86.63 per cent utilization rate during the first nine months of the year. Twilight Drilling Ltd.’s three rigs booked an 83.64 per cent utilization rate, while Tempco Drilling Company Inc.’s six rigs had a 68.07 per cent utilization rate.

Tempco ranked first in average metres drilled per rig (78,827 metres), followed by Bonanza Drilling Inc. (56,168 metres) and Twilight (55,180 metres).

JuneWarren-Nickle's Energy Group