This being the third summer since the oil downturn really hit in late 2014, the pace of drilling in Saskatchewan is a little higher than 2015 and a lot higher than 2016, according to numbers posted by sister publication Rig Locator (www.riglocator.ca).
On July 10 Rig Locator reported 53 active drilling rigs in the province. On July 12, 2015, there were 40 active rigs, while July 12, 2016 had an abysmal 15 rigs working. Indeed, since the end of spring breakup the active rig count for Saskatchewan has been just a bit higher than it has been the year before. This follows a similar trend nation-wide, where the rig count, since March, has been consistently higher, by just a little bit, than the 2015 trend line and more than double the 2016 numbers.
Leading the way, as it has consistently for several years now, is Crescent Point Energy Corp., with 16 active rigs, nearly all of which are in Saskatchewan. However, Tourmaline Oil Corp. is the first company in a long time to come close to Crescent Point’s numbers, with 14 active rigs. Canadian Natural Resources Limited, Encana Corporation, Seven Generations Energy Ltd.and Peyto Exploration & Development Corp. all have 9 rigs each. However, those other leaders focus on Alberta and British Columbia.
Broken down by Petroleum Services Association of Canada regions, in Saskatchewan Area 1, northwest Saskatchewan, there were 6 active rigs and 11 racked rigs, for a 35 per cent utilization rate. Saskatchewan Area 2, southwest Saskatchewan (including the hot Kindersley area), had 25 active rigs and 12 racked rigs, for a utilization rate of 68 per cent. That is, by far, the highest utilization rate among PSAC areas in the country. The second highest is Alberta Area 2, foothills front, at 39 per cent.
Saskatchewan Region 3, southeast Saskatchewan, had 22 active rigs and 41 racked rigs, for a utilization rate of 35 per cent.