The first sale of Crown petroleum and natural gas rights in 2011 is building on where a resurgent 2010 left off.
February's sale generated $43.4 million in revenue for the province, the second-highest total for a February sale.With this figure total revenue from land sales for the 2010-11 fiscal year amounts to $467 million, the second-best fiscal year on record and more than three times the revenue collected in 2009-10.
"Our oil and gas industry has really roared back over the past year, and that's great news for our economy and for Saskatchewan people," Energy and Resources Minister Bill Boyd said. "This was a smaller sale in terms of parcels posted, so to see this strong result for the first sale of 2011 is a good signal of the activity we can expect this year.
"What's also exciting about this sale is quite simply the range of interest by the industry. 'Star' oil plays like the Bakken and Lower Shaunavon continue to attract investment but companies are also putting their acquisition dollars into emerging plays like the Viking and the Birdbear, and now in this sale the deep Red River oil play near Montmartre."
February's sale included 28 petroleum and natural gas exploration licences that sold for $26.1 million and 201 lease parcels that attracted $17.3 million in bonus bids.
The Weyburn-Estevan area received the most bids with sales of $18.1 million, of which $7 million was paid for exploration licences around the Red River play. The Kindersley-Kerrobert area was next at $16.9 million, followed by the Lloydminster area at $5.6 million and the Swift Current area at $2.8 million.
The highest price for a single parcel was $3.5 million, paid by Prairie Land & Investment Services Ltd. for an 8,612-hectare exploration licence near the Forgan Viking Sand Pool, midway between Rosetown and Swift Current.
The highest price on per-hectare basis was $16,789. Canadian Coastal Resources Ltd. bid $1 million for a 61-hectare lease parcel near Stoughton.
A special exploratory permit block on an offer south of Hudson Bay received a work commitment bid of $500,000 from Lane Land Services Ltd.
The next sale of Crown petroleum and natural gas dispositions will be held on April 11.