Half the number of active oil and drilling rigs in Saskatchewan today vs 2014
- 8 Sep 2016
- BRUCE JOHNSTONE
Active drilling numbers way down
As further evidence (if more was needed) of the slowdown in oilpatch in the last two years, the number of active drilling rigs and wells drilled in Saskatchewan are less than half the level they were in 2014, according to statistics compiled by the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors (CAODC) and Ministry of the Economy.
On Wednesday CAODC reported that the province had 27 active drilling rigs at the end of August. That compares with 28 active rigs at the same time last year and 68 during the same period in 2014.
The number of active drilling rigs in the province has varied from a high of 37 at the end of January to a low of three in April, while the average number of active rigs in the first eight months of 2016 is 18.
By contrast, in 2014 (when oil prices hit US$107 per barrel), the number of active drilling rigs ranged from a high of 88 in January and February and a low of seven in April, while the average number of active drilling rigs was 56, CAODC said.
The province also saw a sharp drop in drilling in the first half of 2016, with 518 total wells drilled to the end of June, down from 838 during the first half of 2015 and 1,451 during the same period in 2014, according to the Ministry of Economy.
In its revised fourthquarter drilling forecast for Western Canada, CAODC is projecting 3,562 oil and gas wells to be drilled, a decrease of 25 per cent from its original forecast of 4,728, the Calgary-based organization said Wednesday.
CAODC also projected a 28 per cent decrease in operating days to 40,252 from the original forecast of 56,260, a projected rig count of 140 in the fourth quarter, a decrease of 31 per cent from the original forecast of 204 and the rig fleet to contract by 87 from 758 drilling rigs to 671 drilling rigs. CAODC is also projecting a 69 per cent decrease in employment from 2014 levels, representing a loss of 34,560 jobs.
CAODC president Mark Scholz said the forecast indicates that the current downturn is the worst since 1977. “The oil and gas services industry is facing the most difficult economic time in a generation. In fact, 2016 will be the worst year in our recorded drilling activity history,” Scholz said.