November 18, 2019

High Marks For Saskatchewan In Oil And Gas Profitability And Competitiveness

The province of Saskatchewan has received highly favourable rankings for profitability and competitiveness in two separate, independent reports that assess oil and gas investment opportunities across North America.

The 2019 Scotiabank Playbook, an annual report that analyzes the profitability of specific oil and gas resources, or “plays,” throughout Canada and the United States, ranked the Mission Canyon Frobisher/Alida play, located in Southeast Saskatchewan, as the best in North America.

As well, in the Fraser Institute’s Canada-US Energy Sector Competitiveness Survey 2019, Saskatchewan was ranked by industry respondents as the most attractive jurisdiction for upstream oil and gas investment in Canada.

“These two reports highlight Saskatchewan’s reputation as a highly competitive jurisdiction that offers a stable, low-risk investment climate,” Energy and Resources Minister Bronwyn Eyre said.  “This recognition aligns with our recently announced Growth Plan, which includes new oil production targets of up to 600,000 barrels per day by 2030 and an emphasis on increasing industry competitiveness and jobs.”

Along with the Mission Canyon Frobisher/Alida oil play, the Scotiabank Playbook ranked the Southwest Saskatchewan Cantuar oil play seventh, based on its leading metric of Profit Investment Ratio.  As a result, in 2019, Saskatchewan has two of the top 10 plays and a total of seven plays ranked in the top 35.

The Fraser Institute report indicated that Saskatchewan’s horizontal drilling royalty structure is considered an advantage by investors.  It noted, however, that Bill C-69, Bill C-48, and the federal carbon tax continue to be perceived by the industry as discouraging investment in Canada.  One survey respondent stated that lost revenue resulting from delayed or cancelled pipeline projects in Canada is “significant and can never be recovered”.

“Saskatchewan is a key jurisdiction for our members and these reports confirm it is among the most competitive in North America and an attractive place to invest,” Explorers and Producers Association of Canada President Tristan Goodman said.  “The recently released Plan for Growth with key targets will help the province increase investment, ensure responsible development and grow more jobs well into the future.”

Saskatchewan’s oil and gas producing industry contributes a significant share of the province’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP), accounting for an estimated 15 per cent of the total.  The industry continues to be the largest contributor among primary industries to provincial GDP.  In 2018, the upstream oil and gas industry accounted for an estimated 34,675 direct and indirect person-years of employment, with investment in new exploration and development estimated at $4.5 billion.