Oil drilling industry pressures Ottawa

Industry blames ‘punitive’ federal policies and regulations for its struggles

Mario Toneguzzi is a Troy Media reporter based in CalgaryFollowing the federal election in October, the sentiment toward Canadian oil and gas is nearing all-time lows, says a report by the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors.

The association says that since 2017 the industry has lost an estimated $30 billion in foreign capital, and companies continue layoffs and relocation efforts. It says its members have moved 29 high-spec drilling rigs, several service rigs, and associated personnel to the United States in order to find work and generate cash flow.

“It has been another extremely difficult year for our members,” said CAODC president and CEO Mark Scholz. “The attacks from foreign-funded, radical environmental groups, and punitive policy measures from our own federal government have caused Canadian oil and gas families to suffer unnecessarily.

“It would appear the only place Canada’s exceptional reputation for technologically driven environmental best practices isn’t recognized is in Ottawa. If we do not create an environment where the oil and gas industry can compete internationally, we won’t have an industry left in this country.”

The association says several federal government regulations. which it describes as “punitive,” combined with delays in pipelines, such as Enbridge’s Line 3 and the Trans Mountain expansion, have “left Canadian oil and gas workers with little to be optimistic about. Canada’s oil and gas industry is at a critical turning point.”

“It’s time for the federal government to recognize what the rest of the world already knows: the Canadian oil and gas industry is a supplier of choice, good for the environment and the economy, and should be given every opportunity to compete internationally,” said Scholz.

Here’s the association’s 2020 drilling forecast:

  • projected 2020 wells drilled: 4,905—an increase of nine from 2019 (4,896);
  • projected 2020 operating days: 46,599—an increase of 88 from 2019 (46,511);
  • rig fleet expected to decrease by 48 (545 drilling rigs to 497 drilling rigs); 
  • total jobs expected: 22,313, flat year over year and a loss of 13,731 jobs compared to 2018.

© Calgary’s Business

Calgary’s Business is a Troy Media Associate website.


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