Saskatchewan’s petroleum industry is showing signs of a positive start for 2017 after results for drilling activity during the first three months of the year were more than double the figures of 2016.
"An increase of more than 450 wells drilled is an optimistic indicator for our oil industry and, by extension, Saskatchewan’s economic outlook for the year ahead," Energy and Resources Minister Dustin Duncan said.
The number of wells drilled in the province from January to the end of March was 856, compared to 399 wells drilled during the same period in 2016.
"Continued oil field activity at this pace is encouraging news," Duncan said. "It contributes positively to communities throughout our province and is part of our economic growth."
Saskatchewan’s oil and gas industry is responsible for an estimated 15 per cent of the province’s gross domestic product. A total of 1,648 oil wells were drilled in Saskatchewan in 2016, which was down 10 per cent from 1,831 oil wells drilled in 2015.
Saskatchewan is expected to lead the country in oil and gas drilling in 2017, narrowly surpassing Alberta, according to the Petroleum Services Association of Canada.