Oklahoma, Texas tops in investment survey

Oklahoma tops a global list of jurisdictions ranked by legal and political conditions for exploration and production investment, according to an annual survey by the Fraser Institute, Calgary.

Among the largest holders of proved oil and gas reserves, Texas scores highest in the new survey, the Fraser Institute’s seventh and its first to relate perceptions about investment conditions to geologic allure.

The 2013 survey had 864 respondents and captured data allowing evaluation of 157 jurisdictions. Respondents answered 16 questions about factors affecting investment decisions in the jurisdictions, which were ranked according to what the Fraser Institute calls the Policy Perception Index.

The index represents perceptions about investment barriers such as high tax rates, costly regulatory obligations, uncertainty over environmental regulations and the interpretation and administration of regulations governing the upstream petroleum industry, and concerns about political stability and the security of personnel and equipment.

Besides Oklahoma, the top 10 jurisdictions by this measure, in descending order, are Mississippi, Saskatchewan, Texas, Arkansas, Kansas, Alabama, North Dakota, Manitoba, and the Netherlands-North Sea.

The worst 10 Public Perception Index scores, in descending order, are for Russia (except for Offshore Arctic, Offshore Sakhalin, and Eastern Siberia), Iraq, South Sudan, Russia-Eastern Siberia, Uzbekistan, Russia-Offshore Arctic, Bolivia, Iran, Ecuador, and Venezuela.

Reserves tiers

To relate investment conditions to geologic attractiveness, the Fraser Institute apportions survey scores across three tiers of oil and gas reserves. Each jurisdiction in Tier 1 holds at least 1% of total proved reserves. Jurisdictions in Tier 2 hold 0.1-1% of the total, and in Tier 3, up to 0.1%.

Ranking just below Texas among Tier 1 reserves holders in terms of investment desirability according to the Policy Perception Index are Qatar, Alberta, the United Arab Emirates, and Norway-North Sea.

The bottom five of the 27 jurisdictions in Tier 1 are Iraq, Russia-East Siberia, Russia-Offshore Arctic, Iran, and Venezuela.

In Tier 2, the top five jurisdictions are Oklahoma, Arkansas, North Dakota, the Netherlands, and Louisiana. The bottom five among 41 Tier 2 jurisdictions are Ukraine, South Sudan, Uzbekistan, Bolivia, and Ecuador.

The top five Tier 3 jurisdictions are Mississippi, Saskatchewan, Kansas, Alabama, and Manitoba. The bottom five in Tier 3’s 70 jurisdictions are Argentina-Mendoza, Argentina-Tierra del Fuego, Somaliland, Kyrgyzstan, and Argentina-Salta.

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