DRILLING MARKET FOCUS: Canadian companies reduce activities with price swings

The high season for Canadian drilling should begin now, but many Canadian operators plan to scale back operations. Depressed commodity prices, increased operations costs, and the new Alberta royalty program all hurt drilling activity north of the US border.Due to commodity price (and industry) pressure, the Alberta government recently announced a transitional, lower royalty for new wells drilled after Nov. 18, 2008, but this will probably have little effect on operators’ plans to drill (OGJ Online, Dec. 17, 2008).In response to a Nickle’s Energy Group poll, 51% of respondents said their companies would still “decrease its capital budget for drilling in Alberta in 2009 be...

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