British Columbia's oil, gas fortunes soaring

British Columbia is the only significant jurisdiction in Canada and one of only two in North America that has seen oil and gas rig activity in January and February increase over the same period in 2008.

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Mar. 27 -- British Columbia is the only significant jurisdiction in Canada and one of only two in North America that has seen oil and gas rig activity in January and February increase over the same period in 2008, the energy ministry in Victoria said.

Industry investment in 2008 is estimated at $8 billion, nearly three times the 2001 level.

The $15 million in bonus bids at the Mar. 25 oil and gas land rights sale closed out fiscal 2008-09 with a record $2.4 billion in bonuses, more than double the previous year's amount.

Eighty percent of the land or 190 parcels totaling 247,227 ha were sold in two play areas, the Horn River basin and Montney shale of Northeast British Columbia.

Lease bonuses averaged $1,246/ha at the March sale. A Montney tract at Groundbirch, 32 km west of Dawson Creek, brought $5,000/ha. Three parcels at Sukunka, 40 km south of Chetwynd, went for $5,300-14,300/ha, and one license northwest of Groundbirch field drew bids of more than $2.7 million.

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