Arctic regions favored for Canadian gas exploration

The Yukon and Northwest Territories in Canada�s Arctic are now the top locations favored by companies hunting large natural gas discoveries in Canada, according to an annual review by Arthur Andersen LLP. The survey says these areas, including offshore plays, are now favored over the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia, which now rank third and fourth, respectively.


CALGARY�The Yukon and Northwest Territories in Canada�s Arctic are now the top locations favored by companies hunting large natural gas discoveries in Canada, according to an annual review by Arthur Andersen LLP. The survey says these areas, including offshore plays, are now favored over the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia, which now rank third and fourth, respectively.

Blair Kraus, a Calgary-based partner with Arthur Andersen, says traditional areas in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin are now fairly well explored, and companies are looking for bigger discoveries.

There have been a number of significant gas discoveries in the Liard River area of the Northwest Territories by Chevron Canada Resources Ltd., Berkley Petroleum Corp., Ranger Oil Ltd., and others. The region abuts the northern borders between Alberta and British Columbia and the Northwest Territories.

High natural gas prices this summer have increased interest in gas reserves and increased merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in companies with strong gas positions and prospects in Western Canada.

More than 60% of respondents to the annual survey said they expect M&A activity to increase in 2001. The value of the deals announced to date this year is more than $10 billion (Can.). The report also said most executives polled have a positive outlook about commodity prices, stock values, and the industry in general.

There was a 25% response to the poll of 200 company chief executives, which included those of major Canadian companies such as Petro-Canada, Suncor Inc., and Gulf Canada Resources Ltd.

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