High oil and gas prices spur boom in land sales

Governments in Western Canada report booming land sales as the oil industry moves to take advantage of high oil and gas prices by acquiring additional acreage.

Jul 12th, 2000


CALGARY�Governments in Western Canada report booming land sales as the oil industry moves to take advantage of high oil and gas prices by acquiring additional acreage.

Alberta reported revenues of $514.6 million (Can.) from sale of rights on Crown lands in the first half of this year. That is a 156% increase over the same period in 1999 and approaching the 1997 record for first-half sales of $560.9 million.

British Columbia reported land sales revenues of $87.4 million in the first half, more than double the 1999 total for the period. Saskatchewan reported sales revenues of $15.5 million, up 2.6% over first half 1999 revenues.

The average price paid in Alberta for drilling rights was $744/acre compared with $430 for the same period last year.

Don Herring, managing director of the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors, said the pace of drilling is so brisk that earlier estimates of well completions for 2000 may be conservative. The association forecast in April a total of 16,566 well completions this year.

Herring said commodity prices are expected to remain high and the industry could drill 1,000 or more wells above the forecast.

The Daily Oil Bulletin newsletter reported 10,130 new wells were licensed in Canada in the first half of 2000, more than double the total for first half 1999.

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