Northeast B.C. Rig Report - April 30

Rig activity in northeast B.C. has held around 20% during the last month of the COVID-19 pandemic.

There were 7 of 33 rigs active as of April 30, according to RigLocator, with Tourmaline and Petronas accounting for most of the production. Activity is down by half from this time last year, when 16 rigs were at work.

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  • Nabors 120 is drilling for gas for Petronas at Town. Spud was April 15.

  • Precision 533 is drilling for gas for Tourmaline at Gundy. Spud was April 24.

  • Precision 538 is drilling for gas for Tourmaline at Kobes. Spud was April 27.

  • Precision 542 is drilling for gas for ARC at Sundown. Spud was April 28.

  • Precision 544 is drilling for gas for Petronas at Blueberry. Spud was April 25.

  • Precision 546 is drilling for gas for Tourmaline at Gundy Creek. Spud was April 26.

  • Precision 867 is drilling for gas for ConocoPhillips at Inga. Spud was April 23.

There are 24 rigs at work in Western Canada this week, down 66 from this time last year. Alberta has 16 rigs active, with just one active in Saskatchewan. 

The Petroleum Services Association of Canada has revised its 2020 Canadian drilling forecast to an almost 50-year record low of 3,100 oil and gas wells, a level not seen since 2,900 wells were drilled in 1972.

B.C.'s revised forecast is for 260 wells to be rig released, 85 wells lower than originally forecast.

PSAC interim CEO Elizabeth Aquin says more than $7 billion of capital investment in the energy sector has been cancelled to date this year thanks to demand destruction from measures to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and a supply surplus due to an oil price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia.

She said blockades of the Coastal GasLink Pipeline and cancellation of the Frontier oilsands project have also hurt investor confidence in the Canadian oil and gas industry.

PSAC chairman Mark O'Byrne says the industry appreciates government assistance such as $1.7 billion in federal funding to clean up orphan and inactive wells in Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, but will need more help to ensure survival.

The new forecast represents a decrease of 1,400 wells, or 31 per cent, from PSAC's original forecast of 4,500 wells announced in October.

About 4,900 wells were drilled in 2019.

"The majority of the impact will be felt on the oil side as supply overwhelms demand and storage levels surge to capacity," said Aquin.

"This has left producers little incentive to drill for more with the price of a barrel of oil now fetching less than a cup of coffee. We expect to see a 38 per cent drop in activity for oil wells versus 2019."

— with a report from the Canadian Press

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