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Crude-by-rail has emerged as a critical piece of the energy transportation landscape in North America, enabling meaningful growth in market access despite pipeline projects being stalled in the regulatory process. But the benefits of the opportunity don’t have to end with producers and rail operators: an Alberta government official sees a possible opportunity for market diversification for oilsands manufacturers, too.
In late January, western Canada’s oil and gas industry began to weigh the carnage caused by the collapse of oil prices and an equally troubling decline in gas prices.
The collapse of oil prices from the summer of 2014 to multi-year lows following OPEC’s November decision to hold production levels rather than cut them in an attempt to shore up prices brought deep cuts to capital spending plans in 2015. As oil prices slid to US$57/bbl for WTI and US$61/bbl for Brent in December, oilsands producer Cenovus Energy sliced a 15 per cent cut off its 2015 capital plan. Supermajor ConocoPhillips said it would spend $13.5 billion in 2015, a decrease of 20 per cent from the previous year.
News
In the first three months of 2015, the highest weekly activity rate for drilling rigs occurred during the second week of January, when 57 per cent of the fleet was active. Only 16 per cent of the drilling fleet was working this past week.
Oilsands producers are now slowing new project development as they wait out low pricing, but in 2014, the industry saw the largest number of individual project start-ups in its history. Oilsands project start-ups and production gains follow up to three years behind corporate sanction.
DOB Intelligence Essentials now includes an additional resource: Online Oil and Gas Maps, the online version of JuneWarren-Nickle’s highly-regarded Oilfield Atlas product.
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Current Rig Activity
PROVINCE ACTIVE DOWN TOTAL
AB 65 463 528
SK 7 123 130
BC 38 43 81
MB 0 15 15
QC 0 1 1
Canada 110 645 755
Oil & Gas Prices
NYMEX-WTI
USD 48.87 / BBL
NYMEX Natural Gas
USD 2.64 / MMBTU
AECO/NGX Spot Price
CAD 2.60 / GJ
This Month in Oilpatch History
TORONTO GULF CANADA PRODUCTS COMPANY president R.T. BROWN categorically denied Friday news reports that the company is considering closing…
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