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First—the good news. Although many oilsands developers are cutting their capital budgets, projects well under way will not only survive current and expected low oil prices but will also see their costs fall, say industry analysts.
The 2015 winter drilling season is over, and it’s been a bad one across the board for western Canadian service companies.
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.
The market share of industry’s top three drilling contractors — Precision Drilling, Ensign Energy Inc. and Savanna Energy Services Corp.— declined in the first quarter of 2015 compared to a year ago. AKITA Drilling Ltd. led the pack with the biggest positive move in market share compared to last year.
The number of operating days recorded by drilling contractors in the first quarter (January-March 2015) was at a 10-year low. 
Crescent Point Energy Corp. led the pack in drilling more wells in the first quarter of 2015 compared to a year ago. Other large year-over increases were booked by Serafina Energy Ltd., Penn West Petroleum Ltd., Paramount Resources Ltd. and Tourmaline Oil Corp.
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This Month in Oilpatch History
It now appears quite possible that construction of the AlbertaWinnipeg leg of the proposed TransCanada natural gas transmission line will…
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