The roller coaster ride in Southwest activity during crown petroleum and natural gas rights sales continues, with the region making a first to last switch during the December crown sale.
The Swift Current region produced $1.5 million in interest during the calendar year-end sale this month, the lowest total generated in the area since Dec. 2009. Just two months ago during the October sale the Southwest led the province in activity with $4.3 million in activity.
In the past nine sales the Southwest has been fourth a total of five times, while they have led the province three times.
The calendar year end interest in the Southwest finished at $73.4 million, the second best totals on record.
Province wide the December total generated $20.8 million in activity, the lowest year-end sale since 2007's $15 million year finish.
However, the calendar year end totals finished at $248.9 million, and pushing 2011 to the four-best crown land sale revenue year on record.
"We're pleased by the strong interest companies expressed in the parcels on offer in the December sale," Energy and Resources Minister Bill Boyd stated in a press release. "We've seen a trend in the latter part of the year of companies concentrating on working the assets they have already acquired.
"Our drilling numbers, especially those for horizontal wells, continue to track well ahead of last year's pace and the demand for drilling and service rigs remains higher here than in Alberta and British Columbia. This activity and these recent land acquisitions bode well for an industry that helps drive our economy and which invests more than $4 billion into exploration and development work each year."
The Weyburn-Estevan area generated well over half of the provincial activity with sales of $13.2 million, followed by the Lloydminster area at $4.1 million, while the Kindersley-Kerrobert region was third at $2 million.
The next sale of Crown petroleum and natural gas dispositions will be held in February 2012.