Saskatchewan surpassed the 3,000 oil wells drilled total for just the second time in 2011 to post the second best oil well drilling year in provincial history.
Year end drilling totals released earlier today by the Ministry of Energy and Resources highlighted 3,528 oil wells were drilled during 2011, an impressive growth from the 2,730 drilled during 2010 and only behind the all-time best 3,608 oil well total recorded in 1997.
The province also enjoyed a second consecutive record year for horizontal oil well drilling totals. Saskatchewan set a record in 2010 with 1,531 horizontal oil wells drilled, with Saskatchewan now breaking that record by 30 per cent by reaching a new total of 1,992 horizontal oil wells during 2011.
"Our oil industry continues to be one of Saskatchewan's economic drivers, and these numbers speak to the confidence the industry has in our province and the valuable oil resource we have here," Energy and Resources Minister Bill Boyd stated in a press release. "Early on, the industry had the challenge of a wet spring, but obviously rebounded from that in impressive fashion."
The year ahead also looks to be a strong drilling year, as more than 5,000 oil well licences were issued last year.
"This take-up on well licences is not only reflective of the great drilling numbers we saw in 2011, but is also a sign of the industry activity we expect to see this year," Boyd said.
The Ministry of Energy and Resources noted that Saskatchewan's oil and gas industry recorded an estimated $11.7 billion in sales last year and invested roughly $4.2 billion in exploration and development activity.
Oil Well Drilling Activity in Saskatchewan
1997 to 2011
1997 - 3,608
1998 - 1,064
1999 - 1,391
2000 - 2,396
2001 - 1,924
2002 - 1,643
2003 - 1,877
2004 - 1,740
2005 - 2,007
2006 - 2,340
2007 - 2,297
2008 - 2,824
2009 - 1,610
2010 - 2,730
2011 - 3,528
Info: Saskatchewan Energy and Resources