Saskatchewan's oil production in 2011 was the second highest on record, according to year-end figures provided by the Ministry of Energy and Resources. Last year's production was 157.8 million barrels, up 3.5 million barrels from 2010, and is a figure exceeded only by the 161 million barrels produced in 2008 when the price of oil exceeded $140 per barrel for a brief time.
Bill Boyd, Energy and Resources Minister, said the 2011 figure is all the more remarkable given the special circumstances the industry had to deal with last year. Due to flooding, production was as low as 393,000 barrels per day in June 2011 but recovered to a peak of 475,000 barrels per day in December. The average for the year was 432,000 barrels per day.
"Spring flooding in our oil-producing regions really set the industry back, but they came on strong over the second half of 2011," Boyd said. "We learned earlier this year that the number of oil wells drilled in 2011 was also the second highest on record, so it's been an outstanding year for Saskatchewan's oil patch all the way around."
Oil and gas is one of Saskatchewan's leading industries, accounting for $12.2 billion in value of sales in 2011 and an estimated $4.5 billion in investment in exploration and development. There were an estimated 33,200 jobs in the upstream oil and gas industry in 2011, a 9.0 per cent increase from 2010.
The Fraser Institute's 2011 Global Petroleum Survey ranked Saskatchewan the top jurisdiction in Canada for oil and gas investment.