For the tenth consecutive Crown petroleum and natural gas rights sale the Southwest has been in the bottom two of Saskatchewan activity generating regions.
During the April sale on Monday, the Swift Current region generated $1.2 million in activity, the best regional total dating back to the $1.3 million generated during the Feb. 2013 sale. So far in 2014, the Southwest has attracted $1.93 million in interest, which trails the $2.3 million in sales generated during the first two sales of 2013. Swift Current's best start to the year occurred in 2008 when the region generated $100 million in land sales.
For the past 10 crown land sales, which dates back to Oct. 2012, the Southwest has realized just $8.5 million in interest.
The April sale was led by the Weyburn-Estevan area with $42.8 million in sales, with the Lloydminster area recording $2.3 million in activity, while the Kindersley-Kerrobert region attracted $1.7 million in interest.
Province wide, the $47.9 million in revenue from April's sale increases Saskatchewan 2014 total activity to $98.6 million, which eclipses the $67.4 million in land sales generated in all of 2013 and comes close to reaching the $105.7 million generated during 2012. Saskatchewan's record oil and gas land sale record remains 2008 when $1.12 billion in sales were posted.
Of particular interest in this sale was a cluster of exploration licences between Assiniboia and Rockglen. Drilling in the early 1950s proved the presence of Bakken oil in the area, but the technology did not exist to develop the resource.
“With interest in this area rekindled after 50 years, we are hopeful that the technological advances made in the interim can be applied to produce significant amounts of oil,” Energy and Resources Minister Tim McMillan stated in a press release.
The highest price paid for a single parcel was shared between two adjoining exploration licences south of Assiniboia. Prairie Land & Investment Services Ltd. paid identical amounts of $5,541,128 for the 5,180-hectare exploration licences.
The next sale of Crown petroleum and natural gas and oil shale dispositions will be held on June 2.