OTC: Canadian officials tout massive potential

By Kurt Abraham, Editor-in-Chief, World Oil on 5/7/2019

Don’t forget that Canada is a major source of oil and gas, and an extremely reliable place to do business was the message put forth at OTC on Monday by officials from several jurisdictions in the country. As noted by Douglas George, Acting Consul General in Dallas, Canada holds the third-largest oil reserves globally, is a major oil producer (171 Bbbl), and is the fourth-largest natural gas producer, behind Russia, the U.S. and Iran.

“Canada produced 4.2 MMbopd in 2018,” said George. “This growth is the result of long-term projects that are coming online.” He added that in Saskatchewan, light oil output was up 2% in January, compared to the level of a year earlier. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, he pointed out, has predicted further growth in Atlantic Canada oil production, as well, over the next five years.

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Jim Keating, executive V.P. for Offshore Development, Nalcor.

Jim Keating, Executive V.P. for Offshore Development at Nalcor Energy in Newfoundland and Labrador (NL), said that the province’s latest bidding round generated $1.4 billion in receipts, which is yet another record. Keating also noted that NL’s oil production from four facilities (with a fifth under development) is close to 300,000 bpd. And, he pointed out, this output has been achieved with only 7% of all of NL’s total offshore area under license. Resource assessments, he said, point to future reserves that could go as high as 49.2 Bbbl of oil and 193.8 Tcf of gas. No surprise then, he added, that “we could see 80 exploration wells drilled by 2030.”

Gary Mar, President and CEO of the Petroleum Services Association of Canada, has just been on the job 158 days, as of Monday. But Mar said that he has gotten a solid grip on the state of E&P in Canada, and it continues to look bright in the medium and long term. Reiterating what George said about Canada’s place as a global leader in oil and gas output, Mar also said that “we would make the case that Canadian oil is the most responsibly produced in the world.” He said that this means in terms of not just environment, but technology, finance and innovation. Further, he reminded the press briefing attendees that “we (Canada) employ about 450,000 people in the services sector.”

Nova Scotia’s Minister of Energy and Mines, Derek Mombourquette, acknowledged that his provinces’ offshore sector “has slowed down with three non-commercial discoveries.” Nevertheless, he added, “we’re focused on doing research needed to further define our offshore exploration” for success. And, he reminded briefing attendees, research in 2011 had indicated the potential for resources offshore Nova Scotia of 8 Bbbl of oil and 120 Tcf of natural gas.

Furthermore, said the minister, “we’re entering the second year of our four-year program to enlarge our offshore activity.” He also pointed out that his province is working with Morocco to study the geology resulting from what is believed to be the splitting of continents millions of years ago, whereby Nova Scotia and Morocco have similar attributes. And, as another piece of the effort to improve the province’s E&P sector, the government expects to see, shortly, the results of its latest call for bids to explore offshore. He also expects the province’s offshore board to issue an additional, new call for bids.

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