It’s not generally necessary to keep reminding people in Alberta about the deplorable state of the oil patch. The price of gasoline at the pumps in the Capital region last week, for example, dropped to the 60 cents a liter range, not seen since 1999.
But some factual information about the state of oil drilling can’t help but keep the issue on the minds of provincial and federal politicians. For example, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit to Alberta earlier this month was punctuated by a number of publicity appearances, but virtually nothing in the way of official announcements of aid for Alberta’s beleaguered energy industry.
The Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors offers comprehensive statistical information on how many rigs are operating in the country right now. While Alberta is only part of that, the numbers still paint a pretty stark picture for the oil patch.
According to the CAODC website, in Jan. 2015 389 rigs in Canada were drilling out of a total of 804, a rate of 48.4 per cent. The next month, one year ago in Feb. 2015, 318 rigs were drilling out of a possible 792, a rate of 40.2 per cent. In March 2015, 165 rigs were drilling out of a possible 764, a rate of 21.6 per cent. April of 2015 was the beginning of spring break-up, so only 81 rigs were operating out of a possible 758, a 10.7 per cent rate. That continued in May, 2015 with 80 rigs drilling out of a possible 757, a rate of 10.6 per cent.
When things started to pick up again in June, they never really picked up: 123 rigs operating out of a possible 759, a rate of 16.2 per cent. In July, 2015 183 rigs were drilling out of a total 764, a rate of 24 per cent. In August, 193 rigs were drilling out of a total 750, a rate of 25.7 per cent. In Sept., 2015 174 rigs were drilling out of a possible 759, a rate of 22.5 per cent. In Oct. 2015, 181 rigs were drilling out of a total 759, a rate of 23.9 per cent. In Nov., 2015 174 rigs were drilling out of a possible 762, a rate of 22.8 per cent. To close 2015, in Dec. there were 149 rigs drilling out of a possible 764, a rate of 19.5 per cent.
In Jan. 2016, 192 rigs were drilling out of a possible 748, a rate of 26 per cent.
The CAODC site noted, “Knowing how many active drilling rigs are at work indicates how busy the rest of the oil and gas industry is. Each active drilling rig represents 135 jobs.”
You can read much more online at www.caodc.ca.