Recent History – 2000
April 5, 2000
DAWSON CREEK — It’s been a banner winter in the oil patch.
Rob McManus, commissioner of the Oil and Gas Commission (OGC), told council Monday that although the final figures are not in yet, it looks to have been the busiest drilling season on record.
At one point, during January and February, there were 130 rigs operating in the province, making this the first fiscal year with more than 100.
As well, he said the OGC received 73 per cent more applications this fiscal year over last, surpassing the 1,500 application mark.
And it is expected that the record for the number of wells drilled in one year, 696 in 1997-98, will be broken. As of March 10, 681 were recorded for 1999-2000.
Those high numbers are translating into some big bucks. McManus said that the province has collected $685 million in fees, royalties and bids.
And he said that each is a $1.2 million investment that generates about $1.6 million in royalties.
McManus also addressed concerns that aboriginal people were being given preference when it comes to hiring.
Although the OGC encourages companies to hire aboriginal people and British Columbians who are qualified, he said it is still up to the contractors to decide who gets the jobs.
“Who you hire or don’t hire will not influence the speed of applications,” he said.
He said the OGC’s involvement in aboriginal issues is limited to consulting First Nations about possible treaty infringements.