The November sale of oil and gas rights brought $3.9 million in revenue to the province, Energy and Mines Minister Dan Miller announced Thursday. By comparison, the November sale last year generated $13.8 million, and the 1996 sale brought in $13.5 million. The drop is part of a trend that has continued throughout 1998.
Ministry of Energy and Mines spokesperson Kerry Readshaw said the sales of rights has been at record levels for the previous three years. Revenues from oil and gas rights are also down throughout Western Canada.
“The industry is looking at what’s happening globally and saying look, let’s not focus so much on acquisition and focus on the properties we’ve acquired and what we’re going to do with them”, she said.
The province is also enjoying a record year for drilling. Readshaw said that between 670 and 700 new wells should be drilled by the end of this year.
The sale offered 22 drilling licences and 21 leases covering a total of 33,853 hectares in northeast British Columbia. Eighteen of the licences were sold, covering 20,981 hectares.
The top price of $619 per hectare came from Beau Canada Exploration Ltd. and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. for a parcel 130 kilometres northeast of Fort Nelson. The total bid for this 132-hectare licence was $81,643.
The highest total bid for a licence of $502,459 was paid by Pioneer Natural Resources Canada Inc. and Triumph Energy Corp., for a 1,114-hectare parcel 140 kilometres northeast of Fort St. John. The price per hectare for this parcel was $451.
Sixteen of the leases were sold, covering 3,962 hectares.
The top price of $717 per hectare was paid by Saskatoon Assets Inc. for a lease 70 kilometres north of Fort St. John. The total bid for this 71-hectare lease was $50,896.
The top total bid of $185,473 for a lease was received from Alterren Land Services Ltd. for a parcel 45 kilometres north of Fort St. John. This 264-hectare parcel fetched the second-highest average price for a lease of $703 per hectare.
Some leases were sold in the Dawson Creek area as well:
Star Royal and Gas got 259 hectares 25 kilometres northeast of Dawson Creek for $34,501. Scott Land and Lease Ltd. paid $196,088 for a 1,054 hectare parcel 58 kilometres northwest of Dawson Creek. Canadian Coastal Resource Ltd. won a 793 hectare parcel 58 kilometres northwest of Dawson Creek for $68,096. Scott Land and Lease Ltd. purchased a lease to 793 hectares 70 kilometres northwest of Dawson Creek for $434,309. A 1,281-hectare lease fetched $260,082 from Canadian Natural Resources and Poco Petroleum.
Drilling licences are forms of tenure that provide exclusive rights to apply for permission to drill oil and gas wells in a defined area. Leases, in addition to providing exclusive drilling application rights, also convey production rights.
The next sale of oil and gas rights is set for December 16 and will offer 17 drilling licences and 19 leases. All of the parcels are in northeast British Columbia.