Record drilling year for Albertas oil patch

Record drilling year for Albertas oil patch

Last year was one for the record books in Alberta’s oil patch.

The Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors says just over 22,000 wells were punched in 2006.

Spokesman Don Herring says the association is expecting slightly fewer wells ”” about 19,000 ”” to be drilled this year.

But he says that’s still a significant number.

”It was only three or four years ago, or five years ago, when we drilled 10,000 and thought it was a fantastic year, so drilling 19,000 is a very strong year,” Herring said.

This year’s leaner drilling projections are due in part to lower natural gas prices, but Mr. Herring doesn’t believe they’re a precursor to a downturn.

”In the forecast that we’re running with, there’s no suggestion in that forecast that this is the beginning of a decline in activity parallel … to what we have seen in some years past.”

© Canadian Press

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