No New Land Sales In Northwest Oilsands

Tuesday, June 16, 2009 at 12:22



Oil investors are looking for quick and easy deals, not higher-cost, longer-term investments like the northwest’s oilsands.


That’s the bad news coming out of the latest land sales report from the province’s Ministry of Energy and Resources.


Compared to last year, when the province got nearly $200 million for oil and gas rights between January and March, the same period this year saw sales of just $6.3 million — down 97 per cent.


Things are a little better now — the June sale netted $18.1 million for oil and gas properties, mostly in the Weyburn and Estevan area.


But with oil prices still near the bottom of the barrel, hardly anyone wants to spend money finding more oil, and those who do will look at conventional oil sources first, says Ed Danscok, the ministry’s acting assistant deputy minister for its petroleum and natural gas division.


The province didn’t even bother trying to sell its potential oilsand properties near Dillon this time around, after poor results the last time the land was offered.


Still, Dancsok says there is some good news: Oilsands Quest, which has been working near La Loche, is planning more exploration on their existing property, and is doing more testing nearby.