Report predicts B.C. wells to increase in 2010

British Columbia will likely see 630 oil and gas wells drilled next year.

That’s the prediction from the 2010 Canadian Drilling Activity Forecast that was released on Thursday.

In total, the study forecasted around 8,000 oil wells will be drilled nation-wide next year, which is on par with the 2009 numbers. Earlier this year, the study predicted that there would be 9,500 wells.

PSAC President Roger Soucy says in 2009, 590 wells were drilled in Northern B.C. He says next year’s increase will be due to a number of factors.

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Drilling activity has been on the decline throughout Canada, due to the recession and the low gas prices.

The PSAC report forecasts that gas pricing will remain low in 2010. It bases its 2010 Forecast on average natural gas prices of CAD$5.00/mcf and crude oil prices of US$72.00 barrel.

Locally, Soucy says the drilling numbers may be rising, but the predicted seven per cent increase is far from the record high.

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In 2008, 848 wells were drilled in British Columbia. PSAC is comprised of thousands of members from the oil and gas industry.

A focus group monitors oil and gas activity levels, then comes up with a forecast for the current or upcoming year.