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That number’s down from the November forecast of 15,100 wells, and January’s revised forecast of 13,350.

The company also took into consideration the mild weather at the beginning of the year, as well as world economic conditions, like the European debt crisis. The new forecast is based on average natural gas prices of $1.90/mcf Canadian and crude oil prices of $100 U.S. a barrel.

“There have been some conditions that have impacted expected drilling activity that were beyond our industry’s control,” said Mark Salkeld, PSAC President and CEO.

British Columbia is expected to be hardest hit by the declining gas prices, with a five per cent decline in wells drilled here to 591. Alberta is expecting a two per cent decrease. However, Saskatchewan and Manitoba are expected to increase drilling.

In total, 12,850 wells were drilled across the country, so despite PSAC’s decreased forecast, overall there is still an expected rise in drilling country-wide in 2012.

“The first quarter of 2012 saw average well depth reach beyond 2,000 meters, and is a sure sign that our industry now operates very differently than even just five years ago when vertical wells were still the prominent well type and technology,” adds Salkeld.

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