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It was the first monthly sale this year, where the total was less than the comparable month the previous year. That’s despite the fact the April 2011 sale resulted in only eight parcels being purchased for less than 12 million dollars.

To underline how far things have gone south, in the record sales year of 2008, which in essence was the year preceding the recession, the total tender bonus from the April sale was just under 40 million dollars.

This week’s sale news comes, on the heels of a Monday prediction by the Petroleum Services Association of Canada, of a five percent drop in drilling in B.C. this year to less than 600 wells. PSAC said of the four western provinces, this one would be the hardest hit by a decline in natural gas drilling due to record low natural gas prices.

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