This month’s update represents 600 more than expected at the end of 2012. This estimate is based on average natural gas prices of $3.40 per thousand cubic feet for natural gas and $90 U.S. per barrel of oil.

 B.C. is now expected to drill 457 wells, up 19 per cent from November’s prediction of 385, while 7,563 wells are expected to be drilled in Alberta, up seven per cent from the year end forecast.  

President and CEO of PSAC Mark Salkeld says the Progress Energy and Petronas deal, along with increased activity in northeast B.C. and Alberta led to the forecasted increase. 

“Drilling activity is keeping on a steady pace this year, and we anticipate another pick up in activity in Q3 and Q4,” says Salkeld. “Even with steady levels of activity this year, continued low gas prices and the impact of infrastructure bottlenecks that are squeezing access to new markets are certainly having an impact.”