According to the Ministry of Natural Gas Development website, only 11 parcels — nine drilling licenses and two leases — are on offer today in the July sale of Crown petroleum and natural gas rights.
That would suggest it could be another small one, in a calendar year, which Ministry records dating back to 1978 show, is already on pace to post the worst bonus bids total in nearly 40 years.
It is also another chapter of the now year-long dismal oil and gas industry revenue story, with the price of crude oil still fighting to stay above $50 a barrel.
However, vacationing motorists are seeing little evidence of the crude price problem translating into lower retail gasoline prices, and price differentials continue to be the headline story.
According to the GasBuddy.com monitor yesterday morning, B.C. still had the highest provincial average in the country, and, at a 128.7 cents a litre, it was rising again, and near the common posted price in Fort St. John of a 128.9 cents.
That was still 14.2 cents higher than the best price in the Peace/Liard Region at the Legacy Car & Truck Wash in Dawson Creek, but, the Fort St. John price was also still 11 cents lower than the posts for an Esso station in Wonowon, and Petro-Can and Husky outlets in Fort Nelson, at a 139.9 cents.
Meantime, the GasBuddy survey had even bigger differential news in its cross country and province-wide price comparisons.
First, we note, the aforementioned high end provincial average in BC was nearly 45 cents lower than the Northwest Territories average, which was posted as a 173 cents a litre.
The low end B.C. price of a 110.9 at the Prince George Costco was still nearly 90 cents a litre less, than the high end price of a 199 cents at the Hummer outlet in Yahk.