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CALGARY, ALTA – The projected increase in B.C well sites drilled in 2021 will take place in the Montney region, according to the Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC).

“The wells there are very economical. [The area] is very fortunate because gas is definitely looking up and, so in that area, that’s what the producers are targeting,” says Interim President and CEO Elizabeth Aquin.

As natural gas prices increase, the Montney region is seen as a region that can compete.

PSAC’s first 2021 Canadian Oilfield Services Activity Forecast released on Jan. 28th stated British Columbia is projected to increase from 367 wells in 2020 to 420 wells in 2021.

Aquin says the future of natural gas is bright in the province with the construction of the LNG facility in Kitimat.

“Then there will be more demand for LNG. Until it’s finished, it’s great that we’re showing an increase over last year.”

The seemingly modest trend, around 10 per cent in B.C, is a positive one as more countries look at natural gas to develop hydrogen strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“We can use natural gas as the base source for hydrogen. I think we have lots of opportunities there, but that’s further down the road.”

As for the projected increased drilling across Canada, Aquin says there are many factors to the demand such as how the seasons play out and the current economic recovery.

“I think [the increase is] because of the rollout of vaccines. We’re now seeing increased demand in many areas. One would expect that 2022 would be even more robust and turning to normal. I think there are lots of factors. I think what we’re seeing is a positive trend.”

Across the country, PSAC expects a total of 3,350 wells drilled this year, up 750 over its original forecast in October of 2,600.

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