Milestone: – Companies abandoning Alberta oilsands exploration leases

❝ In another sign the bloom is off the boom for the oilsands, the industry has returned almost one million hectares of northern Alberta exploration leases to the province over the past two years — abandoning an area far bigger than P.E.I.

The total area covered by oilsands leases remained constant at about nine million hectares between 2011 and 2014. But it fell to 8.5 million hectares in 2015 and 8.1 million in 2016, following the crash in world oil prices from over US$100 to under $60 per barrel in 2014.

Most of the returned acreage either represents expired or surrendered leases, according to Alberta Energy, which provided the statistics at the request of The Canadian Press.

❝ Observers were surprised by the size of the lease returns which they attributed to industry cost-cutting and disinterest in spending to develop new prospects when there’s no money to build projects already on the books.

“It costs money to maintain these lands,” said Brad Hayes, president of Petrel Robertson Consulting in Calgary. “You can’t convince shareholders to continue to put that money out if there’s no prospect for success.”

Maybe he should follow the ExxonMobil model and go to work for the Canadian government as Foreign Minister.

3 thoughts on “Milestone: – Companies abandoning Alberta oilsands exploration leases

  1. Brad Hayes says:

    I’m a little unclear as to the meaning of your comment, although I’m pretty sure it’s not a compliment. I made a pretty straightforward observation in reply to a straightforward question, although the reporter only printed a small part of the conversation. If you’re taking a shot at me, I’d like to understand why, and what you actually mean.

    • eideard says:

      Just suggesting you might consider “public service” in the Tillerson mold. More a commentary on USA politics than the GWN. Otherwise, I agree completely with your analysis.

      As an aside, cynicism is hard to lose. I first worked in the Louisiana Oil Patch in 1966. Things haven’t changed much. 🙂

  2. 'Berta says:

    Geothermal pitched as Alberta’s next big energy source http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/hinton-geothermal-energy-abandoned-wells-alberta-1.4308997
    An Alberta town is planning to pull a different kind of energy from the abandoned oil and gas wells that ring its outskirts.
    Hinton, west of Edmonton on the edge of the Rocky Mountains, is teaming up with academic researchers and the private sector to install what may be Canada’s first geothermal heating system in its downtown core.
    And some say it could change the ground rules for industry all over Alberta.
    “It would be a huge boon for the economy of this province,” said Johnathon Banks, a University of Alberta geologist who’s working on the project. One study has run the numbers for 12 public buildings, including schools, government offices, the hospital and the RCMP detachment. The $10.2 million cost would be paid back in 16 years at current natural gas prices. The town would cut its CO2 emissions — and associated carbon tax costs — by 3,795 tonnes a year.

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