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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for November delivery lost four cents to $52.59 on the New York Merc, while Brent for December added eight cents to $58.32 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $14.27 to WTI, down from a discount of $14.08. Natural gas for November lost five cents to $2.23. The TSX energy index lost a fraction to close at 123.64.
Western Canadian drilling activity has reached its lowest levels in nearly three decades. So says a new research report from the analysts at Peters & Co., who counted 134 active rigs in the field during the third quarter of 2019, the lowest third quarter level in over 25 years. The analysts blamed bad weather and what they euphemistically called "fiscal discipline" (otherwise known as penny-pinching in a hellish pricing environment). "Activity in all major plays declined, with the most pronounced weakness in the Deep basin and the Montney," said the analysts. Things are not looking up so far in the fourth quarter. "In the early days of October," said the analysts, "activity is tracking 40 per cent below the same period in 2018, with activity levels largely paralleling 30-year lows." The analysts are forecasting a 30- to 35-per-cent decline in year-over-year drilling activity, with the overall fourth quarter rig count expected to be at its lowest since 1991.
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