The Globe and Mail reports in its Saturday, Nov. 9, edition that Alberta will allow operators to drill new conventional wells unrestricted by production limits as the government tiptoes toward easing oil curtailment.
The Globe's Emma Graney writes that existing producing wells will remain under curtailment. Energy Minister Sonya Savage was unable to say how many wells would be drilled under the eased curtailment policy, but said producers believe they could bring on hundreds of new wells if curtailment is relaxed. Ms. Savage confessed she is
"the last person in the world" who wants to see Alberta's oil patch hamstrung by curtailment and said her government is doing all it can to prepare an "orderly exit" from production limits.
Canadian Natural Resources, one of Canada's largest producers, has started drilling in Saskatchewan to increase output, saying it makes economic sense to tap wells untouched by curtailment.
This past September, Alberta produced approximately 480,000 barrels a day of conventional oil, of which 90,000 b/d came from curtailed operators. Eligibility for unrestricted drilling under the new rule will be tracked by the date the main drill bit enters the ground.
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