Flat drilling activity in Canada will result in more layoffs amid low-growth outlook for oil – by Geoffrey Morgan (Financial Post – November 13, 2019)


Next year could see almost 14,000 oilfield jobs lost: CAODC forecast

CALGARY – Drilling activity in Western Canada is poised to remain flat over the next year as drillers believe oil and gas sentiment is nearing an “all-time low” in the face of fresh forecasts that predict weak Canadian industry growth over the longer term.

The Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors’ annual activity forecast released Wednesday predicted there will be 13,731 direct and indirect jobs losses in the oilfield during 2020.

The association has said its member companies have already moved 29 drilling rigs to the United States “in order to find work and generate cash flow” and those rigs include the larger, higher-technology rigs used to drill deep, horizontal wells in new formations in Western Canada.

“It has been another extremely difficult year for our members,” CAODC president Mark Sholz said in a release accompanying the forecast. “If we do not create an environment where the oil and gas industry can compete internationally, we won’t have an industry left in this country.”

The association is forecasting that 4,905 wells will be drilled next year, which is nine more than last year, but is statistically flat over current activity levels. The bleak outlook comes on the heels of yet another forecast for anemic growth in the Canadian oil and gas industry.

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