Five years after Alberta raised a record $3.5-billion dollars auctioning provincially-owned oil and gas drilling rights, this year could see an historic low.
The provincial energy department says, so far this year, companies have paid just over $75 million to drill on Crown land. At that rate, total sales for the whole year are projected to add up to $125 million–more than $100 million less than any year since 1978 when Alberta adopted the current process.
B.C. is also headed for a record low with only $4.7 million raised from land sales so far this year. In 2008, BC raised 2.7 billion. In Saskatchewan, about $12 million has been raised in the first half of 2016, the lowest year-to-date total since 1992. Its record year was also 2008, when it generated about $1.1 billion.
In the spring budget, the Alberta government estimated revenues of just $95 million from land sales in the 2016-17 fiscal year ending next March, rising to $157 million the following year.