Alberta has plunged to 43rd place in its attractiveness to global oil and gas investors, a report by the Fraser Institute suggests.
The 10th annual Global Petroleum Survey of industry executives looks at various jurisdictions around the globe and a variety of barriers that might impact investment decisions in key oil and gas producing regions.
Some of those barriers include high tax rates, costly regulatory obligations, uncertainty over environmental regulations and political stability.
The survey places Alberta 43rd overall out of 96 locations for upstream investment, down from 25th in 2015 and a top 15 spot in 2014.
Meanwhile, Saskatchewan jumped to 4th, up from 7th spot last year, while British Columbia maintained its 39th spot overall.
Alberta earned low marks for regulatory duplication and inconsistencies, high taxation, and uncertain environmental regulations.
"The Alberta government has introduced policies that are confusing and possibly costly, creating uncertainty for the oil and gas industry, which can invest elsewhere," said Kenneth Green, senior director of the Fraser Institute's Centre for Natural Resources and co-author of the survey in a news release.
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"It can't be attributed only to the oil price and opposition to pipelines and things like that because Saskatchewan is doing just fine," says Green. "It's a perceived degradation of the regulatory climate and tax regimes here in Alberta."
The survey notes it was completed before the approval of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline and Enbridge's Line 3 replacement last week. Taking those developments and President-elect Donald Trump's support of Keystone XL into account, it says that Alberta's score could improve in future years.
Despite Alberta's drop, Canada is still the third most attractive country for oil and gas investment.
The survey also points out that of the 12 jurisdictions with the largest petroleum reserves, Texas, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Alberta, and China, are also the five most likely to attract, or least likely to deter, investment.
The report pegs the United States as the most attractive region for investment, followed by Australia, which moved ahead of Canada this year.
The survey, which involved 381 managers and executives, was conducted from May 24, 2016, until Aug. 12, 2016.