Political instability in Africa has brought Alberta's oil and gas industry roaring back to pre-recession levels, experts say.
The price of oil, which had been climbing slowly for months, is now hovering around $100 US a barrel, and plenty of energy companies are ramping up to meet demand, says Mike Mazar, an analyst with BMO Capital Markets.
"Maybe the $105-type oil price that we saw on Friday is not sustainable," Mazar said. "There's a 'fear premium' or geo-political premium built into that price, but we don't foresee dropping down to the level where these projects don't make sense."
Mazar said the wider Canadian economy stands to benefit, with trickle-down effects expected in employment, housing and consumer spending.
The only downside for domestic producers is meeting the surging demand.
Demand "ramped up so quickly in the winter that most of the industry is struggling with having enough people and struggling to put all the rigs that we want into the field," said Ken Mullen, president and CEO of Savanna Energy Services Corp., a Calgary-based oil and gas drilling company.