Saskatchewan

Sask. announces relief measures for oil and gas sector

The Saskatchewan government has announced relief measures meant to help the oil and gas sector in the province. It says they're in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia.

Province says measures are due to COVID-19 and price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia

Pumpjacks are shown pumping crude oil near Halkirk, Alta. The Saskatchewan government has introduced relief measures for the oil and gas sector. (Larry MacDougal/The Canadian Press)

The Saskatchewan government has announced relief measures meant to help the oil and gas sector in the province. It says they're in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia. 

The relief measures include reducing the industry's portion of the Oil and Gas Administrative Levy by 50 per cent this fiscal year and delaying the invoicing for the remaining balance until October. The province says this will provide $11.4 million in relief to address immediate liquidity challenges. 

It is also extending deadlines for filing around routine reporting activities for oil and gas companies, and extending mineral rights that are set to expire in 2020 for another year. 

Energy and Resources Minister Bronwyn Eyre says extending mineral rights could allow companies more time to drill and produce oil.

Saskatchewan's Minister of Energy and Resources Bronwyn Eyre says the government is keeping an eye on other resource extraction industries in the province. (CBC)

"There's little cost impact to the government. I guess the only potential cost will be the lost revenue from land sales of those dispositions. But, again, I mean, the current price of oil is so low that land sales probably be quite low for a while going forward here," she said.

Eyre said the ministry is also looking at other sectors within resource extraction, such as potash and uranium.

"We recognize this isn't only an oil and gas sector impact. That said, the impact in recent weeks on the oil and gas sector has been extreme and in a class on its own." 

The province also says it has reached a draft agreement with Ottawa on the regulation of methane reductions in the industry. It says it has regained provincial jurisdiction over the regulations.

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