Saskatchewan

Sask. raises $442K from petroleum and natural gas bids during lowest-ever June public offering

The June public offering of Crown petroleum and natural gas rights on Tuesday brought in just $442,125 for the Saskatchewan government — the lowest-ever total for a June offering.

Last June's public offering generated 13 times more revenue

A service rig, left, and a pumpjack in an oilfield outside of Weyburn, Sask. (Troy Fleece/Canadian Press)

Saskatchewan's June public offering of Crown petroleum and natural gas rights, where companies place bids for the rights to explore and drill for oil on parcels of land, brought in $442,125 for the province on Tuesday — the lowest-ever total for a June offering.

According to the Ministry of Energy and Resources, the previous June low was $472,032 in 1968.

That's a fraction of the revenue brought in by last June's oil and gas public offering, which raised more than $6 million — approximately 13 times more than Tuesday's.

Ten years ago, the June public offering — one of six held throughout the year — generated $46.2 million.

This year's low sales come after oil prices plunged in the spring due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic — even briefly turning negative in mid-April — and experts are uncertain about the industry's path to recovery or change. 

On Tuesday, Estevan-based Vermilion Energy Inc. was the most active bidder, picking up seven leases totalling 971 hectares for $104,249.

Rights for a total of 25 parcels of land, or 2,645 hectares, in the Estevan area were acquired. Five parcels were leased in the Lloydminster area and two were leased in the Kindersley area. 

The most expensive parcel of land, an area between the Viewfield Bakken Oil Pool and the Steelman Oil Pool, was acquired by Millennium Land (444) Ltd. for $111,112.

The next public offering is scheduled for Aug. 11, 2020. 

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