Minister of Energy and Resources Jim Reiter. Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan

REGINA – As far Crown land sales go, the April edition was a pretty good one.

The Government of Saskatchewan’s Crown petroleum and natural gas public offering held on Tuesday, April 4, 2023, has raised $11,113,460 for the province.

That’s up from $3.1 million in the Feb. 7, 2023, sale.

Minister of Energy and Resources Jim Reiter told Pipeline Online on April 6, “These things, sometimes they’re up, sometimes they’re down. It’s absolutely positive when we see a good one like this. We’re happy with it. And hopefully, there’ll be more similar in the future.”

Asked if the increase was a reflection of better oil prices, especially compared to a few years ago, Reiter said, “Yeah, I think so. Obviously, the whole industry is in better shape than it was a few years ago, simply because the price is up. So we hope that’s a sign of things to come.”

In recent years, oil companies have focused increasing amounts of their free cash flow to share buybacks and dividends instead of increasing exploration and drilling. Asked if we’re at the point, now, where oil companies are realizing it’s time to get back into the drilling game, Reiter said, “I hope so. And I understand why they’re doing that, obviously. I mean, we have a federal government that is clearly not only not supportive of the oil and gas industry, but has been very negative towards it. And I am hopeful that even they realize that oil is here to stay for a long, long time. And, and so I’m hopeful that, to your point, that the companies are putting more investment back into the companies, because I think the future is, is promising.”

All of Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan Ministry of Energy and Resources

Of the 147 parcels posted this sale, 105 parcels received acceptable bids – 99 leases and six exploration licenses. These bids covered 22,425 hectares.

The Estevan area saw the most interest, bringing in $6,439,086 for 50 leases totaling 4,346 hectares, an average of $1,482 per hectare. That’s 6.5 times the bonus in February, which came in at $981,971 and an average of $540 per hectare.

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The highest bonus bid received on a lease in this offering is $2,615,989 for a 259-hectare lease located 19 kilometres northeast of Midale. This bid was also the highest dollar per hectare received in this offering, at $10,112 per hectare. Buffalo Hill Resources Ltd. was awarded this lease.

Another lease 15 kilometres northeast of Midale received a bid of $1,255,202, or $6,475 per hectare. This 194 hectare lease was awarded to Midale Petroleums Ltd. These leases are prospective for oil in the Frobisher Beds and the Bakken Formation.

Estevan-Weyburn area

The Lloydminster area also saw considerable interest, bringing in $3,294,125 for 36 leases and two exploration licences totaling 9,617 hectares. That’s a little under double what was brought in during the February sale. However, the number of leases posted, 63, totalling 13,534 hectares, was substantially higher than those 36 that sold.

The highest bonus bid received on a lease in this area was $607,586, or $1,377 per hectare. This 441 hectare lease is located 11 kilometres northeast of Maidstone, near the Rush Lake Mannville Sands Oil Pool and the Dee Valley East Mannville Sands Oil Pool. The successful bidder was Scout Energy Ltd.

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An exploration licence, totaling 748 hectares, received a bonus bid of $1,165,651 or $1,559 per hectare. This licence is located east of Maidstone and was awarded to Millennium Land Ltd.

Lloydminster area

In west central Saskatchewan, the bonus tripled compared to February. The total bonus was $1,180,889, an average of $181 per hectare. This compares to $319,882, an average of $340 per hectare at the last offering.

The highest bonus bid hectare received on a lease in this area was $252,176 or $1,001 per hectare. This 252 hectare lease was awarded to Mammoth Land Services Ltd. and is located 18 kilometres northwest of Marengo, within the Hoosier Viking Gas Pool and adjacent to the Loverna South Bakken Sand Gas pool. This was also the highest dollars per hectare bid received on a parcel in this area.

The highest bonus bid received for an exploration licence in this offering was $272,632 or $235 per hectare. This 1,159 hectare licence is located 16 kilometres north of Marengo. The successful bidder was Mammoth Land Services Ltd.

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The highest dollars per hectare received on an exploration licence in this area was $353 per hectare. This licence was awarded to Mammoth Land Services Ltd and is located 22 kilometres north of Marengo.

Kindersley-Kerrobert area

Southwest Saskatchewan saw ten leases sold, but no licenses. The total bonus received in this area was $199,358.88, an average of $102.46/hectare. There was one parcel posted in this area during the last offering, but it did not receive an acceptable bid.

The highest bonus bid in this area was $81,803, or $628 per hectare for a 130 hectare lease. This lease is located eight kilometres northwest of Swift Current, adjacent to the Java East Success Pool. Millennium Land (111) Ltd. was awarded this lease.

A parcel 12 kilometres northwest of Swift Current received the highest dollar per hectare bid of $1,522 per hectare. Millennium Land (555) Ltd. bid $24,713 for the 16 hectare lease. This parcel is located within the Java East Success Pool.

Swift Current-Shaunavon area

The next scheduled date for a public offering in Saskatchewan is June 6, 2023.

 

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