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Oilpatch activity slowing down

CALGARY, Alta. -- Drilling activity in Western Canadas oilfields has declined to their lowest levels since 2000, s...


CALGARY, Alta. — Drilling activity in Western Canadas oilfields has declined to their lowest levels since 2000, signaling a slowdown that will undoubtedly impact truck fleets servicing the patch.

The Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors (CAODC) said the first quarter was slower than expected. The group says there will be 16,339 wells drilled this year which is a 27% decline compared to last year.

“It’s going to be worse than we thought and we felt we better make that fact known,” Don Herring, president of the association told the Financial Post. “There was a 14% decline below our expectation in the first quarter alone, and the difficulties continue.”

Plunging natural gas prices and spending cuts from producers are blamed for the slowdown.

“As an industry, we also built a lot of rigs in 2006. So you’ve got more rigs, less activity among the explorers and producers and a long winter breakup period because there was so much snow this year, added Terry Rosentreter, chairman of CAODC. “It all adds up to lower utilization rates in the summer.

– With files from the Financial Post


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