November 5, 2009 / 6:05 PM / in 9 years

Canada to see another slow drilling year, PSAC says

CALGARY, Alberta, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Canada will see another slow year for oil and gas drilling, with 8,000 wells expected to be completed in 2010, unchanged from this year, the Petroleum Services Association of Canada said on Thursday.

PSAC, a lobby group for oil service firms, said it expects most drilling to concentrate on finding new oil reserves and forecast an average price of $72 per barrel in 2010.

Natural gas prices will continue to be low, with the group calling for the price of the fuel to average C$5 per thousand cubic feet at the AECO hub in southern Alberta.

PSAC expects 5,095 wells to be drilled in Alberta, down 5 percent from 2009, while British Columbia will see 630 completed wells, down 7 percent from its 2009 forecast.

Saskatchewan will see 10 percent increase to 1,935 wells while Manitoba drilling will drop 22 percent to 300 wells. ($1=$1.07 Canadian) (Reporting by Scott Haggett)

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