New drilling rigs are now getting to work under the province’s modernized royalty framework.
Energy Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd was speaking at a new Encana drilling operation that just started in Grande Prairie county. It’s opening up six months earlier than planned, since the government announced that new rigs can start working under the new royalty scheme before the original start date of 2017.
“We announced this about a month ago, at the Stampede, that we were going to go in this direction and we immediately had a number of applications,” said McCuaig-Boyd. “We’ve received over 50 applications for rigs that are being processed, currently we have about 35 that have been approved.”
The economy needs it right now, adds McCuaig-Boyd.
“For every rig that we start up in Alberta that’s about 135 direct and indirect jobs.”
The modernized framework is supposed to make things simpler for drilling operations to get set up.
“For example, before, in the old framework, if you hit oil or you hit gas it was a different system. Right now the new one looks at hydrocarbons as the same, so no matter what you strike, you’re going to pay the same royalties.”
McCuaig -Boyd says the applications are coming in from around the province. (kdr)