More oil rigs and jobs expected to leave Canada

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – The outlook appears to be going from bad to worse for Canada’s oil and gas industry.

According to the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors, more rigs and jobs are expected to leave the country in 2019.

That is a dramatic shift compared to November’s forecast which predicted little change in drilling activity across western Canada.

“We could see that number go from approximately 870 job losses to about 5700, essentially lost from western Canada,” said CAODC President Mark Scholz.

Like others in the industry, Scholz believes the problem goes beyond a pipeline shortage – it has become too expensive for some energy companies to do business in Alberta.

“We’ve seen billions of dollars leave this industry, going to other jurisdictions that have favourable regulations,” said Scholz. “(Canadian governments have) decided to increase operating costs at a time when our industry can least afford it.”

In recent years, government regulations have heaped on higher labour costs, a carbon tax and increased regulations like Bill C-69.

“Canada really needs to figure out whether it wants to be in the business of oil and gas,” said Scholz. “Our governments have really indicated that they aren’t interested in investments in oil and gas, particularly from the federal level.”

As a result, more rigs and jobs have left Canada for the U.S.

According to a recent State of Energy report from Texas Independent Producers, there were more than 45,000 jobs created in the U.S. energy industry last year.

The most recent numbers from the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers show there were more than 116,000 energy-related jobs lost in Canada between 2015-17.

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