With the price of crude oil now below $40 USD per barrel, there seems to be a growing level of local area frustration with the lack of senior political attention being paid to the serious problems of the oil and gas industry, resulting from what has become a global economic crisis.
Energy Services BC’s Executive Director Art Jarvis believes the politicians based in the southern regions of the province ‘don’t seem to really care about this area.’
“We’re still a paycheck to them, and I believe they are so focused on what LNG can do for this province, and the country, and the future, that they’re not paying attention to what we’re missing right now,” he says.
“There’s so many people laid off, and some of these companies are working at a 35 per cent discount, which they can do for a short term period. But they can’t sustain business that way.”
Jarvis concedes some local businesses have already gone broke, and while some lending institutions have responded with commercial loan payment vacations, the terms aren’t long enough to do much more than postpone the eventual agony.
He says there’s now an abundance of theories with wide ranging possibilities.
“Some analysts are predicting oil to be $30/barrel, and the more optimistic ones are $70/barrel in the fourth quarter of 2015,” he says.
Jarvis believes even $60/barrel for oil would help turn this economy around, but he isn’t certain the economy will see anything like $100/barrel soon.