With only two monthly sales of natural gas and petroleum rights left in 2015, the provincial government remains in position to post its lowest bonus bids total in more than three and half decades.
Ministry of Natural Gas Development records dating back to 1978 show the lowest calendar year total since then was in 1982, at just over $16.7 million.
However, despite an October sale last week of more than $3 million – which is the highest of the ten monthly posts – the year-to-date total, still stands at only 12.3 million.
That means the November and December sales will need to total more than 4 million to get past the aforementioned 1978 low post.
While last Wednesday’s sale suggests that’s certainly possible, it’s also worth noting that half of the monthly sales this year have each resulted in a total tender bonus of less than $1 million.
The year-to-date total is less than 3.5% of the full 12-month 2014 total of 382.7 million.
Putting things into an expanded perspective, this year’s 10-month total is less than 0.5% of the record 2008 total.
That’s when the August sale alone topped $500 million in bonus bids, and was enough to enable the Energy Ministry, of now Senator Richard Neufeld, to post after just eight months.
By the end of 2008, the final calendar year total was up to two billion, 662 million – and the province hasn’t had a year since then, when it’s reached even 35% of that post.
It addition, it wasn’t able to record 70% of that total in the last five years combined, and in less than two months, it can almost certainly raise that to the last six years combined.