Changes in perception of Alberta’s petroleum industry causing investment uncertainty

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It’s only been seven months since Alberta voters made a block-buster government decision and turfed a Conservative government that had been in power for more than 40 years for a Socialist alternative.

However, it already appears to be oil and gas industry reality check time, at least according to the Fraser Institute Think Tanks annual Global Petroleum Survey.

This year it rates 126 worldwide jurisdictions based on their barriers to investment, and volume of oil and gas reserves.

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The survey of petroleum sector executives does show Alberta still ranks high globally — third behind Texas and the United Arab Emirates — in the 14 jurisdictions with large petroleum reserves, but the perceptions about the province are changing and there’s been a plunge in Alberta investment confidence.

Co-author Taylor Jackson says:

It should also be noted this survey does two different rankings and the other one deals with the Canadian provinces and the Northwest Territories.

In this format, it is Saskatchewan — eighth out of the 126 worldwide jurisdictions — which ranks first for the second year in a row.

Manitoba is still second — but Alberta has slipped all the way from third to seventh.

BC has dropped from sixth to eighth on that survey, but it has registered a twelve point gain to fiftieth, on the one including reserves.

It rates 126 jurisdictions around the world based on their barriers to investment and volumes of proven oil and gas reserves.


However, it also ranks them according only, to investor perception of their policies, and in this format Alberta and B-C are moving in opposition directions.

Alberta is losing investor confidence and has dropped from sixteenth to thirty-eighth, but BC is now ranked fiftieth overall, up from sixtieth in 2014 thanks in part to improved perceptions of its policy environment.

However, it has also dropped from sixth place in 2014 to eighth in Canadian jurisdiction rankings of the ten Provinces, and the Northwest Territories — a list which also features an Alberta drop from third to seventh and is topped—for the second year in a row — by Saskatchewan and then Manitoba.

Policy analyst and survey co-author Taylor Jackson attributes the poor BC Canadian ranking, at least in part to the movement of other jurisdictions in the country, but he also says:

At the bottom of the Canadian rankings is Quebec, the province which petroleum executives believe presents the greatest barriers to oil and gas investment in the country and it finished 119th in the global survey.


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