Oil and gas land rights sales show signs of steady improvement

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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Though it may be less than ten percent of January’s, February’s oil and gas land rights sale was still a one hundred percent improvement over the same month a year ago.

February’s petroleum and natural gas land rights sale netted a total of $3,727,424.33 for two leases and nine drilling licenses. Four companies put up acceptable bids in the sale, with Stomp Energy Ltd. snapping up a 792 hectare parcel of land for $1,115,120.16, or an average of $1,407.98 per hectare.

Though last month’s land rights sale was much smaller than the $39,652,979.27 purchased in January, February 2017’s sale was still $3,727,424.33 higher than in February 2016, when $0 was spent by companies on land rights. Apart from January’s anomalous amount and November 2016’s $3.9 million, the last time this amount of money was spent was in December 2015, when the land rights sale generated $4.3 million for the province.

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Art Jarvis with the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association of B.C. in Fort St. John says that the numbers are good news for the oil and gas sector of the local economy. “The industry is on a turnaround here,” said Jarvis. “We’re on a slow climb out of this. I firmly believe that 2016 was the bottom of the trench that the economic period has created. But, we’re working our way back up. Of course, the election has caused a lot of uncertainty, so not sure how the summer is going to look, but I truly believe that Q3 and Q4 of this year will be steadily ramping up for 2018.”

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