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Oil drilling to return to pre-pandemic levels in 2022: Petroleum association

Last Updated Nov 10, 2021 at 11:16 am MST

A pumpjack works at a well head on an oil and gas installation near Cremona, Alta., Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Drilling activity is expected to pick up in Canada next year.

The Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC) expects about 5,400 wells will be drilled, an increase of 16 per cent from this year, and a return to pre-COVID levels.

Most of the drilling activity in Canada will happen in Alberta. Over 3,120 wells will be in Alberta, representing a year-over-year increase of 450.


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It says global demand is leading to higher commodity prices, and drilling will increase out of necessity.

However, it’s warning about a severe labour shortage, which could impact growth in the industry.

Companies are finding it difficult to attract workers back to the oil and gas sector after a six-year economic downturn. Some rig workers have left Western Canada while others have retrained in other industries.

The Canadian Association of Energy Contractors says wages for rig workers have already increased by about 10 per cent from last year due to market demand.

-with files from the Canadian Press