is Canada's second largest crude oil producer with
an estimate of 420,000 barrels per day, accounting
for 20 percent of Canada’s oil production. It
is also the third largest natural gas producer with
255.5 billion cubic feet produced per year.
Saskatchewan’s beginning did not
indicate the massive output to come. Before the
1930s, coal mining had been the province’s main
natural resource. In 1930, the dollar value of coal
production was $968,863 and no other mineral or
natural gas was being mined. Also in 1930,
Saskatchewan received control over its natural
resources by the supreme court of Canada after many
years of effort. Now under provincial control,
mining and extraction began and in 1935 the natural
gas industry emerged.
most of the western provinces, Saskatchewan's oil
and gas industry major finds happened during or
after the Second World War. The first commercial
crude oil discovery was made in 1944. Many of the
major pools in the province were discovered was a
result of an intensive exploration effort in the
mid-1950s and early 1960s. In 1973, the Saskatchewan
Oil and Gas Corporation (SaskOil) was established to
explore, develop, produce, and market crude oil and
natural gas. All holdings of SaskOil were owned by
the provincial government. It became a corporation
in 1986, ending the domination of the crown
corporation over the industry. The majority of the
company was then sold to the public and renamed
Wascana Energy Incorporated the minority holdings were
retained by the provincial government. Wascana was
sold to Canadian Occidental Petroleum in 1997.
However, approximately 75 percent of oil and gas
rights in Saskatchewan are held by the province.
These rights were leased to private companies for
development and production. The remaining 25 percent
of the oil and gas rights were privately owned.
The potential for growth of the
petroleum industry exists due to the geological
formations of porous rocks that hopefully yield
large oil and gas wells. Also needed are strong
government and industry base to be able to develop
them. Innovations in developing natural gas from
coal and crude oil through enhanced oil recovery
initiatives. In 2000, PanCanadian (now EnCana)
launched a CO2 miscible flood projects at Weyburn,
Saskatchewan. With these indicatives, Saskatchewan
is hoping to build their petroleum industry sector.
However, issues that the industry in Saskatchewan is
facing are the same across Canada: exploration
costs are increasing due to developing remote and geologically challenging areas. Ways that
the industry can grow is to have government and
industry promotion of a strong fiscal environment,
implement an industry-funded orphan well program,
and promoting an open and consultative approach to
oil and gas issues with government departments.