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Saskatchewan oil drilling numbers double in first quarter

Oil drilling activity in Saskatchewan more than doubles during the first quarter of 2017.
Oil drilling activity in Saskatchewan more than doubles during the first quarter of 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal

The number of new oil wells drilled in Saskatchewan during the first quarter of 2017 is more than double the starts in the same period last year, according to the provincial government.

The Economy Ministry reported Monday that 856 wells have been drilled in the province from January to the end of March, compared to 399 during the same period in 2016.

“An increase of more than 450 wells drilled is an optimistic indicator for our oil industry and, by extension, Saskatchewan’s economic outlook for the year ahead,” Energy and Resources Minister Dustin Duncan said.

“It contributes positively to communities throughout our province and is part of our economic growth.”

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An estimated 15 per cent of Saskatchewan’s gross domestic product comes from the province’s oil and gas industry, according to government figures.

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There were 1,648 oil wells drilled during 2016, down 10 per cent from 2015 when 1,831 wells were drilled.