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Drilling activity expected to increase in Saskatchewan

Drilling activity in Saskatchewan will be higher than originally forecast: Petroleum Services Association of Canada. File / Global News

More oil and natural gas wells are expected to be drilled in Saskatchewan this year than originally projected.

The Petroleum Services Association of Canada originally forecast 1,940 wells would be drilled in the province this year.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan oil drilling numbers double in first quarter

In its third update to its drilling activity forecast for 2017, the association said 2,794 wells are expected to be drilled, an increase of 44 per cent.

The news comes as the Saskatchewan government announced the results of its third public sale this year of Crown petroleum and natural gas rights.

The sale, which took place on Tuesday, brought in $8 million, three-quarters of which was raised in southeast Saskatchewan.

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READ MORE: Optimism in oil and gas industry drives Canadian drilling forecast higher in 2017

Energy and Resources Minister Dustin Duncan said the increased drilling activity and sales are good news for the province’s oil and natural gas industry.

“These figures, along with positive expectations by industry, suggest our oil and gas sector is regaining momentum after a prolonged period of transition,” Duncan said in a release.

“There’s no doubt that this kind of renewed activity in Saskatchewan’s oil patch bodes well not only for our communities that rely on this industry for jobs and growth, but also for our economy at large.”

Land sales to date total $32 million.

The next public offering of petroleum and natural gas rights is on Oct. 3, 2017.