Alberta oil and gas drilling rights auction results rise to $504 million in 2017

CALGARY — Sales of oil and gas drilling rights in Alberta delivered almost four times as much money for the provincial treasury in 2017 compared with 2016 but the total remained well short of the record.

Alberta Energy reports receiving $18 million in Wednesday’s auction, the last of the year. That brings the total for 2017 to $504 million, 3.7 times as much as the $137 million in 2016. The record was $3.5 billion in 2011.

The sales give oil and gas companies the right to drill exploration wells on land where the mineral rights are owned by the province. They are considered a key indicator of future drilling activity.

Crown land sales were also up in British Columbia and Saskatchewan this year.

Saskatchewan earned about $63 million in 2017, up from $53 million the year before but down from the record of $1.1 billion in 2008.

B.C. earned $173 million, up from $15 million in 2016 but nowhere near the record $2.7 billion in 2008.

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