Alberta remains one of the most attractive places in the world to invest in oil and gas production, says a study by the Fraser Institute.
The Vancouver-based public policy research organization has released its eighth annual Global Petroleum Survey, which asked petroleum industry executives and managers about barriers to investment around the world. Alberta ranks second to Texas among 27 jurisdictions with large petroleum reserves.
“Alberta’s wealth of petroleum reserves continue to attract investment, which creates jobs for scores of Canadians,” said Kenneth Green, senior director of the Fraser Institute’s Centre for Natural Resources.
Rounding out the top five in this category were Norway-North Sea, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.
The rankings are based on investment disincentives, like high taxes, costly regulatory obligations and uncertainty over environmental regulations. The lower the perceived barriers in a jurisdiction, the higher its placement.
The survey also looked at 44 geographic areas with medium-sized reserves. Of these, Newfoundland & Labrador placed 15th and British Columbia 19th. Oklahoma was number 1.
The final category consisted of 69 jurisdictions with small oil and gas reserves. Saskatchewan and Manitoba were ranked second and third respectively in this group, with Mississippi leading the way.
When all 156 jurisdictions are ranked together, regardless of the size of their reserves, Saskatchewan is third, and the top Canadian province. Next among the Canadian provinces is Manitoba, in fifth place; followed by Alberta (16th) and British Columbia (62nd).
“Once again, taxes and regulatory uncertainty drive British Columbia’s relatively poor standing in the eyes of oil and gas investors,” Green said.
Quebec was the lowest ranked province, at 133rd on the global list.
The least attractive jurisdictions for investment among the 27 with large reserves were Venezuela, Iran, four Russian regions, Iraq and Egypt. The least attractive overall were Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Iran and Russia-Eastern Siberia.
The Global Petroleum Survey involved 710 respondents representing 563 companies.