In one of the lowest land sales posted in the last decade, the April public offering of Saskatchewan’s Crown petroleum and natural gas rights held on April 9 raised a total of $1.5 million for the province. It was the first offering of the 2019-20 fiscal year.
April has proven to be consistently poor for land sales returns since the oil downturn took place in late 2014. The April 2018 offering brought in $2.9 million, while April 2017 brought in just $1.3 million. April 2016 was $3.1 million, while April 2015 was $5.3 million.
In contrast, the last year of the oil boom saw $47.9 million in land sales for the April 2014 offering.
Crown land sales are held every two months in Saskatchewan.
This land sale was focused on the Swift Current area, an exceptionally rare occurrence over at least the last decade. Typically southeast Saskatchewan leads the sales, but occasionally west central Saskatchewan, and very rarely, the Lloydminster area have led the sale.
The lack of interest in southeast Saskatchewan has likely been impacted by the fact that Crescent Point Energy Corp. has six substantial parcels of production and land up for sale in southeast Saskatchewan, most of which is east of Highway 47.
The public offering on April 9 saw 38 leases purchased, totaling 5,595.875 hectares. The Swift Current area received the most attention, with 14 leases, totaling 2,106.288 hectares, being sold for $914,350.
On both a fiscal and calendar year basis, Saskatchewan continues to post the highest average-per-hectare revenues among the western provinces, “A clear indicator of Saskatchewan’s continuing competitiveness and status as a jurisdiction of choice for the industry,” the release said.
“Industry sources frequently identify Saskatchewan as having a very attractive operating environment and fiscal regime,” Energy and Resources Minister Bronwyn Eyre said. “We are also home to some of the best and most cost-effective conventional oil and gas development opportunities you will find anywhere.
“It’s not surprising that when we talk to audiences around the world about the investment opportunities in Saskatchewan, we are often talking about oil and gas.”
Three leases posted in the Gull Lake area and prospective for oil in the Upper Shaunavon area were purchased for a total of $527,384. Millennium Land (444) Ltd., Millennium Land (555) Ltd. and Canada West Land Services Ltd. each purchased one of these leases.
The highest bonus bid was $221,322 for 129.360 hectares located south of Gull Lake. This parcel, which also received the highest dollars per hectare at $1,711 per hectare, was purchased by Millennium Land (444) Ltd. which was the top bidder in this public offering, picking up four leases totaling 912.976 hectares for $416,197.
The scheduled date for the next public offering will be June 4.