Canadian Manufacturing

Manitoba top Canadian region for oil and gas investment: Fraser Institute

Saskatchewan slipped to second spot among Canadian jurisdictions after ranking first in 2011

Calgary—Manitoba is the best place in Canada for oil and gas investment, based on the opinions of petroleum executives and managers who participated in a new Fraser Institute survey.

Saskatchewan slipped to the second spot among Canadian provinces and territories after ranking as the top Canadian jurisdiction in 2011, while Alberta climbed to third from sixth in the Global Petroleum Survey 2012.

“The Prairies offer the clearest, most consistent and most competitive policies for oil and gas investment in Canada,” Fraser Institute senior economist Gerry Angevine said in a statement.

While Saskatchewan outperformed Manitoba in some important areas such as fiscal terms, Manitoba’s improved scores on questions of taxation, the cost of regulatory compliance and uncertainty over environmental regulation propelled the province to the top of the Canadian rankings.

Globally, Manitoba ranked fifth out of 147 jurisdictions included in the survey, up from the 12th spot (of 135) in 2011, while Saskatchewan fell to 13th from 11th.

Alberta vaulted to 21st from 51st overall, due in large part to improved scores on questions pertaining to the regulatory climate.

This suggests, according to the think tank, respondents approve of the plan government announced in May 2011 to simplify regulatory processes and procedures with respect to oil and gas drilling permits, project development and site remediation.

British Columbia was ranked the fifth most-attractive Canadian jurisdiction, up from eighth in 2011, while Newfoundland and Labrador dropped to sixth from fifth.

The Yukon, which was not ranked last year, finished seventh, the Northwest Territories rose to eighth from 10th, and Quebec’s ranking was static at ninth.

New Brunswick tumbled to 10th place from seventh to become the worst-ranked province in this year’s survey.

The Atlantic province’s poor showing is related to the way regulations governing exploration and development of shale gas resources are being administered and uncertainty over the environmental regulations that will apply to a shale gas industry, according to the survey.

Globally, the top 10 most attractive jurisdictions in this year’s survey are: Oklahoma (first overall); Mississippi; Texas; North Dakota; Manitoba; Netherlands; New Mexico; Kansas; Denmark; and West Virginia.

The survey found the 10 least attractive jurisdictions to be: Bolivia; Venezuela; Iran; Russia-Eastern Siberia; Libya; Ecuador; Uzbekistan; Argentina-Santa Cruz; Iraq; and Russia-other.

The Global Petroleum Survey is administered each year to petroleum industry executives to help measure and rank the barriers to investment of oil- and gas-producing regions.

A total of 623 respondents representing 529 companies completed the survey questionnaire this year.

The survey questionnaire sought the opinions of senior executives and managers on a range of issues, including royalties and other forms of petroleum production tax, taxation in general, the cost of regulatory compliance, trade and labour regulations, legal system fairness and transparency and political stability, among others.

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