Saskatchewan’s oil patch will soon see some activity and one city is hoping to have benefits from it.
The Petroleum Services Association of Canada released its drilling activity forecast update earlier this week. The update shows there will be nearly 2,800 oil wells drilled in the province this year, which is an increase of 44 per cent over the original forecast.
Twila Walkeden, executive director of the Weyburn Chamber of Commerce, said a lot of the oil activity in southeast Saskatchewan focuses specifically south of Weyburn and southeast of the city. Walkeden imagines some of the new oil well drilling will certainly be in the area.
“This is really positive news for Weyburn and really good news for Weyburn and area’s business community as well,” she said. “Certainly the increase in drilling activity does have the potential to lead to more jobs in the area.”
With the upswing in activity, she added Weyburn would see more activity with service companies working near the community. This would mean more activity for hotels, restaurants and businesses.
“A general increase in economic activity definitely is what we anticipate seeing,” she said. Walkeden added that right now, Weyburn is positioned well in its ability to house workers in the city’s hotels.
“Everyone here is cautiously optimistic, of course these are forecasts. We’ve seen it before where some of these numbers don’t necessarily come true but we see it generally as being a very positive thing for our area,” Walkeden said.
She said Weyburn has a resilient and positive attitude, especially local businesses, which mirrors the communities grass roots values.
“It also speaks to Weyburn being named the fifth best place to live in Canada according to Money Sense Magazine,” she said. “We do have a lot of resilience, this community has had tough times over the last three, four years just because of the downturn in the economy. We’ve been able to fight through that just because of the values and resilience of some of these local businesses.”
Local businesses have already seen a bit of an uptick in sales. Walkeden said this is really positive news and is looking forward to better news in the future, especially with the oil industry increasing.