The provincial government is looking to keep oil money in Saskatchewan and get even more, with a new incentive program for waterflooding injection wells.
The program would allow oil companies to defer royalties for wells which they convert to waterflooding injection or new such wells that are drilled.
Waterflooding involves injecting water into the well to increase pressure and push more oil out.
“It really sustains the life of the oil well and in that sense it has clear environmental benefits, in sustaining these oil wells and, just long-term, reduces more drilling and enables producers to focus on the natural life and the full life of the oil wells that we currently have,” explained Energy and Resources Minister Bronwyn Eyre.
She said the incentive would allow the company to keep the royalties they would be paying the government, and use the money for more investment.
“It allows companies to make that capital investment that they need to flow that capital through in the optimum period of time.”
Eyre wanted to be very clear, emphasizing that it’s a royalty deferral for three years – not a reduction or break.
She said this program has been a long time in development and is important for the sustainability and long-term growth of the oil sector in the province.
Representatives from a few different oil companies were at the announcement on Wednesday in support of the program.
Jenson Tan is the vice-president of business development at Vermillion Energy. He said the company is excited about the incentive because it’s looking to invest $225 million in light oil assets in southeast Saskatchewan, and $30 million on waterflood and enhanced recovery assets.
“(The investment) is definitely impacted by the incentive program, it helps us accelerate and provide more certainty.”
Tan called the program a positive action by the province.
According to the provincial government, the program will support $375 million in new investment over the next five years at maximum uptake. It’s also expected to lead to about $245 million in new provincial royalties over 10 years.