Canada's prairie province of Saskatchewan is picking up a bit of the country's energy boom from its western neighbour.
Saskatchewan's output is set to grow over the next four years, while, outside of oil sands, Alberta crude production will drop in that period, according to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.
What's more, Alberta's recently elected New Democratic Party plans to raise taxes and review royalties, a move that's prompting energy companies to look east for opportunities, according to Peter Argiris, oil and gas analyst at Wood Mackenzie Ltd.
"It's not like Saskatchewan hasn't been an interest for players but we have seen that pick up in terms of the M&A and consolidation," Mr. Argiris said in Calgary June 19. "Your economics are more robust and, along with your royalties, it's an incentive for people to be drilling there."
Crescent Point Energy Corp., Saskatchewan's biggest producer, agreed to buy Legacy Oil + Gas Inc. for $536-million (Canadian) in shares last month, adding 22,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day of production in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and North Dakota. Saskatchewan lacks the vast amount of oil sands of Alberta. Still, supply from the province, including Canada's section of the Bakken and the Viking formations, will prove more resilient than production from Alberta's non-oil sands reserves, according to CAPP. The province will pump 3.9 per cent more oil by 2019 while Alberta's output of conventional crude will fall 8.5 per cent, CAPP said June 9. Alberta's conventional oil production is believed to have peaked last year and will enter a "period of slow decline," the Alberta Energy Regulator said Monday.