Canada’s oil and gas sector has seen US$50 billion slashed from its capital spending in the last two years, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) said, the biggest 24-month drop since at least 1947.
Investment in the sector is expected to plummet by almost two-thirds from a record $81 billion in 2014, to a forecast $31 billion this year, with the number of projected new wells down to 3,500 from 10,400 two years ago, the Financial Post reports. “As many as 110,000 direct and indirect jobs have been lost” in the spending downturn, the paper adds, citing figures distributed by CAPP.
The lobby group’s president and CEO, Tim McMillan, used the numbers to argue for public aid to his industry, on a global basis the world’s most profitable. “Canada needs urgent action to remain an attractive market for oil and gas investment,” McMillan urged, “and be competitive relative to other oil and natural gas producing jurisdictions.”
Some of those laid off from the oil and gas sector in Alberta, however, are circulating a petition asking to be retrained for a brighter future in the renewable and clean energy sector instead.