(Photo by Bill Allen)
Energy and Resources Minister Bronwyn Eyre has announced a number of measures to support Saskatchewan’s oil and gas sector during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have to preserve what we can,” said Eyre.
“We can’t forget that the oil and gas sector is a job-creating sector, a major driver of the provincial economy, our second largest contributor to the GDP,” she added.
One measure being implemented is a provincial relief which includes extending a series of filing and other deadlines to assist the oil and gas sector in stabilizing operations as their employees transition to working from home.
“Companies are getting notices to comply with requests by the provincial government, by the regulatory branch to get information out in the field, which they have great difficulty complying with because of getting out to sites and that sort of thing,” said Eyre.
“It’s just to allow operators to have more time to submit information or to pay penalties if they are late in filing information,” she added.
The province will also be extending mineral rights that are scheduled to expire in 2020 by one year. The province says the extension will provide oil and gas disposition holders with the time necessary to properly evaluate their properties once the current situation stabilizes.
Additionally, the province will be reducing the industry portion of the Oil and Gas Administrative Levy by 50 per cent this fiscal year and delaying invoicing of the remaining balance until Oct. 1.
The province says this will provide the sector with relief of $11.4 million to address immediate liquidity challenges.
“This package is something we felt we could bring out now as we continue to look at other things we can do,” said Eyre.
Eyre also said the province continues to look at other recommendations for other sectors.
“We recognize that this is not only an oil and gas sector impact,” said Eyre.
“The impact on the oil and gas sector in recent weeks has been extreme and in a class on its own,” she added.