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Alberta tops in Canada for global energy investment

Texas first globally on Fraser Institute global petroleum survey.


Alberta remains the Alberta is the most attractive province for oil and gas investment.

Alberta remains the Alberta is the most attractive province for oil and gas investment.

CALGARY — Based on the strength of its petroleum reserves, Alberta remains the most attractive province for oil and gas investment in Canada, but Texas tops the list globally, finds the Fraser Institute’s annual Global Petroleum Survey.

The survey, based on responses from petroleum executives and managers, ranks 156 jurisdictions worldwide on their relative attractiveness for investment. Barriers to investment include high taxes, costly regulatory obligations and uncertainty over environmental regulations.

The survey considers both the input from respondents and the level oil and gas reserves of each jurisdiction to determine a ranking. Of the 27 jurisdictions with large petroleum reserves, Texas tops the list, followed by Alberta, Norway-North Sea, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

Of the 44 jurisdictions with medium-sized reserves, Oklahoma is number one while Newfoundland & Labrador ranks 15th and BC ranks 19th.

The remaining 69 jurisdictions, which have relatively small proven oil and gas reserves, include the other seven ranked Canadian jurisdictions. Mississippi tops the list followed by Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

An alternate ranking that ignores proven oil and gas reserves and focuses solely on survey responses ranks Saskatchewan first in Canada (and third out of 156 jurisdictions worldwide). Manitoba ranks second in Canada (and fifth globally), followed by Alberta (16th globally).

On the other end of the spectrum, Quebec presents the greatest barriers to oil and gas investment. Although the province’s overall rank improved slightly from 141st (of 157) in 2013 to 133rd (of 156) in 2014, it’s still regarded as unattractive. Survey respondents point to Quebec’s foot-dragging during authorization and permit processes.

BC, meanwhile, dropped from 47th (of 157) in 2013 to 62nd (of 156) this year. Survey respondents expressed concern over BC’s tax policies, environmental regulations and uncertainty around regulatory enforcement.

Finally, Nova Scotia dropped furthest in the rankings, down 31 spots from 30th (of 157) in 2013 to 61st (of 156) in 2014. Contributing factors include disputed land claims, and regulatory duplication and inconsistencies.

Global jurisdictions with the largest proven reserves, that are least attractive include Venezuela, Iran, four Russian regions, Iraq and Egypt. Taking reserves out of the equation, the least attractive jurisdictions for investment in the world (starting with the worst) are Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Iran and Russia-Eastern Siberia.

“In Venezuela, flagrant abuse of the decision-making processes and delinquency in payment for delivered crude were among the factors deterring petroleum investment in the country,” said Kenneth Green, senior director of the Fraser Institute’s Centre for Natural Resources.

Click here for a copy of the Global Petroleun Survey

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