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Saskatchewan’s Energy and Resources Minister Bill Boyd addressed the ‘Williston Basin Petroleum Conference’ held in Regina this week. Speaking before an audience of over one thousand delegates, Boyd was very upbeat about the expanding oil industry in his province. He believes that it’s only a matter of time before Saskatchewan becomes the Canadian leader in conventional oil production.

Bill Boyd attributes the steady increase in conventional oil production to the very strong interest and development of the Bakken formation in south-eastern Saskatchewan. Last year the province surpassed record land lease sales of well over 2 billion dollars for that area. Oil companies have been attracted to the Bakken because of its high potential and high quality crude oil.

The Saskatchewan Energy and Mines Minister stated that Saskatchewan produced 161 million barrels of oil last year as compared to 156 million barrels in 2006. Saskatchewan oil production is on a steady incline compared to its sister province of Alberta where conventional oil is on a decline.

Other topics under discussion at the conference is a proposed Keystone pipeline connecting oil production in the Bakken region. A variety of routes is being looked at. A recent U.S. study commissioned by the state agency suggested the best option would be building a 272 kilometer pipeline through southeastern Saskatchewan connecting with North Dakota.

It is estimated that well over one thousand people are attending that conference. The delegates in attendance are from three northern bordering states, Montana, North Dakota and south Dakota. Also in attendance are delegates from the provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan

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