I moved to rural Saskatchewan in 2012. When it came to oil and gas development, I thought the ones affected were those with wells on their land. And as such they were also the ones that benefitted the most. Boy, did I have a lot to learn.
There is a long-standing relationship between Saskatchewan rural municipalities and the energy industry.
Like most relationships it has not been without challenges, but at the same time is one that has created countless benefits. I am fortunate to live in a rural municipality that has undergone significant oil and gas development over the last ten years. What does this mean for our RM? Well for starters, a large amount of annual tax revenue that wasn’t here in 1993 when I left home for post-secondary schooling. That means there is more money available for critical services and infrastructure. It created jobs and opportunities that lead me, and many friends, back home. And even though the current situation isn’t ideal, when our community has an event and asks for donations, more often than not an oil company steps up and helps. It’s not always perfect, but oil and gas development has benefits and creates opportunities for rural municipalities that no other industry has done thus far.
So, with oil and gas development now accounting for a significant portion of many Saskatchewan rural municipalities tax base (some cases 70 to 80 per cent), it is more important than ever for them to be taking an active role in the management of these valuable assets. With the industry suffering a downturn due to market conditions and political climate, many companies are forced to cease operations and are no longer able to meet their obligations, including annual tax payments. Other companies are moving forward with aggressive abandonment and reclamation programs, again reducing taxable assets for many municipalities. With these factors in mind, it is important for municipalities to have a complete and full accounting of all their active oil and gas assets, including wells, production facilities and pipelines.
Many feel it is Saskatchewan Asset Management Agency’s (SAMA) job to “catch” all active facilities, but the fact is they can only assess what they know is there.
SAMA does an amazing job on the municipalities’ behalf, but unreported oil and gas assets do slip through the cracks. At WellTraxx we work extensively with our clients to help them track and manage their oil and gas assets more efficiently. This includes ensuring all active properties are on the tax roll. We provide tools that include customized asset management software, monthly provincial licensing updates. GIS mapping, dedicated oil and gas administrative support and more. We help our clients measurably reduce the amount of time it takes to administer oil and gas development, while helping ensure all economic benefits are realized.
Since 2012 I have had a front row seat to all the good that comes from Saskatchewan rural municipalities and energy companies working together. Our team at Welltraxx has found it very rewarding to play a small part in streamlining the process for both of them! If you haven’t had a chance to talk to me about the approach we take to help you stay well connected, contact me today.
This blog post was written by no other than Casey Ziegler.