SASKATOON – The Fraser Institute’s annual Global Petroleum Survey is ranking Saskatchewan’s oil and gas reserves as the most attractive to investors in Canada.
The survey by the public policy think-tank also puts Saskatchewan eighth of 126 worldwide jurisdictions.
Manitoba ranked second and Newfoundland and Labrador sits third but Alberta dropped from 3rd last year to 7th this year.
Policy analyst Taylor Jackson says that’s due to a number of policy changes under the new NDP government.
Those include an increase to corporate taxes, more environmental changes and a royalty review, adding cost and uncertainty to a sector already hampered by low oil prices.
The survey factors in both barriers to investment and the volume of oil and gas reserves.
Jackson says only five per cent of investors have concerns with Saskatchewan’s royalty policies but in Alberta that number goes up to 39 per cent.
Premier Rachel Notley has defended the province’s aim to complete a royalty review by the end of the year, saying it’s necessary for the government to collect and save an “appropriate share” of Alberta’s resource wealth.
Jackson says when it comes to Saskatchewan’s barriers to investment, investors continue to rank the province as a high performer.
He says if the province continues to be highly touted for its competitive and stable policy environment, there could be the potential for more investors to move to Saskatchewan.
However, Jackson says investors were concerned with a couple of areas in the province, such as land claims in dispute and the cost of regulatory clients.
But he says the percentage of investors that are concerned about those two issues still rank below the national average.