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Drilling in West sets pace for record

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Friday, August 8, 2003 - Page B1


Drilling in West sets pace for record

High gas prices spurring frenzy



Unexpectedly high natural gas prices are prompting companies to drill at a record pace across Western Canada, driving up the share values of gas producers and drilling contractors.

With 430 rigs operating in the West this week, the flurry of activity in the field has surprised industry observers, who expected a traditional summer slowdown.


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The Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC) is forecasting a record 18,470 wells to be drilled this year. And investment dealer FirstEnergy Capital Corp. believes that if the brisk summer pace continues, the number could easily top 18,500 -- smashing the record of nearly 18,000 wells drilled in 2001.

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