The oil patch in Saskatchewan is expected to be busy again quite soon.
The Petroleum Services Association of Canada released its drilling activity forecast update last week, and it looks good for the province. With upwards of 2,800 oil wells planned to be drilled this year in Saskatchewan. This is a 44 per cent increase from the original forecast.
With the majority of the oil activity in southeast Saskatchewan being done just south/southeast of Weyburn, the opportunity city could see an increase in local business profits.
"I think maybe some of the local service providers are starting to slowly increase their employees," said Twila Walkeden, executive director of the Weyburn Chamber of Commerce. "Their posting some jobs and looking forward to some busier times."
More drilling work being done in Saskatchewan means that there should be more jobs created for the southeast as well. Which could be quite profitable for many companies in the area.
"The drilling numbers are looking quite positive," added Walkeden. "We see that as being great news for southeastern Saskatchewan and positive news for Weyburn and area businesses."
This potential turnaround for the oil field has the potential to bring in many new customers to local businesses. Hotels, entertainment locations and restaurants are sure to see some higher numbers of traffic coming through their doors. Weyburn is well equipped with a number of hotels for workers to stay in and offers many options for them to eat out at as well.
"What we're seeing is a cautious optimism or a rebound," said Walkeden. "We're looking at some increased activity here coming into the fall and hopefully that means increased economic activity and increased sales for some of our local businesses. So, it's great news."
She said that Weyburn's businesses have a resilient and positive attitude that has stayed strong throughout the economic downturn that the province has seen the last few years.
"The local businesses really mirror our community's grass roots values," said Walkeden. "Because we really do have a lot of resilience and we also do have a positive attitude within the Weyburn business community. I think that speaks to Weyburn being the fifth best place to live in Canada, according to Money Sense Magazine."
The future looks quite bright for southeast Saskatchewan, but only time will tell just how bright that future will be.