Premier commits to exploring oil sands potential

    REGINA, Dec. 12 /CNW/ - Premier Brad Wall wants both industry and
Saskatchewan's new government to look at ways to encourage sustainable
development of the province's oil sands resources.
    The premier delivered a message today of investment optimism around both
oil sands and conventional oil to a Regina business audience attending a
Saskatchewan oil sands seminar organized by Wellington West Capital Inc.
    "There is a lot of room for new investment in Saskatchewan's industry and
the energy science and technology associated with it," Wall said. "Our oil
sands could offer tremendous opportunities for economic growth if they are
properly developed."
    More than 100 business people attended the seminar, "Global Oil Sands
Development: A Washington Perspective," which featured Paul Michael Wihbey, a
Washington-based geopolitical energy strategist. In November, Wihbey presented
"Oil Sands: Pivotal to a New World Oil Order" to blue ribbon investors in
Zurich and Geneva where he positioned Saskatchewan as a significant energy
producer leading the charge on North American energy security.
    "Saskatchewan has an energy diversity that no other Canadian province can
match in terms of primary energy supply," Wall said. "Oil is a critical part
of that diversity, but we need research and new technology to unlock the
resource that we have in not only oil sands but light, medium and heavy crude
as well."
    Saskatchewan's initial oil in place is currently estimated at just over
39 billion barrels, with more than 30 billion barrels remaining beyond reach -
for now. If technology increased recovery rates by only five per cent,
Saskatchewan's remaining recoverable reserves would more than double from
current levels. "That is why we committed to $4 million over four years in
Petroleum Technology Research Centre funding," Wall said.
    While the extent of the province's oil sands resources is still unknown,
government geoscientists estimate northwestern Saskatchewan contains
27,000 square kilometres of land with some level of oil sands potential.

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/

For further information:

For further information: Bob Ellis, Energy and Resources, Regina, Phone:
(306) 787-1691, Email:

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