Uncertainty ahead of 2019 Calgary Stampede chuckwagon canvas auction

Uncertainty ahead of 2019 Calgary Stampede chuckwagon canvas auction

Chuckwagon drivers and sponsors are hoping for the best as clouds of political and energy industry uncertainty gather ahead of the Calgary Stampede canvas auction on Thursday.

Related

Calgary Stampede canvas auction sees high bids as oilpatch optimism picks up

High hopes for the 2018 Calgary Stampede canvas auction

Calgary Stampede chuckwagon auction proceeds up slightly from 2016

The success of the annual event is considered a bellwether for the Calgary-based oil and gas industry, as many of the sponsors who pay to have their company names on the 36 rigs competing in the 10-day July tribute to cowboy culture are energy industry players.

Champion driver Kurt Bensmiller, who won the chuckwagon derby for the fourth time in five years in 2018, says the calling of an Alberta election on Tuesday creates more uncertainty for an economy battered by recent commodity price volatility and slowing oilfield activity.

The current NDP government introduced controversial oil production curtailments in January and is investing in crude-by-rail capacity to fill a shortfall in export pipeline room.

The top money bid of $130,000 for Bensmiller’s rig last year came from Versatile Energy Services, Ltd., a private oilfield services company based in the resort town of Sylvan Lake in central Alberta.

Versatile president Kent Stormoen says he plans to be at the event but declined to make any predictions given the province’s current uncertain times.

“The industry still isn’t rolling like we expect it to but (the sponsorship) did help with the exposure of our company,” he said.

“I think there’s a lot of uncertainty with the provincial election coming now and the new federal budget that’s come out.”

Stampede spokeswoman Kristina Barnes said Wednesday the number of bidders who have pre-registered for the auction is at more than 130, a bit behind last year’s pace, while adding many bidders register just before the event.

The record year for overall tarp auction results came in 2012, when bidders pledged just over $4 million _ including the highest bid of $300,000 by oilfield services firm Tervita Corp. At the time, oil prices were hovering above US$100 per barrel versus recent prices of around US$60 per barrel.

About 80 per cent of the canvas auction proceeds go to the drivers and the rest is used for prize money, safety and other chuckwagon initiatives.

Source: Read Full Article