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The worst flooding Saskatchewan has seen in 500 years is causing headaches for its oil and gas industry, the province's energy and resource minister said Thursday.

"There's a lot of oil production that's shut-in right now — 20,000 to 30,000 barrels of production, perhaps more," Bill Boyd said in an interview following a speech to junior oil and gas producers.

It's tough to tell what the exact economic impact will be, since the flooding is ongoing, he said.

"We know it's going to be very significant," he said. "A lot of drilling activity isn't taking place. I wouldn't want to venture a guess as to what the impact is, but it would be hundreds of millions (of dollars), if not more."

Many oil and gas leases are sitting underneath two metres of water, making it impossible for companies to drill.

"During this period of flooding that we're seeing right now, we're working with the industry to see if we can't adjust some of the time lines and the permitting so that they can maybe move from an area that's flooded to an area that isn't flooded for drilling," he said in his speech.

Saskatchewan's agriculture sector has also taken a hit, with as many as two million hectares going unplanted.

Source: Canadian Business

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