01/08/2013 07:46 EST | Updated 03/10/2013 05:12 EDT

Mark Scholz, Western Canada Oil Industry 2013 Prospects Weak, Says CEO Of Canadian Association Of Oilwell Drilling Contractors

An oil pump operates in the desert oil fields of Sakhir, Bahrain, at sunset Monday Oct. 29, 2012. The price of oil fell below $86 a barrel Monday as a gargantuan storm headed for the heavily populated U.S. East Coast, where energy consumption was likely to drop as many businesses closed and transportation ground to a halt. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

RED DEER, Alta. - The Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors is cautiously optimistic about the industry's prospects in 2013.

That's according to Mark Scholz, who is president and CEO of the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors.

He says about 44 per cent of the group's 830 rigs were active in 2012, and this year it's looking like about 40 per cent by the end of this year.

Scholz also says it's been difficult to raise money to invest in oil and gas wells, which results in less capital available for new wells.

He also says a lack of pipeline infrastructure to access international markets and the continuing labour shortage will also affect how drillers do this year.

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