|October 30, 2016
|October 2016 Issue
|Articles, Oilfield HUB
|Cost Efficiency, E&P, Oil & Gas Downturn, Oil & Gas Future, Oilfield HUB Service Package, S&S, The HUB Online Community
Unfortunately, I surround myself with oil and gas discussion predominantly, because I am heavily invested in the industry. The verbosity of that fraternity is overwhelmingly catastrophic in nature and heavily weighted on the negative. All I hear is how badly things are going and what a state our province is in since the NDP took over. I wanted to find someone who was able to offer another opinion. It’s not going well. The agents of change who propelled the shocking result in the last election seem to have gone suspiciously silent. There seems to be a pervasive feeling of, ”Oh no! What have we done!”
Is that sentiment fair or warranted? I do not claim to be much of an expert on politics. I typically defer to the idea that one party is really not that different than the others. Sure, everyone has their position and ideology…blah, blah, blah. Do things really change regardless of who occupies the legislature building? I grew up in Alberta and really have only known one party, and it all started way back for me with the slogan: For Pete’s Sake…Vote. The poster I have in my head was on a wall on 17 Ave and was in reference to the Peter Lougheed campaign. I guess I have been swept along on a river of Tory blue like many Albertans for a long time. So, this change is new to me, and I am starting to not care much for the colour orange. They came in guns a blazing about doing things differently and appealing to the wants and desires of younger, perhaps more naïve, generations, especially, as it refers to education, it seems to have resonated. But, is it real? Have they made good on promises?
I have spoken to many people who hail from other provinces who have experienced NDP rule. There seems to be a common thread with people from Saskatchewan who, at the very sound of this conversation, they regale in launching into lengthy diatribes about the atrocities suffered at the hands of previous maniacal and dastardly NDP governments. Their words not mine! I just figured that was bravado and overblown
hearsay talking. You know, like the way people exaggerate a story for sympathy or effect so the listener feels badly for them. But, there seems to be quite a few people who sing from the same songbook. A collective repose of we had a NDP government in Saskatchewan for many years, and it was awful. Brad Wall is now our savior and will lead us out of the darkness to the Promised Land. And, oh by the way, we are now moving back to Saskatchewan, because it is booming!!
The one thing I do know is the oil and gas industry is the motor that makes our province run. Like it or not. I really don’t understand the opposition from
environmental groups and the like who seem to have a platform based on unrealistic expectations and rely on the hype machine to rev up the rhetoric. I am all for renewable energy and applaud all efforts to push the science and application of same to a functioning state that is affordable for the masses. But, I don’t believe we are there yet. Until it is feasible, we have to live in reality.
The reality is we need a way to get our product to market. Yes, it has to be safe and efficient and not impose on environmentally sensitive areas, but it’s not like pipelines are a new phenomenon. They exist and are used around the world with an excellent track record of success. But, how do you explain the fact that Canada imports thousands of barrels of oil from other countries every day that do not have the environmental track record that western Canada has imposed on producing companies? How can anyone suggest buying Saudi Arabian oil over ‘home grown’ Canadian oil is a good thing? Somebody please help me understand this. That oil is being transported thousands of miles in tankers. How is that any safer than a pipeline where if there is a spill can at least be isolated on land?
The other sad reality is that, at a time when our industry needed a shot in the arm and strong unwavering support from our elected officials, we didn’t get it. There seems to be a reluctance to embrace the industry. The Royalty Review announcement and subsequent delay has only exacerbated an already precarious situation affecting the livelihood of thousands of Albertans who are faced with the prospect of many more months of a contracted industry and job loss. Sure, worldwide markets are not the responsibility of a provincial government. They do not control the price of oil. We are in a tailspin to be sure, and we need a champion right now not a kick in the head when we are down.
On the theme of change, I can relate. It is part of our mandate here at Oilfield HUB. We are trying to do our part to impart change in the oil and gas business by helping those companies that do drill for oil do it more efficiently. We believe companies can operate leaner and meaner if they have the right tools and are held accountable to all stakeholders. We all have to do our part, but let’s keep an eye on reality!!