Laricina Energy Oilfield PULSE Interactive Magazine November 2014

Laricina Energy Ltd. Making A Difference Creating Opportunity

Date PublishedNovember 20, 2014
CompanyLaricina Energy Ltd.
Article AuthorDerek Keller
Article TypeNovember 2014 Issue
Tags, ,
PULSE Interactive

Laricina Energy Ltd. Making A Difference Creating Opportunity

Larcener Energy Oilfield PULSE Interactive Magazine November 2014

Derek Keller | Vice President Production. Recent Chair’s Award Winner At The RCE Awards For Larincina’s Work With The Bigstone Cree Nation.




Laricina Energy Ltd. (Laricina) is creating value by developing Canada’s oil sands using innovative in situ technologies. The Company has two core producing projects at Saleski and Germain with additional development areas in early-stage exploration and technical evaluation.

One of the ways Laricina is developing exerienced workers in the field is by way of their heavy equipment training program. Designed to enhance the Bigstone Cree Nation (BCN) membership by providing long-term benefits such as team building, economic development, project management skills, land-use planning, and an increased development of skilled labor while building a sustainable community.

The community investment partnership was formed with the BCN, Alberta Works Human Services, Laricina Energy Ltd. (Laricina), and two industry developers to deliver a three-month training program for 12 local residents in machine operations of the following: rock trucks, excavators, dozers, skid steers and graders; all equipment essential to industry operations.

The Laricina Training Group – 12 Trainees Now Fully Certified

The program involved training in landscaping, ditching, grading, and finishing to engineered standards of the newly constructed, 11-home housing subdivision, within the BCN reserve. The subdivision was expanded to include an additional 22-home subdivision. Upgrades completed two kilometers of public roads, a new emergency access road was built, and the quality of living was tremendously enhanced for 33 BCN families.

BCN Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ASETS) approached Laricina for financial sponsorship towards their Heavy Equipment Training Program. ASETS in partnership with Alberta Works Human Services presented the proposal that focused on the local labour market needs to develop skills at a local level. The proposal provided 12 Wabasca locals (3 females and 9 males) with training on four machines to take place onsite of the BCN’s next phase of the residential subdivision. The training was conducted by High Velocity Equipment Training Ltd.

Laricina was aware the proposed subdivision needed improved drainage, ditching, landscaping, construction of approaches and road upgrades. Laricina suggested adding a fifth piece of equipment, a skidsteer, and incorporating the completion of the 11-lot housing subdivision as part of the training program. The training initiative was designed to address some of the BCN’s housing issues, infrastructure problems, public works challenges, and to develop a workforce that could potentially lead to economic and Oilfield HUB Tag Shawdow v1entrepreneurship opportunities for the First Nation by increasing the number of trained personnel in the community. Laricina believes there is strength in numbers and therefore garnered the support of two other industry members (Cenovus Energy Inc. and Osum Oil Sands Corp).


Larcener Energy Ltd. Oilfield PULSE Interactive Magazine November 2014Laricina took a leadership role in motivating team players in Wabasca throughout the Heavy Equipment Training Project. The local Laricina Community Engagement office provided continuous guidance to the BCN Director of ASETS, leading the group in the generation of creative ideas. Through the group’s collaboration, and the knowledge and expertise from the BCN operations, the team devised a heavy equipment training project that built a sustainable community within their budget.


Larcener Energy Ltd. Oilfield PULSE Interactive Magazine November 2014There were numerous motivating factors for Laricina contributing resources to the Heavy Equipment Training Project. The training program aligns with Laricina’s Managing Growth Initiative. The Managing Growth Initiative is aimed at better leveraging joint industry and community involvement in programs that create in demand skilled labor and real benefit to community members interested in participating in the industrial development in the province.

The Heavy Equipment Training Program is seen as win-win for both industry proponents and local families benefiting from the work opportunities close to home, taking place on a BCN residential subdivision. The return on investment for Laricina is demonstrated through the improved quality of life for 33 families, and the 12 trainees now fully certified to operate equipment (most with local companies).

The trainees had the opportunity to give back to their community while learning a trade and will continue to work in the community in the future. Laricina’s support and involvement of the Heavy Equipment Training Program demonstrates commitment and positive change internally and externally as education and training opportunities at a local level are recognized and valued. Laricina continues to hire local contractors and employees.


Larincina Energy Ltd. Oilfield PULSE Interactive Magazine November 2014The trainees completed their program and have gained employment locally, two residential subdivisions on the reserve were re-developed and transformed, and community members have an increased quality of life. The Heavy Equipment Training Program is a leading practice and could potentially serve as a model to mentor others as it demonstrates how industry, government, the community, and First Nations can work together to benefit all parties.

The BCN leadership is proud to see the trainees overcome their personal challenges and successfully complete the program. The BCN stated they would like to see similar programs in the future to further increase employability within the BCN membership.

Due to the pilot project’s success, Laricina continues to support developing future workforce initiatives like the Heavy Equipment Training Project.


As industry continues to tap into the Athabasca region’s resources, it has become critical that responsibility is seized to educate and train local workforces to contribute to this major success. This model of the Heavy Equipment Training program identifies how team players can give the community a hand-up rather than a hand-out.

Laricina Energy Ltd. Oilfield PULSE Interactive Magazine November 2014This training project demonstrates a creative and innovative technique to building long-term benefit partnerships with First Nations. Project management is a challenge when working with a diverse group of stakeholders. However, Laricina was fortunate to be able to work with a motivated and talented group of individuals, all who envisioned a common goal: training local people while building a stronger, self-sustainable community. This project creates a precedent for other industry players working with First Nations.

Laricina Energy Ltd. Oilfield PULSE Interactive Magazine November 2014

Larix laricina is the Latin name for a species of larch tree known as the tamarack, which is common to Western Canada and tends to grow in adverse climate zones such as the northern boreal forest and the high mountains. The tamarack is a pioneer tree that becomes dominant in its surroundings. Laricina is seeking to emulate the tamarack by identifying opportunities that others have ignored and achieving success where others have been unable to progress.

Larcener Energy Ltd.

Derek Keller
Vice President Production
Laricina Energy Ltd.

Larcener Energy Ltd. Oilfield PULSE Interactive Magazine November 2014






Originally  published in the 


November 2014 issue of Oilfield PULSE