The CAGC is a trade association representing companies that do seismic work in the Canadian Energy Upstream Oil and Gas Industry - www.cagc.ca
Loose Ends Energy Inc. II: Building Human Infrastructure
By Bill Whitelaw, President and CEO, JuneWarren-Nickle's Energy Group - March 22, 2016
(For new readers, Loose Ends Energy Inc. is the imaginary corporation “un-employing” the thousands of men and women in Canada’s oil and gas sector who have lost their jobs as a result of the current downturn. Please seeprevious postfor more details.)
If there is a silver lining in the cloud of so much unemployed energy sector talent and experience with time on its hands, it is this: put these men and women to work building better bridges.
This is bridge infrastructure of a different sort: call it human economic stimulus.
Canada’s biggest challenge at the moment is not how to build national pipelines or to solve complex climate change problems. It is to build world-class collaboration bridges that enable those challenges to be resolved with all the wood aligned behind the right arrows.
What would those bridges cross?
The biggest perceived gulf at the moment, and one that at times seems virtually unbridgeable, is between Canada’s politicians and its upstream energy sector. Politicians are pushing climate change, low-carbon and clean-tech agendas. The energy industry feels that the weight of Canada’s collective political foot is on its throat — without recognition of rigorous investment programs targeting the very same objectives.
There are bright spots, of course, such as Rachel Notley’s reasonably vociferous support for both aspiring tidewater pipeline projects and Brad Wall’s admirably candid directness when all around him waffle, but most observers would agree there is nothing approaching sufficient critical mass in the pan-Canadian political sphere to propel measurable resolve in a near-time context.
That gulf perception and its corresponding perception-based reality, unfortunately, have been super-heated and polarized by emotion and acrimony — and in so many instances, ignorance — most often benign, but all too frequently, deliberate. That’s confounding, because so much good is happening, but it remains behind the scenes, smothered by the weight of political noise. Regulatory systems and policy frameworks, for example, are changing to become more cost efficient while simultaneously strengthening environmental safeguards. Those environmental safeguards themselves are tuning more effectively to a cumulative effects approach, ensuring all aspects of air, land and water are considered. In Alberta, a recent royalty review concluded largely satisfactory to all parties — but such isn’t the stuff that makes headlines.
The real truth is that Canada’s petroleum sector has been driving and investing in a climate-friendly, low-to-no carbon and clean-tech agenda — paying the freight in a big way — but not telling an effective story, and too often reacting rather than pro-acting to its critics. This makes it easy for “energy-uninformed” Canadians to view the petroleum sector merely as a greed machine and not an investor in sustainable development. (For those interested in a specific example of such investment in action, please visit the Canadian Oil Sands Innovation Alliance website atwww.cosia.ca).
But that investment engine is sputtering and is in danger of, colloquially speaking, conking out. And Canadian taxpayers aren’t yet aware of how much that engine malfunction is going to cost them if a seized-up private sector cannot fund innovation as a driver of corporate sustainability and the public purse must consistently bear the cost of driving toward a sustainable energy future.
But another related reality is this: politicians and energy folks have long been uneasy bedfellows. Politicians are wary about being seen to be too cosy with energy executives; likewise, those execs are reticent to be accused of political pandering.
We should also be clear about another connected reality: politicians are generally well-meaning and intelligent men and women. They commit to civic service with the best of intentions but all too often end up in positions of power and influence (such as cabinet portfolios) without the requisite knowledge critical to successfully navigating complex and nuanced issues. This is a reality of both the left and the right. They learn from bureaucratic briefings and public consultation processes but their understanding never really scratches beyond the surface before they’re either out of cabinet or out of office.
Enter Loose Ends Energy Inc.
This is the notional corporation that represents all the talent and experience stripped out of Canada’s upstream operating companies and their suppliers. They have tremendous experience in the geosciences and engineering disciplines. But they are also human resources, communications, technology and finance and accounting specialists. They’re now at loose ends and represent an enormous talent pool that should be put to good use. Loose Ends Energy Inc.’s “un-employees” have much to add in the bridge-building department.
While all the current buzz is about infrastructure investment as an economic stimulus tool, here’s a bridge-building concept as a starting point: Alberta’s NDP caucus has just over 50 members. Loose Ends Energy Inc. has approximately 50,000 “staff.” The caucus has exactly one member who can point to a background grounded in energy development. Many organizations would lust after so much knowledge capital, so here’s the pitch.
Every NDP MLA should commit to a six-hour mentor-protégé pairing with a “staffer” from Loose Ends Energy Inc. The pairing’s purpose: a one-to-one knowledge exchange. The MLAs and cabinet ministers would gain substantially from the perspectives and experiences of individuals who have worked in energy and understand its inner workings. These folks also understand what was working — and what wasn’t. Given that they’re currently stripped of any current corporate affiliation, they would be free to speak their minds in a candid and constructive knowledge-bridge exercise.
Imagine what roughly 3,000 hours of knowledge capital would achieve — not as an exercise in brainwashing, but a fundamental literacy and fluency exchange. A caucus better equipped to deal collectively and individually with energy-related complexities is a better bridge via which constructive (and productive) views can pass back and forth.
There’s another upside: most rank-and-file energy sector employees would agree they could benefit from a civics engagement lesson. Most have been lacking direct connection to the political sphere, shielded because such engagement has been typically left to executives and industry advocacy groups. A cohort of energy folks more attuned to the political perspectives they would be offered by caucus members elected by Albertans would add much value to future bridge building once they have returned to the workforce.
By: Carter Haydu Article was originally published on Nov 24, 2015 by the Daily Oil Bulletin and can be found here: http://www.dailyoilbulletin.com/article/2015/11/24/lengthy-seismic-acquisition-downturn-reduces-numbe/ The number of seismic acquisition crews working in Western Canada for the 2015-16 season will be drastically reduced from even a couple of years ago, as the smaller companies are essentially gone and those medium-to-large companies remaining are grappling with the impact of a multi-year downturn for the sector. “In general, we predict a softer winter than last year, and last year was bad,” Mike Doyle , president of the Canadian Association of Geophysical Contractors (CAGC), told the Bulletin . He said the season prior to Alberta’s single regulator implementation in November 2013, there were about 30 to 35 seismic crews in Western Canada. Due to timing of regulation, there were around 22 to 25 crews in Q1 2014. With the drop in oil prices and market unc
Written By: Doug Iverson P. Geoph, Consultant, firstname.lastname@example.org Published: The CSEG Recorder - June Edition (online) CAGC represents the business interests of the seismic industry within Canada – cagc.ca. This column represents the authors’ perspectives on the seismic business. There have been important updates to the Alberta Exploration Regulation and the associated Exploration Directive that will allow better subsurface imaging on most new seismic acquisition programs and repeat 4D projects. The major change is described ‘briefly’ in the fourth last paragraph of this article. This Exploration Directive update is significant because it is the first time since 2009 that any of the 26 Directives have been reviewed, stakeholders engaged, and the Section rewritten and ultimately approved. The industry had been working since 2010 on numerous Directive improvements and finally, in April 2022, changes to 13 of the 26 Directives finally came into effect. So why did it take twelve
Written By: Henry Lyatsky “Though we called your friend from his bed this night, he could not speak for you, For the race is run by one and one and never by two and two.” Rudyard Kipling (“Tomlinson”) Want to live? Hustle! No downer is more enervating than being ignored, left out, discarded. You need clients; your start-up needs investors. Your bills need paying; your girlfriend has run off with your employed former buddy. Your college degree, supposedly a ticket to a shining life, is worthless. You are surrounded everywhere by people, all hustle and bustle, not one of whom even seems to notice that you happen to inhabit this world with them. You are isolated, confused, dispirited, caught in an Auden poem. The world has no need of yet another geophysicist, engineer, geologist, technician. You’ve barely started, you fancy yourself something special, and you’re dead-end surplus. The mid-life crisis