Local Reaction to the Alberta Provincial Election

For many, the final straw for the federal carbon tax coming into effect across the country was the support of Canada's largest energy producer. While Alberta's carbon tax that was in place well before the federal government's, the NDP government that put it in power has been replaced with a majority United Conservative Party taking power Tuesday afternoon. According to President of Apex Distribution Ken Wallewien, who spends a lot of time at the location here in Estevan as well as in Calgary, there is still a lot of work to be done besides an election.

"The sentiment out there was that the definitely needed a change in government, and of course that happened. What's that going to mean? In my opinion, the majority of the woes in the oil industry is experiencing is right now are not under the control of our provincial governments whether it be Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, or B.C. in western Canada. Most of the things that are wrong and need to be fixed all have to do with the federal government."

The company has been distributing products and services to a bunch of different organizations in the oilfield throughout western Canada for 20 years and has offices all over western Canada and a few in the States as well, but the current state of the oil business in Canada is not promising enough for expansion.

"The executives of these oil companies have been saying 'we don't feel comfortable investing right now because we don't know'. We all hear the price of oil, so that's West Texas Intermediate crude, and that's great, that's the number we all hear about, but the real number is what the differential is, and last fall starting through September, October, November, the differential got so bad on oil coming out of Hardisty in central Alberta, companies were basically giving their oil away."

He adds that at the same time, there was still a large difference in price between oil coming from Texas and Saskatchewan, but not near as bad. This means that the provincial government is able to help to a certain extent when it comes to preventing a deficit in prices as low as what Alberta experienced last year, but the federal government needs to work to fix the problem at hand.

"I think that oil companies are going to be more apt to spend money, raise their capital budgets now that there's been a change in government, but what's really going to fix the industry long term is pipelines, and of course that takes a lot of time. We're two-three years away from when we finally hit the green light or something like that can finally see oil going down it, but if there's optimism with the companies that are drilling wells and building facilities and spending money, it's going to help the service and supply industry which we're in."

The change in government in Canada's largest oil-producing province may see companies starting to spend money while things are still fairly cheap compared to where they were in an effort to get ahead of the ball, but it's still too early to tell.

"Ultimately it can only add value, it can only make things better with the change in government in Alberta, I'm just not sure how quick it's going to happen but it will change a different atmosphere or persona within the industry and we'll see how quickly that translates into more spend for service and supply which is the part of the industry we play in."

Petroleum Technology President To Visit Energy City

The Estevan Chamber of Commerce is hosting Dan MacLean, CEO and President of Petroleum Technology Research Centre.

He will talk on a variety of items regarding the PTRC's past and current research in Saskatchewan, Including an update on the Aquistore CO2 Storage Project at Boundary Dam, "We will be attending the Estevan Chamber of Commerce lunch, where we will share a little bit more about what PTRC has been doing over the last few years."

MacLean gave a bit of a background on what he does, "The Petroleum Technology Research Centre (PTRC) is a not-for-profit corporation founded in 1998 to facilitate research and development and demonstration projects into enhanced oil recovery and carbon storage, with the goals of improving recovery rates while reducing the environmental footprint of the oil and gas industry. It is the PTRC's mission to realize 5 billion additional barrels of oil reserves from Saskatchewan's existing oil-in-place over five years of R&D and field trials of new and improved technologies."

"The PTRC has over 18 years of experience managing CO2 monitoring and storage -- formerly through its management of the IEA GHG Weyburn-Midale CO2Monitoring and Storage Project and a two year program called SaskCO2USER, which expanded upon the datasets created at Weyburn to further examine such things as wellbore integrity during CO2 storage, and minimum datasets for assuring safe storage in oilfields. And how the PTRC was engaged in the same capacity in Estevan with Boundary Dam CO2 storage program with Aquistore. We have been involved with that project for the last 5 years and have been assigning the same researchers and applying what we learned from Weyburn."

MacLean goes on to share how important it is to hear another voice in the mix with regards to the oil and gas industry on how innovative Saskatchewan is.

The Chamber Lunch is Wednesday, April 17th at 11:45 am.

April Public Offering for Oil and Natural Gas Brings in $1.5 Million

The first public offering of Saskatchewan’s Crown petroleum and natural gas rights, for the 2019-2020 fiscal year, raised a total of $1.5 million.

The offering was largely based in the Swift Current area, claiming 14 of the 38 leases sold and taking in $914,349.97. Kindersley picked up 4 leases totalling $204,927.13, Estevan 11 leases for $245,288.91 and Lloydminster had the remaining 9 leases totalling $192,916.74.

The April 9, 2019 public offering brought in an average of $278.33/hectare, which is the highest average price-per-hectare among the western provinces.

In comparison, the previous and final public offering for the 2018-2019 fiscal year held on Feb 5, 2019, brought in just over $10 million, averaging $669.53/hectare.

At the recent public offering, Millennium Land (444) Ltd. made the top bid, spending $416.196.81 for 4 parcels of land. Additionally, they purchased 128.360 hectares of land for $221,322.02, paying more than five times the average at $1710.90/hectare.

The next public offering is scheduled for June 4, 2019.

Optimistic Yet Modest Outlook for Kindersley Oil Projects

Spring break-up is underway in the oil industry and one company says they will be getting back to business as early as the end of the month, however, not at full-force. Baytex Energy Corp. has stated with multiple variables adding to the uncertainty of the future of oil in Canada, they are still proceeding with caution.

The company merged with Raging River Exploration Inc., who focused a lot of their efforts within the Kindersley area last year. The merge diversified both companies, but will likely mean a drop to work in Kindersley.

“We’ll see a slight drop in our activity levels, I’d say around 80 per cent of the capital programs we used to run,” said Chad Lundberg, Vice President of the Viking Business Unit for Batex Energy.

However, Lundberg outlined they are shifting their focus towards the Viking as a key cash-flow development property. An estimated $260 to $270 million is set to be invested next year as capital program for Baytex, which would be centred around the Kindersley area.

Lundberg said they are expecting to have frack crews out by the end of April or beginning of May and drilling crews will be deployed by the May long weekend, at “moderate force”.

“Bill C-69, bill C-48, the carbon tax, pipeline egress and being that it’s an election year, all play big roles in what may be coming our way,” said Lundberg. “We have capital positioned and ready to go if politics and policies prove to be encouraging, but it could also stay parked if no solutions are made”.

He shared that it is the uncertainty that is leaving their hands tied, not knowing if more rail cars are coming or if any of the three pipelines, Enbridge Line 3, Keystone XL or the Trans Mountain Pipeline, will come into fruition.

The set back on Enbridge’s Line 3 project ruptured the optimism to get oil south of the border into the U.S. “We were really cheering that pipeline on and we were expecting it later this year, but now it’s been pushed back into maybe the last of next year and it just creates more uncertainty. We really need line 3 to move forward,” said Lundberg.

While they bring crews back into the area in moderate force in a few weeks time, Lundberg said they will be waiting for clarity on a number of topics before ramping up business in the area. However, opportunities in Texas are abundant and any hold-backs in Saskatchewan will be made up for south of the border, but Lundberg said they are dedicated to Canada.

“A lot of us are true Canadians and are dedicated to making this work and to being successful here at home, not only for our families but for the future of oil here as well,” said Lundberg.

He added that as time goes on with no resolutions, it is possible that more and more companies will move their assets and equipment into the U.S. “This could be a real problem, it could be really hard to get people back into Canada once they make that kind of major decision, move their family and start making commerce, it could be very challenging to get them to move again”.

As details get sorted out on a number of topics, Lundberg said they are still very excited about the Kindersley area with plans for an estimated 250 wells this year, within the Viking area.




What's Pumpin' In the Patch! (April 9th)

Keep up to date with the latest news from the oil patch with:

"What's Pumpin' In the Patch" plays every Tuesday and Thursday on Country 104 during the 7 o'clock hour! 

"What's Pumpin' in the Patch" is brought to you by Good to Go Trucking, Good to Go Rentals and GPE Fluids Management.

This week's edition can be heard here:


oil & gas prices as of noon on april 9th

West Texas Intermediate - 64.15
Brent Crude - 70.77
Western Canadian Select - 56.05
Canadian Crude - 52.23
Natural Gas - 2.692

View more oil field news here


What's Pumpin' In the Patch! (April 16th)

Keep up to date with the latest news from the oil patch with:

"What's Pumpin' In the Patch" plays every Tuesday and Thursday on Country 104 during the 7 o'clock hour! 

"What's Pumpin' in the Patch" is brought to you by Good to Go Trucking, Good to Go Rentals and GPE Fluids Management.

This week's edition can be heard here:


oil & gas prices as of 2PM on April 16th

West Texas Intermediate - 64.16 (UP from 64.15 last week)
Brent Crude - 71.71 (UP from 70.77 last week)
Western Canadian Select - 54.00 (down from 56.05 last week)
Canadian Crude - 50.99 (down from 52.23 last week)
Natural Gas - 2.573 (down from 2.692 last week)

View more oil field news here


What's Pumpin' In the Patch! (March 12th)

Keep up to date with the latest news from the oil patch with:

"What's Pumpin' In the Patch" plays every Tuesday and Thursday on Country 104 during the 7 o'clock hour! 

"What's Pumpin' in the Patch" is brought to you by Good to Go Trucking, Good to Go Rentals and GPE Fluids Management.

This week's edition can be heard here:


oil & gas prices as of 11:00am on march 12th

West Texas Intermediate - 56.98 (UP from 55.56 Feb. 26th)
Brent Crude - 66.76 (UP from 65.31 Feb. 26th)
Western Canadian Select - 45.94 (UP from 42.73 Feb. 26th)
Canadian Crude - 45.18 (UP from 43.27 Feb. 26th)
Natural Gas - 2.773 (down from 2.808 last week)

View more oil field news here


What's Pumpin' In the Patch! (February 26)

Keep up to date with the latest news from the oil patch with:

"What's Pumpin' In the Patch" plays every Tuesday and Thursday on Country 104 during the 7 o'clock hour! 

"What's Pumpin' in the Patch" is brought to you by Good to Go Trucking, Good to Go Rentals and GPE Fluids Management.

This week's edition can be heard here:


oil & gas prices as of NOON on February 26th

West Texas Intermediate - 55.56 (down from 56.87 last week)
Brent Crude - 65.31 (down from 66.94 last week)
Western Canadian Select - 42.73 (down from 46.51 last week)
Canadian Crude - 43.27 (Up 1.76%)
Natural Gas - 2.808 (UP from 2.725 last week)

View more oil field news here


Industry Professionals and Local MP React to NEB Recommendation for the Trans Mountain Pipeline

The National Energy Board released their reconsideration report on the expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline concluding to the federal government the project should move ahead. The NEB stated that the project is of national interest, however, their recommendation was accompanied with 156 conditions that would have to be met for the project to see completion, in addition, 16 recommendations were made to the federal government as extra considerations to review.

This recommendation, although recent, is not the first time the NEB has recommended to the federal government that the project should be approved. According the NEB website, the same recommendation for approval was stated and at that time, had 157 conditions attached to the project.

Oil industry members, such as the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors (CAODC), and politicians including, MP for Cypress Hills-Grasslands, David Anderson, said they are not optimistic that the announcement will have any bearing on the forward momentum of the pipeline expansion.

In addition to the NEB recommending approval in 2016, the CAODC stated in a press release last week that this is all news we’ve heard before, even in the recent past.

“What we heard today – that the TMX should be built and is in Canada’s national interest – is exactly what we heard when the federal government purchased the project in 2018,”said Mark Scholz, CAODC president and CAO. “This black hole of approvals sends a confusing message to industry investors, and the international oil and gas market.”

MP David Anderson wasn’t anymore enthused about the news, “The federal government has no intention of getting this pipeline built, this 155 day revision process by the NEB was instructed by the federal government, and they have come to the same conclusion they have before”.

Anderson continued by saying, he believes the federal government is going to, “play games until we can’t get it done”. He explained that the industry is already seeing the shrinking of foreign investment, which can create long-term impact as then the pipeline wouldn’t be needed as development project would be stagnant as no one is putting money into our energy.

Additionally, Anderson said if it goes too far, Canada would be using the pipelines to bring energy up here instead of the other way which, he stated “would be a complete disaster for us”.

Bill C-69, among others including Bill C-68 and Bill C-48, all still have the ability to stop the projects in it’s tracks and Anderson said, these are where people need to continue to focus their energy and to have fair debates and hearings regarding the details of these Bills.


Kindersley Local Returning Home After Joining Ottawa Bound Convoy

A local resident and business owner is making his way back west after joining the United We Roll convoy to Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

Kyle Wollenhaupt attended the Ag & Oil Forum in Kindersley earlier this month and joined the convoy as a way to show his support for the opposition of Bill C-69, Bill C-48 and the federally imposed carbon tax. His wife Amanda and one daughter, Brittany, joined him on the trip that he said, “has been exhausting but very worth it”.

It was popular opinion that the convoy may not receive the same level of support in Ontario that they had felt in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, however, Wollenhaupt said they were overwhelmed with support and encouragement across all provinces, including Ontario.

“There was support all the way, there were people standing out in the cold waving flags, kids were there, one Native reserve we went through, they shot off fireworks for us, it was amazing support we got all the way through,” said Wollenhaput.

There were approximately 169 trucks participating throughout the entire trip from the west with more joining the convoy from the eastern provinces to have a total of approximately 200 people forming the crowd on Parliament Hill.

It was reported that Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, was in Parliament during the first day of their visit but did not address the crowd, however, Wollenhaupt said they did hear from many political figures who shared their message, including Conservative leader, Andrew Scheer.

Although Wollenhaupt said they did what they set out to do, to unite Canada and to have their voices heard, he mentioned some of the media, he felt, was misinterpreting the situation.

“A lot of it has been misinterpreted in the news, we’ve been censored, everything has been cut and paste. They were trying to show these yellow vests that travelled with us as racist, it wasn’t that way. The yellow vest movement that came with us were respectful, it was never racially charged. It was peaceful, we just wanted to get everybody together and unite Canada,” said Wollenhaupt.

Additionally, he stated that another large misconception was the GoFundMe page that was set up to receive funds to help pay for the convoy.

Many were accusing the page on not being true to where the money was going and Wollenhaupt proclaimed that could not be farther from the truth. He added that one of the organizers for the convoy, currently had spent $30,000 out of his own pocket to ensure the travellers were getting what they needed. Wollenhaupt said these funds would be refunded to him through the GoFundMe page once they are released but reiterated how it showed the level of selflessness on the part of the organizers.

Wollenhaupt and his family are now making the long drive back to Saskatchewan where he says he will continue to show his support to the cause anyway he can.



WestCentralOnline.com is West Central Saskatchewan's only source for community news, weather, and information.