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Oil shows draws red carpet supporters

By September 21, 2022No Comments
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney shakes hands with a Weatherford employee during an outdoor walkabout at the Lloydminster Heavy Oil Show last Wednesday at Lloyd Ex. Geoff Lee Meridian Source


Handshakes and fist pumps outnumbered pumpjacks at this year’s Lloydminster Heavy Oil Show thanks to strong oil and gas prices and high profile visitors.

“It’s amazing what happens when oil goes up to $100, the whole mood changes,” said show chair, John Stanyner on the first day of the two-day show last week at the Lloyd Ex.

The surprise appearance and presentations by Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, who held a cabinet meeting onsite Sept. 14, generated an optimistic buzz.

“I think there’s a lot of energy here in the community and at the show,” said Lloydminster Mayor Gerald Aalbers, who also noted the city is fortunate to host the two premiers.

“It speaks very clearly that Lloydminster is important to both provinces from oil production. Heavy oil plays a huge role in our community and they’re reinforcing that.”

Premier Moe called it a “fabulous show,” noting it’s great to be back after not having one two years ago. 

“The attendance looks very strong and it’s indicative of where the industry is going,” said Moe.

“The fact that we’re here, I hope it in some way just highlights the importance of this industry to our province, to Alberta and ultimately, to Canada.”

He said the industry in the Lloyd region has led the world in innovative solutions, initially producing crude in the early days, and lately how to produce it cleaner, better and more profitably than anyone else in the world.

Moe and Kenney took part in an industry update panel over lunch moderated by Rhona Delfrari from Cenovus Energy, covering everything from federal government policy roadblocks to the environment.

Delfrari is the company’s chief sustainability officer and senior vice-president of stakeholder engagement who says the premiers have been consistent with their messages and are strong defenders of the sector. 

“It’s important for people who work in this industry to hear from the government leaders that they’ve got their backs —that they know a thriving oil and gas sector is important to this region and the whole Canadian economy,” said Delfrari.

She also liked what she heard and saw at the show exhibits.

“I took an early sneak peek tour yesterday and the mayor was pointing out to us how many of these companies are locally grown and the technologies they’ve developed are being exported around the world,” she said. 

“That’s something we can really be proud of here.”

Jim Reiter, who is Moe’s new Minister of Energy and Resources, says it’s amazing what a few months and geopolitics can do to shift the fortunes and the mood of the industry.

“The geopolitical situation in the world today just shows how important energy security is,” said Reiter.

“Energy security in this country is important even though we’ve got headwinds thrown up by the federal government. The heavy oil area in this part of the province is incredibly important.”

David Marit, Saskatchewan’s minister of agriculture, had a special interest in the show, knowing oil companies lease land from farmers who also work in the oil patch.

“It’s a really good relationship and we’ve seen a lot of farmers be very successful in working and collaborating with the oil industry,” said Marit.

“It’s important for us to be here to support those relationships and obviously, the industry wants to grow, and that means drilling new wells on farmland somewhere.”

Marit explained the entire cabinet came to the show knowing how important the heavy oil industry in Lloydminster is to the province.

“We just felt it was important to show the oil industry the support the provincial government of Saskatchewan has for the oil industry and what they’re doing and what they provide to the province,” he said.

Lloydminster MLA Colleen Young says the heavy oil show is a great opportunity for the premier and cabinet to have conversations with folks in the industry.

“It’s great to see that we still have investors wanting to invest in the province and this type of industry,” said Young.

“I think that shows the importance of the oil and gas industry and where we’re going for the future.”

The oil show kicked off with what Stanyer called “the best fireside chat ever” during an opening ceremonies supper on Sept. 13 with a “fireside” discussion led by David Yager, a writer and energy policy analyst.

He teamed up with Rob Morgan, CEO of Strathcona Resources Ltd. that recently purchased Serafina Energy Ltd. that operated in the Lloyd region.

“Everybody was attentive and the questions were free flowing,” said Stanyer.