The southeast oil patch had another active year in 2013. New projects were announced. Special events happened. Oilfield workers and owners were recognized for their contributions to the patch. And the industry continued to play an important role in southeast communities.
Ceres announces major project: The Ceres Global Agriculture Corporation announced plans in early February to develop a $90 million commodity logistics hub on 1,500 acres of land at Northgate. It will be connected to BNSF Railway’s United States rail network. The hub will boast two rail loops that will each be capable of handling unit trains of up to 120 railcars.
One loop will be dedicated to a grain handling and shipping facility, and the other will be for transloading and shipping oil. In addition, a logistics centre will unload imported equipment and materials for Saskatchewan’s resource economy. A groundbreaking happened in June.
OTS hosted events in 2013: The Estevan Oilfield Technical Society (OTS) once again hosted a pair of events in 2013. The first was their annual bonspiel in March, which was won by Brent Gedak Welding for the second time. Gedak defeated Southern Corrosion Control in the A final. Women entered the bonspiel for the first time.
During a banquet that was part of the bonspiel, the OTS handed out a lifetime achievement award to Bob Haines, Haines had a lengthy career in the southeast oil patch, in which he worked for Haliburton, Formac, Nowsco and BJ Services. He has also been active in the community.
The OTS hosted its annual golf tournament in early June. Nearly 300 golfers registered. Nolan Rohatyn won the 36-hole tournament, thanks to an eight-foot birdie putt on the final hole.
A ladies OTS tournament happened in July, and it attracted about 110 golfers. A series of thunderstorms scuttled the final few holes.
Carbon capture promoted: About 100 delegates from 15 different countries were in Saskatchewan in May for the inaugural SaskPower Carbon Capture and Storage Global Consortium Symposium. The delegates learned more about the clean coal and carbon capture initiatives that are happening in Saskatchewan, and they toured the integrated Carbon Capture and Storage Demonstration Project at the Boundary Dam Power Station.
Big Eagle wins prestigious award: Manor's Derrick Big Eagle was named the Saskatchewan Oilman of the Year during the Saskatchewan Oil and Gas Show in Weyburn in June. Big Eagle started working in the oil patch when he was 15 years old, and he has won numerous awards during his oilfield career. He was the co-founder of Eagle Drilling, and remained with the company until it was sold in 2011. He is now the president of Chevelo Energy.
Cliff Nankivell of Kisbey, who founded Cliff Nankivell Trucking, and former Carlyle resident Craig Lothian were presented with the South East Saskatchewan Oilman of the Year Awards.
The biennial oil and gas show featured hundreds of indoor and outdoor exhibits, and attracted thousands of people.
Concerns renewed about transload facility: Concerns about the CP Rail transload facility in Estevan were renewed after rail cars carrying crude oil derailed and exploded in Lac Megantic, Quebec, killing 47 people. Estevan City Council reaffirmed its stance that a transload facility should be outside of City limits.
Politicians tour Boundary Dam: Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall and North Dakota Governor Heidi Heitkamp had a first-hand look at the new carbon capture and storage project at Boundary Dam when they visited and toured the facility in late August. They offered praise for the project, and how it boosts the future of coal-fired electrical generation.
New natural gas plant announced: Bayhurst Energy Services Corporation (BESCO), a subsidiary of SaskEnergy, announced a joint venture with Mistral Midstream of Calgary in late August to construct a facility in the Viewfield area that will extract ethane and other hydrocarbons from natural gas. The gas will be transported on SaskEnergy’s natural gas system from the Bakken formation in southeast Saskatchewan.
SanJel safety fair: Estevan was one of a couple communities to host a SanJel safety fair in 2013. Exhibitors promoted how they enhance safety at their workplace or in the community. Guest speaker Spencer Beach shared how a workplace accident radically changed his life, and how he became an advocate for safety on the job site.
PSAC promotes hydraulic fracturing: The Petroleum Services Alliance of Canada dedicated much of the year towards promoting hydraulic fracturing and debunking opponents of the practice. President Mark Salkeld was in the southeast in October to speak to the Estevan Chamber of Commerce and to attend a meeting in Carlyle. In late October, PSAC released a code of conduct that outlines standard practices for sound technical and environmental performance when fracturing a well.
Carson receives prestigious honour: Lampman's Ron Carson, who is the president and general manager of Carson Energy Services, was presented with the provincial Business Leader of the Year Award during the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce's Achievers in Business Excellence banquet in October. Carson has been an entrepreneur in the southeast oil patch for nearly 40 years.
Energy expo is coming: The Estevan Chamber of Commerce announced in November its plans to host the inaugural Estevan Energy Expo (E3) in June of 2014. The event is patterned after the Saskatchewan Oil and Gas Show, but it will boast exhibitors and speakers from coal and power generation, in addition to oil and gas. Several speakers are already booked.
Land Sales generate $67.4 million: The six Crown land sales held in 2013 totalled $67.4 million. The Estevan-Weyburn area accounted for the bulk of the sales at $40.2 million. While the overall 2013 figure is down from the total of $105.7 million posted in 2012, the December sale did generate $13.9 million.