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HELP WANTED The oil and gas industry and the government are stepping up with solutions to the Peace Region labour shortage. “Help wanted” signs in Fort St. John were photographed on Nov. 1 and Nov. 26. An acute labour shortage has been hurting the Peace economy for years, according to local businesspeople. Now the government and industry are stepping in with solutions. Matt Lamers Image

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• PIPELINE NEWS NORTH

DECEMBER 13, 2013

53rd Annual

Oilmen’s Bonspiel

Ty Coates, Kevin Young, Dan Weber and Curtis Schafer were victorious at the 53rd Oilmen’s Bonspiel Draw A championship on Saturday afternoon in Fort St. John.

CONGRATULATIONS! Thank you to all participants and sponsors for their support.

FOR MORE ON THE OILMEN’S BONSPIEL TURN TO PAGES 26 & 27

Ty Coates (centre) helps his team win the Draw A championship of the 53rd Oilmen’s Bonspiel on Nov. 16 at the Curling Rink.

PETROLEUM ASSOCIATION - HAPPENINGS


DECEMBER 13, 2013

PIPELINE NEWS NORTH •

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PNN NUMBERS

Matt PREPROST Photo

The following figures were taken from the stories in this issue of Pipeline News North.

3: Prince Rupert’s rank amongst Canada’s overall shipping ports. Story on Page 23. 120: The number of organizations that sent representatives to accompany Premier Christy Clark on her Asia LNG trade mission. Story on Page 17. 2, 3, 4: The rank of British Columbia’s trade partners in dollar value last year of China, Japan and Korea, respectively. Premier Christy Clark wrapped up a trade mission there last month. Story on Page 17. 3.5%: The levy the European places on heavy oil imports from Canada, which will be slashed to zero after a new free trade deal is implemented. Story on Page 18.

10: The number of companies that have applied to the National Energy Board for long-term export permits. Story on Page 7. 7: The number of companies that applied to the NEB for long-term export permits in 2013. Story on Page 7. 30 per cent: The amount of carbon dioxide emissions that will be offset from Alberta’s oilsands by the carbon capture and storage project “Carbon Trunkline.” Story on Page 19. $34,000: The amount of money the oilmen helped raise to build a new playground for Devereaux Elementary. Story on Page 27.

0, 0: The amount of liquefied natural gas and crude oil that Canada currently exports to the European Union, respectively. Story on Page 18.

$250,000: The value of the cheque that Shell presented to the Salvation Army in support of the Transition House in downtown Fort St. John. Story on Page 24.

2016: The target date for the operation of Pacific Northern Gas’ new natural gas pipeline. It would be the first major pipeline project linking Northeast B.C. to the West Coast. Story on Page 14.

210: The number of people that will be served Christmas dinner by Shell employees on two occasions in December in Dawson Creek. Story on Page 24.

200: The number of people that will be served Christmas dinner by the Dawson Creek Nawican Friendship Centre. Encana was a supporter. Story on Page 24. 4: The number of times Enform gathers safety practitioners every year for presentations and seminars. Story on Page 25. 3: The number of brothers who passed away in the same industrial accident in 1979. Story on Page 25. 37: The number of companies represented at Alan Quilley’s presentation on personal safety on Nov. 27. Story on Page 25. $312,636: The amount 12 groups received from the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency to participate in the environmental assessment of the proposed Pacific NorthWest LNG Project. Story on Page 14. 45: The reduction in the number of wells drilled in the new year compared to 2013, according to a Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors forecasts. Story on Page 14.

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• PIPELINE NEWS NORTH

DECEMBER 13, 2013

Matt Lamers photo

pipeline news north

Alberta gets new 6 energy minister Petronas/progress 6 sign new LNG pact Aurora LNG plants 7 flag on Grassy Point

26

First Nations and 14 resource projects Feds dole out 14 environment funding

16

25 ‘Get ‘er done — safely,’ sings expert 26 Fort St. John’s Bonspiel bonanza 27 Oilpatch pitches in for playground

25

29 NEB reaches Gateway decision

in closing

28 Connecting northern communities

Land prices rise 15 with Montney estimate

In Asia, Clark 17 makes her pitch

22 Safety association has banner year

24 Oilpatch spreads holiday cheer

Less drilling 14 forecasted for new year

Cold Bore 16 sets high goals

20 Did you feel that? Probably not

23 Trade connects North’s communities’

In the North, 8 help (always) wanted How important 12 are our pipelines

19 Tackling Alberta’s carbon crisis

community

18 Oil industry yawns at E.U. FTA

Christy Clark’s 6 ‘Pacific nation’

environment

briefly

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Published monthly by Glacier Ventures International Corp. Pipeline News North is politically independent and a member of the B.C. Press Council. The Pipeline News North retains sole copyright of advertising, news stories and photography produced by staff. Reproduction is prohibited without written consent of the editor.


DECEMBER 13, 2013

PIPELINE NEWS NORTH •

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Now you see it

reporter@pipelinenewsnorth.ca

OIL, GAS, PIPELINE JOBS ON THE RISE Employment peaked at 104,000 in the oil, gas & pipeline sectors from Jan. through Oct. Pipeline jobs (red) peaked in June at 8,700. Source: Statistics Canada. Figures are latest available. January through October

B.C. LAND SALE PROCEEDS SOAR Proceeds from crown land sales in B.C. were 10 times higher in Nov. after a study doubled the NG trapped in the Montney Formation. Source: B.C. Oil and Gas Commission. Data is latest available.

Alberta is expected to continue dominating Canada’s Natural gas production landscape in December with 235,740 103m3 per day. British Columbia will sit a distant second at 98,116 103m3 per day, while Saskatchewan pumps out 11,204 103m3 per day. Source: National Energy Board. Data is latest available.

January through NOVEMBER

WELL APPROVALS AVERAGE OUT 810 oil and gas wells had been approved from Jan. to Dec. in British Columbia. Approvals dropped 50% from Oct. (128) to Nov. (60). Source: B.C. Oil and Gas Commission. Data is latest available.

d e t a l u Ins ibs B & s a k r a P

January through NOVEMBER

NATURAL GAS PRICES HOLD STEADY

January through NOVEMBER

Natural gas prices have held steady so far this year, staying above $3 per MMBTU after a rough 2012 that saw a bottoming out of $1.83. Source: Wall Street Journal. Data is latest available.

GAS PRODUCTION FALLS IN NORTHEAST B.C. Natural gas production was on a slight downward trend in Northeast B.C. from Jan. to Aug. this year, but that could pick up in the remaining months. Source: National Energy Board. Data is latest available. January through AUGUST

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• PIPELINE NEWS NORTH

DECEMBER 13, 2013

by matt lamers

Clark’s ‘Pacific nation’

A new energy minister

PetroleumBRUNEI in B.C.

In her keynote speech at the Canada China Business Council in Vancouver on Dec. 10, B.C. Premier Christy Clark said her administration was sticking to her plan to develop the province’s liquefied natural gas industry. “We have a plan and we’re sticking with it,” she told media. She also said the future of Canada’s economic growth was the East, rather than the West. “We are no longer just an Atlantic nation, we are very much now a Pacific nation,” she said. “Our future, the future of our entire country, lies to the West. The future lies across the Pacific Ocean in Asia,” the premier added.

On Dec. 9, Alberta Premier Alison Redford reshuffled her cabinet, appointing Diana McQueen, former minister of environment and sustainable resource development, as the new energy minister. McQueen is a second-term MLA representing Drayton Valley-Devon. “Diana McQueen would maybe be the best choice for energy minister if they are moving people around,” Gary Leach, president of the Explorers and Producers Association of Canada, told the Daily Oil Bulletin. “She has been a high profile, strong advocate for the energy sector where it impacts with the environment issues.”

Petronas, Progress Energy Canada Ltd. and Pacific NorthWest LNG Ltd. have signed agreements so that PetroleumBRUNEI, through its affiliates, will acquire a three per cent interest in Progress Energy Canada’s gas assets in Northeast B.C. It will also be brought into the fold of the proposed Pacific NorthWest LNG export facility. PetroleumBRUNEI has agreed to buy a three per cent share of the LNG facility’s production for a minimum of 20 years. “[This is] yet another traditional Asian supplier looking to diversify its sources of supply,” Chris Theal, president and chief executive officer of Kootenay Capital, said.

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TODAY IS A GOOD DAY TO MAKE THINGS SIMPLER

Reaching your financial goals is easier with a plan. Know your options.

First Choice Insurance & Investment Services Inc. Tel 250-785-7575 Fax 250-785-1677 fci@sunlife.com 9519 - 100th Avenue Fort St. John, BC V1J 1Y1

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Five smart ways to stretch your holiday budget The holiday season is just around the corner, bringing with it parties, gift-giving, travel and extravagant feasts — but how can you have a great time and pamper the ones you care about on a limited income? A little planning and creativity are key! Here are some tips for enjoying the holidays without breaking the bank: 1. Plan early and set a budget Budgeting for the holiday season is something you should think about in January or February, rather than at the end of the year, explains Sylvia Lim, a Vancouver-based Certified Financial Planner, Certified General Accountant and author of Finances after 55, in order to avoid the stress of dealing with all holiday-related

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expenses at once. Take a look at the discretionary amount you have to spend on your family and friends, make a list of those you’re planning to buy gifts for, as well as any expected travel plans, events and parties early in the year. Plan how much you want to spend on each person/event and be sure to stick to your budget. 2. Plan how to meet that budget Setting cash aside every month is a great way to save for your holiday expenses, says Lim. For example, if you think you want to spend $1,200 on Christmas gifts or travel expenses, set aside $100 a month. “That way, you don’t have the pressure of coming up with the money when it’s holiday-time, or not having the money, spending it, and then dealing with the aftermath in the new year,” she says. If you do use your credit card for holiday shopping/expenses, Lim recommends that you have the money behind it to pay the bill when it arrives, to avoid paying additional interest charges in the New Year. 3. Know who you want to buy gifts for and purchase early Make a list of those you’re buying for, and ask family and friends ahead of time what they would like (ideally by September or October) says Lim. This way you can keep an eye out for sales prior to Thanksgiving, such as end-of-season clothing sales.

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Life’s brighter under the sun

By Helen Burnett-Nichols BrighterLife.ca

4. Be honest with your family It is possible to indulge the ones you care about during the holiday season and stay within your budget, says Lim, but don’t live beyond your means to do it. Be honest with your family if this is not a good time for you to be spending too much money on gifts. One money-saving holiday tip might involve suggesting a change in tradition. An idea that is becoming quite popular, she says, involves drawing names within your family — with the end goal being that each person buys a nice gift for one person, instead of buying gifts for everyone. Alternatively, if you’re hosting a holiday dinner, consider reducing your costs by making it potluck — ask everyone to bring their favourite dish. 5. Get crafty Are you a talented knitter? Artist? Woodworker? Or perhaps you bake in your spare time? Use your talents to make personalized, handcrafted gifts for those on your holiday list — this can often cut costs, and everyone is sure to appreciate the thought and effort that you’ve put in.

Submitted by: First Choice Insurance & Investment Services Inc. © Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, 2011


DECEMBER 13, 2013

PIPELINE NEWS NORTH •

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INDUSTRY NEWS

MAKE THAT 10 LNG EXPORT PERMITS Of the seven LNG applications that were submitted in 2013, Aurora’s is the second biggest in terms of tonnage. It hopes to export gas from an area near Prince Rupert.

Matt Lamers Staff Writer

For the third straight month, a proponent sought permission from Canada’s national energy regulator to export a large volume of liquefied natural gas. On Nov. 29, Aurora Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd. applied to the National Energy Board to ship 24 million tonnes of LNG per year from the coast of British Columbia for a term of 25 years. Of the seven LNG applications

that were submitted in 2013, Aurora’s is the second biggest in terms of tonnage and demonstrates rising momentum for the LNG sector in British Columbia. Aurora LNG is jointly owned by the Tokyo-based companies INPEX and JGC, and Nexen, which is a subsidiary of Beijing-based CNOOC Ltd. The application stated that the first cargo is expected to be shipped between 2021 and 2023. The application also stated that

point of export is expected to be near the city of Prince Rupert and that natural gas would be supplied by Nexen and IGBC’s significant holdings in the Horn River, Cordova and Liard basins in Northeast British Columbia amounting to some 300,000 acres. Earlier in November, Aurora LNG took an important step forward by securing a deal with the government of British Columbia for the exclusive use of 614.9 hectares of land on the northern part of Grassy

Daryl Mitchell Photo

Point, near Prince Rupert. “Aurora LNG is moving forward with their plans to export B.C.’s natural gas to new markets overseas,” B.C. Premier Christy Clark told the media. “This marks another step towards realizing the transformative opportunity LNG presents us. Aurora LNG’s commitment to building this new industry will create jobs and economic opportunities across the province,” the premier added.

Aurora LNG plants flag on Grassy Point

Proponent picks up exclusive coastal property for $24 million Matt Lamers Staff Writer

Aurora LNG took an important step forward by securing a deal with the government of British Columbia for the exclusive use of 614.9 hectares of land on the northern part of Grassy Point, near Prince Rupert. As part of the agreement, development is subject to regulatory approval, which is expected to take a number of years, including an environmental assessment. The proponent must also submit a Project Description to the federal and pro-

vincial governments. Aurora LNG is a joint venture by Nexen Energy ULC, INPEX Corporation and JGC Corporation. The project is still in a very early stage, and none of the companies involved have made final investment decisions. “We have lots of work to do before we make any decisions internally about project investment and of course, there is a significant amount of regulatory approvals to receive before a facility can be built,” Patti Lewis from Nexen told Pipeline News North from her office Calgary. “Project assessment is expected

to begin immediately. Our next priority is to conduct environmental baseline work and ramp up our stakeholder consultation,” Ms. Lewis added. As well as entering the regulatory stage, Aurora LNG will examine the viability of constructing a liquefied natural gas plant and export terminal at the Grassy Point location. The agreement reached with the province is essentially an agreement in principle that provides the corporation with land if the project were to gain required regulatory approval and the proponent ultimately decides to move forward. Developing the natural gas sec-

tor is a key part of Premier Christy Clark’s economic vision for the province. There are now 15 LNG export proposals in B.C. Of the nine export permits with National Energy Board, three have approved. The NEB has issued another eight short-term export permits, bringing the number of LNG export projects in the works to 23. Seven pipelines have been proposed to deliver gas to those facilities from Northeast British Columbia. Industry experts, however, forecast that only two to five will ever happen.


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DECEMBER 13, 2013

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help (alway An acute labour shortage has been hurting the Peace economy for years, say businesspeople. Now the government and industry are stepping up with solutions before the LNG crush sets in.


ys) wanted

DECEMBER 13, 2013

PIPELINE NEWS NORTH •

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EMPLOYMENT Matt Lamers Staff Writer

The labour shortage in the Peace River Regional District is so real, said Tyler Kosick, that it’s been a decade since he’s had enough workers for his equipment. “You never ever seem to fill all of your equipment,” said the owner of Trans Carrier Ltd. (TCL) and Backcountry Truckin. “It’s not just us, it’s everyone up here. It’s an all-around struggle to try to obtain and retain people.” Sean Thomas, president of the Fort St. John Petroleum Association, agreed. “Just about all of our member companies are definitely running short of workers, whether it be – you don’t even need to go as far as skilled labour, just labour period – swampers, labourers, construction crews,” he said. “For us, with our trucking and other vac truck companies, it’s a tough stretch because there’s just not a lot of young kids who are willing to come through that. You have your skilled operators, your drivers your pipefitters, welders and things like that, there’s definitely a well-felt shortage throughout the industry.” After contacting businesses across the Peace River region, the message was the same: The shortage of workers is hurting businesses in all sectors of the local economy. In 2012, the province’s natural gas industry employed 13,235 workers, but that number is expected to skyrocket in the coming years. According to the B.C. Natural Gas Workforce Strategy Committee report issued earlier this year, the liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector alone is projected to require more than 75,000 permanent skilled workers once LNG projects are fully operational in the coming decade, plus another 60,000 people to build the plants and pipelines around 2016 and 2017. The Petroleum Human Resources Council of Canada says up to 42 per cent of current job vacancies might never be filled due to a labour supply-demand disequilibrium. That there is a labour shortage isn’t particularly surprising considering the Northeast’s relatively small workforce and the fact that the region leads British Columbia in economic growth. The oil and gas sector is leading the way. A surge in proposed LNG projects pushed total capital costs in British Columbia to a record high in the second quarter of this year, according to the B.C. Major Projects Inventory review, which provides updates on major projects that have been proposed, started, completed or are on hold. Northern B.C. drove the increase. The region reported a 45.7 per cent quarter-on-quarter jump in proposed projects to $99.3 billion, the vast majority of which are related to the LNG industry and tied to pipelines that will either originate in northeastern B.C. or pass through the area. In the Northeast, there were 44 projects either proposed, under construction or on hold worth $24.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to the Regional Check-Up. Also on deck are the massive multi-billion dollar Site C dam proposal and eight major pipeline projects. All of these projects point to labour demand north of 100,000 workers. Continued on Next Page


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DECEMBER 13, 2013

reporter@pipelinenewsnorth.ca

From Previous Page

pronounced in our community because of all of the activity and The Northeast’s unemploy- the rapid growth of our econment rate dropped to 4.1 per omy,” she told Pipeline News cent in 2012, which was already North. “I hear from everyone considerably below the provin- from hoteliers and retailers to cial average of 6.7 per cent, and the producers in the oil and gas even lower than what Canadian industry, and they’re all saying economists consider full em- we can’t get the people we need.” To help the Peace economy ployment. (Full employment is reached when everyone who cope, the Northeast Regional wants a job can find one. The Workforce Table has toiled for Conference Board of Canada 20 months to come up with solutions. At least part of the soluconsiders that to be 6 per cent.) Full employment may sound tion lies locally, within the area’s great, but when local businesses high schools, the committee can’t fill their vacancies, they concluded. “We need to increase our inbecome vulnerable to external competition. Business are vestment in post-secondary also forced to pay higher wages, education, so when these vacanwhich ultimately makes them cies are available, we’ve got peoless profitable and less competi- ple to fill them. We need to do a better job of getting people into tive to external competition. Some business in the Peace our high schools and talking to River Regional District have al- our students early about what the opportunities are in the community,” added Moore. Moore and the Northeast Regional Workforce Table want to deliver their message to students before high school. “We need to be having those conversations – Sean Thomas, president of the Fort St. when these kids are in Grade John Petroleum Association 7 and Grade 8. We need to be introducing them to the opportunities that exist. Acready closed their doors because ademic school is not for everythey couldn’t hire or retain the body, and that’s okay.” University isn’t for everyone, help they needed. “What makes us nervous is the but nearly everyone’s going to out-of-town or out-of-province university. And that’s a problem. The theory that too many of companies,” explained Thomas. “As a city and as a region, if we British Columbia’s youth are optcan’t provide and service our ing for post-secondary educacustomers, then they’re going tion in programs that come with to continue to bring in the big- low chances of employment is ger companies that operate out supported by B.C. Check-Up, a of Alberta. If we do fail to fill our report issued jointly by the provpositions, then that could have a ince’s professional accountants. long-standing effect where, now The report found that new enwe’ve already lost the work, and trants into the labour force posit’s going to be tough for us to get sess record-high levels of postsecondary education, but those it back.” workers do not have the skills that are in the highest demand Some solutions The labour shortage is some- in British Columbia to land jobs. Indeed, many will be either thing that has been projected and analysed for years at all lev- unemployed or underemployed for years after graduating from els of government. Jennifer Moore, regional eco- university. Paying back student nomic development officer for loans for a decade or longer the North Peace Economic De- while toiling away at a deadvelopment Commission, admit- end, low-paying job is very comted that the problem has been mon for the current generation of university graduates. years in the making. Change is in the air, but it’s go“We’ve known about this for ing to take years. a while and we’re not the only Bill Bennett, minister of Encommunity or the only region that’s struggling with what’s go- ergy and Mines, addressed the ing to happen in the next 10 to shortage of skilled labour in 15 years. It’s just much more Northeast British Columbia

‘What makes us nervous is the out-of-town or out-of-province companies.’

when he attended the B.C. Energy Conference last October. He announced funding to support the creation of a career counsellor position, who will be responsible for encouraging students to pursue a skilled trade. It’s part of the province’s plan to balance out a shortfall in labour in the northern half of the province and a shortage of jobs in the south. “That person, for two years, is going to be working directly with students in three school districts, the whole Northeast,” he said in an interview. “And I think in terms of education and awareness for children about the opportunities in the trades, I think there actually will be a huge benefit from that.” Weeks later, B.C.’s advanced education minister, Amrik Virk, announced $1.8 million in funding for 456 students in trades training at 10 post-secondary institutions. The students will receive training for fields such as automotive refinishing, carpentry and millwright work. Industry isn’t just waiting for the government to solve the problem. Carla Campbell-Ott, executive director of the Petroleum HR Council, said her organization has a number of initiatives on the go to address the shortage of workers in the sector. One of them is the Careers in Oil + Gas Initiative, which operates the online portal Careersinoilandgas.com, an education resource to learn about careers in the industry. The council projects that between 125,000 and 150,000 permanent positions will be added in the next 10 years, but that doesn’t including the eight pipelines which have been proposed in British Columbia, Energy East, Keystone or the 10 LNG facilities that are in the works on the West Coast. “It’s real,” Campbell-Ott said of the looming labour shortage. “There is a huge labour shortage looming. Absolutely.” Richard Rees, CEO of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of B.C., said the current labour shortfall will only worsen if action is not taken. “For the past decade, labour market analysts have predicted a looming labour market shortage. In particular, this strain will be felt in Northern B.C., where major investments are generating both construction


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PIPELINE NEWS NORTH •

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EMPLOYMENT and resource industry employment,” said Rees. “However, many post-secondary graduates are lacking the necessary credentials for these occupations, and for those seeking a job outside the trades or professions where deficits exist, it is difficult to find a good entrylevel job. Increasingly, students will need to plan their education carefully, with a view to what programs will get them the skills required by the current labour market,” he added. That view is held by Thomas, the president of the petroleum association. “Not everybody is cut out to be a doctor, a lawyer and an engineer. The world needs labourers as well,” he said. “You introduce this avenue to children at a young age and they get the idea that it’s a skilled trade. “But the big push in high school is to go university, get your bachelor’s degree, but when you come out of those schools, you don’t have a job. Whereas in your trade programs, you’re usually dealing with 100 percent placement after education.” The solution is in line with Moore’s: Introduce local employment opportunities to students in high school, rather than after they graduate university with a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy. He would go one step further by instituting trade programs in high schools. “You got metal work, shop programs and mechanical programs in school – let’s add pipefitting and welding. So when they come out of high school, they’ve already got their first year apprenticeship behind them. If someone goes to school here, they’re more likely to get a job here. Introduce the programs to high

school students and you can keep your students in town. “These are the people we’ve got to target. Some kids want to get out of high school as soon as they can and go to work, so let’s accommodate them. Let’s give them a skilled trade,” said Thomas. More training Northern Lights College has heard the message loud and clear. Three Northern Lights College campuses have graduated students from special training programs, which has helped businesses in Atlin, Tumbler Ridge and Fort Nelson fill positions for heavy equipment operators. “At Northern Lights College, our role is to train students in the North so they have the skills that industry requires to fill the needs of all industries including oil and gas, mining, lumber and agriculture,” said Rene Tremblay, dean of trades and apprenticeships. “We partner with industry to ensure our curriculum and equipment are up to date, so that our graduates are prepared with the knowledge and skills needed on today’s work sites.” The 12 week Heavy Equipment Operator (HEO) programs are broken down to in-class and field learning. Students begin in the classroom by studying air brakes, conflict resolution, first aid, forklift, ground disturbance, safety, surveying skills, TDG and WHMIS. Those classes are followed by 200 hours of work outside the classroom, including spending some time on actual equipment. Northern Lights College also offer other courses that benefit local businesses. “Northern Lights College is a part of the community in North-

east B.C., and the college is here to help better the lives of our students and the communities in which those students live,” added Tremblay. “As well, as the province’s Centre of Training Excellence in Oil and Gas, we also have a leadership responsibility to the energy industry across British Columbia in preparing knowledgeable and skilled workers. “

‘It’s real. There is a huge labour shortage looming. Absolutely.’ – Carla Campbell-Ott, executive director of the Petroleum HR Council

Tremblay explained that the issue in British Columbia specifically is not a shortage of labour per se, but rather a shortage of workers with the needed skills for available jobs. Tremblay said the B.C. Labour Market Outlook predicts demand for workers in B.C. will outpace supply between 2016 and 2020. “A job in trades is rewarding and pays well, and there are jobs in all sectors of the trades industry,” she said. “But what we are seeing is students who have graduated from post-secondary education having to take more training and education to develop the skills and find employment in the areas that are currently in demand. “Everyone involved in helping our children make decisions on post-secondary education needs to look at all the available information, and be fully informed, before making this very crucial decision.” Continued on Page 30 R001424176


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DECEMBER 13, 2013

reporter@pipelinenewsnorth.ca

H o w i m p o rt a n t i s o u r More than half all homes in Canada are heated by furnaces that burn natural gas: CEPA.

Design

25,000 $130 billion The contribution to Canada’s gross domestic product by the pipeline industry over the next 30 years.

50%

and pho tos by by

Matt L

The number of full-time equivalent jobs the pipeline industry was responsible for in 2012, which translated into $1.9 billion in income.

amers


DECEMBER 13, 2013

PIPELINE NEWS NORTH •

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THE POLLS ENVIRONMENT

pipeline network? Matt Lamers Staff Writer

Energy pipelines are a vital piece of the Canadian economy, but exactly how vital wasn’t clear until last month. A first-ofits kind study found that the industry could add $130 billion to Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP) over the next 30 years based on current operations. That figure does not include British Columbia’s natural gas production, which could bring that total north of $200 billion. According Bill Bennett, minister of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas, there is enough natural gas in British Columbia to make the province debt free in 15 years. “Pipelines are a critical part of Canada’s infrastructure,” Sandra Burns, manager of communications for the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA), told Pipeline News North. “They’re fundamental to heating our homes, providing electrical power, to meeting the needs of all Canadians.” The study, called “The Economic Impacts from Operations of Canada’s Energy Pipelines,” was prepared by Angevine Eco-

responsible for over 25,000 fullIn 2012, according to CEPA, nomic Consulting for CEPA. It looked at the economic im- time equivalent jobs across there were more than 2,500 pact that crude oil, natural gas Canada in 2012, which trans- Canadian suppliers that were transmission lines and natural lated into $1.9 billion in labour supported by CEPA-member gas liquids contribute to the Ca- income. Thirty per cent of those companies, including manufacjobs were located in Alberta, 21 turers, trucking companies and nadian economy. It also does not take into ac- per cent in Ontario, and 20 per welding companies. “[Money from] those comcount other major pipeline cent in Saskatchewan, with the projects such as Energy East, remaining 29 per cent spread panies themselves also trickles down into the retail industry, Keystone or Northern Gateway, across the rest of Canada. which would deliver large quantities of Central Canada bitumen to tidewaters on the East Coast, the southern United States and coastal B.C. Despite their im– Brenda Kenny, Canadian Energy Pipeline Association president portance, many Canadians remain unaware of the role pipelines play in their “There’s a perception that and the restaurant and hospitaleveryday lives. “Part of that has to do with the only Alberta and their workers ity industry,” said Burns. “Pipelines generate significant fact that pipelines are under- benefit from the energy indusground,” said Burns. “So people try as a whole and from pipe- spin-off benefits that far exceed don’t necessarily see them every lines in particular,” said Brenda the direct investment made in day. There’s a lot of things go- Kenny, CEPA president, in a them,” said Kenny. “Our member companies are committed ing on underneath our feet that press release. “This report clearly shows to building and operating a safe, most people don’t really realize. That’s an important point to that the economic benefits of socially and environmentally people to recognize, that there is pipelines are spread across the responsible pipeline infrastrucvaluable infrastructure [there.]” entire country and contribute to ture that will contribute to a The report also found that the prosperity of all Canadians,” strong and prosperous Canada for many decades to come.” the pipeline industry was Kenny added.

‘This report clearly shows that the economic benefits of pipelines are spread across the entire country and contribute to the prosperity of all Canadians.’

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BRIEFS

‘First Nations benefit from resource projects’

Feds dole out funding for assessments

Less drilling forecasted for new year

MATT LAMERS

MATT LAMERS

MATT LAMERS

A new report by the Vancouver-based think tank Fraser Institute says First Nations communities are essential to the development of Western Canada’s natural resources. Moreover, the report states that the communities are well positioned to benefit from more than 600 major resource projects in Canada worth an estimated $650 billion. “There is not a single oil or gas project under proposal in Western Canada that does not affect at least one First Nations community, and the willingness of these communities to participate in energy development can be the factor that determines the success of a project,” said the report. In British Columbia, nearly 30 percent of the 198 First Nations communities in the province could benefit from the seven major new pipelines, pipeline expansions and LNG plant construction projects that have been proposed. In Alberta, 44 per cent of First Nations could see benefits from five new oilsands projects. “These communities are often in remote, resource-rich areas so they have a unique opportunity to benefit from these developments,” said Ravina Bains, study author and associate director of aboriginal policy studies at the Fraser Institute. By participating in such projects, the report says, First Nations could allay their unemployment woes, which are considerably worse than the rest of the country. “While the national unemployment rate is 7.1 per cent, the unemployment rate for First Nations reserves is a staggering 23 per cent,” it says, noting that unemployment rates are high in First Nations communities located in areas in the vicinity of oil and gas developments, ranging from 20 per cent to 42 per cent. “While some obstacles remain, it’s a largely untapped labour force with boundless potential,” said Kenneth Green, the Fraser Institute’s senior director of natural resource studies.

Twelve groups received $312,636 from the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency to participate in the environmental assessment of the proposed Pacific NorthWest LNG Project located in Kitimat, British Columbia. The money will allow those groups to closely study the impact that the proposed LNG facility would have on their communities and the environment. First Nations received funds ranging from $10,500 to $50,000 each, and the six remaining groups were allocated $2,200 to $10,500 apiece. Pacific NorthWest LNG Ltd. proposes building a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility and marine terminal on Lulu Island, near Prince Rupert. The project involves extracting natural gas from the Montney Formation in Northeast British Columbia, transmitting the gas through a pipeline to the facility on the island, where it would be liquified and exported to markets in Asia. The T. Buck Suzuki Environmental Foundation received $10,500 from the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. Luanne Roth, its North Coast Energy campaigner, told Pipeline News North that her organization will primarily focus on how NOx emissions and acid rain could impact the surrounding area. “There’s no money to look at all the issues that need to be looked at and see what’s missing,” said Roth. “There’s so many issues [and] we’re going to do the best we can with what we have. There’s going to be quite a bit of volunteer time. One issue we’re worried about is NOx, acid rain.” She said another area of concern is the number of salmon in the area, although that won’t be a part of her research with this funding. “The Skeena River is the second largest river in Canada; there are millions of salmon,” she said. “The main issue we’re worried about is the Skeena Estuary. They want to put a trestle across Flora Bank eelgrass bed and that is the second most important area for the Skeena Estuary for salmon.” T. Buck Suzuki Environmental Foundation has been in contact with the Prince Rupert Environmental Society, United Fishermen and Allied Workers’ Union and the World Wildlife Fund to make sure there is no duplicate research.

The Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors (CAODC) forecasts that 2014 will see 45 fewer wells drilled in the new year compared to 2013, according to its State of the Industry Report that was released in November. The report predicts that drilling will drop to 10,604 wells in 2014, generating 124,701 operating days for rig contractors. Rig activity, however, will be slightly stronger, the CAODC said, due to an increase in the average length of time it takes to drill a well. It predicts that industry would require an average of 11.7 days to drill a well, which in up from 2013 due to more complex drilling operations. “Horizontal drilling has brought a new dynamic to this industry,” explained CAODC president Mark Scholz. “The Canadian rig fleet offers more deep drilling rigs than ever before.” More predictions from the CAODC include that rig utilization next year will be 62 per cent (508 rigs) in the first quarter, 19 per cent (156 rigs) in the second quarter, 41 per cent (339 rigs) in the third quarter and 44 per cent (or 365 rigs) in the fourth quarter. Moreover, it sees Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors members adding nine rigs in 2014 to bring the total to 829. The CAODC also noted that its members welcomed the positive steps the British Columbia and Alberta premiers have taken in recent months to ensure safe and efficient transmission of petroleum products from Alberta to export terminals on the West Coast. “Tidewater access will provide Canadian oil and gas with important new markets to ensure continued strong activity for Canada’s drilling and service rig fleets,” the CAODC noted. The CAODC is a trade association that represents Canada’s drilling rig and service rig contractors.

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November nets 10 times more than Oct.

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Interest in Northeast British Columbia’s natural gas is soaring, and that was reflected in November’s Crown Petroleum and Natural Gas Rights Public Tender. In the Nov. 13 auction, the province pulled in a relatively high $4,522 per hectare from the sale of nine parcels of land. That brings the windfall from this calendar year’s monthly land auctions to about $217 million. November’s $54.5 million was more than 10 times more than what the province received from October’s sale. Companies also paid about 10 times more per hectare in November than they did in December for the right to explore or extract natural gas or oil. A source at the Ministry of Natural Gas Development told Pipeline News North that the increase can largely be attributed to the sale of a large parcel of land in the Laprise Creek area, about 140 kilometres northwest of Fort St. John, in the Montney Formation. The high level of interest also stems partly from a new study released last month that more than doubled the amount of natural gas thought to be trapped in the Montney Formation. It was the first assessment of its kind for the region. It was jointly conducted by the federal National Energy Board, British Columbia’s Ministry of Natural Gas Development, the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission and the Alberta Energy Regulator. The assessment estimates that the Montney gas field in northeastern B.C. and northwestern Alberta can support commercial activity for 150 years or longer at current production rates. The volume

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of marketable gas is now believed to be 12.7 trillion cubic metres, which is roughly the volume of Lake Superior. “There was significant interest in the tenure available in0   the November disposition, including land in the Montney Formation,” the source said. “The resource potential of this area has increased significantly following a new study which showed the supply is significantly higher than previous estimates.” Charter Land Services Inc. paid $42.41 million for a licence to drill on 6,148 hectares of land. The per hectare price of $6,897 is the highest this year and second-most ever paid in the auction’s history. In the same auction, Windfall Resources Ltd. shelled out $8.97 million for the right to drill on 3,106 hectares of land in the Cypress area, about 110 kilometres northwest of Hudson’s Hope. It paid $2,888 per hectare. The seven other purchases netted $2.01 million. The bids are received through a sealed process. Details about the successful bidder and the bid amount are publicly available, but the number of bidders and companies involved remains confidential. A drilling licences gives a company the exclusive right to explore for natural gas and petroleum by drilling wells, whereas leases provide the exclusive right to produce petroleum and natural gas for a certion period of time. They are acquired by the successful bidder at the Crown sale, or selected from permits and drilling licences. Primary terms are five or 10 years, depending on location. The next sale was scheduled for Dec. 11 and offerred 15 parcels of land on 11,960 hectares. Results were not available at time of print.

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Cold Bore aims to be the Apple of oil & gas Matt Lamers Staff Writer

Calgary-based Cold Bore Technology said unexpectedly high demand helped it raise investment money of about $800,000, which was more than the company initially set out for. The technology company hopes the money raised from investors will help it become the predominant means for communications “across pipe” for the oil and gas industry. The company claims that its sonic telemetry technology, which is currently in the testing phase and could be rolled out in early 2014, rapidly transmits high volumes of data to the surface using a drill pipe as the medium. This data, says Cold Bore, is delivered hundreds of times faster than what is currently achievable and has the potential to radically improve drilling accuracy and capability. Essentially, the technology is a mechanism to transmit a sonic signal

across a medium, such as a pipeline or drillpipe. Alternatives are pulse and electromagnetic technology. The market Cold Bore is trying to tap into, explained co-founder Brett Chell, is directional drilling that will cover large oil and gas companies, fracturing operations, drill stem testing, static well monitoring and even pipeline communication. “Specifically, it increases their data throughput rates so dramatically that it will allow for the development of new technologies in each previously mentioned application,” said Mr. Chell. “Think of us as the platform allowing the industry to create applications that are only possible using our means of communication. iPhone – Apps Model.” Cold Bore currently provides sonic and hot hole chip technologies to the oil and gas industry. “We couldn’t be happier at the level of interest we’ve seen from the oil and gas community for this technology,” Mr. Chell added.


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BRITISH COLUMBIA

reporter@pipelinenewsnorth.ca

Premier Christy Clark meets with a Buddhist monk in Kyoto, Japan. In November, the premier embarked on a mission to expand trade with Japan, China and Korea. COURTESY PHOTO

in Asia, Clark makes her pitch Mission to Japan, China, Korea was ‘most successful ever’ Matt Lamers Staff Writer

Christy Clark didn’t come back empty handed. When the British Columbia premier arrived in Vancouver on Dec. 3, she did so having secured more than two dozen agreements with Japanese, Chinese and Korean businesses and organizations. Ms. Clark arrived in Beijing on Nov. 22, Seoul on Nov. 25 and Tokyo on Dec. 1 before returning to Vancouver on Dec. 3. Ms. Clark’s administration has made expanding trade with Asia a top priority in her overall economic scheme for the province. She was joined by an entourage of representatives from more than 120 private and educational organizations, who also secured a number of agreements, strengthening ties between B.C. and some of its most important trading partners. Ms. Clark spent most of the trip marketing her province’s natural gas to Chinese, Japanese and Korean

colleagues. The crux of her message was that B.C.’s gas is the solution to their future energy demand because it is both affordable and “cleaner” than other fossil fuels. “International interest in British Columbia’s clean natural gas con-

trade missions are so important. They help us deepen our relationships and reinforce B.C.’s economic and cultural ties with our priority Asian markets.” China is B.C.’s second-largest trading partner, with trade totalling

‘One of the keys to doing business in Asia is building and deepening relationships.’ – Teresa Wat, minister of International Trade tinues to increase as an exciting new industry takes shape in our province,” Premier Clark told the media. Ms. Clark was joined by Teresa Wat, minister of International Trade and minister responsible for the Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism. Ms. Wat encouraged Asian corporations to base their North American operations in B.C. “One of the keys to doing business in Asia is building and deepening relationships,” she told the press ahead of her trip. “That is why

nearly $6 billion. Japan is B.C.’s third-largest export destination. B.C. tops all other Canadian provinces in trade with Japan, which reached $4.2 billion last year, or about half of the country’s trade with that country overall. Korea is B.C.’s fourth-largest market for exports. B.C. has exported $1.3 billion worth of goods to Korea from January to September this year. In addition to the government’s initiatives, dozens of deals were reached between Ms. Clark’s trade

mission and their Korean, Japanese and Chinese counterparts in the private, public and educational sectors. Other highlights include - Minister of International Trade Teresa Wat signed an agreement with China’s Sichuan Department of Commerce on closer economic ties, particularly for LNG projects. - Ms. Wat also signed an agreement with the Chongqing Foreign Trade and Economic Relations Commission to promote trade. - Ms. Clark signed a new three-year action plan with Korea’s Gyeonggi Province to develop business ties in the areas of digital media, wireless, agri-foods and clean energy. - The University of B.C. and the Korea Gas Corporation inked a deal to jointly research the production, processing and liquefaction of natural gas and fuel cell technology. - A MOU was signed between Victoria’s Royal Roads University and the Seoul-based Foundation for Preventing Youth Violence on academic exchange programs.


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Oil industry yawns at E.U. FTA

Prospect of exporting oil to E.U. excites no one Matt Lamers Staff Writer

No champagne bottles were uncorked in the corridors of Canada’s oil and gas giants after a free trade pact with the European Union was all but sealed in October. The deal will slash duties placed on goods and services traded between Canada and the European Union, increasing trade in everything from automobiles to wine and maple syrup. But don’t expect much of an impact on oil and gas. Canada currently exports no oil to the world’s largest trading block, and companies contacted by Pipeline News North say they don’t expect that to change any time soon. The E.U. currently taxes Canadian petroleum products such as heavy oils, kerosene and lubricating oils to the tune of 3.5 per cent, 3.5 per cent, and 3.7 per cent, respectively. Liquefied natural gas is taxed at a rate of 0.07 per cent. The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) would eliminate those tariffs after it’s ratified, which isn’t expected to happen until at least 2015. “As far as CETA is concerned, we do not see any immediate impact on our industry, because Canada currently exports no oil and natural gas to the European Union,” said Geraldine Anderson, manager, Media & Issues, for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. The sentiment was echoed throughout the industry. Irving Oil, operator of the largest refinery on the East Coast and second-largest in Canada, refused to comment on the trade accord. Cenovus, which was spun off from

zero bbl/d

CANADA’S OIL EXPORTS TO THE EU Encana in 2009, said it wasn’t particularly interested in the trade deal either. Media relations advisor Jessica M. Wilkinson said the company didn’t have much to say about it. “We don’t currently market our oil to Europe and, although we can’t say certainly, we don’t believe any of our oil ends up there,” she said. Ms. Wilkinson did, however, say that the company backs TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline, which would give Cenovus access to tidewater on the East Coast. “This would allow us to sell our oil to global markets, which would include Europe,” she said. “Overall, we think that any initiative that works to reduce duties and level play fields in a global market is a good thing.” The proposed 4,500-kilometre

1.78 million bbl/d

CANADA’S OIL EXPORTS TO EVERYONE ELSE Energy East pipeline would carry 1.1-million barrels of crude oil per day from the Prairies to three refineries on the East Coast — Suncor Energy in Montreal, Valero Energy in Quebec City and Irving Oil in St. John. Two planned terminals, in Québec City and Saint John, would include marine tanker facilities. The three refineries import 86 per cent of the 700,000 barrels of oil they process per day. Assuming Energy Easy goes through, that leaves 400,000 barrels of oil per day to spare. Could some of that oil end up in the E.U.? An Energy East pipeline project spokesperson wouldn’t say no. “It is a possibility,” said Philippe Cannon, but he said the first purpose of Energy East is to serve the three

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Canadian refineries. He did add that the two marine terminals provide opportunities for export. “So the two purposes are, one to be able give the refiners the possibility to cut their dependency on more costly, less stable oil that comes from abroad and the other one is to be able to export it to get a better value from our natural resources for all Canadians,” added Mr. Cannon. Peter Kirby, a lawyer with Fasken Martineau DuMoulin, acknowledged that there’s not a lot of oil and gas that flows between Canada and Europe. He said the industry would be more interested in the investor protection that the CETA would apply to Canadian and European investors. He compared it to the North American Free Trade Accord’s (NAFTA) Chapter 11. “That has influenced [the oil and gas] industry in a sense that there have been cases of drilling companies suing the host state for violation of NAFTA Chapter 11, the most recent being in Quebec,” he said. “There’s going to be a similar kind of investor agreement within the CETA. Chapter 11 guarantees basic rights for investors. They have to be treated in a nondiscriminatory fashion, to be given full protection of the law, treated in a fair an equitable manner, and there is a prohibition against expropriation against compensation. Lawyers contacted by Pipeline News North said that the CETA agreement probably would have no bearing on the EU’s strict new emissions regulations that would tax Canadian oilsands if any were to ever find its way to Europe.


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Alberta

Tackling the carbon crisis Work begins on world’s largest carbon capture and storage project Matt Lamers Staff Writer

Alberta’s oilsands get a bad wrap from environmentalists. But this year work began on a project that will help mitigate the emissions which arise due to the massive petroleum development taking place throughout that province. That project is the Alberta Carbon Trunk Line (ACTL), and once completed, it will be the largest carbon capture and storage project in the world. It’s so large in scale that it would eliminate 30 per cent of the current oilsands emissions almost overnight. Today’s tarsands operations’ emit about 50 million tons of CO2 per year and the ACTL will capture the equivalent of 15 million tonnes a year. That’s the same amount of CO2 that comes from all the automobiles in Alberta. “It’s definitely a demonstration project for the world, and that’s part of Alberta’s message, that we can sustainably develop our oilsands here, too,” explained Susan Cole, president and CEO of Enhance Energy, the company behind the Alberta Carbon Trunk Line. “So I think it’s very significant, not only for Alberta, but also for Canada,” she added. “I think it would have a significant dent in oilsands emissions. I think 20 years from now what we’ll see is more of a pipeline system of CO2, much like the gas system, and it will have a significant impact on how people view oil sands development.” This is how it will work: CO2 will be captured from a fertil-

izer plant and an oilsands upgrading facility in Redwater, northeast of Edmonton, where it will be shipped via a 240-kilometer pipeline to depleted hydrocarbon reservoirs in central Alberta. There, it will be pumped into the reservoirs to force out remaining light crude oil in a process known as enhanced oil recovery. The light crude is the key component of the project. “We have a huge prize here in Alberta with light oil production,” explained Ms. Cole. “We can unlock [the crude oil] if we use carbon dioxide through enhanced oil recovery. So it’s not just about reducing emissions. There’s also a huge prize economically.” That’s what makes the project economically viable for Enhance Energy. “Just burying CO2, there’s no economics to that right now,” said Cole. Enhance Energy estimates that enhanced oil recovery will free up one billion barrels of light oil. “Enhanced oil recovery is when the CO2 mixes with the oil and acts as a solvent and allows us to essentially produce oil that is stuck to the rock,” said Cole. “As it is produced, some CO2 does come back with the oil, but we reinject it. Sort of in a closed loop system. “In a way that’s a lower carbon footprint if you produce light oil vs. oilsands.” The Alberta Carbon Trunk Line is essential for Alberta to meet its ambitious greenhouse gas targat. Last spring, Alberta’s thenEnvironment Minister Diana

McQueen shocked industry and the federal government when she announced the province’s long-term goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent on each barrel of production. She was appointed energy minister in December. Ms. Cole said that without the Trunk Line, “it makes it far more difficult for Alberta to achieve its emissions target. We won’t see the emissions target we’d like to see. “I think it’s virtually impossible to meet their current targets without some component of carbon capture and storage, and that could

be a very large component.” Project delayed The project was pushed back significantly when Northwest Refinery, one of the companies that would provide the CO2 to the Trunk Line, was delayed. But now that work has begun on the refinery, the Alberta Carbon Trunk Line is back on track. Last spring, they started clearing the right of way for the pipeline and equipment has been procured. The CO2 supply from Southwest is a critical component of the project. That’s because Alberta Carbon

Trunk Line requires a pure stream of CO2, and the Northwest Refinery would be the most economical place to get it. The facility was designed from the start with carbon capture in mind. “So they are putting in a gasifier, which allows them to produce a pure stream of CO2,” said Ms. Cole. “Most refineries don’t do it that way.” The new target to be fully operational is 2015. The project will create about 8,000 jobs through construction and operation. “We’re creating a whole new industry,” the Enhance Energy CEO said.


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DID YOU FEEL PROBABLY 18 quakes near Dawson September, but only one the surface Matt Lamers Staff Writer

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There have been 18 earthquakes between Fort St. John and Dawson Creek since the beginning of September, but only one was felt on the surface, according to data collected by the newly established Induced Seismicity Monitoring Project. The seismic activity ranged in magnitude from 1.6 to 2.8. The only seismic event that was felt on the surface took place on Oct. 28 when a 2.7 magnitude earthquake took place 15 km north by northwest of Dawson Creek at a depth of 5 km. No damage was reported and no one was injured. The B.C. Oil and Gas Commission is currently reviewing data from industry operators in that area to determine if it was caused by hydraulic fracturing. All 18 seismic events happened in the vicinity of Dawson Creek, but on May 28 a magnitude 4.2 quake occurred 11 km south of Fort St. John that was felt on the surface. The project, also known as the seismic array network, went live in March and was fully incorporated into the Canadian National Seismograph Network in August. It is managed by GeoScience B.C., operated by Natural Resources Canada and was financed by the Science, Community, Environment, Knowledge (SCEK) Fund, which gets its money from levies on oil and gas activity and overseen by the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission (BCOGC). “Since Sept. 1, 2013, the Commission has taken measures to respond to any correlation between seismicity and industry activity in those areas, and we’re currently conducting a thorough assessment of recent reported seismicity now,” said Hardy Friedrich, BCOGC communications

manager. “To ensure we’re aware of industry’s impact on the landscape, the Commission works with Natural Resource Canada to monitor seismicity across the northeast. When monitoring shows anything unusual, the Commission works with industry to adjust its business practises to prevent any adverse effects on the environment.” It was initiated after the BCOGC’s 2012 report “Investigation of Observed Seismicity in the Horn River Basin” concluded that seismic activity was synchronous with hydraulic fracturing operations that had taken place between April 2009 and December 2011 in the Horn River Basin. Carlos Salas, vice president of GeoScience B.C.’s Oil & Gas unit, said that it is still too early to draw any conclusions from the initial batch of data. “What we’ve noticed since we’ve put it up, there must be in excess of 40 induced seismic events. All except one are all below 4 [magnitude],” he said. “It’s too early to draw conclusions. Certainly the regulator, the [B.C. Oil and Gas Commission], is using the information to monitor what’s going on.” The new network consists of six new seismograph stations that complement two pre-existing ones. A ninth is planned for the Buick Creek area. Industry put up $500,000 to expand the network. Fort St. John rests on what geologists term the Fort St. John–Blueberry graben. It trends southeast. A grabben is a block of the earth’s crust that lies between two faults. The network was established to help industry determine what constitutes safe fracking activities when it comes to public health, property and the environment. “In part that’s why we’re funding this broader array, was the study


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THAT? NOT Creek since was felt on that was done by the [B.C. Oil and Gas Commission],” said Geoff Morrison, B.C. manager for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. “That’s part of the study,” he added. “What is a normal or acceptable amount of [induced seismicity], and that’s something we’re working with the regulator on to understand just if there is any risk to public health, property or environment.” Another purpose of the array is to determine how much seismic activity in the Peace River Region is natural and how much is caused by hydraulic fracturing.

mendations from the report immediately, “and as a result seismic monitoring in northeast B.C. has improved in the past year.” One of the key recommendations involved expanding the seismic monitoring network. As a result of the report, Friedrich said that new wells in the Horn River Basin, where the investi– Carlos Salas, vice president of gation took GeoScience B.C.’s Oil & Gas unit place, are being permitted with the “That’s why we’re gathering this requirement to cease operations if a information,” said Salas. “Cer- magnitude 4.0 or higher is detected. Natural Resources Canada is protainly from the work that the OGC did and their study that came out viding the commission with a ground last year, there is a link. Some of monitoring sensor for its building in these completions are creating Fort St. John. It will both monitor seissome of this induced seismicity, mic activity and provide an educationwhich generally speaking is be- al display for visitors. The commission is working to aclow anything that is noticeable at the surface. Nevertheless, the quire sensors for other communities. Friedrich also said that the BCOGC reason for monitoring is that we want to make sure it is not felt on is undertaking studies with the University of British Columbia and workthe surface. “I think that is the crux of this ing with operators and GeoScience B.C. to develop a research project cenwhole thing,” he added. The 2012 study outlined seven tered around the deployment of dense recommendations. arrays, which are used to study seisFriedrich said the commission micity in greater detail. Salas said the next step is to study began implementing the recom-

‘At the end of the day, all this work is being done to make sure the public is safeguarded.’

matt lamers image / Map data ©2013 Google, Landsat

the data to determine cause and effect. “That’s part two, he said. “We’re starting to talk to academia. We’re starting to talk to industry. We’re talking to the regulators. Now that we’re getting some information back, we want to start working on part two, which is looking for the cause and effect of seismicity.” Morrison would not comment on what a safe level of induced seismicity from hydraulic fracturing would be, but he said safety is a top priority. “Obviously we want to make sure that any industrial activity is done in a safe and sound way in that we minimize the impact or the risk to property, people and the environment,” he said. World-leading Those involved say this is the first time seismographic stations have specifically been set up to understand the response of fracking and induced seismicity. “We’re setting the bar on this,” said Salas. “We’re certainly on the leading edge. I think what we’re doing is a very good scientific, rigorous analysis of what’s going on.” The 2012 study by the BCOGC concluded that there was a link between fracking and seismic activity. It said that all “events” occurred during or between hydraulic fracturing operations and that the dense array data accurately placed the depth and location of those events at or near hydraulic

fracturing stages. “We want to make sure we have all the data in front of us and then we’ll go and see what we think is causing it and how we can mitigate it to help safeguard the public. At the end of the day that’s what we want to make sure we do,” Salas said. GeoScience B.C., CAPP and BCOGC have not determined how exactly the data will be used to safeguard the public and what constitutes “safe” seismic activity due to fracturing. For example, GeoScience B.C. said any event felt on the surface would “probably” be unacceptable, but the BCOGC set the bar at a magnitude 4.0 in which it requires an operator to cease and desist in the Horn River Basin, whereas CAPP would not even comment. GeoScience B.C. explained how it’s supposed to work: “If there is an event that is picked up that is higher than 3.0 … if we pick we this up and tell the regulator, the first thing that happens is they tell the operator to shut it down. Then they sit down with the operator to get a understanding of what’s going on, what they’re doing, are there things that could be done to lower the magnitude of these events. “It’s a warning shot across the bow to tell them to be careful,” Salas said. “At the end of the day, all this work is being done to make sure the public is safeguarded,” he added. “CAPP wants that social license to make sure they can operate safely.”


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reporter@pipelinenewsnorth.ca

Safety association has a banner year Matt Lamers Staff Writer

As the year comes to a close, Enform has a lot to be proud of. Highlights include the reimplementation of its advisory committee, safety practitioners group meetings and employer consultations. “I think we’ve done a very good job this year, starting with the reimplementation of our advisory committee, which is representatives of six industry associations and they represent the guiding body for us,” said Rick Newlove, manager of Enform’s B.C. Operations. The advisory committee plays a key role in setting the organization’s future direction. Through November, the committee has had three meetings. Enform is the oil and gas industry’s

health and safety association. “At our last meeting we implemented two different projects we’ll be working on for next year,” said Newlove. “One is examining the resource road issue, because WorkSafe has backed away from the resource roads … as well as trying to get additional training and awareness for ground disturbance.” Ground disturbance requires a subsurface to be identified prior to any dirt movement. For example, all the infrastructure below the surface of the ground, such as pipes, and cables, must be located. “Supervisors that monitor those kinds of operations need a certain level of training to make sure their operations are safe,” said Newlove. Another achievement came from the regular safety practitioner group gatherings.

The Fort St. John-based association is responsible for safety and training in Western Canada’s oilpatch. Matt Lamers Photo

A core group of safety practitioners in Northeast B.C. who are employed by private companies are pulled together by Enform to identify issues that are particular to the region. Enform brings in speakers. Safety practitioners share information with Enform and each other to establish better safety programs. “Four times a year we gather the safety practitioners together, and each time we can have up to three presentations,” said Newlove. “We’ve identified some of the Enform changes going on regarding our training,

like our H2S, diving training, [and] we’ve brought in WorkSafe B.C.” On Sept. 18, speakers took to the stage at the local Cultural Centre for the Enform B.C. Safety Seminar. Budd Phillips, the regional prevention manager for WorkSafeBC, joined three other speakers for the Enform safety seminar titled Regulatory Awareness. Eraden Schoepp, an employee of Canadian Natural Resources in Fort St. John, said he was pleased with how the seminar turned out. Continued on Page 24

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DECEMBER 13, 2013

PIPELINE NEWS NORTH •

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COMMUNITY

‘Trade connects North’s communities’ Better communication needed in northern B.C. Matt Lamers Staff Writer

Northern British Columbia is on the precipice of a generational boom, and communication amongst communities along trade routes is the key to overcoming inevitable challenges. To that end, Ken Veldman, director of Public Affairs for the Prince Rupert Port Authority, was in Fort St. John on Dec. 3 and Dawson Creek Dec. 2 to reach out to local businesses and establish connections in the area. “Trade connects community to community, family to family,” he said in a presentation to the Fort St. John Chamber of Commerce. “Transportation infrastructure is absolutely integral to trade, and trade is important to all of us for prosperity. Trade connects us as communities.” Jennifer Moore, the regional economic officer with the North Peace Economic Development Commission, said every link in the supply chain between Fort St. John and Prince Rupert is important. “It’s important to make connections for our community and our businesses to be able to access that global market that we all keep talking about, so this is just about open dialogue and ensuring that we keep those lines of communication open,” she said in an interview after the presentation. “We can make better decisions when we better understand what everyone is doing,” added Moore. Prince Rupert would play a key role in the overall picture of developing Northeast B.C.’s massive reserves of natural gas. A number of proponents have proposed building sites there to liquefy the gas before it’s shipped to Asian markets. “There’s a window of opportunity, a generational opportunity to really establish this corridor across Northern B.C. as one of the premier gateways connecting North America with Asia,” said Veldman. “It’s there for us to grab. The port complex is just one node within that trade corridor. But it’s going to allow us to diversify the northern economy as a whole.”

Ken Veldman, director of Public Affairs for the Prince Rupert Port Authority, was in Fort St. John on Dec. 3 to reach out to local businesses. Matt Lamers Photo

What’s going for it Prince Rupert has a lot of advantages over other ports on the western seaboard. Access is one. It takes only 100 hours to ship a container by rail from Chicago to Prince Rupert, even though Prince Rupert has more distance between it and Chicago than any other West Coast port. That’s because CN’s right of way to Prince Rupert is relatively unpopulated, meaning trains can move at faster speeds. “Nobody can beat those hundred hours,” said Ken Veldman, director of Public Affairs for the Prince Rupert Port Authority, “despite the fact that we’ve got the farthest distance.” Veldman said that CN has plenty of capacity to expand, which bodes well for the port and its city. “CN, from our perspective, is an invaluable partner. They literally have a coast to coast to coast The trade corridor that connects every community between Fort St. John and Prince Rupert is going to grow in prominence. But there will be challenges, and communication is essential, he said. “There’s no silver bullet other than to maintain a really open dia-

network,” he said. “We connect all the way down to New Orleans, and that’s an extreme advantage for us.” More advantages come from natural attributes. Prince Rupert possesses one of the deepest ports in the world and doesn’t require shipping through a channel. However, Prince Rupert’s capacity to expand allows it to support insatiable demand from China and other Asian countries for North America’s natural resources, giving the port its biggest advantage over Vancouver, Seattle, and other western ports. The mature ports on the west coast are surrounded by urban development and have very little space to expand. “What Prince Rupert has, we’ve got capacity and a lot of greenfield, waterfront, gateway land ... “We have a blank canvas.” logue and realize that at the end of the day, we’ve got a bunch of shared values that aren’t far away from each other – safe, responsible, sustainable operations,” he said. The Prince Rupert Port Authority has jurisdiction over all port lands in the Prince Rupert Area. Within

those port lands, there are five terminals in operation. Ridley and neighbouring Lelu islands are the key pieces of the port authority when it comes to expanding capacity for LNG. The federal government is aiming to privatize Ridley Terminals Inc., which is a federal crown corporation. To overcome some of the challenges, the port authority has a plan in place to quadruple capacity, which Veldman said is enough to cover the proposed LNG projects on Ridley and Lelu islands. To prepare for shipping traffic that is projected to grow from the current 500 deep sea ships per year to about 2,000, the Prince Rupert Port Authority is doing a lot of work on the front end, working with global experts to determine where risk is going to manifest itself. Plans so far include additional radar, tugs and navigation assistance. “We’re looking at different operating conditions, especially as we start to get into things like LNG where those cargos need to be treated differently in terms of exclusion zones; we’re looking at traffic separation so that our commercial fishing fleet stays out of certain navigational lanes,” he said. “The important thing is that on a local community basis is that people understand that that piece is in place. Our existing practises and procedures are world class.” “De-risking” is another part of the strategy. That involves making sure port infrastructure is in place so that proponents can make accurate supply chain projections right from the Peace River District, through the pipelines to Prince Rupert and then over the Pacific to customers in Asia. Kathy Miller, president of the Fort St. John Chamber of Commerce, agreed that communities must keep open channels of communication when it comes to the Peace Region District-Prince Rupert trade corridor. “Communication and consultation is the big key, and just keeping everybody informed of what’s going on,” she said. “It’s very important to our area. The growth that we’re expecting here and the traffic that could be going out there is going to effect a lot of businesses here in Fort St. John.”


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reporter@pipelinenewsnorth.ca

Oilpatch spreads holiday cheer

Shell, Encana help serve Christmas dinners in Peace Region Matt Lamers Staff Writer

The Christmas season is a time for charity, and the local oil and gas community is stepping up to make sure the disadvantaged have enough food on their plates and clothes on their back. From Dec. 9 to 13, Shell’s local operation is conducting its Week of Caring campaign, which actually stretches through half of December. Shell is contributing to Christmas dinners, food drives and other charity work in Fort St. John, Dawson Creek and Chetwynd. “We’re looking to do this to not only show our support within the community, but raising awareness within our staff of the organizations in place in the community that benefit the community as well,” explained Bryant Bird, Shell social investment advisor. Since opening its doors in the Peace River Regional District five years ago, Shell has been a trailblazer in the oil and gas sector when it comes to corporate social responsibility. “For us, it goes with spirit of giving and community impact,” said Bryant. “A large majority of the people that work for our operations here live in the community. It makes sense.” Shell has contributed over $110,000 to the United Way either directly or through partners. On Dec. 11, Shell employees helped serve lunch at the Fort St. John Salvation Army Kitchen. Shell also presented the Salvation Army with a cheque for $250,000 in support of the Transition House, which is currently under construction in downtown Fort St. John. In Dawson Creek, Shell employees will pitch at the Nawican Continued from Page 22 “The main thing that stuck out definitely is Budd Phillips with worker compensation. Everything he said – basically because he’s been in the industry for so long. New acts, new regulations, new updates

Mindy Henyu and Jennifer Beebee, community relations officers for Shell Canada, serve lunch to the disadvantaged at the Fort St. John Salvation Army on Dec. 11. The event is part of Shell’s “Week of Caring,” in which its employees will be active in the Fort St. John, Dawson Creek and Chetwynd communities ahead of the Christmas holidays. Matt Lamers Photo

Friendship Centre for the Elders/ Seniors Community Christmas Dinner. Volunteers will help serve food to local disadvantaged people, clean dishes and empty the garbage. They’re expecting the 4-6 p.m. dinner to benefit about 60 people. Then on Dec. 18, Shell hopes its volunteers will turn out again to help serve dinner to 150 people for the Community Christmas Dinner, which will also take place in Dawson Creek. Bird said it’s not only good for the community, but it helps build conraderie. “It really does help in building team bonding and solidarity amongst the staff on investing in the community you live in,” he said.

with everything. It’s just very important.” The next presentation, the Safety Practitioner Lunch and Learn, was held Nov. 27 in Fort St. John. Alan Quilley, president of Sherwood Park, Albertabased Safety Results, used his electric guitar to deliver

Also on Dec. 18, Shell employees will be in Chetwynd for the Elder’s Circle Christmas Dinner. Shell has teamed up with the Tansi Friendship Centre to put on what it’s calling a Day of Caring. Along with helping serve dinner to about 25 people, employees are encouraged to help in other areas, like setup and cleanup. There is also a food bank. Shell teams are putting together food hampers to donate, along with non-food items, through Dec. 13. Proceeds will be given to the Tansi Friendship Centre and will go to low-income families. Shell has a number of events planned in Fort St. John over the holidays.

the message to safety practitioners representing more than 37 oil and gas companies in the Peace River Regional District that safety is a very personal thing, and he urged everyone to take that message to their respective employees. Another accomplishment

As part of its Week of Caring, the company is looking to help the Salvation Army with its food bank. If individuals aren’t able to help with the food bank, Bird has put out a challenge to get people to help with the Salvation Army’s kettles, which are set up throughout the community. Shell plans to offer assistance at the Community Kitchen as well. Shell isn’t alone in its corporate social responsibility initiatives. Encana is also taking the opportunity to do what it can for the community over the holidays. On Dec. 18, the company will be one of the sponsors for the Community Christmas Dinner in Dawson Creek, which is organized by the Dawson Creek Nawican Friendship Centre. Around 200 people are expected to turn out. “The food banks and these community dinners in particular play a vital role in supporting families and individuals in need in these communities and especially at this time of year, the holiday season,” said Encana community relations advisor Fiona Liebelt. It’s Encana’s second year supporting the dinner. Encana is also supporting the Community Christmas Dinner in Fort Nelson on Dec. 21, which is organized by Fort Nelson Emergency Services and serves dinner to some 4,000 people. “Encana is always proud to play a part in helping put food on the table for those in need in the holiday season. We support food banks year round,” said Ms. Liebelt. “It demonstrates our commitment to the communities where we’re privileged to operate, work in and live,” she added.

for Enform came with the initiation of the employer consultations, which are ultimately an attempt to build better safety programs for employers who are most need the help. “The oil and gas industry is going quite well, and now there are aspects of

the oil and gas industry which could use some attention, such as the duration of injuries,” said Newlove. “So that’s an issue we’re going to be trying to focus on when we approach employer consultations. “So we’ve had quite a few accomplishments.”


DECEMBER 13, 2013

PIPELINE NEWS NORTH •

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COMMUNITY ‘Get ‘er done — safely,’ sings expert Matt Lamers Staff Writer

One of the worst days of Alan Quilley’s life was when he had to interview a father who lost three sons in an industrial accident. The father was their employer. “It was terrible,” he said. “I just stopped the interview. I said, ‘when you’re ready to start up again come and see us and we’ll talk. It was horrible.” It was 1979 and Quilley was an Occupational Health and Safety Officer for the Alberta government at the time. Now the president of Sherwood Park, Alberta-based Safety Results, Quilley spoke to safety practitioners on Nov. 27 representing more than 37 oil and gas compa-

nies in the Peace River Regional District, sharing what he’s learned in a career that has so far spanned more than 35 years. The respected expert in the field of industrial safety, the author-musician opened the two hour session in Fort St. John with a blues jam on his Fender Stratocaster electric guitar. “I threw in a couple lead lines ‘There ain’t no sunshine when you’re gone,’ because I think that’s exactly how it feels when you’ve lost somebody from an industrial accident,” he said in an interview. “One day they’re there, and the next day they’re not.” His presentation included some humorous, and a few not-so-funny, videos to demonstrate that “safety is personal,” one of his messages.

“There’s a lot of people counting on me, so when I talk about safety being personal, when I’m safe I’m not doing it for the government,” he said during the presentation, “I’m doing it for me and my family.” The Safety Practitioner Lunch and Learn was organized by Enform, the oil and gas industry’s training provider and safety promoter. Quilley built his presentation around four questions. He said if your answer to the question “why do you work safely?” involves “the government” or “the boss,” then something is being done wrong. To the next question, “What is working safely?” Quilley said it isn’t simply about avoiding injuries, rather it’s working without taking

Alan Quilley was in Fort St. John on Nov. 27.

unnecessary risks. The next questions he addressed were how to create a safe workplace and what needs to be done to manage safety. The most important factors, he said, are company culture, a safe environment, accountability and safe behaviour. A key question Quilley

Matt Lamers Photo

wanted the safety practitioners to answer was how to get their employees act safely “every time, all the time.” “My credo is to create safety and stop preventing accidents,” said Quilley. “We don’t prevent anything. You create safety. Make it feel good. Work on the positive side of safety.” R001526955

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DECEMBER 13, 2013

reporter@pipelinenewsnorth.ca

A Bonspiel bonanza 38 teams compete in the 53rd Oilmen’s Bonspiel Top left: Ty Coates, Kevin Young, Dan Weber and Curtis Schafer were victorious at the 53rd Oilmen’s Bonspiel Draw A championship in Fort St. John.

Matt Lamers Staff Writer

For Wilf Rector and dozens of other spectators, the freshly renovated Fort St. John Curling Rink was the place to be on Nov. 16. They were there to watch the five draws for the 53rd Oilmen’s Bonspiel’s finals. “It’s a fun thing that brings a lot of people into town,” said Rector. “There’s a lot of outside people who come here to play.” Rector, a 73-year-old native of Fort St. John, wasn’t only a spectator. The curling veteran participated in the tournament this year after a lengthy hiatus from the sport. “It was great,” he added. “I met lots of people I never knew before.” Rector’s team was one of 38 that participated in the Nov. 13-16 tournament. That’s slightly lower than last year’s total, but Curtis Schafer, the event’s chairman, noted that this year’s Bonspiel may have been victim to the booming petroleum industry, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

“We work hard to get the support we do, and the Petroleum Association is the biggest part of that,” said Schafer, “so even though curling numbers are down in general, we’re working hard.” His team, sponsored by Rhyason Contracting, was victorious over Zedcor Oilfield Rentals to win the Draw A championship. Also up for grabs for the 152 curlers was $50,000 in prizes. Four days of curling wasn’t the only entertainment. The stag was a hit, according to Schafer, as it is something the curlers look forward to every year. Two well-known comedians entertained the oilmen, including Jeff McEnery. Schafer, from Fort St. John, works for Spectra Energy, an energy transmission company. “It’s the 53rd annual Bonspiel, so it’s still going strong and I think the town really gets into it. It really helps,” he added. Ty Coates, one of Schafer’s teammates along with Kevin Young and Dan Weber, wouldn’t disagree. The nine-time Oilmen’s Bonspiel veteran said the curling comes second to old friendships that

Matt Lamers Photo

are rekindled and the new ones formed. “It’s a good ordeal for all the men in the oilpatch to get together and enjoy some of the stuff that happens, and curling is a big part of that in the community. It’s the 53rd this year and it’s been a pleasure to do it,” he said. Coates works for Macro Industries, a pipeline and facility maintenance and construction company. He is also from Fort St. John. “For me, I get some recreation out of it, some enjoyment and time to spend with friends that you don’t normally get to associate with because they’re always busy and doing their own thing. You get to network and do things like that, so it’s good,” he said. It’s also about cutting loose and having some fun ahead of another long winter. “The Bonspiel in particular, I think it’s just good to get everybody together and get all those who work really hard all season long a chance to have some fun,” Coates added. “They’re busting their butts all summer, and here we are trying to do some work in the winter. It’s a good time.”


DECEMBER 13, 2013

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COMMUNITY

Bottom right: Ty Coates (centre) helps his team win the Draw A championship at the 53rd Oilmen’s Bonspiel on Nov. 16 at the Curling Rink.

Oilpatch pitches in for playground Elaine Anselmi Staff Writer

The Peace Region’s oilpatch contributed to Devereaux Elementary’s new playground, and the school didn’t shy away from showing its gratitude. The school hosted a sponsorship appreciation event last month to officially thank the community members and corporations that made the project possible. “Last January or February the

parent group at Devereaux took on the project of replacing our old wooden playground with a new, up to date, safe playground,” said past PAC president Leanne Esau. “We’d like to thank our sponsors, corporate and regional district, as well as different parent volunteers that have been heavily involved.” The project cost about $34,000. Esau said School District 59 was instrumental in moving the project forward, particularly the maintenance department for removing the old structure and preparing the ground for the new build.

Representatives from Murphy Oil, Encana Corporation, Shell, Brocor Construction, Terra Max Contracting, Raptor Controls and the Peace River Regional District were thanked for their support, as well as the Esau family who made financial donations. “Encana is part of the community and, the school here, we’ve worked with them on projects in the past,” said Encana community relations advisor Brian Lieverse. “We thought this was a good opportunity to continue our partnership with the school and a great opportunity for the school to get some new playground equipment.”

Matt Lamers Photo

The blue, green and yellow setup was completed this summer, and has multiple slides, a bridge and a spinning sphere, as well as a climbing wall. Principal Jacqueline Catchpole said the students took particular interest in the spinning apparatus, but generally loved the whole structure. As part of the Classroom Champions program the school is involved in, the students work on monthly projects with an Olympic athlete through video messages – one of those lessons was setting short-term and long-term goals. “Our goal was a new playground,” said PAC president Naomi Skopnik.


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closing argument

reporter@pipelinenewsnorth.ca

The Prince Rupert Port Authority makes the case that cities like Dawson Creek, Fort St. John and others connected through the northern corridor share a common link when it comes to trade and an interconnected co-prosperity. Courtesy Photo

Connecting northern communities Kris Schumacher Guest column

Following is an opinion piece from the Prince Rupert Port Authority. Many people would be surprised to learn how communities a thousand kilometres apart could be tightly linked. But for cities like Dawson Creek, Fort St. John and others connected through the northern trade corridor of the Prince Rupert Gateway, this link is vital to the current and future prosperity of the region. Thinking about our own communities and the businesses operating within them, it’s not often we reflect on the impact we’re having beyond our backyard. So when you think about the community of Prince Rupert and its Port, it’s understandable that your first thoughts are likely images of ships and marine terminals loading and unloading in isolation on the other side of the

province. In reality, the Port of Prince Rupert is just one point in a supply chain extending industries to their eventual markets. Within that supply chain, right across the Northern BC corridor, are many individual actors performing services critical to its success: shipping companies, marine services, port terminals, railways, trucking operations, warehousing and logistics providers—just to name a few. The performance and capacity of each one impacts the performance of the entire supply chain as a whole. Together, they form BC’s “Gateway industry.” This is an export service industry, and we’re effectively selling those services to the world. There’s a myth that goods passing through BC have no economic benefit. The reality is that the Prince Rupert Gateway is directly responsible for over 2,200 jobs in BC and $130 million in associated wages. These are not only jobs in Prince Rupert, but

in the communities and companies that comprise many of the activities within the supply chain, more than 900 of which were created in the last two years alone. However, we’re not just in the business of transporting goods. We’re providing gateway infrastructure that facilitates trade. It is best pictured as the real connection between international communities, families and workers. For example, the gateway is bringing coal from western Canadian communities like Tumbler Ridge to communities in China and Japan, where it’s being used to manufacture the steel that is building a new standard of living for families in developing countries. The same can be said for the Northern BC forest products and their role in building basic infrastructure in evolving communities in China. Grains like wheat and canola that move through the corridor are feeding populations across the world, and wood

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pellets are helping communities in developed European nations make the switch to cleaner, renewable energy generation. In the future, natural gas may also be an important part of that energy mix moving through the Prince Rupert Gateway that provides fuel, heat and electricity to those that need it. So when we talk about investments being made to support port infrastructure and capacity, such as the $90 million Road, Rail and Utility Corridor project currently underway, these shouldn’t be viewed an investment in just Prince Rupert. These are investments in the farming families in Grande Prairie, the coal miners in Chetwynd, and the gasfield workers of Fort St. John. These are also investments in the workers and families in communities in Shanghai, Busan or Yokohama, who see those products as synonymous with improving their quality of life. Regardless of the cargo, trade connects us—business to business, community to community and family to family. That’s what being a trade gateway means. Trade is a win-win proposition—it prospers everyone involved with the deal. At the Prince Rupert Port Authority, the “Gateway 2020” strategy is ensuring that the port’s development remains integrated and coordinated. This is being done through long term land use and common infrastructure planning, as well as defining how traffic growth is going to impact navigational risk for vessels in our harbour. By proactively identifying risks and solutions, we’re prepared to implement those solutions efficiently. Community support is a critical piece of trade infrastructure that must be built and maintained, using the primary tools of dialogue, trust and relationships. The growth we’re planning depends on striking a balance with competing interests and points of view in this region. Solutions start with an open dialogue with communities throughout the corridor and remaining true to our shared values of safe, responsible and sustainable operations. Our communities are linked by transportation. We’re linked by trade. And we’re linked by a belief that we can do things better.


DECEMBER 13, 2013

reporter@pipelinenewsnorth.ca

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decision day

NEB reaches Gateway decision Hearings tackle the range of issues, from safety to the economy Matt Lamers Staff Writer

A source at the National Energy Board indicated that the decision on the controversial Northern Gateway pipeline has been made, and an announcement would come after the report is completed in the coming weeks. Sarah Kiley, a communications officer for the National Energy Board confirmed that the announcement is coming in December, although she could not give a definitive date. “It’s definitely in December,” she said. “I can guarantee you that. I couldn’t give you a day. We have a deadline. We’re working on the report itself.” The Joint Review Panel is made up of two National Energy Board members and Hans Matthews, who was appointed by the Minister of the Environment. Throughout the months-long process, they’ve heard from thousands of people who have an interest in this project, ranging from government participants, aboriginal groups, members of the community, to people who live along the pipeline route. Enbridge’s proposed 1,150-kilometre pipeline would carry an estimated 525,000 barrels a day of crude oil from the Alberta tar sands to Kitimat, B.C., where it would be exported to markets around the world. If the joint review panel gives the pipeline the thumbs up, the project goes to the federal Cabinet, which would have until the end of June to make a decision. Assuming it receives approval there, the file is sent back to the National Energy Board, which would then issue a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. After that, Northern Gateway would still need a number of permits and licenses that they would need to go ahead with the project. The JRP isn’t the final barrier, “but it’s a major hurdle,” said Kiley. One of the key questions the Joint Review Panel has set out to answer is whether or not the pipeline is in the public’s interest. To that end, the hearings looked at a range of issues; everything from the need of the project to financial considerations. Questions it set out to answer include: Does the project make economic sense?; Can it be done safely?; and What would the emergency response look like if there was some kind of accident? Another key component of the assessment was to examine its environmental impact. Ivan Giesbrecht, a spokesperson with Enbridge, said the company believes it has made a strong case for the project, but its fate now is ultimately in the hands of regulators.

“We submitted 20,000 pages of evidence,” Mr. Giesbrecht said. “We believe we have a strong project. We have a strong proposal that we’ve submitted and we’re certainly hopeful and optimistic for a positive recommendation, and if that does happen then we fully expect that there will be conditions attached to it.” At the close of the review hearing, Enbridge was given about 200 draft conditions. “This is a draft of what might be coming down the line later,” suggested Mr. Giesbrecht. The pipeline is essential to continue the growth of Alberta’s oilsands development. All of Canada’s energy exports currently head south, but as the United States becomes more energy independent, Canadian energy companies have been looking for ways to diversify their downstream sources. The Northern Gateway pipeline would allow oilsands production to be exported to Asia. “We wouldn’t be pursuing this if we didn’t think it was incredibly important, because at the moment Canada only has one customer for its product,” he said. “You don’t have a to be a real genius in business to see that’s a problem. “We feel that it’s important to Canada to diversify its markets, and Gateway is an opportunity to get fair market value for the product that belongs to Canada.” Roller-coaster Provincial leaders and the public in British Columbia and Alberta have been at odds over the project over the course of the last two years. Public support has varied sharply. Left-leaning, lower mainland residents are vehemently against the project, as are many First Nations leaders and environmentalists. However, overall support for Northern Gateway has risen dramatically in the past 10 months, according to poll released by Insights West at the end of November. It sampled 749 Brit-

ish Columbians from Nov. 12 to Nov. 15, finding that “strong opposition” to the project had fallen nine points since February to 29 percent, while “strong support” increased five points to 16 per cent.

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EMPLOYMENT

reporter@pipelinenewsnorth.ca Continued from Page 11 And that’s exactly the point that Kosick, a former Fort St. John Petroleum Association president, has been trying to get across. “It’s not all labour as much as a shortage of skilled labour. It’s hard to find young workers who want to enter our profession,” he said. A global solution Enter any rental property in Fort St. John and you might find British Columbians living alongside Ontarians, Spaniards or Koreans. Everyone’s here for the same reason. Alex Brandt arrived in Fort St. John from Germany in September. He’s working for a local trucking company that primarily serves the oil and gas sector. He hasn’t had problems adapting, but temperatures have yet to breach minus 40

degrees Celsius, considerably lower than the threshold with which his boots will keep his toes warm. When an economy hits full employment, local companies often resort to bringing in workers from across Canada to fill their positions. Some look overseas. Oakville-based Tim Hortons, for example, held a job fair in South Korea in search of new recruits last summer. For Koreans, the prospect of coming to Canada is appealing because it gives them guaranteed employment and an opportunity to perfect their English, a language that is in high demand in Asia’s booming economies. Canadian employers desperate to find reliable employees welcome the highly educated workers with open arms. But for out-of-towners, Canadians included, living in Northeast B.C.

A Northern Lights College student rebuilds a stock race track in Tumbler Ridge as part of the COURTESY PHOTO Heavy Equipment Operator program.

comes with a host of challenges. “A lot of times people come up here and they have trouble adapting. Or their family has a hard time,” said Kosick. “The oilpatch is a totally different lifestyle that most people are not accustomed to.” Rent is expensive, sometime prohibitively so, and extreme weather can be

hard to cope with for many people. “The reason I came to Fort St. John was the opportunity to work in the oil industry. I have always been fascinated by this industry,” he said. “I am very optimistic about adapting to the hard winter, although I have never experienced such extreme temperatures.” R001424278

WIRELINE ASSISTANT Opsco Energy Industries Ltd. requires Wireline Assistants for the Fort St. John area. Having H2S and First Aid certificates would be an asset. Candidates must be capable of working in a sour gas environment. Class 3 license with air brakes is desired but training could be provided. This full-time position offers excellent remuneration, a full benefit package and a safety awards program. Resumes should be faxed or e-mailed to: OpScO ENERgy INduSTRIES Attention: Wireline Area Manager Fort St. John, Bc Fax: (250) 785-0461 E-mail: melton.jones@ensignenergy.com R001674035

Working with industry to help eliminate work-related incidents and injuries Enform is the safety association for Canada’s upstream oil and gas industry. Established by industry for industry, Enform helps companies achieve their safety goals by promoting shared safety practices and by providing: » Effective training, including courses on general and operational safety programs and petroleum fundamentals

Secure Energy Services and Marquis Alliance Energy Group are two up and coming companies providing specialized midstream services across Western Canada and the US. Together Secure Energy Services and Marquis Alliance provide environmental consulting and solutions, drilling fluid systems, and waste processing services.

» Expert audit services » Professional advice Our vision is no work-related incidents or injuries in the upstream oil and gas industry. Contact Enform today for more information.

We are currently recruiting for a:

Project Manager - Environmental Calgary, AB

To learn more about us and to apply online please go to www.secure-energy.com. r001666464

Email bc@enform.ca Fort St. John 250.785.6009 Toll-free Toll-free 1.855.436.3676 (855.4ENFORM) Email bc@enform.ca Fort St. John 250.785.6009 1.800.667.5557 www.enformbc.ca www.enformbc.ca


DECEMBER 13, 2013

PIPELINE NEWS NORTH •

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locations that suit your business needs • Distributed to the community in general through these fine publications, Alaska Highway News, Dawson Creek Daily and Fort Nelson News. • Distribution by mail and direct drop-off to Oil & Gas companies,and related businesses and organizations, in the following communities: British ColumBia – Arras, Baldonnel, Cecil Lake, Charlie Lake, CHETWYND, Clayhurst, DAWSON CREEK, Farmington, FORT NELSON, FORT ST. JOHN, Goodlow, Groundbirch, HUDSON’S HOPE, Moberley Lake, Pink Mountain, Pouce Coupe, Progress, Rolla, Rose Prairie, Sunset Prairie, Taylor, Tomslake, TUMBLER RIDGE, and Wonowon. alBerta – Baytree, Bear Canyon, BEAVERLODGE, Berwyn, Bezanson, Bonanza, CLAIRMONT, Eaglesham, FAIRVIEW, Falher, Girouxville, GRANDE PRAIRIE, Grimshaw, Grovedale, HIGH PRAIRIE, Hines Creek, Hythe, LaGlace, MANNING, McLennan, PEACE RIVER, Rycroft, SEXSMITH, Silver Valley, Spirit River, VALLEYVIEW, Wembley, and Worsley, Zama City. R002424352


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• PIPELINE NEWS NORTH

DECEMBER 13, 2013


Pipeline News North December 2013