The Bulletin At 80: Looking To The Future And Celebrating Our Past

Anniversaries are a time to celebrate and remember all of the people and events that have played a role in helping reach a particular milestone.

But they also have the effect of making you think about the future: what opportunities still lie ahead and how the road may unfold.

The same holds true for us who work at the Daily Oil Bulletin, which celebrates its 80th anniversary this month. We feel honoured to work on a publication with a storied history, and fortunate to cover such a vibrant, vital and colourful industry.

But we’re also focused on the future of the DOB, and ways to improve our service and help our subscribers build their businesses or learn about a new opportunity, trend or technology.

Envisioning the future

In today’s publishing world, the number of publications that reach an 80th anniversary are few and far between.

The digital revolution has felled many storied publications but the DOB both embraced and moved early into the electronic world that has transformed the publishing industry over the past decade.

Saying you’re an octogenarian may connote that the best days are behind you, but the editors and reporters who work on each edition of the Bulletin don’t feel that way.

In fact, we’re excited and invigorated to bring new services to our subscribers.

We recently added an Assets for Sale portal and improved upon our oilsands coverage by launching the DOB Oilsands Review.

We’ve also instituted a new subscription tier that allows enterprise-level access for all employees. To date, over 50 companies have become members of that service (please contact Crystal at for more information).

Beginning in January, we plan to launch a weekly recap of the news and highlight content you may have missed during the week.

In addition, we completed a readership survey this past summer and the results provided constructive feedback and great ideas for shaping a new Daily Oil Bulletin website, which you’ll see in mid-2018.

That same survey indicated that 92 per cent of you consider the DOB to be a must-read publication, something that our founder would be very proud to hear.

It started with Carl

The Daily Oil Bulletin’s rich publishing history began on Nov. 6, 1937, when Carl O. Nickle put out the first issue of the weekly Oil Bulletin.

Published on Saturday afternoons, at a copy price of 10 cents per issue, the Bulletin’s tagline for those initial issues — Complete – Concise – Reliable Information On Alberta Oil Developments — succinctly captures the essence of what we still aim to do today.

The breadth of the Canadian oil and gas industry has certainly expanded beyond Alberta, but we are committed to be your most trustworthy source for comprehensive and in-depth oilpatch intelligence and data.

Over the years, the Daily Oil Bulletin has played a vital role as industry’s chronicler and convener.

When Nickle started the Bulletin, hydrocarbon exploration and production was centred at Turner Valley. Several times a week, Carl would drive out to the field in a Model T Ford to check on the latest activity.

In the early days of the industry, gathering news — and rumours — wasn’t difficult. A popular gathering place for scouts, landmen and geologists was the old Lancaster Building, which also housed most of the majors and the Bulletin offices.

“Coffee was a ritual enjoyed by pretty well everyone in the industry,” Carl said in an interview on the occasion of the DOB’s 50th anniversary. “There were no secrets at that time — everyone was free to talk about their company’s operations and they did.”

During the first 10 years of operations, the Bulletin struggled along, surviving month-to-month on a meagre subscription base. The 1947 Leduc oil discovery changed all that. The gusher transformed the industry and also kick-started a period of growth for the Daily Oil Bulletin. Subscription orders flooded in from governments in Canada, the United States and Europe, along with investment houses, companies and banks.

In the ensuing decades, the DOB has provided deep coverage of the dynamic Canadian oil and gas industry, reporting on its fearless originators and innovators, and charting its booms and busts.

We’re looking forward to continuing to ensure the DOB is the home of original, in-depth news and analysis of data, trends and issues facing the Canadian energy industry.

Finally, we dedicate this anniversary edition to our loyal subscribers. Thank you for continuing to make us part of your daily lives! Connect with us — any time — at