Six New Inductees Chosen To Join Canadian Petroleum Hall Of Fame

More than two centuries of energy sector experience.

Who wouldn't hire that?

Between them, the six individuals being honoured this year by the Canadian Petroleum Hall of Fame have produced a range of achievements and accomplishments as diverse as their careers. That adds up to an impressive resume, defined by impacts that have helped the petroleum sector continue to evolve and expand.

The Hall of Fame announced its 2018 lineup this week and once again, it's a collection of women and men who represent the essence of a sector that for decades has progressed because of the people who power it with their imagination and passion, noted chair Bill Whitelaw.

"In a way, each inductee's story forms a unique chapter in an industrial narrative that just keeps being written," Whitelaw said. "Each chapter is fascinating in its own right, but they all add up into an incredibly compelling book."

The 2018 slate includes:

Joy Romero: Think of innovation in today’s sector and Romero’s name is sure to pop up. As vice-president of technology and innovation with Canadian Natural Resources Limited, Romero is also the driving force behind the Clean Resource Innovation Network. She is on the boards of Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance and Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada, and advises several NSERC chairs.

Pat Carlson: A passion for innovation and entrepreneurialism, complemented by a commitment to the environment, resulted in a successful capstone corporate achievement for Carlson: the birth of Seven Generations Energy. Widely known as 7G, the company is named after, and honours, an ecological sustainability concept grounded in the Great Law of the Iroquois. It urges the current generation to contemplate its impacts seven generations into the future.

Hank Swartout: In 1985, Swartout mortgaged his home to buy a 15 per cent interest in a small three-rig drilling company. By the time he started to retire two decades later, he had built organically and through acquisition one of the world’s largest drilling companies. Precision Drilling in 1985 had a market cap of US$1 million. By 2005, its market cap was US$6.8 billion. Along the way, Swartout built a tremendous volunteer and philanthropic career.

Dr. John Lacey: Among the many builders of Canada’s global reputation for petroleum development, Lacey’s efforts connected the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin to the world and vice versa. In a career spanning 65 years, he helped different countries collaborate on shared research, advised governments and companies, and guided financial institutions and investors – with a unique blend of technical and economic insights.

Ronald Sorokan: Cutting his “oilpatch teeth” as a welder, Sorokan parlayed a passion for invention into a career that turned out many of the innovations that have defined Canadian drilling competencies. Beyond many rig-specific patents, his corporate achievements include the founding in 1976 of DRECO – the Derrick and Rig Equipment Company – that later became a key element of National Oilwell Varco.

Neil Camarta: Canada’s oilsands industry owes much to Camarta: in 2002, he led the construction and start-up of the massive Athabasca Oil Sands Project. It was an effort that produced many learnings for the fledgling sector. Since his “retirement” as a senior executive, Camarta has focused on smaller-scale innovations, launching Field Upgrading and Western Hydrogen.

“We’re very pleased with this year’s slate of inductees; individually and collectively they symbolize what makes this sector successful: a passion for making a difference," said Whitelaw. "These folks are role models for anyone who wants to figure out how to contribute beyond just building a good career."

Inductees are nominated through an open public nomination process; the nominations are reviewed and discussed by a 12-person selection committee, which in turn makes its recommendation to the Hall’s board of directors.

This year’s slate will be inducted at a special gala luncheon Nov. 23 at the Calgary Petroleum Club. The Hall’s board opted for a luncheon rather than a dinner, noted Whitelaw, as it allows the non-profit society to ensure it remains financially viable.

“We found in the last few years a decreasing interest in the dinner-based celebration; by shifting to an extended luncheon, we feel we can maximize the audience and still deliver a quality experience for everyone.”

Whitelaw noted the luncheon will be one of the last large public events held during the year the Calgary Petroleum Club celebrates its 70th anniversary. 

In-depth profiles of each inductee will appear over the next several weeks in the run-up to their induction event.

For more information on ticket and table sales, please contact Heather Doyle at hdoyle@jwnenergy.com. For sponsorship information, contact Bill Whitelaw at bwhitelaw@jwnenergy.com