Meet The 2019 Daily Oil Bulletin Energy Excellence Awards Champions

The team from BlueSource Methane celebrates their win in the Operational & Project Excellence: Industry Accelerators category. Image: Kelly Mulner/JWN

Canada’s energy industry champions in operational and project excellence, innovation and research excellence, and exporting excellence were announced on Thursday at the first annual Daily Oil Bulletin Energy Excellence Awards at the Devonian Gardens in Calgary. 

Selected from over 90 nominees from across Canada’s energy industry, champions were chosen in 12 specialty subcategories within the broader categories of operational, innovation and exporting excellence.

Operational and Project Excellence

The Operational and Project Excellence category focused on the best projects big and small, and on operational collaborations completed in Canada in 2018.

The judging was based on project and environmental performance; collaboration; unique technologies and processes; and corporate social responsibility.

A total of 25 applications were submitted in the four subcategories of industry accelerators; oil and gas; oilsands; and pipelines and facilities.

Industry Accelerators

Five nominations were received in the Industry Accelerators sub-category with finalists chosen for using collaboration to accelerate industry performance in development and environmental performance. The three finalists were the Alberta Energy Regulator; BlueSource Methane ULC; and Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada.

The champion in the Industry Accelerator subcategory is BlueSource Methane ULC.

BlueSource was selected for its Bluesource Methane Reduction Program that assists oil and gas companies to efficiently and quickly meet provincial and federal methane regulations.

Because the regulations come into effect in 2023, there is an early action period for producers to retrofit their equipment prior to 2023 and be eligible for carbon credits within the Alberta carbon market.

The BlueSource program finances all costs of the project for the producer, from identification of controllers that need replacement to the installation of new controllers. As such, there is no capital outlay from the producer: a crucial savings to producers during times of commodity pricing hardship.

Oil and Gas

The Oil and Gas subcategory received eight nominations. Judges reviewed the applications on project and environmental management, collaboration and overall industry impact.

The category finalists were Ambyint; Canadian Natural Resources Limited; and Modern Resources Ltd.

The champion in the Oil and Gas subcategory is Modern Resources Ltd.

Modern Resources was selected for its Modern Ultra Low Emissions (MULE) sites aimed at reducing methane emissions down to zero. The MULE sites completely eliminate the combustion of propane, completely eliminate the release of methane and reduce the combustion of natural gas.

The MULE sites emit 100% less methane and 95% less CO2 compared to a conventional natural gas well site. The MULE sites have a lower capital cost, lower operating costs and significantly reduce GHG emissions.


The Oilsands subcategory received a total of seven nominee applications, which were narrowed down to three finalists focused on unique technologies and processes, collaborations and environmental performance. The finalists were Canadian Natural Resources Limited; Imperial; and Suncor.

The champion for the Oilsands subcategory is Suncor.

Suncor was selected for the Water Technology Development Centre. The Water Technology Development Centre (WTDC) is a $143-million live-fluid test facility that is being constructed at Suncor’s Firebag SAGD facility.

It is a collaborative project between Canadian Natural, CNOOC, Devon, Husky and Suncor with the overall goal to speed up the time it takes to get new water technologies into operation.

Pipelines and Facilities

Three very different nominee applications were received in the Pipelines and Facilities subcategory.

All three were unique in their stories of project and environmental excellence, earning each the position as finalists. They were Canadian Natural Resources Limited; Hifi Engineering Ltd.; and Integrated Sustainability for the WhiteFox Pipeline.

The champion for the Pipeline and Facilities subcategory is Canadian Natural Resources Limited.

Canadian Natural was selected for its Area Based Reclamation Project.

The company has received the greatest number of reclamation certificates among its peer companies for the past several years. By grouping wells and pipelines for abandonment, facility decommissioning and reclamation activities, it is progressively reclaiming large contiguous areas of land more efficiently and cost-effectively.

Innovation and Research Excellence

The Innovation and Research category focuses on the most impactful technologies that moved towards commercialization in 2018, looking at collaboration and industry and business impact.

With great work being done across the sector, five industry subcategories of excellence were created receiving over 48 industry nominations in drilling through completions technologies; production technologies; digital oilfield; cleantech; and power transmission and storage.


The Cleantech subcategory received the most nominations, 20 in total. This subcategory focused on how clean technologies provide environmental and economic benefits through collaboration with potential customers within the supply chain.

With so many great submissions, the four cleantech finalists were: AMGAS Services Inc.; CleanO2 Carbon Capture Technologies; GHGSat; and Keymay Industries.

The champion in the cleantech subcategory is CleanO2 Carbon Capture Technologies.

CleanO2 was selected for its CARBiNX CleanO2 technology. CleanO2 invented a decentralized carbon capture device that lowers GHG emissions in the heating industry, which account for 22% of Canada’s GHG output.

CARBiNX is the world’s first aggregated commercial carbon capture device that reduces energy demands through heat recovery. This unique carbon capture process creates carbonates, a valuable by-product, in the process.

Digital Oilfield

The Digital Oilfield subcategory focused on improving productivity to reduced costs, enhanced safety and environmental benefits.

With 14 nominee applications received, five very active industry finalists were chosen: GuildOne Inc.; Hifi Engineering Ltd.; Osprey Informatics; Pandell; and VizworX Inc.

The champion in the digital oilfield subcategory is Osprey Informatics.

Osprey Informatics’ intelligent visual monitoring platform, Osprey Reach, empowers oil and gas companies to reduce operational costs and increase productivity while also mitigating environmental and safety risks.

Offered as a fully-managed service, Osprey Reach cost-effectively manages edge devices (cameras, modems, processors and local storage) at scale, analyzes visual data with Computer Vision (a form of AI) as well as input from other sensors and systems, and distributes personalized, actionable business intelligence (via alerts and reports) to users in multiple functions across the enterprise.

Drilling Through Completions

Similar to the last category, the Drilling Through Completions subcategory also focused on improving productivity to reduce costs, enhancing safety and driving environmental benefits.

Nine nominees were received in this subcategory and the finalists were AMGAS Services Inc; Evolution Engineering Inc.; and Thruster Energy Corp.

The champion in the drilling and completions subcategory is AMGAS Services Inc.

AMGAS’ CLEAR technology is a process that allows for the safe and efficient removal of H2S from sour fluids without introducing chemical into the liquids.

CLEAR has saved million of litres of fresh water from being lost from the water cycle forever. In addition to the positive impacts on one of the world’s most precious resources, AMGAS' CLEAR technology eliminates risks associated with transporting dangerous sour fluids.

This technology has provided substantial economic savings for producers by eliminating many costs associated with transportation, cost of fresh water, and disposal of sour fluid.

Power Transmission and Storage 

Supporting all sources of energy, the Power Transmission and Storage subcategory speaks to collaboration and supply chain crossover throughout the energy sector.

With three nominations in this category, judging provided just two finalists, Borealis Wind and E3 Metals Corp.

The champion in the Power Transmission and Storage subcategory is E3 Metals Corp.

E3 Metals is commercializing its rapid lithium extraction process developed in partnership with the University of Alberta to extract lithium from oilfield brine.

The company’s proprietary extraction technology can process the large volumes of lithium-enriched brine the Leduc oil and gas formation in central Alberta is known to deliver.

E3 initiated its Lithium Extraction Project in September 2018 and plans to move quickly toward the production of high purity, battery grade, lithium hydroxide for customers in the lithium ion battery supply chain.


The Production subcategory was judged on the impact technology and innovation has on processes, revenue generation, market share opportunities, safety and environmental performance. With five nominations, two finalists were selected: Compact Compression Inc. and Birchcliff Energy Ltd.

The champion of the production subcategory is Compact Compression Inc.

Compact Compression has developed an entirely new, clean-sheet approach to casing gas compression – the Hydraulic Casing Gas compressor (HCG).

It is a fit-for-purpose, simple and reliable, electric-over-hydraulic reciprocating compressor easily configurable for a wide range of pressures and volumes. For sites with no available power, a natural gas engine-over-hydraulic option was developed.

The HCG is capable of 100% turndown, able to handle multiphase flow, compatible with sweet or sour gas, has a small footprint, operates independently of the artificial lift system and has no troublesome process valves or vessels. The HCG is serviced based on IoT-enabled predictive analytics rather than a fixed interval schedule.

Exporting Excellence

The Exporting Excellence category recognizes the most successful Canadian energy exporters of 2018 competing on the global stage.

Looking at export revenues, annual export growth, new market expansions and unique export partnerships or collaborations, the subcategories focused on products or services including advanced technology; oilfield services and manufacturing; and professional services. 

Advanced Technologies

The Canadian market has many great offerings of advanced technologies. With five nominations received in the Advanced Technologies subcategory, three finalists stood out in terms of expansive growth and development in 2018. They are Blue Spark Energy Inc., Citadel Drilling Ltd. and Sandtinel.

The champion of the Advanced Technologies category is Blue Spark Energy Inc.

Blue Spark  was selected for its WASP technology. Blue Spark's Wireline Applied Stimulation Pulsing (WASP) technology provides an innovative, efficient, low cost, low risk oil & gas well stimulation method that can dramatically increase fluid flow with much less impact on the environment.

Oilfield Services & Manufacturing

Looking at diversification in markets beyond our boarders, the Oilfield Services & Manufacturing subcategory had seven nominee submissions. Finalists included Arnett & Burgess Pipeliners Ltd.; Citadel Drilling Ltd.; and Sandtinel.

The champion for the oilfield services and manufacturing category is Citadel Drilling Ltd.

Due to the continued challenges industry faces in Canada, Citadel identified, prepared and explored the process of developing operations in the West Texas region.

During the course of 2018, the Citadel team was able to establish long-term contract relationships with major E&P operators and executed the preparation and migration of five out its six drilling rigs to the Delaware basin in the Permian. Just over 80% of its people and assets have been seconded to the U.S.

Professional Services

Canadian energy expertise is known and in demand worldwide. In the Professional Services subcategory, there were three globally recognized finalists: Aon; Cadeon Inc.; and Chinook Consulting Services Ltd.

The champion in the Professional Services subcategory is Chinook Consulting Services Ltd.

Chinook Consulting offers a wide range of geological services for upstream oil & gas operators, including wellsite supervision, reservoir studies, geochemical analyses, coring supervision, petrographic studies, mudlogging, geosteering and operations geology.

Over the last decade, Chinook has grown from a start-up to a preferred contractor on many high profile projects. These projects include wildcat wells in the Aquitaine Basin in France, offshore exploration in Suriname, development wells in Albania, and recompletions in Algeria. The company expanded into Colombia in 2018 and now earns around 30 per cent of its revenues internationally.

Over the next two weeks, watch for in-depth stories about all of the Daily Oil Bulletin Energy Excellence Award Champions.

Also, watch for the release of the Daily Oil Bulletin’s Energy Excellence Report, which will showcase successful collaboration in the industry in driving operational and project success, innovation and research commercialization and exporting growth.

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