More Producers, Services Providers Needed At Ukraine Dialogue Series
As the war in Ukraine rages on, Canadians are becoming more familiar with the interconnected concepts of energy stability and energy security — and how many Europeans face the prospect of a long, cold winter.
Still, Canadians don’t have a sense of the real first-hand impact beyond increased prices.
But what if such a military conflict was to happen in Western Canada? What if domestic Canadian energy production suffered — and Albertans faced prospects of the same winter hardships?
What if we needed a hand to get our sector back on track? Where would we turn?
That's why the Alberta government and a range of industry partners have created the Alberta-Ukraine Energy Dialogue series.
The first step is a webinar Sept. 29 during which two panels will explore ways and means Alberta’s natural gas sector can help Ukraine kick start its domestic gas sector post-war.
But a quick scan of registrations to date shows a disappointing lack of interest from the operating community and its key services providers, noted Bill Whitelaw, managing director of strategy and sustainability for geoLOGIC systems ltd., a global energy intelligence firm headquartered in Calgary.
Whitelaw is one of the panelists Thursday — and he says he expected more when the call for help went out, particularly because it included a detailed “shopping list” of how Alberta companies could get involved on a range of technical opportunities.
"These are the companies that typically make the most noise about the world needing more Canada ... and they're the ones in the best position to offer Ukraine the latest insights and even the tools...it's frankly a bit of puzzler."
This dialogue is about what's possible, a discussion of the way Canadian firms can step up and share what they know. There's a trade dimension longer term, but in the near term is about creating a catalogue of expertise that Ukrainian producers can use to step up production post-war, noted Whitelaw. And, he points out, many Canadian companies already have experience working in Ukraine.
“The faster production returns to normal, the faster the country’s economy stabilizes with it. Ukrainian companies are coming to us with a range of questions of how we tackled certain technical challenges five to 10 years ago. They want to know more about our recovery techniques, our costs and how we understand the geology in order to maximize returns,” explained Whitelaw. “But this is an opportunity for us to demonstrate how we achieve those things in lockstep with top notch environmental performance and quality regulation.”
The initial webinar will include participants from the Petroleum Technology Alliance of Canada, ENSERVA (formerly the Petroleum Services Association of Canada), geoLOGIC systems, GLJ, the Canadian Global Energy Forum and the Canadian Society for Unconventional Resources. Organizers hope the webinar will generate sufficient interest to maintain the dialogue over the next several months.
"A constant refrain in this sector is 'we're pretty good at this ESG stuff. That rings a bit hollow if we're not interested in stepping up and helping an ally in need with the things we're ostensibly so good at, especially an ally whose roots in our relationship date back to the late 19th century and the way our country was settled."
The registration is at this link: Meeting Registration - Zoom
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