The Leduc-Nisku EDAtorial
Leduc Blog
The Global Petroleum Show and all you need to know
July 05, 2016
Mark Gallant
Much like most of the year, June has been an eventful month for myself and the Leduc-Nisku EDA. It not only marked the high point of golf tournament season, but it also brought us the 2016 edition of the Global Petroleum Show (GPS). As much as I could go on about my trials and tribulations on the links, I’m really writing this to outline my experiences and observations from GPS. 

Usually the Calgary Stampede would be good comparison for the show as it is quite the spectacle. This year however, it wasn’t as busy as years past. There are a number of reasons this could have been but they all likely stem from the current economic state of oil. That being said, I heard a lot of optimism from everyone I spoke with at the three day event and liken it to that of a rollercoaster ride where we just came down a big drop and are simply waiting for it to climb back up to another peak. The industry is used to volatility and now it’s a waiting game for things to turn around. 

Opportunities overseas was the reoccurring theme I noticed from GPS this year. Many of the speakers were representatives from Latin American countries. The Minister of Energy from Mexico and the Minister of Oil and Gas from Bolivia were two that really stood out to me. Mexico is finally allowing foreign investment into what was a government owned entity and Bolivia is in the early stages of their oil and gas programs and represent a real opportunity for Canadian companies. 

The Fort McMurray wildfire was another major topic of discussion at this year’s event. Fundraising efforts were discussed but I thought the talk around the reclamation and recovery effort was most interesting. As a significant portion of the city was devastated, a massive rebuild effort is underway. This rebuild represents an opportunity for many out of work oil workers to find employment. The good from the bad I guess.

There was also a lot of interest in our region. Many individuals I spoke with wanted to know how badly some companies were struggling and what others were doing to ride out this downturn. Good news has been hard to come by lately, but I did have positive things to tell them. The truth is, many companies in Nisku are successfully diversifying and managing to find new markets for their business. Specifically our manufacturing and advanced manufacturing sectors are seeing the greatest opportunities to pivot their operations and find success. 

It may sound cliché now but diversifying your operations has to be a top priority for every business involved in oil and gas. My time at GPS reaffirmed the importance of looking outside of the oil and gas sector as well as looking for new new oil and gas markets for our technology and expertise. Canada’s competitive advantage is its technology and expertise and that can’t be understated. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and depending on where in the world you look, oil and gas is still a very busy market. 

You can look for my next report in early August where I will recap the highlights of my experiences from July. Thanks for reading and until next time keep your head down and swing easy!