In the past decade we’ve been through unimaginable highs and lows in Canada’s energy services sector, but it seems the worst is finally behind us as we move on to brighter days. From the darkest days of 2020, we bounced back in 2021 with an outlook better than it had been in years. With economies re-opening and restrictions lifting, it was full steam ahead for CAOEC members in 2021, and the increased demand led to strong commodity pricing and peak oil prices not seen since 2014.
We had a memorable year with the association’s historic name change and membership expansion to include directional drillers. We welcomed many new associate members including several producers, helping to deliver on our vision of being the most influential trade association in the Canadian energy industry, and promoting the interests of the energy services industry operating near the wellhead.
While the industry picked up in North America, some continents faced unprecedented energy shortages. Europe in particular faced uncertainty with commodity pricing for natural gas increasing sharply and some people facing the unconscionable dilemma of “heat or eat.” The energy crisis illustrated the risks of carrying out a transition too quickly, and the need for secure, reliable, and affordable energy for Canadians. To help prevent a full-scale emergency, Europe received additional shipments of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from many countries, Canada unfortunately not being one of them.
An issue for the past several years has been Canada’s lack of export capacity. Canada missed out on supplying Europe with LNG due to a lack of export capacity. LNG provides affordable and clean burning fuel. We look forward to seeing progress being made on LNG Canada as it will provide our best-in-class energy to Asian markets and alleviate future shortages in years ahead.
There were still celebratory signs of additional export capacity in 2021 as Enbridge’s Line 3 came into service after years of no new pipeline development in Canada. The Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion is expected to be completed by the H2 of 2023, and both the LNG Canada Project and Coastal GasLink pipeline surpassed 50 per cent completion and are on track to be finished by their target date of 2023.
Canada’s oil and gas sector is committed to emissions reduction and clean technology, exploring opportunities in LNG, hydrogen, lithium, helium, CCUS, geothermal, and more. The oil and gas sector alone spent $28.1 billion on environmental protection in Canada between 2006 and 2018, and that number is expected to grow in the next decade. We will continue to champion environmental protection and maintain we should be the global energy supplier of choice on Canada’s path to Net-Zero emissions.
Investors and industry analysts are predicting $100 per barrel oil in 2022, and as pandemic restrictions fade, demand will only grow stronger with people returning back to their normal lives. This year I am looking forward to seeing strong numbers in both operating days and active rigs, and working closely with the Board of Directors and our members to demonstrate our responsible stewardship and active role in the global energy evolution. In closing, I would like to extend a special thank you to our dedicated CAOEC staff and volunteers who help us fulfill our mandate, and our Board of Directors who steer the association in the right direction.
I am honoured to serve as President and CEO of this great association and will unwaveringly advocate for the energy services sector and the thousands of women and men who work to provide secure, reliable, and affordable energy for Canadian families.
Mark A. Scholz is president and CEO of the Canadian Association of Energy Contractors.