President’s Message: Leading the Way Forward

Originally published in the CAOEC State of the Industry 2022 Report and 2023 Forecast

As 2022 wraps up, I am honoured to reflect on all we have accomplished this year. Our membership has worked tirelessly to help ensure Canadians and people around the world have reliable and secure energy resources. With our focus on innovation and environmental protection, we are at the forefront of drilling for oil, natural gas, LNG, geothermal, helium, carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS), in-situ hydrogen, mineral extraction from brines, and potash.

This year was off to a steady start for the energy services sector. However, we couldn’t have predicted Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the resulting energy crisis in Europe in the months since. This conflict led to WTI prices reaching nearly $115.00 USD in June, and prices have remained fairly steady around the $80.00 USD mark in months to follow.

Due to European bans on Russian energy imports, we saw countries such as Germany reverse energy policy decisions to focus on securing oil and gas from other countries, including Canada. Unfortunately, due to limited export capacity, Canada could only make marginal contributions to meet Europe’s mounting energy needs.

In 2023, the International Energy Agency (IEA) expects world oil demand to rise by 1.7 million bpd, up to a total average of 101.3 million bpd. In the third quarter of 2023, we look forward to seeing the mechanical completion of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project. This pipeline will twin the current Trans Mountain Pipeline and increase the capacity from approximately 300,000 bpd to 890,000 bpd.

Another milestone will be when Coastal GasLink reaches completion towards the end of 2023, to safely deliver natural gas across northeastern B.C. to the LNG Canada facility in Kitimat, B.C. LNG Canada remains the only LNG export facility in Canada to be in development. The successful completion of Canadian infrastructure projects will help increase energy security for nations around the globe.

Many financial analysts predict a global economic recession in mid-2023. With strong performance by Canada’s energy industry, we are confident we will get through the recession with minimal impacts. We have many wellpaying jobs to fill and welcome people from across Canada to consider the energy services sector to make a good living while helping us meet our net-zero ambitions.

Canada’s energy service contractors are at the forefront of the energy transition, and our workforce will play a leading role in Canada’s net-zero future. I will continue to advocate for our industry and engage with government leaders across the country. If you haven’t read it, I encourage you to view our new industry white paper: Leading Collaboration Through the Energy Transition, to learn how we can accelerate the deployment of carbon abating technology in the energy services sector.

With a positive year behind us, we will carry on with our essential work of providing energy security while being champions of the energy transition. The future of energy runs through our workforce and we will proudly lead the way forward to be the world’s most carbon efficient energy services industry.

Mark A. Scholz is President and CEO of the Canadian Association of Energy Contractors.