Throwback Thursday: Bullseye!

Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach answers reporters’ questions at the CADE-CAODC Drilling Conference.
Originally appearing in Oil Driller Magazine (Fall 2008)


By Aimée Barnabé

Their aim was to “catch the moving target” and they hit the centre ring! The CADE-CAODC Drilling Conference, held June 3, 2008 at Vertigo Theatre, was a resounding success by all accounts. Taking the gamble of changing to an annual format paid off in spades with record attendance at the event. Engineers, Drilling Managers, Producers, Manufacturers and students gathered for the one-day forum to exchange ideas and take advantage of networking opportunities.

The concept for this year’s conference was a reflection of everything that has happened to the Canadian oilfield in the last year. The theme, “Chasing the Moving Target,” was chosen to express the need for adaptation of drilling and completions programs, as well as fundamental cost structures in the wake of political mandates like the Alberta oil and gas royalty changes, federal trust company tax reform, and the effect of the rising Canadian dollar.

An exceptional lineup of speakers revealed their successes and challenges in drilling programs and new technology. Presentations touched on the areas of Risk Mitigation in Well Operations, State-Of-The-Art Drilling Technology, Drilling Fluids, and Unconventional Resource Plays.

Doug Hollies, the Technical Committee Chair for the conference, gives opening remarks
Doug Hollies, the Technical Committee Chair for the conference, gives opening remarks

“The Call for Presentations yielded an overwhelming number of collaborative presentations,” said Technical Chairman Doug Hollies. “It created a great opportunity for delegates to get a look at advanced technologies and, through case studies, examine how they are applied in the field.” He adds, “The Drilling Conference really allows the sharing of concepts without egos or agendas.” In the spirit of that knowledge exchange presentations from the event have been posted on the Website as a take away for delegates.

To raise the bar this time around, organizers rounded out the program by bringing in several influential keynote speakers. The tone was set by oil industry historian David Finch. Finch opened the proceedings with a look back at how things used to be done, an interesting contrast to the up-to-the minute nature of the presentations that dominated the schedule.

Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach speaking at the CADE-CAODC Drilling Conference.
Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach speaking at the CADE-CAODC Drilling Conference.

Flames Central was the setting for the luncheon featuring an address from Alberta’s Premier Ed Stelmach. “Having Premier Stelmach speak at the event was an important and timely addition to our agenda,” said Conference Co-Chair Ryan Schoenhals. “It gave our membership the opportunity to hear directly from the Premier on clarification of the unintended consequences of the Royalty Review. It is definitely still a hot topic in industry right now.”

The overwhelming success of this year’s event has given the planning committee a real mandate to provide another high calibre event for industry next year. Preparations have already begun for the 2009 edition of the CADE-CAODC Annual Drilling Conference. The Technical Committee will be soliciting presentations early and hopes to expand the program yet again to provide even more opportunities for peer to peer sharing.

For more information on this year’s conference and updates on next year’s event visit the Website at