The third largest in North America, the 2015 Peace Region Petroleum Show came to an end on Thursday at Evergreen Park.
Dan Pearcy, CEO for the Grande Prairie and District Chamber of Commerce, and Rob Petrone, president of the Grande Prairie Petroleum Association said they expect around 10,000 people to have visited the park during the two-day event.
“We’ve had about 5,000 people on site (Wednesday), registered, which is on par with the last show,” said Pearcy.
“This year with the combination of the weather, the break up, the commodity prices of oil falling has given us, I think, the opportunity to have the exhibitors to showcase (more of) their equipment that may not be working whereas other years it was probably out working,” said Petrone.
The show was also an opportunity for those in the industry to showcase new technology. David Dingle, sales manager for Ross Distributors of Camrose, had a drone on display. Because ‘times are tight’, Dingle said there wasn’t a lot of interest in investing right now but said the industry is always looking for new, safer ways to conduct business.
“Overall, the impression we got is that there’s not a lot of use today, but we still believe there are a lot of good uses (for the drone),” he said. “Personally, it’s more from a safety perspective so it’s obviously safer to send a drone into places than it is to send humans... one of the places that the drone has been used for is blade inspections on wind turbines.”
Peter May, local account manager for United Safety Ltd. said their operations have also seen some effects from the drop in oil price.
“We had to do some scaling back ourselves and what not, but we’re still fairly busy because we not only cover the drilling rigs and oil site completion... there’s always turn around and maintenance and stuff so this is where we come in,” he said. “Things have slowed down and jobs have got pushed and stuff, but for the most part we’re staying pretty steady when it comes to work, we’re actually hiring as we speak, looking more for local people in the Grande Prairie area.”
Seven Generations Energy Ltd.’s Jordan Johnsen, district engineering manager, said the company has been focused on “continuing steady state development, giving back to the community and working with service providers that have helped the company along the way so there’s a stable base.”
“Hopefully the service costs will come down and you know, we’ll continue to make a good rate of return on our wells,” he said.
“We shuffled our capital budget around a little bit to focus more on the higher return areas to the low costs but we haven’t laid off anybody. In fact, we’re hiring.”
Petrone said the rise in the price of oil to $59.88 a barrel as of Thursday afternoon is promising. In fact, he said he expects the price to rise to between $60 and $70 this year, which is encouraging, however, because of the change in government, Petrone added the industry is waiting to see what impacts that will have.
“Industry has to work really close with the government over the next few months and try to get some clarity as to what the vision is that the new government is going to have and what impacts that has,” he said.
“It’s the same message today as we gave to the (Ed) Stelmach government three years ago: You provide the clarity and once the rules of the game are clear and then the decision will be made on whether capital’s (spent) or not.”
STOMPEDE CHUCKS, RODEO &...
Grande Prairie's longest running major event - Stompede - is back for its 38th year from May 27-31 at Evergreen Park.
The best chuckwagon drivers in the world and some of the best cowboys will be performing over the five days of Stompede. There's also a midway and concerts - featuing the Road Hammers on Friday and Doc Walker on Saturday - in the ENTREC Centre and much more.
Wednesday and Thursday the rodeo will follow the WPCA and WCA chuckwagons followed by the CPRA rodeo under the lights. The rodeo switches to afternoon performances Friday, Saturday and Sunday and the chucks will begin in the early evening.
You can purchase both reserved and general admission tickets through the Evergreen Park website at www.evergreenpark. ca. For more information on Stompede visit its website at http://gpstompede.com