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The Boom is Coming

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If you believe like I do, that the oil and gas industry is ready for even bigger gains, now is the time to get your stuff in order so you are ready to prosper in the next wave. 

The evidence is clear, and the statistics don’t lie. While we are experiencing a massive push towards EVs and overall electrification, oil and gas consumption is up, not down.  

It causes me to recall a quote by Joel Barker in his book, The Business of Paradigms, that goes like this: Those who say it shouldn’t be done, should get out of the way of those who are doing it. Nothing could be more truthful today.  

Statistic – 105 million BPD is the global consumption and it’s continuing to rise. Pattern – we continue to consume, and our global thirst for materials and durable goods produced from hydrocarbons will continue to rise. Despite all the rhetoric, oil is here for a long time.  

For most of my business career I have asked a couple of key questions every time something new is presented. First, is it a trend or a movement? Trends are cool but don’t last. Movements deliver major structural and strategic change. Second, does it make sense? Is it something people will buy and put on shelf to collect dust, or will they covet, revere and use it regularly?  

Right now, EVs are trendy, but infrastructure that should accompany them is not being created. The market is not responding in any meaningful way, and despite all the bluster and blow, this is not yet a movement. We still do and still will revere and regularly use oil products. 

Chris Sublicki’s video, “The Uncomfortable Reality About Energy (2019),” tells a very interesting story about the need for hydrocarbon energy, and how efficient and effective the Canadian energy industry is.   

There is probably more relevant information available today, however the truth of it can’t be hidden. We live in a world that requires sources of energy, and oil and gas are the most effective, most efficient and, oh yah, lets not forget, most economical means of delivering basic human needs. Sublicki’s video should be required learning for every Canadiankids and adultsso they get a more balanced view of how important our energy industry is.  

Back to my lead statementthose of us who are working in the exploration, development, servicing and delivery of Canada’s number one domestic product should be proud of what we do, and need to prepare for the boom that is coming.  

With the tide shifting towards global awareness regarding the unreliability and inefficiency of general electrification, we should be sure to be ready. Consumerism will not wane, and in this writer’s opinion, the trendy commercialization of alternative fuel sources will not inhibit our growth.  

And not to say that renewables don’t have a space, they clearly do. Let’s just not get caught up in the rush to be trendy. Just remember that while many people are billowing about surrogate fuel sources, the worlds largest industrial nations (China, India, USA) are busy building infrastructure to burn easytoaccess carbons, primarily coal. Yet here we have the cleanest materials available to do the same. Kinda crazy, isn’t it?  

So, if you have a vision of a world with effective and efficient sources of energy that include fossil fuels, here are three things to consider.  

First, the next wave of growth will likely be longer with less of a “kaboom. Instead of rushing, smart managers should focus on longer term development of corporations, including people, processes and technology. 

Second, although we have automation knocking on our door, skilled people will be in high demand, and management should put more effort into developing high value skills, rather than just adding bodies. AI will not replace people. Rather it will create new and more complex skill requirements.  

Thirdly, critical thinking will be key. It is the same old batch of questions: does it make sense, will it last, is it a trend or a movement, and how can I maximize my time? 

Last week I watched as hundreds of cars lined up at a local high school to pick up students, each student wearing synthetic clothing, most carrying a backpack or bag made from manmade materials, staring at their plastic iPhone. All the environmental bullying, shaming and name calling hasn’t changed a thing. Oil and gas is here to stay for a long time.  

The stars are about to align in our industry. We have a powerful voice, smart people, innovation and a social and business environment in the province to push us back up the ladder. I, for one, look forward to the climb!  

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