Quebec’s Fair Share

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A new Quebec-based industry association was launched last week with Mario Levesque as its president. Opponents fight to stop natural gas development so Quebec’s fair share will be zero. Mr. Levesque believes for a positive future for his children in Quebec someone needs to work for Quebec’s fair share.

The Oil and Gas Services Association of Quebec (OGSAQ) was created to promote a local services sector in Quebec Mario is a Gaspésien who has over 10 years experience in the oil and gas services industry working as a landman for seismic companies and exploration and production (E&P) companies in Quebec, New Brunswick and across Canada. His experience in the industry and belief in the responsible development of local natural gas make him the ideal leader for this association.

The natural gas industry is offering to transfer leading technology to Quebec. Western Canada has all the technology of the Americans with better regulatory outcomes. We may not be the best at explaining our industry to Quebecers but we are the world’s best at safely developing onshore natural gas.

This technology transfer will come through the establishment of a Quebec-based service industry. Wells currently cost close to $15 million each in Quebec compared to $4 million in Pennsylvania and $5 million in Western Canada for similar wells. One of the main reasons is the lack of local employees and local services companies. It is key to the success of the oil and gas industry to transfer technology to Quebec-based businesses.

We need to find local Quebec entrepreneurs interested in acquiring this new technology to create long term businesses in Quebec. This is why the Oil and Gas Services Association of Quebec (OGSAQ) has one of its prime goals to be a single window for Quebec employees and companies interested in providing services to oil and gas companies. It will act as a bridge to help establish a local services sector in Quebec and promote the use of local services and employees.

People don’t often stop to think how much of oil and gas spending goes to the services companies. If a well currently costs $15 million in Quebec then $15 million goes to the services sector. At 400 wells per year in Quebec costing $5 million each, $2 billion per year would go to the services sector. It is no secret why the services sector is the jobs engine of oil and gas employing 800,000 people across the country. The goal of OGSAQ is to ensure as much as possible of this spending and employment goes to local Quebecers.

The oil and gas services sector is a $67 billion dollar per year sector, which makes it almost as big as the industry it services, an $80 billion dollar per year sector. $3 billion of the national services industry is already in Quebec. Local expertise and technology already exists and will form an important base. OGSAQ already has over 30 members representing over 5,000 Quebec employees and works in cooperation with the Petroleum Services Association of Canada.

As President of Questerre, I am proud that we are a founding sponsor of OGSAQ and that I have been invited to be on the board. I am also Chairman of the Board of High Arctic Energy, an Alberta-based service rig company and understand well what it will take to develop the services industry in Quebec. My roles in these two related but separate sectors, E&P and services, give me a unique perspective and I am interested in bridging the gap between them so the sectors can work together efficiently in Quebec.

If you are interested in opportunities in the oil and gas industry in Quebec or if you are a producer looking for Quebec based services or employees go to the web site at