I thought no one else in Quebec cared about the potential of the oil and gas service sector.
Today a new industry association has been born: the Movement to Support Shale Gas (MAGS). This is a fledgling association made up of the Quebecers who have seen first-hand the potential of the oil and gas service industry. They are either local contractors in the basses terres like Michel Landry, who already owns specialized oil and gas equipment, or they are Quebecers like Michel Caron who moved to Alberta for work but would love to move back home.
The oil and gas industry is a little like car manufacturing. Car manufacturers only design and assemble cars these days. They are very visible but it is the car parts manufacturers that create so many jobs. In oil and gas we don’t even do the assembly, we just do the design. From a jobs perspective we truly are the tip of an iceberg and it is the service sector that is the jobs engine of Western Canada. The service sector in Canada represents $67 billion in GDP. $3 billion of that is already spent in Quebec on raw materials, fabricated steel and the like.
For those interested in jobs and economic impacts, it is the service sector they should focus on. When the Quebec Oil and Gas Association commissioned SECOR to do an economic study, they estimated that industry would generate a minimum of 5,000 jobs per year during exploitation and approximately $3 billion in wealth for Quebec. But they also said that due to a lack of data, they did not take in to account the impact of the development of a local service sector. It is a little like estimating the impact of a Toyota plant but forgetting the car parts they need. Perhaps SECOR will be right if the service sector starts up in Fredericton instead of Trois Rivières, for example.
We are pleased to welcome MAGS who understands this very important issue and will help our industry by promoting the development of a Quebec service sector that we need in order to be successful. We encourage you to visit their website for more information on the industry or to become a member.