Canada will enjoy a global energy spotlight in early December when it is handed an important mission.
The challenge: Build on the momentum coming out of the World Petroleum Congress in Houston to plan and execute a successful 24th World Petroleum Congress in Calgary in September 2023, tackling the theme of Energy Transition – the Path to Net Zero.
In Houston in early December, the WPC Canada team will be handed the “torch” from the U.S. organizers of the 23rd Congress. There, the world will already know Canada well via the presence of Team Canada — a presence made possible by a diverse array of sponsors and supporters. They range from large and small corporations to investment attraction agencies and innovation and research organizations.
Their support transcends the cost of a sponsorship package, notes Denis Painchaud, president of the Calgary Congress.
“Our sponsors are among our most important stakeholders,” explained Painchaud. “Their presence and support help to bring to life the reality of Canadian innovation and leadership in a global energy context.”
For engineering companies like Hatch, employee-owned and already a global organization with a strong ethos around energy transition, supporting Team Canada at the Houston Congress is all about positioning Canada in a leadership context by showcasing talent, projects and research, said Sanjiv Save, managing director for Oil & Gas at Hatch.
“As a Canadian company with a global oil and gas Centre of Excellence in Alberta, and with a growing team in Houston, we work closely with the communities in which we live to ensure our solutions optimize environmental protection, economic prosperity, social justice and cultural vibrancy,” explained Save. “Supporting Team Canada in Houston fits perfectly with our goal to position Canada as a global energy leader…. With our colleagues in Houston, we hope to generate further interest [in Canada] and spark the idea of joining us in Calgary in 2023.”
Save points to Canadian competencies in heavy oil, bitumen processing and CCUS within a global context and “with transition well underway, it is crucial we share our knowledge with the world.”
For research and innovation agencies like Alberta Innovates, the Houston Congress represents an important opportunity to attract new players to Canada — in particular synchronizing with the Calgary-hosted Congress in 2023, noted executive director Bryan Helfenbaum.
“Canada is home to the third largest proven oil reserves on the planet. We also have stringent regulations and environmental policy. Taken together, Canada has infrastructure and expertise to produce and utilize hydrocarbons in an innovative manner, with an eye toward the ongoing energy transition and Net Zero ambitions,” explained Helfenbaum. “These are important ingredients to foster innovation; we are proud to tell the stories of ongoing domestic inventiveness to connect to global customers while raising the profile of Alberta Innovates.”
But Team Canada support just doesn’t come from large corporations.
For companies like Matidor Technologies, a map-based project management software firm, backing a Canadian presence in Houston allows it to “provide a narrative based on our experience working with many oil and gas producers in Canada,” noted Sean Huang, who co-founded Matidor with Vincent Lam. Matidor’s technology platform provides a way for producers and their environmental consultants to collaborate and visualize their projects in the field to “more effectively improve their productivity and sustainability efforts,” he added.
“We’re proud to support the Canadian oil and gas industry and promote better environmental awareness. We want to support Team Canada as we have taken part in many industry associations with oil and gas producers and consultants telling our story. Our goal by supporting Team Canada this time in Houston is to raise awareness of how new software can be adopted to improve productivity through innovation.”
For Matidor, Houston also represents a global opportunity to tell a Canadian competency story: “This is an essential aspect of the industry as there should be just as much attention paid to environmental responsibility as there is to how much oil is produced. Canada is a benchmark for environmental cleanups and efforts across the oil and gas industry. This should be a focus for other geographic regions outside of Canada focused on extraction and production,” explained Huang.
Beyond corporate and innovation system supporters, investment attraction organizations view Houston as an opportunity to market Alberta as an attractive place to invest. Agencies such as Invest Alberta point out quality foreign investment positively impacts Albertans through job creation and economic resilience.
“Our global focus means we are in important markets like China, India and the UK with plans to expand to the US, Europe and the United Arab Emirates,” noted CEO Rick Christiaanse. “One of our priority sectors for targeting investment from those markets is energy and petrochemicals. Alberta is well-positioned to attract these types of investments with abundant low-cost feedstock, major industry clusters, skilled labour, and the geological ability for carbon capture and sequestration. Alberta was already an oil, gas and petrochemical hub and is rapidly positioning itself as a global leader in clean hydrogen production.”
Invest Alberta’s model provides tailored support to companies, investors and major new projects — processes enabled by an expanding international office network — with a focus on breaking down barriers that stand in the way of rapid scale-up, added Christiaanse.
“As part of the Team Canada presence at WPC Houston, Invest Alberta wants to ensure that Alberta is top of mind for any potential investors considering investing in the future of sustainable resource development. It is an opportunity to highlight that we are not just the home to one of the world’s largest unconventional oil deposits, the oil sands, but we also have an abundant supply of low-emission and affordable blue hydrogen, experience in hydrogen production and leadership in carbon capture and storage.”
Team Canada Sponsors
- Alberta Innovates
- Bennett Jones
- TC Energy
- City of Calgary
- Calgary Economic Development
- Tourism Calgary
- Emissions Reduction Alberta
- geoLOGIC systems
- Invest Alberta
- Invest in Canada
- Air Canada
- Matidor Technologies
- Drishya AI Labs