Alberta-Ukraine energy dialogue webinar, Sept. 15

Image: Naftogaz

Canadian oilfield services companies are among the most technologically progressive and cost-conscious in the world.

So, too, are the engineering, consulting and professional advisory firms in the ecosystem.

With that knowledge and experience, they’re well-positioned to answer a range of questions the Ukrainian natural gas sector is posing to Canada as the country seeks to kick-start its energy economy in a post-war environment.

The first step in answering those questions — which range from average well costs to re-entering once prolific wells — is a webinar Sept. 15 co-ordinated between the Alberta government and Ukrainian embassy in Ottawa.

It’s an opportunity for Canadian companies to both explore international opportunities, but also step up to help an important international partner at a critical time, noted Bill Whitelaw, managing director of strategy and sustainability at geoLOGIC systems, a global energy intelligence firm headquartered in Calgary.

“Many Canadian companies have solid experience working in Ukraine; they know the geology and the cultural environment, and this is an opportunity for us to step up as a country and make actionable our claims ‘the world needs more Canada,’” noted Whitelaw. “Given the tragic events that still continue to unfold there, being able to help with our natural gas expertise will be critical for Ukraine’s future.”

The webinar’s genesis resulted from a series of meetings at this summer’s Global Energy Show between the Alberta government and Naftogaz, Ukraine’s largest energy company. Those meetings included energy minister Sonya Savage and premier Jason Kenney. Now, the Ukrainian Gas Association and embassy in Ottawa are involved.

Whitelaw will be on one of two panels during the webinar, during which panelists will answer and explore a series of questions posed by the Gas Association and its members. The panelists will simultaneously frame the opportunity longer term while providing advice and guidance capable of having a near-term impact, he added.

“Ukraine has a well-developed and mature energy economy, in addition to significant natural gas reserves which figure very significantly in the country’s future aspirations for energy independence for itself and other European nations,” noted Whitelaw. “Where they need our help is with the insights we’ve gained in the last 10 years in Western Canada’s various resource plays. There’s a technical edge we can provide that will be critical in delivering gas in the volumes they require and doing it economically, safely and sustainably.”

The Alberta government hopes the first webinar will catalyze sufficient interest to sustain a series of discussions that will ultimately culminate in a trade mission once conditions are sufficiently safe to do so.

Whitelaw noted that the Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC) will be part of the discussion — and that geoLOGIC partners with PSAC on the twice-annual well cost study, which may be of great utility to Ukrainian companies seeking efficiency insights.

“We’re good at what we do in Canada because we use data wisely and make the right decisions on what the data guides us to. Many of the insights in our well cost database will be relevant to this discussion as Ukrainian operators and their suppliers seek to get the most value out of their efforts, whether it’s in new exploration drilling or working over existing assets.”

To register for the webinar, please use this link:

The event agenda is below:

09:00 am – 09:05 am – H.E. Yuliya Kovaliv, Ambassador of Ukraine to Canada – Welcoming remarks

09:05 am – 09:10 am – Tristan Sanregret, Assistant Deputy Minister, International Relations and Trade Division, Jobs, Economy and Innovation, Alberta Government – Welcoming remarks

09:10 am – 9:30 am – Artem Petrenko, Executive Director of the Association of Gas Producers of Ukraine – presentation: Natural Gas Production in Ukraine – Opportunities & Challenges


9:30 am – 10:00 am – Panel 1 – discussion on how Alberta could provide support to Ukrainian natural gas current operations and future development


  • Oleg Tolmachev, Director of Exploration & Production Division, Naftogaz
  • Gurpreet Lail, President and CEO, PSAC
  • Soheil Asgarpour, President and CEO, PTAC
  • Chris Curtis, Director, CGEF
  • Bill Whitelaw, Managing Director, Strategy & Sustainability,  geoLOGIC systems & JWN Energy


10:00 am – 10:30 am – Panel 2 – discussion on technical and geological challenges facing natural gas development in Ukraine


  • Nataliia Grebeniuk, Executive Director of DTEK
  • Wally Kozak, Director, Canadian Society for Unconventional Resources (CSUR)
  • Bill Gwozd, Board Member, Center for Natural Gas and Liquids Monetization
  • Kevin Kobwel, Vice President, Drilling & Completions, Wennwest Global Technologies
  • Bard Leckie, Senior Partner, Seidel Technologies
  • Jodi Anhorn, President and CEO, GLJ

Moderator: Mario Krpan, Director, Trade (Europe), International Relations and Trade Division; Jobs, Economy and Innovation, Alberta Government

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