A readjustment in oil prices over the past three years has driven reassessment of strategy for all E&P companies including Canadian internationally focused companies. The ultimate result will be that we emerge as leaner and stronger companies able to compete at the current price levels. Producer and service companies alike are asking fundamental questions not just about costs, but also about markets, social licence and the effects of potentially disruptive technologies. The unconventional businesses (oilsands and re- source plays) face considerable cost challenges today, but in the international arena, underexplored and underdeveloped basins contain conventional assets with large reserves and high production rates that offer low capital and operating unit costs. Enhanced recovery efforts have often been limited, and techniques that have become routine in Canada have frequently not been adopted. Canadian expertise, some of the best in the world, can be utilized to explore and develop projects around the world. With approximately 50,000 engineers, 4,000 geologists and 1,500 geophysicists, Canadian professionals are ready and willing to transfer this knowledge to the world.
CGEF advocates for Canadian internationally focused oil and gas companies, and facilitates cooperation among producing companies, oilfield service companies, government and academia through the sharing of expertise, technology and opportunities. Collaboration of this kind will help promote the values, standards and best practices of the Canadian oil industry, and allow small businesses in Alberta and Canada to compete with international oil and service companies.
Working overseas can not only offset the annual seasonality of the Canadian oil business, but national oil companies are commonly involved in major projects and move in longer business cycles that can smooth out some of the highs and lows in oil price volatility. Capital markets have continued to focus on resource projects, however, the recent price level has left many of these projects uneconomic. Capital markets will need to return to conventional E&P projects in order to realize a higher return on investment. Canadian companies are poised to take advantage of the return of this capital.
There is a very good future for Canadian companies working internationally.