Tag Archives: Petroleum industry

Our Oil History

By Craig Baird

The oil and gas industry in the Gull Lake region has a special place in my own family history. After all, it was nearly 50 years ago that my grandfather was killed working only a few kilometres south of Gull Lake on a pump jack.

Researching the history of the oil and gas industry in the region, it is interesting to note just how far back it goes and the impact it has had on our small town.

We have to go back about 70 million years to find the source of our oil wealth in this region. There are several geological eras under us but it is the Jurassic Layer where we find all the oil.

Going down roughly one kilometer (1,000 to 1,150 metres), the wells tap into this source of oil and natural gas. All of this was formed by an ancient sea 70 million years ago that helped to create the oil patch zones under us. Every bit of oil that comes out of the ground is eons of animal and plant life that lived and died in that sea.

For the first half of Gull Lake’s history, there was nearly no activity since most in the area were concerned with ranching and farming.

By the mid-1950s, oil activity increased in the area on a limited scale for about ten years. In the issues of the Gull Lake Advance from 1955, the boom of oil was evident in the masthead, which contained oil wells and, in large letters, OIL.

In the mid-1960s, drilling began to increase and by the 1980s there were 400 producing wells in the Gull Lake area. This naturally helped out both the RM of Gull Lake and the Town of Gull Lake. With a broadened tax base, by 1989, 61 per cent of the tax revenue of the area came from oil wells while 39 per cent came from agriculture.

Today, several oil and gas companies operate in the area and the landscape is dotted with pump jacks and drilling crews.

While it may have taken 70 million years for us to utilize the energy under the ground, it has helped Gull Lake progress from its early years into an important energy hub in southwest Saskatchewan today.

Article Compliments of The Gull Lake Advance

Gull Lake’s long relationship with oil and gas

By Craig Baird

Drive anywhere around Gull Lake and in the fields you will see not only the activity of farmers and ranchers, but of drilling crews and oil companies. The landscape is dotted with pump-jacks and oil rigs, all helping fuel the economy of Gull Lake and the provincial economy.

The drilling of oil and gas in the 1950s has had a huge impact on this tiny town along the TransCanada.

“The Oil and Gas industry employs a great number of people in the town and is a major driver of our local economy. The Oil and Gas industry is growing and we are seeing an increase in the number of job postings for companies based right here in Gull Lake,” Mayor Blake Campbell said. “It is jobs that bring people to town and right now there is no shortage of jobs in the oil and gas industry, which is good news for Gull Lake.”

Currently, the Town of Gull Lake is working with the RM of Gull Lake to find a suitable place for a commercial-light industrial subdivision.

“As the industry grows, so to will the demand for suitable locations for both existing businesses wanting to expand as well as new businesses,” Campbell said.

So what is it that makes Gull Lake so attractive to oil and gas? According to Mayor Campbell, it is about being at the crossroads in oil country.

“The town is home to a number of oil-related businesses making it attractive to other businesses looking for a place to locate. The Town has strong ties to the oil patch with many people in the town working in oil-related businesses and the industry has been a part of our community for many years,” Mayor Campbell said. “Also, the town itself is a great place to live and raise a family with many amenities such as a swimming pool, modern ice arena, a rec complex, K-12 school, ball diamonds, health centre, local doctor, library and digital movie theatre.”

As for those who work in oil and gas and live in Gull Lake, Mayor Campbell feels they bring a lot to the town.

“When there is a community project that needs to get done, they are some of the first people to step up to the plate and help get things done.”

All of this has helped make Gull Lake a great place according to Mayor Campbell.

“Gull Lake is a prosperous forward-looking community that never shies away from a challenge and has a lot to offer anyone looking for a place to call home. Our people are friendly, hard-working, community-minded people who are always looking for ways to improve the community,” Campbell said. “One only has to look around the town to see the many projects that have been completed over the years by the residents of Gull Lake.”

As for the coming years, Campbell sees the relationship between Gull Lake and the Oil and Gas industry growing even more.

“This town has always had a close relationship with the Oil and Gas industry and we need to continue and strengthen that relationship. As this industry grows, the town and neighbouring municipalities need to be there to help them grow,” Campbell said. “The Town needs to continue to maintain a strong relationship and work together with the Oil industry in order to meet the needs to help it grow. As the industry grows, so will the town and that will keep our community strong as we move forward into the future.”

Article Compliments of The Gull Lake Advance

Oil patch now facing ‘retirement tsunami’

Wave of employees in skilled labour, management and leadership roles set to retire, with a limited pool of replacement talent prepared to fill in
Yadullah Hussain, Financial Post
Published: Friday, May 30, 2014
Canada’s oil patch is about to experience a “retirement tsunami” – a crew change with not enough replacements ready to take over from the departing workforce.
That’s the view of Graham Dodd, a Vancouver-based principal at the Mercer LLC, a human resources consultancy, who notes that “even if the industry was in a period of no-growth, just replacing the retiring workers is a major challenge in its own right.
“It’s the great crew change – the aging workforce and the retirement tsunami that’s coming.”

Oil patch now facing ‘retirement tsunami’.