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Area oil and gas operators have optimism in 2021

Loyal recently purchased Exxon’s oil and gas assets in the Harmattan area
MVT oil pump sunset
File photo

SUNDRE - The oil and gas industry in the region is seeing a resurgence of optimism going forward in 2021, according to members of the Sundre Petroleum Operator’s Group (SPOG).

Brad Johnson is the vice-president of operations with Loyal Energy (Canada) Operating Ltd. Loyal is a Calgary-based, privately-held company engaged in the production and development of crude oil and natural gas. 

Loyal purchased all of Exxon’s oil and gas assets, including wells and pipelines, in the Harmattan area in December and is now operating in the area.

The company is pleased to be in the area and sees great opportunities moving forward, he said.

“We are excited to get into the area,” said Johnson. “We are excited because we see a lot of opportunity. It suits our experience and background, the assets that are there.

“We’ve started getting out and meeting some of the landowners and just trying to get ourselves established in the area.”

There have been some tough times in the oil and gas industry in Alberta and elsewhere in recent years, but Johnson says things have turned around nicely.

“We think it is a very positive environment going forward,” he said. “Commodity prices have firmed up nice. Demand is going up but no production is coming on so that’s going to help keep prices firmer than they have been and that will start to create a better environment to start re-investing in oil and gas.”

Loyal is “excited about the large inventory of drilling opportunities” in the district, he said. 

The company recently jointed SPOG, he noted.

“They have been very good and we are excited to be part of SPOG because of its close association with landowners and industry,” he said. “We’ve got a very strong safety and environmental focus so we are going to be very active in emissions control and emissions management.”

SPOG is a collection of oil and gas companies with operations in the district. It promotes awareness of petroleum industry issues through multi-stakeholder committees, public open houses and through social media.

Executive director Tracey McCrimmon says she has heard from other SPOG members that there is optimism in the industry these days. 

The end of COVID will be welcomed by everyone, including SPOG members, allowing community activities such as Neighbour’s Day to resume, she said.

“We are still thinking positive that once some of these COVID restrictions lift we can get back so some of our engagement activities,” said McCrimmon. “We are still hopeful that we can resume some of our activities.”