Strata Energy chief nabs more national accolades

The president and CEO of a local oilpatch service company continues to attract national attention.

The president and CEO of a local oilpatch service company continues to attract national attention.

Ken Travis, who heads up Strata Energy Services Inc., is featured in an online article and video that was posted on the The Globe and Mail newspaper’s website on Wednesday.

In the story, the 38-year-old recalls how he collected oil company stickers as a boy growing up in Red Deer, and how that interest in the energy sector later led to a job on a drilling rig.

Travis captured the national newspaper’s attention earlier this year when he was named to Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 list — emerging from a field of 1,200 nominees, with his own name put forward by former Alberta premier Peter Lougheed.

That recognition earned him and the other Top 40 finishers short profiles in The Globe and Mail in June.

This week’s article and video provides a more in-depth look at Strata Energy and Travis, and actually caught him by surprise.

“I didn’t know it was in until my sister called me this morning,” said Travis on Wednesday.

In addition to his Top 40 Under 40 honours, he’s currently a prairie finalist in the 2010 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, the winners of which will be announced on Oct. 14.

Strata Energy was also named to the Profit 100 list of Canada’s fastest-growing companies and Alberta Venture magazine’s Fast Growth list in 2009 and 2010.

The company, which is located just north of Red Deer in Blindman Industrial Park, was founded by Travis and his business partner Lyle Filliol in 2003. It now employs about 120 people and has operated in more than a dozen countries on five continents.

It specializes in performance drilling — managed-pressure and underbalanced drilling — which is faster and cheaper than conventional drilling methods.

Strata Energy enjoyed strong performance during the economic downturn, when many other oil and gas companies struggled. It continues to grow, said Travis.

“The U.S. is really opening up for us.”

Public exposure like that provided by The Globe and Mail doesn’t affect the day-to-day operations of his company, he said. But gaining a higher profile can be beneficial when it comes to seeking investors, Travis added.

“It certainly helps in that aspect, absolutely.”

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