Gateway approval is big news for Red Deer company

The federal government’s conditional approval of Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline project may have been of passing interest to many Central Albertans. But for Shane Walper, it was big news.

The federal government’s conditional approval of Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline project may have been of passing interest to many Central Albertans. But for Shane Walper, it was big news.

Walper is president and CEO of Predator Drilling Inc., and he estimates that 70 per cent of his Red Deer company’s work is connected to the oilsands — primarily through the drilling of core samples for operators there.

“On a revenue basis it’s quite high,” said Walper of Predator’s reliance on the massive resource play in Northern Alberta.

Much of the money it earns finds its way to other local companies, such as service truck operators. And Predator’s employees, who number more than 300 during peak periods, are also recipients.

Many are residents of Red Deer and the surrounding area, but others come from across Canada, said Walper.

“The farthest point to the East Coast that you can go, we have people that come and work for us.”

Mark Salkeld, president and CEO of the Petroleum Services Association of Canada, agreed that the benefits of oilsands growth flows well beyond Fort McMurray.

“We’ve got a number of member companies involved in the oilsands and supporting all the activity there in a different manner,” said Salkeld, whose Calgary-based association represents some 250 companies in the service, supply and manufacturing sectors of the upstream petroleum industry.

That support includes everything from providing instrumentation to fabricating equipment, with WorleyParsonsCord Ltd.’s sprawling modular yard at Blackfalds a visible example of the latter.

“We’ve got a significant number of our members involved in manufacturing,” confirmed Salkeld, adding that PSAC companies from across the province have their fingers in the oilsands.

Many Albertans don’t realize the extent to which oilsands money supports regional economies, said Walper.

“There’s a big trickle-down effect, and I don’t know that everyone fully understands that.”

He and Salkeld agree that the Northern Gateway project and other proposed pipelines are critical for the oilsands to achieve their potential, and generate even greater economic spin-offs.

“We need it,” said Salkeld, adding that those benefits will extend beyond Alberta.

“It’s more than just a provincial thing, it’s a national thing.”

Just Posted

Eager-beaver cannabis entrepreneurs already waiting outside Red Deer City Hall

Appications will be accepted on a first-come basis starting on Tuesday

Like father like son: Red Deer area Dreeshen family dedicates life to public service

There are three jobs that could be considered the Dreeshen family business:… Continue reading

Restaurant owner concerned about Gasoline Alley road changes

Nearly 20 trucks were lined up on the service road in front… Continue reading

Preliminary hearings set for two men charged in weapons and drugs bust

A Red Deer man and Sylvan Lake man are facing 80 charges

Eight dogs found in Innisfail hotel room were kept in cages

Eight dogs, kept in cages in a small hotel room in Innisfail… Continue reading

WATCH: Hypnotizing show at Westerner Days

Hynotist and mentalist Joshua Seth performs three times a day at Westerner Days

PHOTOS: River Town Saints rock Red Deer

River Town Saints play Westerner Days Friday in Red Deer

PHOTOS: Dogs, horses and more animals at Westerner Days

Westerner Park’s pavilions were filled with animals during Westerner Days

Red Deer residents can’t get enough mini-doughnuts

Mini-doughnuts were the biggest draw to Westerner Days according to a Red… Continue reading

Four-car crash, including RCMP vehicle, on Highway 2

Two sheriff vehicles were also involved in the collision

Divers hunt for 4 after Missouri duck boat sinks, killing 13

BRANSON, Mo. — Divers are searching Friday for four people still missing… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer’s noxious weeds are a goat’s dietary delight

Piper Creek Community Garden gets chemical-free weed control

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face B.C. challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and ate blueberry pie in the Cowichan Valley

From hot to not? The Baloney Meter weighs in on Scheer’s economy claims

OTTAWA — “Justin Trudeau inherited a booming economy, but he’s squandering it.… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month