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Canadian drilling contractor association changes name to reflect energy transition

CALGARY — A 72-year-old bastion of the Canadian oilpatch is changing its name and mandate in a sign of the times as the world reduces its use of fossil fuels in favour of cleaner, greener forms of energy.

The Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors says it will become the Canadian Association of Energy Contractors after extensive member and industry consultations.

It says it is also adopting an expanded mandate to reflect its members’ roles in developing hydrogen, helium, geothermal and carbon capture, utilization and storage resources, as well as their traditional role in oil and gas exploration and development.

CEO Mark Scholz says association members are looking forward to the challenge of helping to make energy development more sustainable to meet climate change targets.

The drilling contractor industry has been under pressure for years thanks to low oil prices, with activity crashing to historic lows a year ago as a global oil price war coincided with the initial lockdowns of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Canadian drilling rig fleet has fallen to less than 500 rigs from about 625 rigs three years ago and thousands of workers have left the industry.

“Today, governments and industry leaders from across the country, and around the world, have issued a challenge: To make energy development cleaner and even more sustainable to meet ambitious climate targets,” Scholz said.

“This goal is well within our grasp. For over 70 years, CAOEC members have proven to be capable of great things; it is what we do, it is who we are and there is no challenge too large for our people to solve.”

The CAODC was first formed in 1949 by 10 drilling contractors at a meeting in Calgary.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 27, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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