PTRC president promotes Williston Basin Petroleum Conference to Estevan Chamber

Petroleum Technology Research Centre (PTRC) president and CEO Dan MacLean came to Estevan on April 17 in part to speak to the Estevan Chamber of Commerce about the upcoming Williston Basin Petroleum Conference on May 28-29 in Regina.

The event will take place at the Delta Hotels by Marriott in Regina.

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This show will broaden the perspective of the annual conference, which has typically focused on the Williston Basin in the southeast corner of Saskatchewan. The theme of the 2019 Williston Basin Petroleum Conference is “Saskatchewan Now,” with an in-depth look at opportunities and innovations available in the Saskatchewan energy industry.

There will be core workshops held on May 27, the day prior to the main event. That evening will see an invitation-only VIP dinner.

The main portion of the conference starts at 8 a.m. and runs until 6 p.m., with both business and technical events taking place. A conference reception and STARS Air Ambulance silent auction will follow at the Casino Regina ballroom at 6:30 p.m.

While the main event ends on May 29, a tour of SaskPower’s Boundary Dam Unit 3 Carbon Capture and Storage Project and the Aquistore project will be offered on May 30, starting at 8 a.m.

While in Estevan, MacLean noted that he started his current position just before the 2017 edition of the conference. He wasn’t impressed with it. But he was impressed the following year when the conference was held in Bismarck, N.D.

“Here’s what I heard from the governor, and the secretary of the interior: ‘We, in North Dakota are at 1.2 million barrels of oil a day, we’re going to two million barrels of oil a day. We’re going to do it with CO2-EOR (carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery). We can see ourselves as a net importer of CO2 in the near future. We are removing barriers for installing flowlines and pipelines. We have six new gas plants that are starting up.’

“The secretary of the interior says, ‘Oil and gas is great for the State of North Dakota, and it’s great for the United States. We are an environmentally conscientious producer.’”

That motivated him to seek to reinvigorate this years’ conference in Regina.

“So, we need to do this here. We need to demonstrate to people that Saskatchewan is a great place to invest in our industry. So maybe the Williston Basin is a bit mature, so we have reinvigorated this conference. It is still called the Williston Basin Conference, but with the catchphrase, ‘Saskatchewan Now,’” MacLean told the roughly 30 people in attendance.

With the business forums planned, he said, “We’re going to talk about doing business here.”

That includes talking about the mix of energy going forward.

“We’re going to talk about social acceptance, and what is it that industry needs to continue to be aware of, and do, in order to continue to have favour in the areas we operate in.”

There will be private equity representation and two technology panels. Those will focus on things like artificial intelligence, big data and machine learning.

“We’re going to talk with young people. We’re going to find out from them what’s important to them. What do they know, and don’t know, about our industry? What should we be aware of, as old guys and gals, so that, moving forward, it continues to be acceptable to them.”

Registration information can be found at

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