Premier confirms Alberta's commitment to the oil and gas sector at Stampede Economic Forum

July 8, 2015 by Mary Moran, President & CEO of Calgary Economic Development 

Mary Moran was recently appointed as the new President and CEO of Calgary Economic Development. The Stampede Investment Forum was launched in 2013 as pilot by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD), the Consider Canada City Alliance (CCCA), Calgary Economic Development (CED) and the Government of Alberta to attract investors to Canada in key economic sectors around world-class events. The success of that initial forum lead CED and the Government of Alberta to establish it as an annual event. 

“We will maintain a warm welcome for investors and uphold their right to earn fair returns … Alberta will continue to be a healthy place for private investment under our government.” – Premier Rachel Notley

Photo credit: Calgary Economic Development

Photo credit: Calgary Economic Development

It was a well-received message delivered to 57 delegates from 14 different countries participating in the third annual Stampede Investment Forum in Calgary this week. Also in the room were 150 individuals from the Calgary business community representing several industry sectors including energy, technology and financial services.

Calgary Economic Development, in partnership with Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers and the Government of Alberta, welcomed delegates from businesses headquartered around the world to showcase Calgary as fertile ground for investment. An exceptionally diverse group of companies attended including environmental design consultants, engineering firms, foreign banks and energy companies, to name a few. But they all had one thing in common: an ardent interest in investing in Calgary.

Lee Wahl, Country Manager at Kufpec, participated in this year’s Stampede Investment Forum. Kufpec is a state owned company from Kuwait with operations in 15 countries and 63 joint ventures. The company’s entrance in Canada occurred in November 2014 with a purchase of a 30% interest in the Chevron Kaybob Duvernay Joint venture. The play is under appraisal in order to understand how to extract the greatest value prior to commercial development by optimizing drill, completion, facilities and marketing costs to enhance the development of 2000 wells.

“The three day stampede investment forum is an amazing three days,” says Wahl.  “We got introduced to CAPP, the Stampede board, Calgary Economic Development, local politicians and Mayor Nenshi on the first day. Second day was seeing the world class Syncrude and Cenovus Christina Lake project which put in perspective the enormity of the thermal assets and to show the minimal impact the mining has on such a huge area. The degree of pride of both projects shows through the people presenting along with the CAPP commentary on the projects.”

Wahl continues, “The last day was several round tables with various business groups identifying the complexity and workings of oil and gas in Calgary.  The three days ensured proper industry contacts were made, identified and enhanced so that a company can quickly grow their presence in Calgary.”

Premier Rachel Notley addressed the delegation and local industry and gave a confidence message and her commitment to improving our environmental performance and reputation. She also reiterated Alberta’s commitment to purposeful diversification and innovation, which closely aligns with the ten year Economic Strategy for Calgary (link to strategy section on website).

“…if there’s one lesson [investors] will learn during their stay, it’s that innovation is at the heart of Alberta industry and always has been. This is true of each sector, including forestry, agriculture and manufacturing.”

Premier Notley also acknowledged the energy industry as our core sector.

“…it’s the oil sands that have really emerged as our international showpiece. For more than half a century, Albertans have been coming up with unconventional solutions for an unconventional resource; so we can extract, handle and ship it responsibly, to the very best of our abilities…. I’m here today to emphasize that the province has a government determined to defend this advantage as a world leader in oil and implement our plan we presented. During the election. To do that we need to be constructive at home, and by build relationships around the world.”

Following her speech, Premier Notley hosted an intimate round table with the 40 Stampede Investment Forum delegates for over an hour. During this open discussion, very few raised concern about the change in government but even those that had walked away with greater confidence in Calgary and Alberta’s future. The Premier also reinforced her support around the importance of market access, and renewable energy. She, like everyone else in Alberta, feels innovation and technology will help us through low oil price cycles and advance our shared concerns for environmental performance.

The Premier also addressed royalty reviews. She maintained that they are a good business practice and we cannot think of a better person than Dave Mowatt of ATB Financial to head the commission. Her openness and keenness to learn is all we can ask for at this time and that was in abundance.

An open house event at the Global Business Centre rounded out the 2015 Stampede Investment Forum with an opportunity for delegates to tour this world class facility, which acts as a landing pad for business expansion in Calgary. With this year’s forum a resounding success, discussions are already underway to begin planning for the 2016 forum. In the meantime, Calgary Economic Development will continue to do what we do best: be a conduit, connector and catalyst for business growth, investment and development and tell Calgary's story to the world.

Source: Calgary Economic Development