Like almost every other public event since COVID-19 hit in March 2020, the Saskatchewan Industrial & Mining Suppliers Association Inc. (SIMSA) had to put off its regular October Oil & Gas Supply Chain Forum.
But now SIMSA is back at it, going virtual with an event to be held on March 24.
Eric Anderson, executive director of SIMSA, said, “We’re going in the end of March. We’re calling it Saskatchewan Suppliers’ Energy Update.”
Social distancing requirements mean things like the speed networking and in-person networking will not be able to take place, but this event will still seek to get information to its participants, according to Anderson.
Eric Nuttal, partner and senior portfolio manager with Ninepoint Partners LP, is the keynote speaker. He recently spoke in a similar event held by the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors, providing a positive outlook for the oilpatch.
Anderson noted that there’s a little broader focus, including things like lithium and hydrogen. All of those are being developed with oilfield services.
The one-day online event will have speakers from oil producer Crescent Point Energy Corp., pipeline company TC Energy, refiner Federated Co-operative Limited, geothermal pioneer Deep Earth Energy Production, SaskEnergy, Prairie Lithium/LiEP Energy, Royal Helium, new micro-refinery Independent Energy Corporation, SaskPower on its Moose Jaw power plant, and hydrogen developer Proton Technologies.
Energy and Resources Minister Bronwyn Eyre will also be speaking. The Government of Saskatchewan partners on these events.
Anderson spoke of optimism of things turning around, and is currently planning on hosting its regular event in Regina this October.
“That’s provided the COVID vaccines roll out, and provided they work. There are a lot of ifs there, but I think we all know what they are. If things change, things change the positive way. We all hope they do.
“Eventually, as the vaccines roll out, planes are going to start flying around, cars are going to start driving around and the demand will return,” Anderson said.
On the supply side, he expects this summer there will be a need to build up inventory, and drilling will start again.