In 1991, he was honoured as Saskatchewan Oilman of the Year. On June 5, Dean Potter could add inductee to the Saskatchewan Oil Patch Hall of Fame to the list of accolades. Here is his biography, as read by Minister of Energy and Resources Bronwyn Eyre:
Dean Potter is a petroleum geologist with over 39 years of experience in exploration and development of oil and gas reserves in western Canada, U.S. Rockies basins and the Middle East.
Dean grew up on a farm just outside Regina, and he still owns that farm today.
He graduated from the University of Regina in 1976 with a bachelors degree in geology. In 1980, he completed his masters degree in geology on base metal deposits at the same university.
He married Judith Casson, initially from the United Kingdom, in 1979. She is also a geologist.
From 1980 to 1985 he worked in district geologist positions with SaskOil. This included work in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Alberta. With SaskOil he was responsible for mapping and generation of viable exploration prospects in a wide variety of stratigraphic horizons under the supervision of experienced geologists and geophysicists.
From there in 1985, he moved to PreCambrian Shield Resources Ltd, which became Mark Resources Inc. He spent seven years there, mapping and generating exploration prospects in Saskatchewan and Alberta. In 1991, Dean was honoured as the Saskatchewan Oilman of the Year for the discovery of the Minton pool in Saskatchewan. While at Mark Resources he had the opportunity to explore the U.S. side of the Williston Basin.
At Upton Resources from 1992 to 1998, Dean was initially vice president of exploration and then senior vice president. He directed the growth of Upton Resources from 850 barrels daily production in 1992 to over 5,000 barrels of daily production in 1997. Growth was accomplished through company-generated exploration and development drilling projects in Saskatchewan and North Dakota.
For the next seven years, Dean established his own geological consulting company, Sito Geoconsulting Ltd. He focused on both sides of the border in the Williston Basin, and other U.S. Rocky Mountain basin plays. He also worked in Alberta and B.C., and consulted on projects in Dubai for four years while working from Canada.
In 1999, Dean also founded DPX Inc. It continues to this day as a private royalty company that remains active today in petroleum exploration and development.
Starting in 2005, Dean founded and led two successful private exploration and development companies, Medora Resources Inc. and Elkhorn Resources Inc.
Medora was a southeast Saskatchewan exploration and production company with a wide focus, from Goodwater, Saskatchewan to Sinclair, Manitoba. This included Crystal Hill, Weyburn, Kisbey (Star Valley) and Fairlight. Medora built up 1,600 barrels per day equivalent of production. The company was sold in 2009 to Glamis, which became Legacy Oil + Gas Inc.
Elkhorn Resources fired up in 2009 and sold in April 2014 to Vermillion Energy Inc. at the peak of the market.
Focused on the Northgate area of southeast Saskatchewan, Elkhorn had grown to more than 4,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day by the time it was sold.
Today, Dean is executive chairman of Burgess Creek Exploration Inc. and maintains an active role in the geological development of drilling opportunities. He acted as technical advisor to CAMCOR Partners Inc. and is currently working technical advisor to Steel Reef Infrastructure Corp.
Dean is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta, Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan and American Association of Petroleum Geologists.
Over a 30-plus year career, Dean has published numerous technical papers, most notably on topics relevant to the Williston Basin in Canada and the U.S. He intends to write several more papers for future generations of geologists working in the Williston Basin.
He enjoys his summers at the lake in B.C., upland game bird hunting in the fall, and winters in the Arizona sun. As passionate as he is for Williston Basin geology, he also has a passion for collection and restoration of vintage Fords.
Dean and Judith have three children, a daughter who is a pediatrician, a son who is a petroleum engineer and another son who is a petroleum geologist.