Weyburn – Eldon McIntyre has been active in the southwest Saskatchewan oilpatch for many decades. He was inducted into the Saskatchewan Oil Patch Hall of Fame on June 5. Minister of Energy and Resources Bronwyn Eyre read his biography at the Saskatchewan Oil and Gas Show. Here it is:
Eldon McIntyre started out operating wells in southwest Saskatchewan. From that he grew his own integrated oil company and has been an investor and director of several successful oil and gas companies, including Celtic and Kelt.
Born and raised in the Hazlet area of Southwestern Saskatchewan, Eldon McIntyre’s father died when he was six, so he did not initially complete his high school, as farming was keeping him from classes.
He married Marilyn Lugvigsen in 1963. She was his business partner from day one. She passed away in 1982.
Eldon started working in the oilfield in 1969. At the age of 27, with a wife and three kids, he found work operating a nearby oil well, then contract operating several more. While taking some night classes he met a foreman for Mobil Oil. It was the biggest operator in the area at that time, and they insisted their workers had Grade 12. This foreman, who was working towards his Grade 12, encouraged Eldon to continue getting his education and recruited him as an employee.
Those early days of operating taught him many principles that would serve him well in the years to come – like the necessity of doing as much of your own work as possible, what’s now known as ‘vertical integration.’ It also taught him how to squeeze a profit out of wells that produce as low as three barrels a day, even today.
A missed opportunity to buy a well put a fire under him to learn as much as he could while he was with Mobil so that wouldn’t happen again.
A 1973 law called Bill 42 caused the Saskatchewan oilpatch to all but shut down. Eldon saw the owner of one well, not far from his Hazlet farm, pull his treater and everything he could out of the property. Eldon was able to buy the well and lease for about $3,000, in 1975, the salvage value of tubing and rods left in the well. It was put into production in 1979, and went on to produce 50 barrels a day. In the 1970s he founded his own oil company, Jarrod Oils Ltd, which is still active today.
Eldon is a strong believer in what he calls “closeology,” his term for drilling close to wells that are already good producers.
While most oil producers in Saskatchewan hire most of their service work, Jarrod Oils keeps much of that in-house. Thus, his crews not only operate wells, but do everything from pipelining and oilfield maintenance to steaming and snowplowing. For a while he also owned two drilling rigs.
Eldon loves making deals, wheeling and dealing on everything from individual wells and their royalties to entire companies and gas fields. When the National Energy Program came in in the 1980s, big companies were getting rid of their small-producing wells, but he always could make a little money on those because he was operating the wells himself.
His primary interest for Jarrod Oils had been the Roseray formation west of Swift Current. One of the reasons he likes the Roseray is that its well tend to last for decades, and they will provide for his family for generations. Eldon Energy was founded in 2000 to be a successor company for his children.
Eldon found success as and investor and he has also been instrumental in directing a number of public oil and gas exploration companies. Often properties retained from one deal would be used to seed a new company. In the 1980s he was involved in Strike Energy and Genesis Exploration in the 1990s. In more recent years he has served as a director of Celtic Exploration, a Montney gas company which was sold to ExxonMobil in 2013. He recently retired from the board of Kelt Exploration.
When it comes to giving, Eldon believes in sharing oil profits close to home, feeling that if you are fortunate enough to make money, it’s your duty to give some back. This included a $10 million donation to the Saskatchewan Children’s Hospital in 2016. He established the McIntyre Family Foundation whose main goal is to give back to his community and province by providing annual scholarships for students in health-related fields of study.
Two of his three children worked extensively in the oilpatch, and all are owners Eldon Energy, a related company of Jarrod Oils. The next generation is also being brought into the family business.
Eldon was named one of 10 recipients of the 2016 Saskatchewan Order of Merit.