Monday, December 22, 2014

a branch covered in cotton balls

Like always I can't sleep when I get back from mask and machine duty. It has something to do with the tea I consume. I have seen my sister and been reassured she is not yet dead. Violet told me that after I went to the Good Samaritan extended care twice last night  and early this morning ---that she called me three times more for call back but I was obviously dead to the world and did not hear the cell phone.
In any case, they went through a bad time yesterday.
I told my sister to shape up. Violet has enough to do without being driven batty by my sister off her BiPaP. In addition, Violet told me my sister is shutting off the alarm and then the staff don't know when the mask is off her.
It is a problem.
I told Violet I should be able to help out more this coming week but not tonight. as I have to take the boys to Dr. Colliton for their yearly check up.
It is late and I am trying to get younger boy off the computer. Older boy is at his friend's house for a pre-Christmas get-together. He seems to be a social creature utterly unlike hubby and myself for which we are grateful. Of course he has earned his time off because he seems to have done some work at NAIT and I am glad that the year off and working experience at the grunt job indicated to him that he needed to focus.
Soon I will get younger boy off his computer, retrieve his electronic items and get him to brush his teeth, floss and enter bed.

I feel that it is important for me to write down the daily detritus even if no one wants to read the daily traumas because at least it is out of my hollow head. The minor facts of life are tepid and hopeless but it is a good record that can be satisfying if only for the number of words I have expended in explaining why I was stuck in the maze of negotiating a good death for my handicapped sister for most of the last two decades.
I wonder if there is anything as  a good death.
I feel I will be very noxious before I go.
I have thought about death a great deal when I have been forced to do so by confrontations with death in childbirth and in emergency wards and for the most part, it appears as if death comes in a variety of ways, most of them unpleasant.
I think I will be maudlin as I go, whining about the lack of efforts of emergency staff to save my life and add to the worm burden of society.

What was this post about?
I was trying to get younger boy to sleep so that I can sleep. I can't sleep until he does because he will snake back to the computer and I have to be vigilant to prevent this.
The gift for my mother is not bought.
I have cake to buy.
The budget is over the limit.
I don't feel good about the bills that will accost me in January but what can I do?
This is life and we have money for the purpose of making that life rich.
I haven't done any sort of shopping except for food so buying gifts seems a bit odd.
I also want to buy a meat pie from that Sunterra place near Southgate. I like to go to Sunterra even though it is expensive --if only to see all the Christmas luxuries.
When I was a child in Kuwait, the Christmas tree was  a bough of a tree covered in cotton balls. The gifts were sundry junk I could buy. Then the happiness of a mandarin orange in a sock was extreme. When we came to Canada we were poor and so I had to go to the Army and Navy and buy gifts. They served their purpose. Now we aren't poor but I still feel like that beggar who got off the plane in Edmonton to face the foreign faces at Harry Ainlay High School; I feel like the immigrant always. Having become Canadian, having married a Canadian, I feel still like a bit of bough covered in cotton balls--a facsimile of what is the true thing.

Perhaps all immigrants feel like this. Perhaps only our kids born in Canada and assimilated into the culture of their peer groups --only our kids feel integrated and part of the machinery of the society. Right now I feel like a wheel that has come off; like a flat wheel at that.
One day I will look up on my death bed and see the horoscope of months and say, I wish I had enjoyed all these years as an outsider; I wish that I had not wanted to become part of a family of people instead of this beggar who is a branch covered in cotton balls.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

drought

Since no one is talking to me at the Good Samaritan extended care at Millwoods about my sister's medical condition I am only to write about what I observe there. It is odd but most folks at the Good Samaritan Society don't want to communicate with the family of the patient that they have messed with for repeated adverse events. This must be the usual way the folks in the medical and long term care system deal with the mistakes they make and do not want to face.
If I simply shut my mouth and don't yap on a blog there would be sweetness and light; they would go on as oblivious as they have in the past and then the adverse events would keep repeating until my sister is dead.
If I yap with them and write on a blog, they have to go through the motions of changing the structure of the society. The changes that seem to be happening is that everyone is to get a name tag. At least this is all I can see happening. I don't for example see the night RN staff getting any more LPNs to help them when my sister is requiring more support as she is now.
So if the changes that the Good Samaritan Society are engaged in are all about name tags and how to avoid future lawsuits, then what is happening is the surface spin that we are so used to seeing in the operations of the government of Alberta.
We get the chatter but no meaningful change.
Since this is the case (or so it seems to me because no one has responded to my requests for clarification on the small matter of information transmission)--then I will have to keep yapping and writing.
It is best not to get your knickers in  a twist about the way that government and the sister organizations operate. We have seen them operate poorly in times of fat and now that there are lean times ahead I can guarantee you all that there will more messes ahead.
I am going to be at the Good Samaritan extended care at Millwoods a great deal--first because my sister is going through a rough patch while we increase her medications back to where they were in the past, and secondly because her respiratory conditions will keep on being a problem until she dies.
It doesn't help that there is only one RN to look after sixty very compromised patients -one of whom doesn't sleep at night.

The lack of information provision by the Good Samaritan Society is a reflexive move and does not enhance its reputation. I see no reason why I would not get data on my sister. She has provided the society with the paper work to ensure this. AHS has not yet got back to me to clarify what I have to do to increase transparency (if indeed there is anything I can do for the society has decided its own laws and rules). I personally am astonished by the failures of this organization in many areas such as following an adverse event protocol, documenting all incidents and adverse events, following up with family about the adverse events, doing their due diligence with reference to training staff on equipment and mask use, promoting a communication style that requires staff to contact families within a specified number of days to answer their questions and in general operate in a respectful way with the patient advocates like myself who have a thankless job on all sides and really need the support of all

Instead of supporting our work, the Good Samaritan Society has closed the shell about the staff and refused to provide the information that would indicate to family what the heck is going on with my sister's polyuria and other problems. It is odd to me that I am stuck here between an organization that doesn't answer questions and the AHS which doesn't seem to do anything about helping the patient advocate get the answers she needs to find the solutions to the problems afflicting my sister but there you go. In every desert there is a drought and I am in one.  A drought of information that is.

While I am stuck in this desert trying to find a way to access my sister's information such as her current medications, her culture and sensitivity results for her urine, and odd matters such as this --I will soon have to look at the information excess in the box on the coffee table. It is almost Christmas. The gift that I have been given is the box of information on the coffee table that will explain to me how an organization has operated for years in Alberta without any sort of oversight into lax and criminal practices of the sort that I believe seem to have been going on with my sister's case. Once I have read through the data in this box, I will think about the next steps. As Erin Foster told me over the phone when I was yapping to her about the fact that the RRT --Lilia should be the one to take my sister for the blood gas work at the Grey Nuns Hospital---she told me that I should do whatever I need to do--and I plan to follow her advice.

Whatever I need to do. I don't know what I need to do but certainly I do know what my sister needs to have done for her. She needs to have an inquiry into her care that resolves all the doubts in my head about the Good Samaritan Society and its so called care of patients at the Good Samaritan extended care at Millwoods. What happened at this facility? Did other patients die because of a lack of a RRT for 2 out of 5 years at this facility? Who has looked at the fatalities at this place over the past five years? Has anyone seen neglect and failures? Who knows the whole story of the numbers of problems experienced by patients at this place?

I just have a box of information for Christmas.
Erin Foster tells me to go ahead and do what I need to do.
Thanks Erin.
I will do just that.
It may be the only way I get any information.
Now that there is a cone of silence about my sister, the box of information is the only information I have access to.
Perhaps eventually Patient Relations at AHS will find out why I have been cut off the information highway at the Good Samaritan Extended care at Millwoods.
Perhaps I will eventually get the good news of there being no urinary tract infection.
Perhaps.
And perhaps not.
It's not a good place, the desert.
But perhaps all patient advocates go through this place sooner or later.  The desert. The drought.

http://www.albertahealthservices.ca/services.asp?pid=saf&rid=1050751

Continuing Care Centres - Good Samaritan Mill Woods Centre, The

Continuing care centres (e.g., auxiliary hospitals and nursing homes) provide:
24/7 care for people with complex medical needs
short-term care to give a person’s regular caregivers a break (respite)  
rehabilitation, recreation therapy, and dialysis programs
Continuing care centres (e.g., auxiliary hospitals and nursing homes) provide:
  • 24/7 care for people with complex medical needs
  • short-term care to give a person’s regular caregivers a break (respite)  
Services provided  within the centres include rehabilitation, recreation therapy, and dialysis programs

Address

Good Samaritan Mill Woods Centre, The
101 Youville Drive
Edmonton, Alberta
T6L 7A4

Telephone

780-413-3501 , 780-496-1300 (Community Care Access)

Fax

780-462-8850

Web

Wheelchair accessible

For more information please contact the service at this facility.

Hours of Operation

24 hour service
Caregivers are on staff 24/7

Wait time

You will be assessed to find a place that is right for your needs. Wait may be dependant on services needed.

--An alumnus of the University of Saskatchewan (which named a business school after him) and the University of Toronto, Regina-born Edwards told the Post he grew up in a “spectacularly unspectacular middle-class family.” “Anybody can do a deal,” he said at the time. “The tough part is doing the deal at the right time, being strategic.”---------------------Solitario 201 days ago Already caught stealing from Ensign shareholders. Had to give the loot back. Now him and his board buddies doing it again at Penn West. I gave up on asking for justice...There's no such thing in Canuckistan. But do these people have no shame whatsoever ? Is there no limit to their greed ? ------- retired juggie 201 days ago A rather unsavoury story. After the Ensign settlement Mr. Edwards' reputation is in danger of becoming seriously besmirched if this case is proven in court or if there is another settlement.

Things have been fairly busy with the handicapped sister. We are progressing in minute ways. She did not want to go home today so I stayed with her for a couple of hours monitoring her BiPaP use. I was called in by Violet in the early morning of Sunday so I was fairly sleepy myself and napped on the chair by her bed.


I have spend some time reviewing the spill record of CNRL just now and frankly I do not understand why this company is still in business in Alberta. I did note that the owner of CNRL seems to be very well connected.
Who owns CNRL?


http://calgaryherald.com/business/energy/cnrl-chairman-sees-lengthy-slump-in-oilpatch
i
This section is sponsored by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers
x
Presented by:

CNRL chairman sees lengthy slump in oilpatch

Published on: November 28, 2014Last Updated: November 28, 2014 3:15 PM MST
Murray Edwards, chairman of Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., speaks with a shareholder after their annual general meeting in May 8, 2014.
Murray Edwards, chairman of Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., speaks with a shareholder after their annual general meeting in May 8, 2014.
Jenn Pierce / Calgary Herald
LAKE LOUISE — Billionaire oilman Murray Edwards says Calgary and its oil and gas companies are in for a prolonged slowdown in the wake of OPEC’s rejection Thursday of production cuts to support rapidly declining crude prices.
“We’re going to really have to find ways to redo our business if we’re going to remain competitive in this low-price environment,” he told reporters after the morning session of the Bennett Jones Lake Louise World Cup Business Forum on Friday.
“In the short-term, what you’re going to see is projects that are already underway, in the oilsands, mThe chairman of Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., Canada’s largest producer of natural gas and primary thermal oil, as well as owner of the Horizon oilsands mine, said he wouldn’t be surprised if prices fell as much as they did in 2008, when benchmark West Texas Intermediate tested $35 US per barrel for a brief time.ajor projects, will in most cases I believe move to completion … but in the current price environment of $67 today, you will see, I think, a real muting or reduction or deferment of future oilsands projects until you get more stability or more certainty on the oil price.
“And I think that may be what OPEC is wanting to achieve.”
Edwards said he expects a slowdown as well in projects from non-oilsands producers such as those in the prolific but very expensive to develop shale oil and gas sectors in Canada and the United States.
In Calgary, he said, that will affect the economy — he said Canadian Natural has had a hiring freeze for the past four months as oil prices lost more than 25 per cent of their value.
“We put a cap on hiring but we will not be downsizing at all,” he said. “We’ll manage within our existing workforce. We take a long-term view. In our case, we think loyalty and employees are very important.”
Earlier this week, the Herald revealed Nexen Inc., owned by Chinese giant CNOOC Ltd., is laying off four vice-presidents as part of a sweeping restructuring that has cost many other jobs. The company has refused to comment on how many people are being affected.
Edwards said it will be important for the Alberta government to maintain a regulatory framework that “doesn’t put unnecessary red tape or burdens on the industry to make us more cost uncompetitive” as Canada’s relatively high cost energy sector goes through a tough time.
In its recent 2015 capital budget, Canadian Natural laid out plans to spend $8.6 billion but said $2 billion was discretionary spending that can be deferred if benchmark West Texas Intermediate prices fall below $81 US per barrel.
“Today prices are clearly divergent from $81 and we will start looking at how we can manage that flexible $2-billion capital budget in the context of it and do it in a way that is the most efficient from a production point of view and cost effectiveness point of view,” said Edwards.
He said the company will continue with its key growth projects such as the Horizon mine expansion.
Edwards said he believes the long-term “natural” price of oil is above $70 but it will take some time for the market to get back to that level.
Analysts have been slashing their oil price predictions in the wake of the move by the Organization of Oil Exporting Countries.
“Going forward, without a cut to OPEC production, the outlook for 2015 can only be characterized as bearish,” said AltaCorp Capital in a note Friday.
“Longer term, the markets will have to look for: a) the depressed commodity environment to spur global economic growth (namely China) in order to rebalance supply/demand fundamentals and; b) inefficient producers to curb production in higher cost growth regions such as North America.”
BMO chief economist Doug Porter said Friday oil price prospects are a rare threat to Canada’s economy which has recently impressed with strong employment, auto sales, home prices, inflation and GDP growth.
“Does it get any better than this? Sadly, probably not,” he wrote in a report.
“Even with this nice run, we suspect the Bank of Canada will be completely unmoved because of one word — oil. This bounty of good news is almost precisely countered by the coming hit to incomes, government revenues, consumer prices and growth from sagging crude prices, which is a net negative for Canada overall.”
In a note Friday, commodities analyst Martin King of FirstEnergy Capital said: “A flush into the low US $60s per barrel now looks increasingly likely, given the overwhelmingly bearish sentiment in the marketplace; a little lower into the upper US $50s per barrel for WTI for a brief period of time cannot be ruled out; Brent could follow a similar path with a bottoming out in the low US $60s per barrel.”
dhealing@calgaryherald.com
************************************************
The owner of CNRL is Murray Edwards and he has the gall to tell the government of Alberta to not bug the oil companies because they are already under cost constraints. The minor amount of bugging the government of Alberta does allows this guy and his company to mess with the environment and yet he asks for more and more laxity:


http://calgaryherald.com/business/energy/cnrl-chairman-sees-lengthy-slump-in-oilpatch

Edwards said it will be important for the Alberta government to maintain a regulatory framework that “doesn’t put unnecessary red tape or burdens on the industry to make us more cost uncompetitive” as Canada’s relatively high cost energy sector goes through a tough time.


*************************************


Not satisfied by the major concessions of the AER in letting CNRL do whatever the hell it wants to do to the point of pretending that a contaminated aquifer that we don't hear anything about at Cold Lake is being taken care of plus the newly contaminated aquifer by the Wolf Lake operation will get cleaned up--the owner of CNRL is telling us that we'd better not put in tough expensive regulatory barriers in front of the oil and gas juggernaut because that won't do. No, it just won't do.


You gotta admire the arrogance of the oil barons.
But the arrogance comes because everything goes their way.
Even government.
Government bows down to folks like him.


He is pretty high up with the federal government along with a pile of other rich folks.


http://www.fin.gc.ca/n14/14-093-eng.asp

Minister Oliver Announces his Economic Advisory Council

Harper Government remains committed to strengthening the economy for all Canadians

July 16, 2014 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Finance
Finance Minister Joe Oliver today announced the members of his Economic Advisory Council.
The group of 16 members from across Canada includes Canadian business and academic leaders who will meet with the Minister periodically to provide advice on a broad range of fiscal, economic and financial issues, as the Government will be returning to balance in 2015.
The Council members are:
  • John Bradlow
  • Bonnie Brooks
  • Peter Brown
  • Paul Desmarais
  • Murray Edwards
  • Monique Leroux
  • Donald Lindsay
  • Rebecca MacDonald
  • Janice MacKinnon, Chair
  • Jack Mintz
  • Andrew Oland
  • Jim Pattison
  • Dani Reiss
  • H. Sanford Riley
  • Nancy Southern
  • Rob Wildeboer

Quick Facts

  • Council members have agreed to a salary of $1, with their expenses being reimbursed by the Government.
  • The Council was established on December 18, 2008 to provide economic advice to the Minister of Finance in the wake of the global financial crisis and recession.
  • Since the Government introduced the Economic Action Plan to respond to the global recession, Canada has performed better than most developed countries.
  • Real GDP is significantly above pre-recession levels—the best performance in the G-7.
  • The Canadian economy posted one of the strongest job creation records in the G-7 over the recovery, with more than 1 million jobs created since July 2009.

Quotes

"As we return to balanced budgets in 2015 it is important we listen to Canada's leading business and economic innovators. Balanced budgets will provide a host of benefits and opportunities. It means we can lower taxes and invest in the priorities of Canadian families. I look forward to working with the Council members and hearing their ideas as we move toward a new era of fiscal sustainability and prosperity for our country."
- Joe Oliver, Minister of Finance

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Melissa Lantsman
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613-996-7861
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Biographical Notes

John Bradlow

Mr. John Bradlow is the managing partner of Penfund, a leading Canadian private equity firm specializing in providing junior capital to middle market companies throughout North America. He has almost 40 years of broad-based financial experience.
After beginning his career as an investment banker, he joined Bank of Montreal where he became a senior executive. Later, Mr. Bradlow was one of the founders of Private Equity Management Corporation, an institutional money management firm, ultimately acquired by Penfund in 1998.
Mr. Bradlow has an M.B.A. from Harvard University and is a Chartered Professional Accountant (Ontario). He is a director of several federal and private sector corporations and was for many years a director of the Canadian Venture Capital Association.

Bonnie Brooks

Ms. Bonnie Brooks was appointed Vice Chairman of Hudson’s Bay Company in February 2014. She joined Canada’s pioneering retailer, Hudson’s Bay, as President and CEO in 2008 and was appointed to President of the Hudson’s Bay Company in 2012 when Lord & Taylor (USA) joined with the Hudson’s Bay Company.
Before joining HBC in 2008, Ms. Brooks was based in Hong Kong for 11 years, as President of Lane Crawford Joyce Group with more than 500 stores in nine Asian countries, and previously served as Executive Vice President for Holt Renfrew in Canada.
Ms. Brooks holds an M.B.A. from the University of Western Ontario. She was named one of the Top 25 Retailers worldwide by Monocle magazine and was recognized by Fast Company magazine (USA) as one of the world’s “100 Most Creative People in Business.”

Peter M. Brown

Mr. Peter M. Brown is the Founder of Canaccord Genuity Group Inc. which he established in 1968. Mr. Brown retired from the firm in June 2014 and is currently serving as Chairman of the Board for the Fraser Institute, Chairman of the Vancouver Police Foundation and is Chair Emeritus of the Investment Industry Association of Canada. He is also British Columbia’s representative on the Advisory Committee to the Canadian Securities Transition Office.
Mr. Brown is a previous member of the Economic Advisory Council to the Federal Minister of Finance, and recently, the Business Council of British Columbia appointed Mr. Brown to their Board of Governors.
Mr. Brown has received many awards including the Pacific Entrepreneur of the Year, Her Majesty’s Commemorative Golden Jubilee Medal, the Order of British Columbia and was recently inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame.

Paul Desmarais, Jr.

Mr. Paul Desmarais, Jr. is Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Power Corporation of Canada and Co-Chairman of Power Financial Corporation. Prior to attaining his current position he was President and Chief Operating Officer of Power Financial from 1986 to 1989, Vice-Chairman from 1989 to 1990, and was Chairman of the Board from 1990 to 2005.
Mr. Desmarais is Chairman of the Board of Governors of The International Economic Forum of the Americas, Founder and member of the International Advisory Board of l’École des Hautes Études Commerciales (HEC), an Honourary Member of the Desautels Faculty of Management Advisory Board, and a member of the Principal’s International Advisory Board of McGill University.
In 2006 Mr. Desmarais received a doctorate honoris causa from Université Laval, in 2008 from the Université de Montréal, and in 2012 from McGill University. In 2012, he was named Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur in France.

N. Murray Edwards

Mr. N. Murray Edwards is President and owner of Edco Financial Holdings Ltd., a Calgary based management company. He is a leading investor in and a managing director and executive chairman of numerous publicly traded companies including Canadian Natural Resources Limited, Ensign Energy Services Inc., and Magellan Aerospace Corporation. Mr. Edwards is also a director, chairman and co-owner of the Calgary Flames Hockey Club.
At a community level, Mr. Edwards is a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives and the C.D. Howe Institute.
Mr. Edwards graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Saskatchewan with Great Distinction and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Toronto with Honours. After moving to Calgary in 1983 he became a lawyer and later a Partner with Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer, a Calgary based law firm.

Monique F. Leroux

Ms. Monique F. Leroux is the Chair of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of Desjardins Group, a leading cooperative financial group in Canada. A member of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives and the Founders' Council of the Quebec Global 100 network, she also chairs the Conseil québécois de la coopération et de la mutualité and is a member of the Board of Directors of Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada.
Ms. Leroux is also a member of the Board of Directors of the International Co-operative Alliance, the European Association of Co-operative Banks and the International Confederation of Popular Banks and of Crédit Mutuel’s subsidiary CIC (Crédit industriel et commercial). In addition, she is a member of the Governing Board of Finance Montréal, and the Advisory Committee on the Canadian Public Service.
Ms. Leroux is a member of the Order of Canada and an officer of l’Ordre national du Québec. She has received the title of Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, the Woodrow Wilson Award and the Outstanding Achievement Award from l’Ordre des CPA.

Donald R. Lindsay

Mr. Donald R. Lindsay was appointed President of Teck Resources Limited in January 2005 and assumed the additional responsibility of Chief Executive Officer in April 2005. Before joining Teck, he was President of CIBC World Markets and led the bank’s Investment and Corporate Banking Division as well as the Asia Pacific Region. Earlier in his career he was responsible for CIBC’s Global Mining Group.
Mr. Lindsay is a member of the Board of Directors of Manulife Financial Corporation and the Board of Directors of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives. He is Chair of the Board of Governors for Mining and Metals for the World Economic Forum, serves on the Executive Committee for the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference, and previously served as a Member of the Economic Advisory Council to the Federal Minister of Finance.
Mr. Lindsay has a B.Sc. (Honours) in Mining Engineering from Queen’s University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Rebecca MacDonald

Ms. Rebecca MacDonald is a founder and current Executive Chair of Just Energy Group, a Toronto based marketer of deregulated electricity and natural gas.  Just Energy currently supplies more than 2 million customers across Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.
In 1988, Ms. MacDonald founded Energy Marketing Inc., the first company which targeted small customers under Canadian natural gas deregulation. Following the sale of that business, in 1995 she founded a new company which aggregated customers within the UK natural gas deregulation. This company was sold and the proceeds were used to create her current company.
Ms. MacDonald was named Canadian Woman Entrepreneur of the Year for 2002 by the Rotman School of Business, and was named Canada’s top woman CEO for 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 by Profit magazine.  She is also the founder of the Rebecca MacDonald Centre for Arthritis and Autoimmune Disease at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto.
In 2003, Ms. MacDonald was named Ontario Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young, and in 2009 she won the International Horatio Alger Award. She sits on the Board of Governors of the Royal Ontario Museum, is Vice Chair of the Board of Mount Sinai Hospital, and sits on the Board of Canadian Pacific Railway. In 2009 she received an Honourary Ph.D. from the University of Victoria.

Janice MacKinnon

Dr. Janice MacKinnon is a professor of fiscal policy at the University of Saskatchewan, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a former Saskatchewan Finance Minister. Between 1991 and 2001 she was a cabinet minister in Saskatchewan and held various portfolios including Minister of Finance, Minister of Social Services, Minister of Economic Development, and Government House leader.
In 2009 Dr. MacKinnon was appointed to the National Task Force on Financial Literacy, and previously served as a Member of the Economic Advisory Council to the Federal Minister of Finance. In 2012 she was appointed to the Order of Canada and in September 2013 she was chosen as one of Canada’s top 25 Women of Influence.
Ms. MacKinnon has an Honours B.A. from the University of Western Ontario and a M.A. and Ph.D. from Queen’s University.

Jack Mintz

Dr. Jack M. Mintz is the Palmer Chair in Public Policy at the University of Calgary and Director of the School of Public Policy.
Dr. Mintz previously held the position of Professor of Business Economics at the Rotman School of Business from 1989 to 2007 and Department of Economics at Queen’s University, Kingston, 1978 to 1989.  He was a Visiting Professor, New York University Law School, 2007; President and CEO of the C. D. Howe Institute, 1999 to 2006; Clifford Clark Visiting Economist at the Department of Finance; and Associate Dean (Academic) of the Faculty of Management, University of Toronto, 1993 to 1995.
Dr. Mintz has consulted widely with the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the governments of Canada, Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan, and various businesses and non-profit organizations.

Andrew Oland

Mr. Andrew Oland has been President of Moosehead Breweries Limited since 2008. In 2013, he became CEO as well. As President and CEO of Moosehead, he has direct responsibility for the performance of the company and its subsidiary operations.
Mr. Oland currently serves as a board member with the Conference Board of Canada, Beer Canada, and is a member of the New Brunswick Business Council. He has a wide range of concerns and interests outside of the brewing industry.
Mr. Oland received his business degree in 1989 from Old Dominion University in Norfolk Virginia, and his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1997.

Jim Pattison

Mr. Jim Pattison is the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and sole owner of The Jim Pattison Group, one of the largest privately held companies in Canada.
Mr. Pattison serves as a director on various boards, including Canadian Forest Products (Canfor Corporation) and Brookfield Asset Management, and serves as a Trustee on the Board of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation.
Mr. Pattison was appointed to the Order of Canada in 1987 and the Order of British Columbia in 1990.  He is also the recipient of the Governor General’s Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of Canada. Mr. Pattison is an inductee of the Canadian Business Hall of Fame and the Canadian Professional Sales Association Hall of Fame.

Dani Reiss

Dani Reiss is President and CEO of Canada Goose Inc., one of the world's leading manufacturers of outdoor luxury apparel.
In addition to his role at Canada Goose, Mr. Reiss serves as Chairman of Polar Bears International, is a member of the Board of Directors of Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation, and sits on the Advisory Board of Queen’s University School of Business Centre for Responsible Leadership. In 2011, he was named Canada’s Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young.
Mr. Reiss has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Toronto.

H. Sanford Riley

Mr. Sanford Riley is President & Chief Executive Officer of Richardson Financial Group Limited, Canada’s largest independent wealth management firm. Before joining Richardson Financial Group, Mr. Riley was President and CEO of Investors Group Inc., a position he held for nearly 10 years. He was appointed Chairman in 2001.
Mr. Riley is Chairman of the Board of Directors of the University of Winnipeg Foundation and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the North West Company Fund. He serves as a Director of Molson Coors Brewing Company, the Canada West Foundation and the Canadian Western Bank Group.
Mr. Riley was appointed as a member of the Order of Canada in 2002 and the Order of Manitoba in 2013. He is a graduate of Queen’s University in Political Science and of Osgoode Hall Law School.

Nancy Southern

Ms. Nancy Southern is Chair, President & Chief Executive Officer of ATCO Ltd. and Canadian Utilities Limited, an ATCO company. After joining the ATCO Board of Directors in 1989, she served as Co-Chair of ATCO for 16 years prior to being elected Chair in December 2012. Ms. Southern has been President & CEO of both ATCO Ltd. and Canadian Utilities Limited since 2003.
Ms. Southern is a member of The U.S. Business Council, the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, the American Society of Corporate Executives, the C.D. Howe Institute, and a Canadian Member of the Trilateral Commission. In 2013, she was appointed by the Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women to an advisory council to promote the participation of women on public and private corporate boards. She has previously served as a Member of the Economic Advisory Council to the Federal Minister of Finance.
In 2013, Ms. Southern received the T. Patrick Boyle Founder’s Award from the Fraser Institute for her entrepreneurial achievements and recognized accomplishments in the promotion of freedom and free markets. She was also included in Fortune’s list of the “50 Most Powerful Women In Business: The Global 50” and named as one of “The 50 Most Important People in Canada” in Maclean’s. She is an honorary Chief of the Kainai (Blood Tribe of Alberta) and in June 2014, Ms. Southern was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by the University of Calgary.

Rob Wildeboer

Mr. Rob Wildeboer is the Executive Chairman and co-founder of Martinrea International Inc., a global leader in automotive parts manufacturing and product development. Previously, he was a partner of Wildeboer Dellece LLP, a law firm that practises corporate, securities and tax law, which he co-founded in 1993.
Mr. Wildeboer is a director and Vice Chair of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association (APMA), a director of the Canadian Automotive Partnership Counsel (CAPC), a past member of the Science, Technology and Innovation Council of Canada, a member of the Ontario Manufacturing Council, Chair of the CEO Manufacturing Advisory Council of the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Chair of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, and a Member of the Economic Advisory Council to the Federal Minister of Finance.
Mr. Wildeboer holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Guelph, a law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School, an M.B.A. from York University and an LL.M. from Harvard University.
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So you can see they all sleep in the same bed and the bed is pretty darn big.


Now that we have some idea of the kind of influence and connection the owner of CNRL has we can also see that the government has been properly respectful to him. He gets an Order of Canada. I now think of the Order of Canada is the award given to Tory folks who donate to the Tories.


http://www.law.utoronto.ca/news/alumnus-murray-edwards-named-member-order-canada

Alumnus Murray Edwards named a member of the Order of Canada

Tuesday, July 9, 2013
N. Murray Edwards
The Faculty of Law congratulates alumnus and honorary degree recipientN. Murray Edwards, who was recently appointed a member of the Order of Canada. Edwards, LLB 1983, D. Law (hon.), was recognized for his contributions as an entrepreneur, co-founder and chair of Canadian Natural Resources, as an outstanding philanthropist, community volunteer and supporter of Canadian arts, and for his strong commitment to public policy, education, health and a variety of social and cultural issues.
Edwards is one of 16 recipients of the Order of Canada with connections to the University of Toronto. Read more here.


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So Mr. Edwards, in the first newspaper article says that oil prices will go down the drain.


In this second article he repeats his prediction. He isn't worried because he has billions and is properly secure and diversified after using other peoples' monies to get where he is.  We simply need to all become lawyers folks and learn the way to the top of the pyramid.


http://business.financialpost.com/2014/11/28/canadian-natural-resources-chairman-sees-oil-touching-us35-a-barrel/?__lsa=fbef-c849

Canadian Natural Resources chairman sees oil touching US$30 a barrel



Claudia Cattaneo | November 28, 2014 4:38 PM ET
The Canadian sector will be impacted more than many oil-producing jurisdictions around the world by OPEC’s decision Thursday to not cut oil production, said Canadian Natural Resources chairman Murray Edwards.
Gavin Young/Postmedia News filesThe Canadian sector will be impacted more than many oil-producing jurisdictions around the world by OPEC’s decision Thursday to not cut oil production, said Canadian Natural Resources chairman Murray Edwards.
LAKE LOUISE, Alta. – Canada’s oil industry faces a year of “tough slugging,” including the deferment of many projects, as oil prices collapse to as little as US$30 a barrel then likely stabilize around US$70 to US$75 a barrel, oil entrepreneur Murray Edwards predicted Friday.
Because of its high costs, the Canadian sector will be impacted more than many oil-producing jurisdictions around the world by OPEC’s decision Thursday to not cut oil production, said Mr. Edwards, the chairman of Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. and one of Canada’s single biggest oil investors.
Prices could spike down to $30, $40. It got down to $35 in 2008, for a very short period of time
“On a given day you can have market fluctuations where prices fluctuate far more than the underlying economic value of the unit,” Mr. Edwards told reporters on the sidelines of a business forum here.
“Prices could spike down to $30, $40. It got down to $35 in 2008, for a very short period of time,” he said.
“I don’t believe that if it spikes down that low, that it will stay that low for long, because you will see increased demand and supply respond.
“The better question is where does it stabilize, and that $70-$75 area is probably not a bad place to stabilize for a period of time until you get more balance in term of growth in demand and some supply response.”
Mr. Edwards said industry projects that are already under way, particularly oil sands projects with a long-term horizon and capital already invested, will likely continue. But others will be shelved until there is more clarity around future oil prices.
There will also be a slowdown in conventional oil projects, particularly those that tend to produce a lot at the front end, he predicted.
Weak oil prices will force the industry to refocus and look at new way of doing things to cut costs, he said.
Canadian Natural Resources, one of Canada’s top oil and gas producers, will adjust its capital spending next year to reflect weaker oil prices, he said.
The company recently approved an $8.5-billion capital budget for 2015, including $2-billion in flexible capital, based on oil averaging around US$81 for West Texas Intermediate.
Overtime, markets will find a new balance as low oil prices stimulate demand.

Related

“Right now we have more supply than we have demand for a period of time,” he said. “The market is now going to find a price which best reflects what it costs to produce a barrel of oil … nothing solves low prices like low prices.”
Mr. Edwards’ prediction reflects a darkening mood in the Calgary-based sector, already battered by the push-back over planned pipeline projects and increasing uncertainty over the start up of a liquefied natural gas industry in British Columbia, which is also dependent on oil prices staying high.
But he said he expects efforts to build new pipelines like Keystone XL and Energy East to continue because they represent a 30 to 50 year opportunity for the country.
Falling prices have also forced Alberta to manage its budget expectations.
Alberta Premier Jim Prentice told a business luncheon Friday the province would base its spending for the rest of the year assuming oil at US$65 to US$75 per barrel oil.
In his budget update only two days before Alberta Finance Minister Robin Campbell said the province expected to post a $933-million budget surplus, based on WTI averaging out at US$88.88, assuming a world price holding at US$75 per barrel, the price at the time.
Mr. Prentice took a shot at OPEC in his speech, saying the cartel had consciously decided to overproduce and create a price trough for oil in the process.
“It’s clear that we can’t just wait for better prices to return,” Mr. Prentice said.
“We can’t continue watching OPEC meetings to determine how many schools we’re going to build or how many nurses we’re going to have in our hospitals,” he added, echoing a line earlier in the week by his finance minister.
Oil continued to slide Friday, falling US$7.54 to US$66.15 per barrel.


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He says oil prices will go down.
We can already see that and we don't need him to predict the end point of this journey.
He is very diversified so this decrease in oil prices won't bite him in the butt as it is currently biting the Tories in the rump in government.


He is also part owner of the Calgary Flames. The ownership of hockey companies seems to be a rich man thing.


http://flames.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=40745

N. Murray Edwards is owner and President of Edco Financial Holdings Ltd., a merchant banker since 1988. He is a leading investor in, and managing director and chairman or vice chairman of, numerous publicly traded companies including Canadian Natural Resources Limited, and Ensign Energy Services Inc. Today, these companies employ over 15,000 individuals. He is also a chairman, director and co-owner of the Calgary Flames Hockey Club.


Mr. Edwards graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Saskatchewan with Great Distinction and a Bachelor of Laws with Honours from the University of Toronto. After moving to Calgary in 1983, he became a lawyer, and later a Partner, with Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer, a Calgary-based law firm.


At the community level, Mr. Edwards is a member of The Council of Champions of the Calgary Children’s Initiatives and the Canadian Council of Chief Executives. He is on the Board of Directors of the C.D. Howe Institute.
*********************************************


Katz owns the Oilers and Edwards is part owner of the Flames. He also seems to own a heap of other companies such as Edco Financial Holdings Ltd, and Ensign Energy Services Inc.


Let me go look at Ensign Energy Services Inc.

Seems like there was some funny business with this company that has been partially paid back.




Ensign Energy Services accused of option backdating

Company chairman and Calgary Flames part-owner Murray Edwards named in suit

CBC News Posted: Feb 04, 2014 6:02 AM MT Last Updated: Feb 04, 2014 6:51 PM MT
Ensign lawsuit 2:04
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A Calgary oil company is being accused of option backdating.
Ensign Energy Services is dealing with a lawsuit that alleges a number of board members, including chairman — and part-owner of the Calgary Flames — Murray Edwards, backdated stock options for Ensign’s shares over a period of 13 years ending in 2006.
  • Listen to the interview below for more on the story from CBC business reporter Tracy Johnson. ​
Court documents indicate that the potential financial gain to the board members and other Ensign personnel is as much as $8.7 million.
Ensign shareholder John Paquette is behind the action. He is being represented by London, Ont., law firm Siskinds LLP, which has been pursuing stock option backdating cases since at least 2007.  
These allegations haven’t been proven in court. CBC News contacted Ensign about the story, but the company didn't want to comment on a matter before the courts.
Stock options are a very popular employee and executive incentive. The option gives the employee the right to buy a certain number of shares in the company at a set price, called the strike price.
The idea is that when the shares go up in value on the markets, the employee can buy shares from the company at the strike price and then sell them at the market price and make a profit. In Canada the options cannot be granted at a lower price than where the shares were trading the day before they were granted.
Option backdating is the practice of changing the date that a stock option was granted to make the strike price lower and the option more valuable.
Backdating came to the attention of the media and shareholders in the mid-2000s after a number of high profile companies, including the former Research in Motion, settled allegations of backdating.
The Ensign case goes back to 2011, when Paquette’s law firm hired Eric Lie of the University of Iowa to study Ensign’s stock option dating process. Lie has been at the forefront of option backdating research for a decade.
According to court documents, Lie did a statistical analysis of Ensign stock option grant dates from 1993 to 2010 and says that between 1993 and 2006, eight of the nineteen grant dates occurred at the lowest trading day of the month.
After 2006, when public scrutiny of option backdating increased, none of the options were granted at the lowest trading day of the month.

Sealing order lifted

After the lawsuit was filed in 2011, Ensign successfully moved to have the court documents sealed, with CBC News arguing against the sealing order. The documents were unsealed in 2013.
Also in 2011, Ensign hired retired Alberta Justice Dennis Hart to investigate its option granting. Hart then enlisted Ernst and Young to conduct a forensic accounting investigation.
According to an affidavit filed in late December 2013 by a member of Ensign’s board of directors, Hart found that Ensign’s stock option granting process was flawed between the period of 1993 until August 2006.
He calculated a cost to Ensign’s capital of $8.7 million and recommended that Ensign take steps to get that money back from four core insiders who had responsibility over the stock option granting process.
The core insiders are disputing some of the results of Hart’s investigation and negotiations between the board of Ensign and its own insiders have been going on since late 2012.
The Alberta Securities Commission has no public investigation ongoing against Ensign Energy Services.
Lindsay Tedds researches stock option backdating at the University of Victoria.
“In Canada, backdating is completely illegal, and it illegal because we believe stock options should be used solely to align the incentives of the management with the shareholders, instead of it being a compensation mechanism," said Tedds.
Option backdating is no longer considered a significant problem in North America. But forensic accountant Al Rosen says that Canadians still need to care about the issue.
“In the number of years that we’ve been involved, if it isn’t backdating, it’s something else and then a year later, it’s something else, and what’s missing is regulation.”


Murray Edwards settles Ensign Energy stock option dispute

CARRIE TAIT
CALGARY — The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, May. 28 2014, 7:30 PM EDT
Last updated Wednesday, May. 28 2014, 7:40 PM EDT




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One of Canada’s most influential executives is among a group of top officials that agreed to pay millions to oil field services company Ensign Energy Services Inc.after it was determined its system for granting stock options was flawed.
Murray Edwards and three other Ensign insiders agreed to pay a total of $4.37-million to the Calgary-based company, settling a dispute with a shareholder concerned about perceived irregularities regarding stock options. The money is not a fine, but rather reimbursements to the company.


Ensign shareholder John Paquette kicked off the dispute roughly three years ago when he asked the company to examine its historical practices for granting options. After initial legal skirmishes, Ensign retained outsiders to investigate this aspect of its governance. The review, led by the former judge Dennis Hart, took place between mid-2011 and into the later part of 2012.
It “resulted in conclusions that Ensign’s stock option granting process had been flawed in the period 1993 to August 2006,” Justice G.H. Poelman wrote in a decision tied to the case dated April 15.
Stock options are often awarded as part of executive or director compensation packages. Option holders have the right to buy stock at a set price – known as the strike or exercise price – within a certain time frame. When options are issued, the strike price often reflects the stock’s trading price at the time.
The idea is that by the time the option holder is allowed to exercise the option, the stock price will be higher than the strike price, making the security valuable. It is advantageous to hold options with low strike prices.
Mr. Hart’s review of Ensign’s option-granting system “concluded that the company’s practices left open the prospect that hindsight could have been used in the selection of grant dates,” Justice Poelman wrote. The review determined Ensign’s option processes have improved since 2006.
Mr. Edwards, who declined to comment, is one of Ensign’s founders and serves as its chairman. He agreed to pay $529,288. Glen Dagenais, Ensign’s chief financial officer, is set to pay $2.7-million; Robert Geddes, Ensign’s president and chief operating officer, will pay $459,433; and Selby Porter, the company’s vice-chairman, will pay $591,566. The figures were confirmed by Suzanne Davies, Ensign’s general counsel.
The Alberta Securities Commission was informed of the situation, she said.
Ensign, in a statement in April, said the payment “provides for the return to the company of benefits received by certain directors and officers of the company arising from an alleged failure of administration and oversight over the historical option granting process, and repayment of the costs of the related review.”
All directors who were part of the settlement were re-elected as board members in May.
Mr. Hart “assessed the potential gain” to the four core insiders at $2.66-million, with a “total combined potential gain for mispriced options exercised by non-insiders and insiders” at nearly $8.8-million, according to Justice Poelman’s document.
The investigation cost roughly $1.6-million. Ensign must pay about $1-million for Mr. Paquette’s counsel. Mr. Paquette was also awarded a $7,500 “honorarium” because of the years he spent on the situation and because the results are “to the benefit of parties other than himself, including the company and his fellow shareholders,” the judgment said.
Mr. Edwards also founded Penn West Exploration Ltd. and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.

MORE RELATED TO THIS STORY



http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/1341357/ensign-energy-services-inc-resolves-complaint-regarding-historical-stock-option-pricing





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Besides resolving irregularities in the granting of options Ensign Energy Services Inc. seems to be pausing in its business projects as well.


http://calgaryherald.com/business/energy/ensign-pausing-plan-to-build-17-new-high-tech-rigs

Ensign 'pausing' plan to build 17 new high-tech rigs

Published on: December 5, 2014Last Updated: December 5, 2014 3:54 PM MST


An Ensign roughneck works on a rig.
An Ensign roughneck works on a rig. The company is "pausing" part of its rig building plan.
Dave Olecko / Calgary Herald
Driller Ensign Energy Services Inc. says it is “pausing” plans to construct 17 new high-tech drilling rigs as lower oil prices continue to create uncertainty in the oilfield services sector going into winter, the traditionally busiest season in Canada.
On Friday, investors bid the Calgary-based company’s shares higher, reacting to news Thursday after markets closed that its list of 34 new automated drill rigs or ADRs had been cut in half. Each rig costs about $25 million to build.
Ensign announced its capital budget for 2015 has been set at $340 million, about $160 million less than expected by financial analysts.
“The capital budget reflects a realignment of planned expenditures associated with the company’s new-build program,” it stated, adding Ensign still plans to deliver 17 new rigs covered by customer contracts in 2015.
“Ensign is pausing construction on its remaining 17 ADR drilling rigs in its current new-build program in response to current market conditions.”
Ensign also announced a 2.1 per cent increase in its quarterly dividend, to 12 cents per share. Its shares were up about three per cent in Toronto.
Analyst Kevin Lo of FirstEnergy Capital said in a report that he would be reducing estimates for companies in the energy services sector for the third time in two months because producers are expected to cut spending.
“While we expect service companies to report healthy fourth-quarter and first-quarter results, the low oil price today and negative sentiment will contribute to lower capital spending throughout North America,” he wrote.
“Our current forecast has cash flows decreasing 26 per cent year-over-year and conventional capex decreasing by 18 per cent into 2015. We are also forecasting a 2015 estimated well count of 9,500, the lowest well count since 2009.”
He lowered his 12-month Ensign target price to $12.50 from $15 per share.
Analyst Jeff Fetterly of Peters & Co. said Ensign’s lower capital plan makes sense.
“We believe reduced capital spending is prudent given the weakening outlook for North American oilfield services activity and the company’s increasing leverage,” he wrote in a note to investors, adding the deferred rigs weren’t expected to be deployed until the second half of 2015.
Peters raised its target price to $11 from $10.
“Ensign’s stated ‘pause’ of half of the previously announced new-build program, in our view, is a product of producers curtailing spending and not entering into long-term contracts owing to the challenging commodity price environment,” wrote Scott Treadwell, an analyst for TD Securities.
He added Ensign’s building program had been “aggressive,” and moved his target price to $12 from $15.
dhealing@calgaryherald.com


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It is curious to me that they can still give dividends when they are decreasing capital spending and not doing more work but there you go. Investors are irrational and will believe anything that companies tell them.  Why are they able to give dividends when the price of oil is going to new depths? Maybe to keep investors vested?


So there is another company owned by the Murray Edwards guy--it is called Penn West Exploration Ltd. No wonder these folks make billions. They take money from shareholders and leverage into multiple scams (sorry businesses). This is the reason why they are rich and we are not. They know how to fool many folks into handing over their retirement funds for such Ponzi schemes.


Let me look at Penn West Exploration Ltd. now. Looks like this company also has some problems associated with its operations.  Surely not every company that Mr. Edwards is allied to have irregularities?


http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/penn-west-board-faces-allegations-of-stock-option-manipulation/article18978771/


Penn West board faces allegations of stock option manipulation

CARRIE TAIT
CALGARY — The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Jun. 04 2014, 5:00 AM EDT
Last updated Tuesday, Jun. 03 2014, 6:47 PM EDT




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Penn West Petroleum Ltd. is facing allegations of manipulating stock options, with an investor demanding the company launch legal action against six former board members.
David Lester, a Penn West investor, filed a lawsuit against Penn West and its current board, alleging the price for past stock option grants were likely “manipulated, whether through backdating, improper or unauthorized use of insider information or otherwise,” according to court documents. He also alleges Penn West violated its disclosure obligations, among other accusations.

MORE RELATED TO THIS STORY



Video: Does your portfolio need petroleum?
Backdating options, an illegal practice, refers to setting prices for the securities at favourable levels for the option holders, with the benefit of hindsight. Options are often issued to insiders such as executives and directors as a form of compensation and incentive to boost shareholder value.
Ensign Energy Services Inc. insiders in April agreed to pay $4.37-million back to the company in order to settle a dispute similar to the Penn West allegations.
Murray Edwards, a high-profile oil patch executive, founded Penn West, Ensign and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. He is one of the former board members Mr. Lester wants Penn West to take action against. He is the only executive named in both the Penn West and Ensign cases.
Stock options come with so-called strike prices which often reflect the stock price at the time the options are issued or an average of the stock price in the days leading up to the option grant. Option holders are given the right to buy stock at the strike price and profit if the stock rises afterward. Backdating refers to retroactively selecting the grant date, with the intention of picking a low strike price. Penn West, Mr. Lester alleges, issued options that were already “in the money,” violating its option plan. Penn West’s then-board members “failed in their duties as directors,” according to his court document filed May, 2013.
Clayton Paradis, a spokesman for Penn West, a large oil producer with a market value of about $5-billion, said the company acknowledges the lawsuit but will not comment because the case is before the courts.
Erik Lie, a professor of finance at the Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa and backdating expert, identified 27 times Penn West granted options between 1993 and 2010 with the strike price equal or very close to the average stock price during the five preceding trading days, according to his affidavit in support of Mr. Lester’s claims. In 15 of those dates, the average five-day price immediately before the grant date is lower than any of the average five-day prices over the following 20 trading days.
“I conclude that the grant dates were likely to have been manipulated to coincide with dates on which the lagged five-day average market prices were particularly low,” he said in an affidavit. “I believe that the form of grant manipulation is backdating.” Mr. Lie was retained by Siskinds LLP and Jensen Shawa Solomon Duguid Hawkes LLP – Mr. Lester’s lawyers. Those law firms also represented the shareholder who went after Ensign.
The probability that the five-day average price immediately before the grant date is the lowest five-day average prices during the 21-day period starting the day before the grant date in these 15 cases is 0.019 per cent, or one in about 5,000, Mr. Lie wrote in his affidavit.
Mr. Lester wants the company to pursue legal action against Mr. Edwards, Nabih Faris, Thomas Phillips, Murray Nunns and John Brussa, who were all directors that served on Penn West’s compensation committee during the relevant times. He also wants Penn West to launch legal proceedings against Bill Andrew, Penn West’s former chief executive officer and board member.
None of the allegations have been proven in court. Mr. Edwards did not return a call and e-mail seeking comment. Mr. Andrew, Mr. Phillips and Mr. Nunns did not return messages seeking comment. Mr. Brussa and Mr. Faris declined to comment. Steve Leitl, a lawyer at Norton Rose Fulbright who is acting for Mr. Brussa, Mr. Andrew and Mr Phillips, declined to comment because the case is before the court.
Mr. Edwards was one of the Ensign executives who settled that case in April agreeing to pay $529,288.
Other companies have paid millions of dollars to settle options backdating cases. Canada’s most high-profile backdating case involves Research In Motion Ltd., now BlackBerry Ltd. Co-founders Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, along with other insiders, reached settlements with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for $1.425-million (U.S.) and the Ontario Securities Commission for $77-million (Canadian) in 2009.

MORE RELATED TO THIS STORY



Solitario 201 days ago Already caught stealing from Ensign shareholders. Had to give the loot back. Now him and his board buddies doing it again at Penn West.  I gave up on asking for justice...There's no such thing in Canuckistan.  But do these people have no shame whatsoever ? Is there no limit to their greed ?    +3

retired juggie 201 days ago A rather unsavoury story. After the Ensign settlement Mr. Edwards' reputation is in danger of becoming seriously besmirched if this case is proven in court or if there is another settlement.

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It's either the environmental spills or the money spills.  This is a pattern of bad behavior that they don't seem to admit to but simply pay out the money to the company that they seem to have obtained by manipulating the stock options.


I don't know about you but that sounds rather fraudulent to me and yet we have this guy on the federal Economic Advisory Council. I should ask Mr. Oliver why he is on the Council when he apparently has so many lawsuits about stock option manipulation in companies he owns. But maybe this sort of a background is necessary to get in with the federal Tories?


In any case I find another company the guy is involved with and it also has problems.


http://globalnews.ca/news/1496838/mount-polley-tailings-breach-who-is-imperial-metals-murray-edwards/


August 7, 2014 12:38 pm
Updated: September 9, 2014 10:08 pm

Mount Polley tailings breach: Who is Imperial Metals’ Murray Edwards?

AnnaBy Anna Mehler PapernySenior Producer, Investigative Data Desk  Global News


Deborah Baic The Globe and Mail
He’s one of Canada’s most prominent billionaires – co-owner of the Calgary Flames, chairman and creator of oilsands giant Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. and head of Penn West and other sundry energy companies. According to Forbes, he’s worth about $2.2 billion (but told the National Post last year he doesn’t keep track).
He chairs Ensign Energy (and paid, along with other insiders, a total of $4.37 million as a reimbursement to settle concerns around stock option irregularities earlier this year); he owns Resorts of the Canadian Rockies and chairs Magellan Aerospace.
Forbes called him “the most important billionaire in Canada” two years ago, shortly after the Globe and Mail reported he’d advised Prime Minister Stephen Harper on how to deal with ownership bids by state-owned foreign (read: Chinese) companies for Canadian resource companies.
Murray Edwards is also the controlling shareholder of Imperial Metals, whose Mount Polley mine tailings pond failed catastrophically in the early hours of Monday morning, releasing a wall of sludge and wastewater whose full impact on the people and wildlife of British Columbia’s Cariboo Region have yet to be fully felt.
Edwards hasn’t spoken on the spill and hasn’t returned calls from Global News requesting an interview this week.
(We feel less slighted knowing that, several years ago, he tried to flee an interview when he found himself alone unexpectedly with a reporter)
Edwards owns 36% of Imperial Metals, whose share price has tanked since Monday’s breach – down 44% by Tuesday, by noon Thursday it was sitting at about $9.55 , compared to more than $16 a week ago.
It isn’t clear what the massive tailings breach will mean for Imperial Metals, which has multiple other mines in B.C. and elsewhere, including Red Chris, which has yet to begin production.
Mount Polley was Imperials’ first mine and, as chairman Pierre Lebel told the Vancouver Sun earlier this year, it almost didn’t materialize when partner Gibraltar pulled out.
“Don’t even think about” abandoning the project, Lebel recalls Edwards saying. “We can do this on our own.”
Lebel described Edwards as a “very engaged partner” on Red Chris – someone who is “all about making things happen.”
“It always amazes me the depth of Murray’s understanding and his ability to retain details and names and events of the past,” Lebel told the Sun. “He engages people as he goes along. People really respond well to him.”
Recent court cases have established a precedent for a company’s directors being held responsible for environmental misdemeanours: The Ontario government has argued directors of a now-insolvent company were responsible for cleanup at a contaminated site.
But the Canadian Energy Research Institute’s Dinara Millington thinks it’s unlikely the Mount Polley breach will hurt Edwards directly.
“Him personally beign held responsible, I don’t think so. But what might happen is you might see if he’s feeling pressure … he might be selling off shares,” she said.
“There could be pressure – internally or externally … to get him to rethink what companies to invest in.”
Last year, Edwards was awarded the International Horatio Alger Award, given to someone “who has persevered through adversity to become a successful entrepreneur or community leader.”
“There isn’t a Canadian more deserving of this award than Murray Edwards – a man of extraordinary business achievement and a dedicated philanthropist,” Dominic D’Alessandro, President of the Horatio Alger Association of Canada, said in a statement at the time. “Murray’s story showcases that hard work pays off.”
An alumnus of the University of Saskatchewan (which named a business school after him) and the University of Toronto, Regina-born Edwards told the Post he grew up in a “spectacularly unspectacular middle-class family.”
“Anybody can do a deal,” he said at the time. “The tough part is doing the deal at the right time, being strategic.”


RELATED

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I guess Mr. Edwards may not be as strategic as he should be. This seems to be a long list of problems that one guy has been responsible for while making a ton of money. I've not even listed all of the CNRL problems. I will list some of them here so that I can work on them as time permits.

Canadian Natural Resources pipeline leaks near Slave Lake

70,000 litres of oil and processed water leaked, but CNR says it has cleaned up

The Canadian Press Posted: Apr 03, 2014 12:08 PM ET Last Updated: Apr 03, 2014 12:12 PM ET
191 shares






Related Stories

 Canadian Natural Resources
CNRL is reporting 60,000 litres of crude oil spilled 27 kilometres north of Red Creek. Pipeline image is taken from the Canadian Natural Resources website. (CNR)
A pipeline owned by Canadian Natural Resources Limited has spilled 70,000 litres of oil and processed water northwest of Slave Lake, Alta.
The Alberta Energy Regulator says the breach happened on Monday and was reported by CNRL the same day.
The regulator says the spill is not an emergency, the oil is not near any people, water or wildlife, and a cleanup is underway.
Low amounts of hydrogen sulphide gas were also detected.
Greenpeace Canada says CNRL has had almost twice as many pipeline incidents as other companies in Alberta.
Calgary-based CNRL said most of the spill — 68,250 litres — is processed water and all the oil has been recovered.
"Full fluid recovery is almost complete," Zoe Addington, public affairs adviser for CNRL, said Wednesday in an email to The Canadian Press.
"The leak was a result of an onsite, above ground pipe failure and leaked for less than three hours."
The company is investigating.




Environment — April 7, 2014 at 8:25 PMFrom Northern Alberta

CNRL pipeline breach spills oil near Slave Lake

Spill is company’s tenth incident this year in Alberta

Bitumen oozes from the ground at CNRL’s Primrose site near Cold Lake in a separate but ongoing oil spill incident in Alberta. The company has reported 10 incidents in one year.
Photo: CNRL
Bitumen oozes from the ground at CNRL’s Primrose site near Cold Lake in a separate but ongoing oil spill incident in Alberta. The company has reported 10 incidents in one year.
The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) is once again investigating an incident involving oil company Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNRL) in northern Alberta following a pipeline leak near Slave Lake that spilled 70,000 litres of crude and wastewater.
The company’s tenth incident this year, the pipeline breach was reported on Wednesday when the leak was found.
According to CNRL spokesperson Zoe Addington, the spill was composed of 1,750 litres of oil and 68,250 litres of processed water.
The company is investigating the cause of the leak, which was the result of an onsite pipe failure and leaked for less than three hours.
“All the fluid is contained and the oil has been fully recovered,” Addington said. “The spill was on lease, and not near any people, water or wildlife.”
According to Greenpeace, the company has had nearly twice as many incidents in Alberta as any other company over the last decade.
CNRL is currently battling a series of underground leaks at its Primrose oilsands site near Cold Lake, where bitumen has been unstoppably oozing to the surface for more than 10 months at four separate sites. More than 11,000 barrels of oil have come to the surface and around 6,300 collected.
Though the AER investigation into the leaks is ongoing, the company attributes the leaks to well-bore failures.
An additional leak at the Primrose site in January saw 27,000 litres of bitumen breach a cement well casing and seep into an adjacent rock layer, though no oil came to the surface.
CNRL recently requested permission to restart production at its Primrose site, which has been suspended since last June when the leaks were discovered, but was turned down by the AER.
The company also came under fire from the provincial government last month for releasing hydrogen sulphide gas from its Horizon upgrader facility near Fort McMurray last August and is now facing 11 charges.




Alberta Primrose oilsands leaks contained, says CNRL

Nearly 1 million litres of bitumen leaked into bush on Cold Lake Air Weapons Range

The Canadian Press Posted: Aug 01, 2013 8:12 AM MT Last Updated: Aug 01, 2013 8:11 AM MT
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A "mechanical failure" at an old well is behind ongoing bitumen seepage at the Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. oilsands project on the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range in northeastern Alberta, the company says..
The Calgary-based company said Wednesday the damage has been contained and the cleanup is proceeding well.
"Canadian Natural is confident the cause of the seepage is due to the mechanical failure of well bores in the vicinity of impacted locations," president Steve Laut said in a conference call. "We have a pretty good idea of the likely well bores."
At least one critic wondered if that was the whole answer, pointing out that an earlier spill at the same site was judged to be at least partly caused by CNRL's practices.
Quoting from an investigative report into a 2009 CNRL leak, the Pembina Institute noted that the regulator concluded: "The (Energy Resources Conservation Board) is also of the view that geological weaknesses in combination with stresses induced by high-pressure steam injection may have contributed to the release."
For weeks now, bitumen has been oozing to the surface at CNRL's Primrose project, which uses high-pressure, high-temperature steam to soften underground bitumen and force it up wells.
Almost a million litres of bitumen have so far leaked into the bush and muskeg and another 2,400 litres seep in every day.

Much of oozing bitumen removed

Laut said each of four locations where bitumen has been oozing to the surface has been secured. The affected area has now been reduced from about 20 hectares to 13.5 hectares and much of the bitumen has already been removed.
"The bitumen emulsion will continue to seep at an ever-declining rate for a period of time," said Laut. "There is effectively little to no environmental damage to manage the ever-declining seepage."
The seepage consisting of bitumen instead of oil makes the cleanup easier in some ways, he added.
"It's heavy and it's viscous and it doesn't actually flow unless it's warm, so it doesn't go very far and it's very easy to collect."
Laut said an old well drilled in 1997 by a previous operator is the suspected culprit. The company will check records for all the wells on its lease to see if any of them might pose a future risk.
"If we see wells that are flagged as having higher risk, we're going to go back and determine if there is a risk there. If there is a risk, we'll remediate it."

Steaming process can be adjusted, CNRL says

If any wells aren't fixable, the company can adjust its steaming process to eliminate the risk, Laut said.
There is little chance that the injected steam has damaged the cap rock over the deposit, he said. That would require more steam pressure than the company uses.
"It's impossible to frack through (the rock) with the pressures we're using."
However, Alberta's previous energy regulator said in its investigation into the 2009 spill that the cap rock could contain pre-existing faults or might have been recently cracked.
The Energy Resources Conservation Board also blamed the high  volumes of steam that CNRL injected.
"The ERCB is of the view that this likely contributed to the bitumen emulsion surface release. CNRL acknowledged that the Cycle 1 injection volumes may have contributed to the release," said the board's report.
The company said there is no risk to humans from the seepage, although 16 birds, seven small mammals and 38 amphibians have died as a result.
The discoveries were immediately reported to the Alberta Energy Regulator, which is working with the company and Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development to investigate and remediate affected locations.
The company's near-term steaming plan at Primrose has also been modified as a result of the spill, with restrictions on steaming in some areas until the investigation is complete.
Laut said the cleanup is likely to cost about $40 million.
Another $20 million will be spent drilling new monitoring wells.
He said it's not expected that the company's production figures of between 100,000 and 107,000 barrels a day will change, although its estimates for next year's production will be about 10,000 fewer barrels a day.
Laut said the company believes the 2009 spill was also caused by a well failure, that time one of its own. Well designs were modified after that. Older wells were checked, but not as closely as they will be now.
"We didn't go through them with the same rigour that we're doing at this point in time. There was a belief that it wasn't an issue."





News Release 2014-07-22 (AERNR2014-17)

VIEW PDF (291.58 KB)

Alberta Energy Regulator responds to reports on the cause of bitumen releases at CNRL’s Primrose project

For immediate release
Calgary, Alberta (Jul 22, 2014)…
The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) has released the results of an independent technical review of the Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNRL) causation report into the 2013 bitumen flow-to-surface (FTS) incidents at the east and south sections of CNRL’s Primrose project and concurs with the main contributing factors.
Four FTS incidents have been reported to the AER since May 2013 and AER-imposed restrictions on steaming activity at Primrose East and within one kilometre of Primrose South have been in place since June 2013. About 1180 cubic metres of bitumen emulsion has been recovered from the four sites, and the area affected is about 20.7 hectares. The bitumen release has been contained. Cleanup efforts are ongoing.
On June 27, 2014, CNRL provided the AER with a causation report that identified four conditions that enabled or significantly increased the probability of an FTS event. The AER has completed a preliminary review of both the CNRL report and the independent technical review of CNRL’s report and has determined that the enabling factors fall into two main areas: the steaming strategy used by CNRL and wellbore issues.
The independent technical review indicated that CNRL’s strategy to inject large volumes of steam at fracture pressure in closely spaced wells was a fundamental cause of the FTS incidents.
“Our assessment of the reports leads us to believe that these flow-to-surface events can be prevented if proper mitigation measures are put in place,” said president and CEO Jim Ellis. “That said, the AER is not prepared to approve a return to full operations at these sites until all potential risks are addressed and proper requirements are in place to avoid a similar incident. This will require a gradual, step-by-step approach that allows us to manage those risks.”
The AER’s investigation is ongoing. CNRL and the panel that conducted the independent technical review continue to collect and analyze data and will submit final reports to the AER in September 2014 once all the data have been analyzed.
Copies of the current reports can be found at http://aer.ca/compliance-and-enforcement/cnrl-primrose
The AER ensures the safe, efficient, orderly, and environmentally responsible development of hydrocarbon resources over their entire life cycle. This includes allocating and conserving water resources, managing public lands, and protecting the environment while providing economic benefits for all Albertans.




FOR BROADCAST USE
The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) has released the results of an independent technical review into the causes of the 2013 bitumen flow-to-surface incidents at the east and south sections of Canadian Natural Resource Limited’s Primrose project. The AER concurs that the main contributing factors were the steaming strategy used by Canadian Natural Resources Limited and wellbore issues. While the AER examines what measures can be put in place to prevent similar incidents, steaming restrictions at the four sites remain in place. The AER investigation is ongoing.
– 30 –
For more information, please contact:
Bob Curran, AER Office of Public Affairs
Phone: 403-297-3392
E-mail: bob.curran@aer.ca
Media line: 1-855-474-6356- See more at: http://www.aer.ca/about-aer/media-centre/news-releases/news-release-2014-07-22#sthash.2IKwMicX.dpuf










Canadian Natural Resources applies to resume Primrose crude extraction

Calgary-based company says it plans to use different steaming method to avoid more leaks

The Canadian Press Posted: Aug 07, 2014 4:44 PM MT Last Updated: Aug 07, 2014 4:44 PM MT
About half of current oilsands production comes from in-situ methods that pump steam deep underground to soften the tarry bitumen and enable it to flow through to the surface. CNRL says it would use a different method if approved to resume crude extraction at its Primrose East site.
About half of current oilsands production comes from in-situ methods that pump steam deep underground to soften the tarry bitumen and enable it to flow through to the surface. CNRL says it would use a different method if approved to resume crude extraction at its Primrose East site. (Canadian Press file photo)
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Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. is seeking approval to resume crude extraction from the part of its Primrose East oilsands property where a bitumen-water mixture was found oozing to the surface last year.
But the Calgary-based company (TSX:CNQ) said it's planning to use a different steaming method that it says would avoid the problems that may have led to the high-profile leaks in eastern Alberta, which are still being investigated by the province's energy watchdog.
Canadian Natural filed an application to the Alberta Energy Regulator last week asking for permission to inject steam at low pressure in a technique known as steam flooding.
Previously, Canadian Natural had injected steam at high-pressure using a technology known as cyclic steam stimulation, the safety of which has been questioned by environmental groups. With that method — often described as "huff and puff" — a well alternates between injecting steam and drawing the softened bitumen to the surface.
On a conference call with analysts Thursday, Canadian Natural president Steve Laut says it's "not possible" for steam flooding to create the same conditions that led to the Primrose East leaks.
Cyclic steam would enable production to ramp up more quickly, but rates over the long term are expected to be the same if steam flooding is used instead, said Laut.
"I wouldn't see much of a drop in overall yearly average production from a steam flood at this stage versus a cyclic program at this stage," he said.

Primrose leak site "unique" area, says CNRL

The AER has said it won't allow steaming to resume until it's convinced all the risks have been addressed.
Last month, the energy watchdog said it had a better idea of what went wrong at Primrose. It said the main issues centre around Canadian Natural's steaming strategy and on old wellbores around the site that have provided paths for fluids to flow to the surface.
Once a final report has been completed, Canadian Natural said it will apply to use cyclic steam on other parts of the Primrose East property. The section of Primrose East where the leaks took place, and where the company wants to use steam flooding, is a "unique area geologically," said Laut.
Some 1.2 million litres of the bitumen-water emulsion have been recovered and 20.7 hectares have been affected.
The company said on Thursday that clean-up is complete.

Turn down application, Greenpeace urges

Greenpeace campaigner Mike Hudema said the fact that CNRL wants to restart steaming before the investigation is complete "shows what little regard the company has for the environment."
"Not only should the Alberta Energy Regulator quickly turn down this application, it should force CNRL to stop all operations in the troubled region and begin the independent in-situ safety inquiry that dozens of First Nations, landowner and environmental groups have called for."
Production from Canadian Natural's steam-driven oil operations is expected to come in lower than previously anticipated, with the bottom end of the range lowered to 112,000 barrels per day from 120,000.
Some of that is due to the fact that it's taking longer than expected to start steam flooding at Primrose East. As well, mechanical issues at Canadian Natural's Kirby South steam plant are causing production to ramp up more slowly than planned.
Earlier Thursday, Canadian Natural said it more than doubled its second-quarter net earnings, helped by increased sales and higher prices.
The Calgary-based oil and natural gas producer reported profits of $1.07 billion, or 97 cents per share, versus $476 million, or 44 cents per share a year ago.
Adjusted profits were $1.04 per share, which beat analyst expectations by six cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters.
Company-wide production for the three months ended June 30 grew 31 per cent to 817,471 barrels of oil equivalent per day.
Realized prices for its crude oil averaged $87.03 per barrel, up nearly 16 per cent from the same period a year earlier.
Product sales rose to almost $6.11 billion from $4.23 billion.
Shares of the company closed down nearly 2.3 per cent at $44.82 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.




CNRL Primrose

September 15, 2014

The Alberta Energy Regulator continues its investigation into the flow-to-surface (FTS) events at the Canadian Natural Resource Primrose East and South Locations on the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range. CNRL has reported four FTS releases since May 2013.


Updates – AER approves CNRL Application to conduct low pressure steaming at Primrose East Area 1


The AER has conducted a comprehensive technical review of an application from CNRL to convert operations at Primrose East Area 1, from high-pressure cyclic steam stimulation (HPCSS) to low pressure steamflood operations.
This method of production involves steam injection at much lower pressures, less than half, than the previous HPCSS method.
The AER applied a rigorous evaluation process and is satisfied that the modified approach will successfully mitigate potential risks of further bitumen release, either in the form of increased volume at the existing flow to surface sites, or new flow to surface incidents.
In the summer of 2013, the AER directed CNRL to enhance monitoring at the Primrose sites.  That monitoring remains in place and will assess any impacts to low pressure steaming.
CNRL continues to comply with the terms of the Environmental Protection Order and Enforcement Order in place.
As a result, the AER has granted approval for this lower-pressure steaming approach at Primrose East.
If flow rates at the existing sites increase, or if new sites occur, the AER will immediately take action that may include ordering the company to stop steaming.
The AER is not prepared to allow full high-pressure steaming operations at these FTS sites until the investigation is complete, all potential risks are addressed and a proper assessment of the modified low-pressure approach has been conducted.
The AER investigation is ongoing and a final report will be made public.




Update - July 2014
The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) has released the results of an independent technical review into the causes of the 2013 bitumen flow-to-surface incidents at the east and south sections of Canadian Natural Resource Limited’s Primrose project. The AER concurs that the main contributing factors were the steaming strategy used by Canadian Natural Resources Limited and wellbore issues.
On June 27, 2014, CNRL provided the AER with a causation report which identified four conditions which enable or significantly increase the probability of an flow-to-surface (FTS) event.
- See more at: http://www.aer.ca/compliance-and-enforcement/cnrl-primrose#sthash.HMJ0uaqm.dpuf




CNRL Primrose FAQs

September 15, 2014

Incident History
Question: When did these incidents occur?
Answer: The first flow to surface incident was identified in May 2013. Between May and June 2013, CNRL reported four flow to surface incidents at the Primrose East and South locations.
Question: What did the AER do when the incidents were discovered?
Answer: The AER immediately responded with inspectors and investigators to ensure the FTS incidents were being appropriately managed. As per our protocol, once the releases were contained and clean up was underway, we moved to a full investigation into the incidents. Restrictions were put into place at Primrose East and South while the investigation takes place.
Question: What restrictions were put in place?
Answer: In July 2013, the AER prohibited steaming at all of Primrose East and within one kilometre of the Primrose South FTS location. This restriction has been amended to allow low-pressure steaming in Primrose East.




Causation Report
Question: What caused the incident?
Answer: The CNRL report indicates that there are four enabling factors that could have caused the FTS incidents. The four factors include:
  • Excessive release of bitumen emulsion from the producing reservoir into the overlying Grand Rapids
  • A vertically induced fracture that moves to the top of the Grand Rapids formation
  • A significant heaving of the overburden (overlying shales) which could allow for vertical fractures.
  • In addition, there are vertical pathways through which fluid can travel through shales (i.e., existing wellbores and/or natural fractures or faults), which may have contributed to the FTS events.
Question: So are you just taking their word for it?
Answer: The causation report was completed by CNRL staff, however the AER has been collecting and analysing data (both that collected by CNRL and its own information) and conducting a technical review as part of our investigation. In addition, the AER ordered a third-party review by an independent panel of technical experts.


Question: Who is on the independent panel?
Answer: The panel includes experts in the field such as Russ Bacon, P.Eng., Keith Hirsche, Rick Kry and Pat McLellan, P.Eng. The panel was selected by CNRL in response to an Environmental Protection Order (EPO) issued by Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development. The responsibility for the EPO was transferred to the AER on March 29, 2014.
Question: What does the independent panel say caused the incidents?
Answer: While the independent panel agreed with the factors pointed out by CNRL, they indicated that the steaming strategy that CNRL employs, namely large volumes of steam injected at fracture pressure in closely spaced wells, is a fundamental cause of the FTS events.
Question: Does AER agree with the cause of the incident?
Answer: The AER agrees with the conclusions of the July Causation reports in that the FTS incidents were likely caused by a combination of CNRL’s particular steaming strategy and potential well bore issues. As a result, the AER is not prepared to allow full high pressure operations at these sites until all potential risks are addressed and proper requirements are in place to avoid a similar incident. This will require a gradual, step-by-step approach that allows us to manage those risks.




Application Approval
Question: What has the AER approved?
Answer: The AER has approved CNRL’s application to convert operations at Primrose East from high-pressure to low pressure steam, less than half of original steam pressures. The AER is satisfied this approach will successfully mitigate potential risks of further bitumen release at the sites.
Question: Why did the AER approve CNRL’s application?
Answer: The AER is satisfied that the modified low-pressure approach to steaming operations effectively address all four factors identified in CNRL’s Causation Report that enable an FTS release to occur. The independent panel also agreed with CNRL’s identification of the four contributing factors and stated that three of them would be mitigated by a low pressure steaming operation similar to the one proposed in CNRL’s application.
CNRL will use much lower steam pressures – from 11 MPa to 4 MPa. MPA stands for megapascal. The pascal (symbol: Pa) is a unit of pressure defined as one newton per square metre.
Question: Why would the AER allow steaming to resume before the investigation is complete?
Answer: Although the investigation continues and CNRL’s final report has not been submitted, no further information is expected to be provided in the final report that will influence the technical recommendation. The AER is satisfied that the causation reports submitted in July have identified the causes of the FTS event, allowing the investigation to move into its final phase. Allowing low pressure steaming will also allow the AER to assess the modified approach and ensure all appropriate measures have been taken to prevent another flow to surface event..
Question: What happens if the flows from the FTS sites increase or new FTS incidents occur?
Answer: If flow rates at the existing sites increase, or new sites occur, the AER will immediately take action to address the event and may require the company to stop steaming.
Question: Will you be monitoring the effects of the low-pressure steaming?
Answer: Last summer the AER directed CNRL to enhance monitoring at the Primrose sites. That monitoring remains in place and will assess any impacts to low pressure steaming.




Future Operations at CNRL
Question: Why doesn’t the AER just shut CNRL down completely until the investigation is completed?
Answer: The restrictions put in place are designed to address those areas where FTS incidents have occurred. CNRL has conducted operations on a modified basis, with reduced volumes as directed by the AER, without FTS incidents at other sites. The AER does not feel a full shut down of operations is warranted at this time.




Investigation Status
Question: When will the AER investigation be complete?
Answer: The AER expects CNRL and the independent panel will complete their reports by December 2014. Shortly after, the reports will be made public.
- See more at: http://www.aer.ca/compliance-and-enforcement/4341#sthash.fF9gT5Q6.dpuf




Regulator says work can resume at CNRL bitumen-leak site

BY DAVID HOWELL, EDMONTON JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 16, 2014
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  • PHOTOS ( 1 )
Regulator says work can resume at CNRL bitumen-leak site

Aerial view of Primrose south leak site where bitumen was leaking into the small lake in the upper centre of the photo. A berm was constructed on the to separate the leaking fissure from the lake water. Photo taken on April 5, 2014.

Photograph by: Alex S. MacLean , Landslides Aerial Photography

EDMONTON - The Alberta Energy Regulator, still investigating four bitumen leaks at Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.’s Primrose project, says CNRL can resume some production with a method believed safer.
The AER said Monday it has approved CNRL’s application to convert its Primrose East operations on the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range from high-pressure cyclic steam stimulation to low-pressure steamflood operations.
“This is not an approval to resume full operations,” said Bob Curran, the AER’s director of public affairs. “This is an intermediate step. We believe it’s prudent. We believe it can be done safely.
“But if there is any indication that the existing flow-to-surface events are impacted by this in any way, in terms of increasing flow, or if new flow-to-surface events occur, then we will have them shut down that steaming immediately.”
Between May and June 2013, CNRL reported four flow-to-surface incidents at its Primrose East and South locations. About 1.2 million litres of bitumen emulsion has been recovered from a 21-hectare area 45 kilometres northwest of Cold Lake.
When the leaks were reported, the AER launched an investigation and ordered enhanced monitoring. In July 2013 it prohibited steaming at all of Primrose East and within one kilometre of the Primrose South location while the investigation was in progress.
CNRL produced a report indicating four factors that could have caused the leaks, including an excessive release of bitumen emulsion from the producing reservoir, a vertically induced fracture, a significant heaving of the overlying shales, and vertical pathways through which fluid could travel, such as existing well bores or natural fractures.
The AER accepted CNRL’s findings and ordered a third-party review by an independent panel of technical experts. The panel agreed with the factors found by CNRL but also indicated the company’s high-pressure steaming strategy was a “fundamental cause.”
Both the CNRL report and the independent panel suggested low-pressure steaming might be used safely.
“As we’ve reviewed those reports, and also the data we have also collected, we believe that that is the case,” Curran said.
The enhanced monitoring ordered in 2013 remains in effect and will be useful as CNRL moves to the low-pressure strategy, he said.
CNRL and the independent panel are expected to complete their final reports into the incidents by December.
Chris Severson-Baker, managing director of the Pembina Institute, a clean-energy think-tank, said steaming should not resume at Primrose until after all the investigation results have been made public. The findings may be needed to redesign approvals for the project, he said.
The approval of low-pressure steaming at Primose makes it even more clear that high-pressure steaming was to blame for the bitumen leaks, he said.
“We know that the project design itself is what caused the problem,” he said.
“I think the fact that CNRL has applied to do something other than high-pressure steaming at the site indicates that they are moving into viewing this more as a salvage operation. It appears that they are moving on and trying to recover as much revenue as they can get out of this project.”
CNRL did not immediately respond to a request forcomment.
dhowell@edmontonjournal.com
  • "Regulator" is misnomer, should be: Enabler.
  • Reply ·
  • Dianne McCollum ·  Top Commenter
  • Naturally the regulator could not stop CNRL from producing oil at Primrose until the final report was published that would mean no production for three or four years if their use the same timeline for publishing the report that they used for the TransCanada Peace River mainline explosion in 2009, investigation closed Jan 2011 final report published Feb 2014.
  • Reply ·




Alberta Energy Regulator says pipeline spills 60,000 litres of crude into muskeg

No impact to wildlife reported, cleanup has begun

The Canadian Press Posted: Nov 29, 2014 10:08 PM ET Last Updated: Nov 29, 2014 10:10 PM ET
The Alberta Energy Regulator reports close to 60,000 litres of crude oil have spilled into muskeg in the province's north after a mechanical problem at a Canadian Natural Resources Limited pipeline. The pipeline shown is from the Canadian Natural Resources website.
The Alberta Energy Regulator reports close to 60,000 litres of crude oil have spilled into muskeg in the province's north after a mechanical problem at a Canadian Natural Resources Limited pipeline. The pipeline shown is from the Canadian Natural Resources website. (CNR)
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The Alberta Energy Regulator says close to 60,000 litres of crude oil have spilled into muskeg in the province's north.
An incident report by the regulator states that a mechanical failure was reported Thursday at a Canadian Natural Resources Limited pipeline approximately 27 kilometres north of Red Earth Creek.
The report says there are no reports of impact to wildlife and that a cleanup has begun.
Red Earth Creek is over 350 kilometres northwest of Edmonton.
Carrie Rosa, a spokeswoman for the regulator, says officials have been delayed reaching the scene due to poor weather in the last few days.
No one from Canadian Natural Resources could be reached on Saturday for comment.




Canadian Natural Resources says pipeline spilled 60,000 litres of crude

Company says no impact to wildlife, cleanup underway

CBC News Posted: Nov 30, 2014 2:36 PM MT Last Updated: Nov 30, 2014 2:36 PM MT
CNRL is reporting 60,000 litres of crude oil spilled 27 kilometres north of Red Creek. Pipeline image is taken from the Canadian Natural Resources website.
CNRL is reporting 60,000 litres of crude oil spilled 27 kilometres north of Red Creek. Pipeline image is taken from the Canadian Natural Resources website. (CNR)
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Canadian Natural Resources Limited has reported close to 60,000 litres of crude oil has spilled into muskeg in Red Earth Creek in northern Alberta.
The Alberta Energy Regulator said it learned about the spill Thursday from an incident report filed by the Calgary-based company. That report said the pipeline, 27 kilometres north of Red Earth Creek, experienced a mechanical failure.
The report said wildlife is not affected and a cleanup is underway.
Red Earth Creek is more than 350 kilometres northwest of Edmonton.
“We have reports from CNRL there are no impacts to the public or wildlife at this time, but in terms of the impact to the landscape we’ll know once we get there,” said Carrie Rosa, a spokesperson with AER.
Rosa said officials have been delayed reaching the scene due to poor weather in the last few days, adding she couldn’t confirm the volume of the spill because investigators have not yet arrived at the site.
No one from Canadian Natural Resources was available for an interview Sunday.
In April, another pipeline owned by Canadian Natural Resources spilled 70 thousand litres of oil and processed water northwest of Slave Lake, Alta.



December 2, 2014 1:58 pm
Updated: December 2, 2014 4:58 pm

Alberta oil spill: Examining CNRL’s safety record

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. has reported more than two dozen bitumen spills since January 2014.
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. has reported more than two dozen bitumen spills since January 2014.
Vassy Kapelos, Global News
The 60,000 litres of crude spilled into northern Alberta muskeg last week is only the latest of Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.’s operational accidents.
CNRL, one of Alberta’s energy industry giants, has had more spills since January than any other operator in the province – by a wide margin.

RELATED

The company attributed last week’s pipeline spill to “mechanical failure” — the same reason initially given for the quartet of leaks that have been oozing bitumen emulsion for 18 months — more than a million litres, and counting, spilling from CNRL’s Primrose operations in northern Alberta’s Wolf Lake area.
It wasn’t until this fall, more than a year after the releases began from a series of different sites in the area, that CNRL admitted they may have been caused by its own high-pressure cyclical steam stimulation, which involves injecting steam underground at extremely high pressure — pressure the caprock, in this case, may have been unable to withstand.
Those spills show no sign of stopping, although the company said it has them under control and is recovering the leaking crude.
And even though a provincial investigation into the never-ending spills is still ongoing, Alberta’s Energy Regulator has allowed CNRL to begin a lower-pressure steaming operation in the same area.
The regulator “is satisfied this approach will successfully mitigate potential risks of further bitumen release at the sites,” read a statement on its website regarding Primrose operations.
That permission appears to contradict another regulatory bulletin that called for a cessation of any steam-assisted bitumen extraction in one particularly shallow area of the oilsands while it reviews the technical safety of the practice. If high-pressure steam caused the rock to fracture and spill bitumen in CNRL’s case, some environmentalists argue, that spells trouble for high-pressure steam operations in general — an extremely fast-growing bitumen extraction method.
Critics point to CNRL’s accident history — the company has reported 25 bitumen and crude oil spills since January, including the ongoing Primrose spills and another, smaller spill last Thursday — as indication of an energy giant paying insufficient attention to safety and a lax regulator allowing these “mechanical failures” to go unchecked.
“We can connect the dots,” said Erin Flanagan, an analyst with environmental advocacy group Pembina Institute.
“This is an operator with a below-average public safety record.”
“If it is a mechanical issue, that’s something that CNRL has claimed has been a problem for them in the past. So I think it’s very troubling. …  They have a track record of not engaging stakeholders and they have a track record of these ongoing blowouts.”
CNRL, for its part, said it has everything under control.
“Canadian Natural immediately responded to the [Red Earth Creek] incident, the release was stopped, and the majority of the product was contained on the lease,” spokesperson Julie Woo said in an email.
“A portion of the product went off lease along a pipeline right-of-way that has also been fully contained.”
The company also said it has contained the spilling bitumen at its Primrose site, and can prevent similar spills in future.
“Canadian Natural has full containment of each surface release and has fully cleaned up all of the flow to surface sites,” Woo said.
“Bitumen emulsion seepage is currently too small to measure.”
Woo added that CNRL has “developed methods to prevent bitumen seepages for all potential failure mechanisms.”
Pembina’s Flanagan was also critical of the way the province has policed CNRL. She pointed specifically to a protracted evaluation of the province’s pipeline safety practices that didn’t actually evaluate compliance or spill response.
“If the AER or the government really wants to prove they are achieving responsible development,” Flanagan said, “they need to conduct case studies on specific incidents to ensure they’re being handled correctly.”
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Fawcett under fire over latest oil spill

Published on: December 3, 2014Last Updated: December 3, 2014 5:58 AM MST
Environment Minister Kyle Fawcett.
Environment Minister Kyle Fawcett.
Gavin Young Gavin Young / Calgary Herald
After coming under fire for the latest Alberta oil spill, Environment Minister Kyle Fawcett said provincial regulations governing the energy industry are sufficiently strong to protect the environment, though he suggested spills are bound to happen.
About 60,000 litres of crude leaked last week from a Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. pipeline in northern Alberta, sparking an investigation by the Alberta Energy Regulator.
During a debate in the legislature, Liberal MLA Laurie Blakeman argued the company has been responsible for too many spills and other environmental violations, asking why the government allows Canadian Natural Resources to continue operating.
Calling the question “unfathomable,” Fawcett defended the Calgary-based oilsands producer.
“CNRL provides a whole heck of economic activity and jobs for Albertans,” the minister said. “There’s a whole heck of royalties and income tax to the province, so that we can deliver core services like education and health care for the citizens of Alberta that they demand.”
Fawcett later said in an interview he was not excusing the company for the latest spill, but that he meant the province permits Canadian Natural Resources to operate because it provides an economic benefit.
“However, they have to operate within the rules as set out by the government, and we take those rules very seriously, and they are enforced in a very serious manner by the Alberta Energy Regulator,” he added.
CNRL said earlier this week that cleanup at the spill site northwest of Edmonton was “well advanced with the majority of the work complete.”
Company spokeswoman Julie Woo said the leak had stopped with most of the crude contained on the firm’s land. There have been no reports of harm to wildlife.
An investigation into the cause is ongoing, but the company and energy regulator said there was a mechanical failure on the pipeline.
The leak comes as the energy regulator reviews an even bigger spill at Canadian Natural Resources’ Primrose oilsands project in eastern Alberta, where roughly 1.2 million litres of a bitumen-water emulsion have been recovered.
Fawcett said one spill is too many, and that he’d rather there be no spills at all, but said that goal may be impossible to achieve.
“Will there be spills? From time to time, there very likely will when you have the type of economic activity and investment going on in this province,” he told the Herald.
“Do we dismiss them as that? No, we investigate them. We try to come to an understanding as to why they happen.
“And if there’s appropriate punitive penalties that need to be levied because of negligence or a complete dismissal of regulations, then that will be determined by the Alberta Energy Regulator.”
Fawcett, the two-term MLA for Calgary-Klein, said the Department of Environment routinely considers whether its penalties for those who violate environmental rules are sufficient. And he doesn’t believe there is a need for any big changes.
“We believe right now we are in a good spot that will help ensure Albertans that the regulations that we have in place that are some of the strictest around the world are met and enforced.”
With files from The Canadian Press
rsouthwick@calgaryherald.com

CNRL oilsands well breach fouls aquifer east of Edmonton, well shut down

THE CANADIAN PRESS
DECEMBER 19, 2014 04:57 PM
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BONNYVILLE, Alta. - A breach at a Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. oilsands operation east of Edmonton has fouled a groundwater aquifer in the area.
The Alberta Energy Regulator says CNRL (TSX:CNQ) reported a break in a well at its Wolf Lake high pressure cyclic steam stimulation project in late October.
The regulator says since then the company discovered elevated levels of hydrocarbons in the aquifer about 50 kilometres south of Bonnyville.
Ryan Bartlett, a spokesman for the regulator, says the well has stopped operating and CNRL can't resume operations until the well meets regulatory requirements.
He says public health and safety are not at risk and the nearest private water wells are 15 kilometres away.
He says CNRL will be required to clean up the aquifer.




'Huff and puff' technology questioned after leak at CNRL Wolf Lake site

Regulator finds technology may have contributed to 2009 spill

CBC News Posted: Dec 21, 2014 12:56 PM MT Last Updated: Dec 21, 2014 1:04 PM MT
Facilities at Canadian Natural Resources Limited's (CNRL) Primrose Lake oil sands project. REUTERS/Dan Riedlhuber
Facilities at Canadian Natural Resources Limited's (CNRL) Primrose Lake oil sands project. REUTERS/Dan Riedlhuber (Reuters)
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Greenpeace is raising concerns about the technology an Alberta oilsands operation uses to extract crude, following a second leak at a Canadian Natural Resources (CNRL) facility.
CNRL reported a break in a well at its Wolf Lake project in late October.
Alberta's energy regulator says it later discovered elevated levels of hydrocarbons in the aquifer 60 kilometres northwest of Cold Lake.
The Wolf Lake project was using a method called cyclic steam stimulation. Often described as "huff and puff," it alternates between injecting steam and drawing the softened bitumen to the surface.
The same technology was being used at CNRL's Primrose site during a spill in 2013 where nearly 1 million litres of bitumen leaked into the surrounding area.
The company was forced to stop extraction after the spill, but later applied to resume work at the Primrose site, saying it would modify the steaming method used.
Greenpeace Canada's Keith Stewart says the technology has been a problem since 2009, but government has yet to take any action.
The energy regulator says CNRL must clean up the aquifer.
Stewart, however, says he doubts a clean-up is possible, given how tough the chemicals involved are to filter out.