March 30, 2007 – "This will be the first year in several that there will actually be a spring break-up in the energy exploration industry,” says Dirk VandenBrink, President of the Alberta Land Surveyors’ Association. “Many of our members are reporting a slowdown in the number of requests for energy-related surveying services,” he added.
Land Surveyors are among the first to feel an impact from any change in energy exploration because they are involved early in the planning and exploration process. Determining boundaries and locations of well sites must occur before any drilling activities can occur.
“For the past few years most land surveyors have been working at a pace that cannot be indefinitely maintained,” says VandenBrink. “Like other professions, land surveying firms have faced a shortage of professional, technical and administrative personnel. That has resulted in considerable overtime and delays in responding to requests for services. Now, our members have time to catch up on some of the backlog, especially in administrative areas.”
Reduced activity in the energy sector is being caused by scaled back exploration plans, as a result of lower oil prices, higher drilling costs and labour shortages. “I think everyone in the energy sector is breathing a slight sigh of relief, but we understand it may be short-lived,” says VandenBrink. “What we are hearing is, that although there is a current respite, the third-quarter of 2007 will see a ramp-up of land surveying and exploration.”
“And, that’s at current oil price levels. Who knows what will happen, if oil prices rise to historic highs again as some have predicted. With aggressive recruitment efforts, employee training initiatives, and getting rid of any backlogs, our members plan to be ready for it,” concludes VandenBrink.
The Alberta Land Surveyors’ Association, formed in 1910, is a self-governing professional association legislated under the Land Surveyors Act. The Association regulated the practice of land surveying in Alberta for the protection of the public and administration of the profession.