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Douglas Robert Ramsay

 

One of the enduring characteristics of honoured members in the Canadian Petroleum Hall of Fame
is that there are few "silver spoons" among the men and women who have built the Canadian oil and gas industry. For the most part, these are self-made success stories, built from humble beginnings on a foundation of hard work and dedication.


Doug Ramsay, co-founder and chief executive officer of Calfrac Well Services Ltd., fits that model to a T. Born and raised in Edmonton, Doug began his life in the industry the way many have before him—working the rigs right out of high school, first with BJ Well Services in 1973 and later with Dome Petroleum Ltd., before returning to school to earn his petroleum engineering technology diploma (1977) and his certified engineering technologist certificate (1978) from SAIT Polytechnic, known at the time as the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. With his engineering certificates in hand (he added a registered engineering technology designation to his resumé in 1980), Doug joined Delta Consultants (1973) Ltd. in 1979 as a consulting engineer, where he was responsible for drilling, completion and production operations for a number of oil and gas companies.


Increasing responsibilities came his way, and in 1981, at the ripe old age of 26, Doug joined Eagle Exploration Inc. as manager of drilling and completions (D&C), where he handled D&C and workover operations in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. He was also responsible for the management of the company-owned drilling rig.


He joined American Fracmaster Inc. in 1982, becoming general manager of its western division operations in the United States, before being promoted in 1984 to manage sales and marketing for its Canadian subsidiary, Canadian Fracmaster Ltd. He rose through the ranks there, and was eventually named president, in charge of the company's Canadian and international activities.
The latter portfolio took him to Russia, where he established the first Canadian joint venture with Russian partners, and helped other companies, like Royal Dutch Shell plc, establish successful joint ventures in the former Soviet Union. After a brief hiatus in the mid-1990s, during which he built his family's ranching and real estate business, Doug joined forces with Ron Mathison
to transform an existing coil-tubing entity and an insolvent fracture stimulation–services provider into Calfrac. From first-year sales in 1999 of $4 million and a staff of 22, Calfrac has grown to be a world leader in the provision of frac services, counting annual sales of $1.5 billion and employing 3,400 people in six countries.


All of Doug's professional successes, says Doug McNeill, executive vicepresident of business development for Stream-Flo Industries Ltd., can be traced to his early beginnings in the industry.
"A long history in the industry, starting out in the field, has given him a great foundation to build on for his future leadership and entrepreneurial successes," McNeill writes in a letter supporting Doug's nomination to the Hall of Fame. "Doug drives integrity, service to the customer, his employees' well-being and personal growth for his employees and himself. A very
humble individual, Doug always had his eye on retaining the culture that differentiated the company from the competition."


Doug has devoted the same energies that built Calfrac to his local community, especially in the areas of safety and education. A member of the board of the STARS air ambulance service since 2007, Doug clearly understands the link between safety in the oilfield and the value STARS brings to remote oil and gas field operations. Doug and his wife, Susan, have personally committed $2 million to STARS, and he continues to provide valuable advice on how STARS can expand and
enhance its service offerings in western Canada.


And Doug hasn't forgotten the role SAIT played in shaping his career and giving him the foundations for success. With a $3-million contribution from Doug and Susan, the institution launched the Ramsay Centre for Petroleum Engineering Technology, and Doug continues to provide advice on industry trends, process and advancements, which SAIT's MacPhail School of Energy continues to incorporate into its curriculum.


"The Ramsays' generous contribution demonstrates their commitment to building a strong, skilled workforce for Alberta and Canada, and it will directly impact, engage and inspire thousands of students pursuing a career within the petroleum industry," writes Brian Bowman, SAIT 's
director, alumni and development, in a letter supporting Doug's nomination. "As a member of SAIT's Promising Futures Campaign Cabinet, he has demonstrated true leadership and an unwavering commitment to promoting the value of post-secondary education in the energy sector. His dedication and counsel helped draw vital support from his industry colleagues."

 

   
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