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Roger L. Soucy

 

It seems that every sector of the oil and gas industry has a face that is associated with it, either by others within or by the general public. The upstream sector has had its Dick Haskaynes and Doc Seamans and Charlie Fischers and Clay Riddells. The service and supply sector, for nearly 30 years, had Roger Soucy, the first president of the Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC) after it spun away from the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors (CAODC) in the darkest days of the National Energy Program (NEP).


A native of Saskatchewan, Roger came west to Alberta in 1973 and began his career in the oil and gas industry with a job in business development, with a Calgary-based oilfield service and supply company. He joined the CAODC in 1979 and quickly rose through the ranks to become general
manager of its service and supply division.


In the months following the introduction of the NEP in the fall of 1980, it became increasingly clear that Canada's service and supply companies were dramatically impacted by the tax measures imposed by the NEP. Within a year, $1-billion worth of economic activity had fled Canada for the United States; 175 drilling rigs and 78 service rigs made the move, another 189 drilling and 161 service rigs were racked. And more than 8,000 western Canadians lost their jobs.


Hardest hit were the smaller service companies, too tiny to just pull up stakes and go where the work was. In October 1981, 140 service members of the CAODC—with the parent organization's blessing—broke away to form PSAC, hoping they would be able to more effectively communicate their concerns to provincial and federal governments.


A few weeks later, in the November 1981 edition of Oilweek, Roger was announced as the general manager of PSAC, and a title change or two aside, he remained at the helm of the organization for the next 29 years. Another few weeks after that, Roger led a delegation to Ottawa to spell out in no
uncertain terms the devastating impact of the NEP on the western Canadian service and supply sector.


That was the start of a lobbyist role that continued for Roger for the next three decades, and during that time, he fought vigorously to protect and nurture the Canadian service and supply industry. Under Roger's direction, PSAC grew from a tiny two-person operation to a national organization with a staff of 11 that represents more than 250 member companies employing 52,000 people.


Perhaps the pinnacle of Roger's efforts to promote the service and supply sector in Canada was reached in 2008 when he launched a public outreach program aimed at protecting and enhancing the industry's social licence to operate. The initiative included the launch of a public website, oilandgasinfo.ca, which explains the oil and gas industry, and PatchWorks, a series of short, monthly articles that provide industry information to employees and the public. Most importantly, however, it also introduced Community Partners, an industrywide in-the-field courtesy program that strengthens relationships between the industry and the communities in which it works.

 

A leader in the community as well as in business, Roger Soucy was president of the Calgary Junior Chamber of Commerce during 1980-81. He served in his local community association and was its president in 1995. That same year, he hosted PSAC's first annual fundraising gala for STARS,
establishing a collaborative partnership that has raised nearly $5 million for the air ambulance service.

 

In 2000, Roger created the PSAC Education Fund Golf Classic to raise awareness of the sector by providing scholarships and grants to schools in small communities. So far, the tournament and fund have raised more than $685,000. He is an active member of his professional association, the Canadian Society of Association Executives, serving as the Calgary chapter president in 1996, 1997 and again in 1999. He was also vice-chair of the Petroleum Communication Foundation during 2001-02.


Roger is past chair of the board of the Petroleum Human Resources Council of Canada, which he helped found in 2002, and is a director on the board of Enform, the petroleum industry's training and safety organization. In addition, he chairs four Alberta Apprenticeship occupational committees.

 

   
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