The Birchcliff Energy team includes, from left, Camille Ashton, Chris Carlsen, Calvin Bohdan, Elle Devost, Jesse Doenz and Mikaela Fero. Photo credit: Wil Andruschak © Postmedia Network Inc.
When the going gets tough, successful companies get tougher.
That’s been Birchcliff Energy’s recipe for success over the past five years, as Canada’s energy sector weathers an ongoing slump.
“We turn industry headwinds into tailwinds for our company,” says Jesse Doenz, controller and investor relations manager at Birchcliff.
The intermediate-sized energy firm, with more than 130 staff at its office in Calgary and even more workers in the field, was founded in 2004.
And it’s quickly established itself among the most profitable, environmentally conscious and innovative oil and gas producers in North America.
“Key to our success is strong communication with the communities in which we work,” says Chris Carlsen, vice-president of engineering at Birchcliff. “It’s part of our corporate culture.”
The company’s strong track record of working with Indigenous communities is one of many examples.
“It also helps that we don’t have assets spread all over the world,” Carlsen says. “We’re really focused on that one spot in northern Alberta, which helps drive efficiency throughout."
That key spot in northern Alberta is the Montney/Doig Resource Play about 95 kilometres northwest of Grande Prairie.
And it’s one of the richest gas and oil reserves in Western Canada.
Increasing Birchcliff’s competitiveness is the fact the company owns and operates the infrastructure required to produce energy from its assets. The company currently produces 78,000 barrels of oil equivalent daily and production is expected to rise by the end of 2020. Birchcliff is approximately 76 per cent weighted toward natural gas production and 24 per cent weighted toward oil and natural gas liquids.
Regardless of the commodity, the company is resilient amid low prices because it tirelessly incorporates innovative technologies into its operations to improve efficiency. These efforts make Birchcliff one of “the lowest cost producers for our size,” Carlsen adds.
Central to its pursuit of efficiency is reducing its environmental footprint.
“Obviously, the barrel with the smallest footprint is the best barrel of oil that can be produced,” Doenz says.
While the company ensures its partners, communities included, share in its success, Birchcliff is also involved in more than 100 charitable initiatives in Calgary and northern Alberta.
“It’s just another way of showing respect for the communities we serve, and speaks to how we take pride in everything we do.”
This feature was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Calgary Economic Development.