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Calgary, Alberta (January 31, 2018) – In its first update to the 2018 Canadian Drilling Activity Forecast, released today, the Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC) has revised its forecasted number of wells drilled (rig released) across Canada for 2018 to 7,600 wells. This represents a decrease of 300 wells, or 4 percent, from PSAC’s original 2018 drilling forecast released in late October 2017.
PSAC is basing its updated 2018 forecast on average natural gas prices of $1.75 CDN/mcf (AECO), crude oil prices of $55.00 USD/barrel (WTI) and the Canada-US exchange rate averaging $0.79.
President and CEO of PSAC Mark Salkeld said, “Even with steady and stable increases in industry activity levels over the low points in 2015 and 2016, any improvements will continue to fluctuate due to the ongoing discount Canada realizes for its oil and gas versus world prices. As long as our products are essentially land locked and restricted to just one customer, a full recovery for activity levels for the Canadian oil and gas industry will be negatively impacted. Investment dollars are fleeing Canada for regions of the world offering a more competitive environment for investment and where there is greater confidence in getting projects approved and completed.”

Salkeld also indicates that “the same challenges remain with respect to prolonged downturns in trying to attract the necessary skilled labour force back to the oilfield services sector. As the sector has experienced in the past, it takes many years to recover from significant downturns and it will be the same again now.” Salkeld added, “The cost savings exacted from the oilfield services sector over the last two and half years, as hard as they were to bear, have paid off in operations that today are far more efficient with newer technology which in turn changes the profile of the people needed in the sector along with the types of wells being completed for the producers. Canada will continue to see shifts from many wells drilled to fewer wells that are far deeper and more productive. PSAC will continue to forecast as accurately as possible in these technologically changing times. It is still the most exciting industry to be in.”

On a provincial basis for 2018, PSAC now estimates 3,807 wells to be drilled in Alberta, down from 3,998 wells in the original forecast. Approximately 29 percent less wells are expected to be drilled in British Columbia, with PSAC’s revised forecast now at 517 wells for the province down from 730 in the original forecast. The revised forecast for Saskatchewan now sits at 2,998 wells compared to 2,931 wells in the original forecast, and Manitoba is forecasted to see 265 wells or an increase of 35 in well count for 2018.

Salkeld said, “What Canada needs now, more than ever, is a world class LNG industry on both the west and east coasts. This, in conjunction with access to tide water for responsibly developed Canadian oil, will set the stage for Canada to be a significant global force in reducing GHGs around the world. There is no doubt that the world wants Canadian oil and gas; there is also no doubt that Canada is the best in the world at responsibly developing and producing oil and natural gas, in large part because of the innovation delivered by PSAC member companies and their employees. The services sector represents the front-line workers, Canada’s exceptional middle class that works hard every day to help advance technology through innovation and R&D, improve the efficiencies, protect the environment and reduce environmental footprint.” 

The Petroleum Services Association of Canada is the national trade association representing the service, supply and manufacturing sectors within the upstream petroleum industry. As the voice of the sector, PSAC advocates for its members to enable the continued innovation, technological advancement and in-the-field experience they supply to Canada’s energy explorers and producers, helping to increase efficiency, improve safety and protect the environment. PSAC member companies represent a significant portion of the business volume generated in the oil and gas services industry.


NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. (January 31, 2018) - L-com Global Connectivity, a preferred manufacturer of wired and wireless connectivity products, announced today that it has introduced a new line of waterproof USB Type-A/A cable assemblies for use in test and measurement, data transfer and harsh environment computing applications.

L-com’s new USB Type-A/A cable assemblies are USB 2.0 compliant and feature waterproof, panel mount, male USB A to standard USB A connectors. These cables also feature threaded couplings and O-ring seals that ensure IP67-rated protection from water and dust. Rugged, molded backshells deliver durability and 30-micro-inch gold contact plating provides a reliable connection even with repeated mating cycles.

“Our new waterproof USB cables can prevent costly repairs sometimes necessary when contaminants such as water and dust destroy standard USB connectors. These hard-to-find cables are IP67-rated and feature a waterproof, panel mountable, male USB A connector and a standard male USB A connector,” said Brian Gates, Product Manager.

These waterproof USB 2.0 cables are offered in standard lengths of 0.5, 1, 2, 3 and 5 meters off-the-shelf and are in stock and available for immediate shipment.


OTTAWA, Jan. 31, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Canada’s construction industry must remain focused on recruitment and retention as more than one quarter of a million construction workers are expected to retire this decade, according to the latest labour market forecast released today by BuildForce Canada.

While slow and uneven construction job growth is anticipated this decade as construction activity levels off, the notable provincial exceptions are BC’s Lower Mainland and Ontario’s Central and Eastern regions, where rising project demands have outpaced the available local workforce.

“Despite slower employment growth in most provinces, recruitment pressures will intensify with the estimated retirement of up to 21 percent of Canada’s construction workforce this decade,” said Bill Ferreira, Executive Director of BuildForce Canada. “Simply put, the industry must remain focused on recruitment, training, and mentoring efforts to prevent a potential skills and capacity gap over the next 10 years.”

BuildForce Canada’s 2018–2027 Construction and Maintenance Looking Forward forecast shows construction activity is expected to soften in most provincial markets due to the aging population and weaker demand for Canadian natural resources.

Despite this trend, the workforce is estimated to rise by approximately 22,000 workers by the end of the decade, as modest gains in non-residential job growth outpace small declines in residential construction. Public infrastructure modernization and growing demand for residential renovation and heavy industrial maintenance activity should help sustain industry employment over the decade. Major transportation, utility, and other infrastructure projects are expected to nudge non-residential employment up a further 3 percent, or 18,400 workers to a near-term peak in 2020. That growth is concentrated in Ontario and British Columbia, driven by major nuclear refurbishment, LNG (liquefied natural gas), energy, and transportation infrastructure projects. Steady job growth related to anticipated increases in demand for commercial and institutional building construction will prevail in most provinces. While slower population growth may lead to lower demand for new housing construction, any declines should be offset mainly by rising renovation and maintenance activity.

BuildForce Canada’s forecast also shows several common themes across most provinces:

  • Commodity price uncertainty and changing global demands translate into resource development project delays and cancellations across Canada. As a result, engineering construction employment is expected to decline by 4 percent this decade, partly offset by planned investments in infrastructure modernization.
  • Major public transportation and other infrastructure projects add to employment opportunities across most provinces, boosted by federal and provincial infrastructure investments.
  • Maintenance work (heavy industrial and non-residential buildings) is on a steady, but moderate increase this decade, with higher demands expected this year in Alberta and New Brunswick.

“To meet labour requirements and counter rising retirements, as many as 277,000 new construction workers will be needed this decade,” added Ferreira. “With increasing competition for a shrinking pool of young people, it will be necessary to step up recruitment efforts to attract greater numbers of new Canadians, women, and Indigenous people to Canada’s construction workforce.”

Highlights of BuildForce Canada’s 2018–2027 Construction and Maintenance Looking Forward forecast can be found for each province at


January 29, 2018

When power transformers fail, the effects on plant operations can be debilitating. The production gets interrupted, everything grinds to a halt and the effects on the bottom line can be immediate and devastating. This can put a lot of pressure on those in charge of getting operations back up to full-speed.

To make matters worse, since power transformers rarely go down, it is not uncommon for those in charge of purchasing a replacement unit to have little to no experience in the process. In addition, to someone who doesn't purchase many transformers or know much about their design, it may seem as though transformers are more of a commodity item, and hence, can be sourced out to the lowest bid. However, there are a number of considerations that can have long term impacts.

“Quality doesn’t always increase the initial purchase price, but it can greatly reduce long-term costs in a number of important ways,” advises Alan Ober, Chief Engineer at Electric Service Company (ELSCO), an expert with over 40 years of experience in the design and manufacturing of transformers.

Selecting the proper transformer design and construction can actually make a huge difference by extending operating life, reducing overall costs and decreasing the need for future maintenance.

The following considerations can help avoid common pitfalls in the sourcing and installation of transformers.

Selecting the right transformer

To maximize the return on investment on what is arguably the heart of any industrial plant it is important to understand some of the basics. Starting from the top, power transformers are required to step-down the higher voltages delivered by the electric utility company.

For indoor applications, dry-type transformers are by far the most common due in part tothe fact that they are air-cooled, so they pose lower risk of problematic leakage, environmental issues and fire. Since they can safely be used inside a facility, dry-type units can be placed right next to the equipment they are powering which can further reduce costs.

In addition, a plant can save additional operational costs by selecting a new unit over a refurbished option. This is due to the higher efficiencies standards enacted by the Department of Energy in 2010 and then further tightened in 2016 on all new transformers.

Evaluate winding design

The way in which the coils are wound around the core of a dry-type transformer greatly affects its robustness and ability to survive “impulses” that can occur from phenomena such as switching surges and lightning strikes.

Two of the most common transformer designs today feature either circular (round-wound) or rectangular windings.

While many transformer manufacturers still offer rectangular windings, because they are less expensive to build, they can develop problematic air traps, hot spots and other problems.

The round coil design, on the other hand, provides significant ongoing operational and cost-saving advantages. Round-wound transformers stay cooler, run quieter, and present less risk of short circuit when coupled with a sheet wound secondary.

Consider the material

In addition to the design, the material used for the windings and insulation can greatly affect performance and prevent disastrous emergencies from occurring during the unit’s operating life.

For transformer windings, the most common materials used are copper and aluminum. While copper does have a higher upfront cost, it more than makes up for that by outperforming and outlasting aluminum.

The selection of proper insulation also plays a major part in ensuring transformer reliability. Temperatures can reach 200 degrees C in a dry-type transformer on a daily basis; hence skimping on insulation can lead to disastrous consequences.

Therefore, higher-quality insulation, such as DuPont Nomex® flame resistant meta-aramid insulation, should strongly be considered. This is the same insulation used in the safety gear worn by race car drivers, fire departments, military applications, as well as in numerous electrical applications.  

Investigate a “drop-in” solution

Finally, a factor that is often overlooked: The removal of the old transformer and installation of the new one can be time-consuming and costly if not properly addressed beforehand. This is particularly important when there are existing enclosures with dimensional/clearance constraints.

Throughout his extensive career, Ober has seen a number of situations where it has taken riggers days to complete the removal of transformers, and then several more days for the new unit to be installed and hooked up to the switchgear and bus work. Custom bus work for dry-type units may be part of the solution.

“The transformer manufacturer should be consulted and needs to be capable of slightly modifying the transformer – either new or remanufactured – so that it can be ‘dropped-in’ or mated with the existing transformer infrastructure, meeting UL, IEEE standards plus all required clearances, within a few hours,” says Ober.

He adds that consulting suppliers on a user’s specific application, present and anticipated power supply needs, and getting an informed evaluation of the options available, can lead to the effective selection of a transformer that will pay substantial dividends in performance and greatly reduce the total cost of ownership.

For more information, contact: Electric Service Company (ELSCO); 5331 Hetzel Street, Cincinnati; OH 45227; 800-232-9002 or 513-271-1752; FAX: 513-271-0543; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or


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