On Feb 1-2, 2019, YPAC co-founder, Kevin Tsang, presented at the 11th annual Queen’s University Oil and Gas Speaker Series. This two day conference hosts speakers, recruiters, and Queen’s University alumni from across the world, sharing their experience, insight and knowledge of the oil and gas industry. Also presenting on topics in the pipeline industry alongside Kevin Tsang were Chris Bloomer, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Energy Pipelines Association, and Stephanie Wilson, Vice-President, Commercial East, Canadian Natural Gas Pipelines of TransCanada.

Over the course of the conference, over fifty students participated in a case-study competition, listened to presentations covering the global energy market, the development of large infrastructure projects, future technologies, climate change and other issues facing the industry today, and the life lessons post-graduation.

From the discussions and conversations with the students, the common thread that emerged was whether there was a future for a career in the oil and gas industry. These concerns stemmed from the current climate of stalled energy infrastructure projects in Canada and uncertainty in the role of oil and gas in the future economy. There were challenging questions leading to engaging discussions on what it means to responsibly develop energy projects, social license, and the Canadian regulatory environment. These presentations also highlighted drivers of global energy demand due to the growth in population and wealth and the complimentary role that oil and gas plays to meet the demand. With technology and innovation transforming the industry, it was quite clear that oil and gas development, transportation, and refining will continue to have a bright future as a complimentary component of the global energy value chain. For those that attended, some found new inspiration for a career in the oil and gas industry, others found new mentors and contacts to extend their network, and everybody learned something new!

As members of industry, we have an active role to play in order to counter the misperceptions on our industry. We need to be able to better tell our story on how Canada is a leader when it comes to developing its resources and infrastructure to the highest environmental standards and respectful consultation with our landowners and indigenous peoples. Our students deserve better information than the narrative driven by opponents of Canadian resource development and it is important that our industry stays engaged and involved at this level. We encourage others to get out and around the country to spread our message of an inclusive cleaner energy future driven by   Canadian excellence in oil and gas development.