In a recent feature, ‘Faces of the oilsands 2015’, Oilsands Review highlights the work of Stephen Arseniuk, the new, and at 32 the youngest ever, president of the Canadian Heavy Oil Association (CHOA).
Starting as a mechanical engineering graduate with Deer Creek Energy in 2004, Arseniuk would end up working with Laricina Energy, experience that guided him in establishing “a long-term trajectory focused on technology and triple-bottom-line sustainability.” On his experience with Laricina, he comments: “I was invigorated by the fact that they were imagining and talking about solutions to the problems that are out there. I started to see a natural blend between doing better from a sustainability perspective and also from a business perspective.”
Despite the many challenges facing oilsands producers today, Arseniuk “believe[s] that the heavy oil industry makes for a better society,” and that the CHOA is a key player in the push to improve the industry. He notes that the CHOA exists for individual members rather than corporate members, and the aim is to provide individuals with tools to further their careers and ultimately improve the industry. He adds, “along with that serious bit, we also give our members the opportunity to have fun as a community.”
His focus is clear: “What I really imagine is producing a barrel of heavy oil that the world envies as opposed to our current situation.” Drawing from the 1950’s writings of Peter Drucker, he adds: “I think that if we as an industry work to solve some of the sustainability challenges that we’ve been tasked with facing, society will reward us with profits as well.”