Jobless in Alberta: Tens of thousands of energy professionals are out of work and out of hope

Oil and natural gas exploration -- geology and geophysics
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Jobless in Alberta: Tens of thousands of energy professionals are out of work and out of hope

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Geologist Ryan Lemiski, engineer Stephen Scott and geophysicists Brian Sondergaard and Marian Hanna did all the right things to achieve successful careers in the oilpatch. They studied hard and earned science degrees. They created huge value for their employers and volunteered in their spare time. They protected the environment through actions, not just words.

Now they are unemployed, members of a community of as many as 60,000 energy professionals laid off in Alberta since the beginning of the oil price downturn — that’s enough people to pack more than three Saddledomes.

Layoffs in their previously high-demand professions started when oil prices collapsed nearly two years ago as a result of Saudi Arabia’s war for market share. Headcounts continued to shrink as the downturn dragged on longer than anyone imagined. Now the job killers are homegrown: uncertainty from environmental policies by governments in Edmonton and Ottawa, a continuing lack of pipeline capacity, the failure of even a single liquefied natural gas project to get the go-ahead, higher taxes and new costly regulations.

http://calgaryherald.com/storyline/jobl ... ut-of-hope

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