The OGC’s new resource centre is an interactive display that features a complete timeline of oil and gas activity in the region, and videos on topics including working with First Nations, drill rig operations and horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. It also includes displays of core samples, drill bits, native plants, and more.
“One of the things we have a responsibility for is to undertake programs of education and communication,” said Paul Jeakins, chief operation officer and interim chief executive officer for the OGC. “For the people who don’t automatically deal with the oil and gas sector, this is a really good introduction to it, there is a lot of really good information here.”
He said, for example, the display depicting a well bore and how it functions will hopefully help people gain a better understanding of how groundwater is protected from contamination.
“You can talk to people about it, but until you see it and touch it you can’t really understand what that means in terms of how much cement and steel is between the actual bore hole and any water resources in the ground.”
Jeakins said as the industry continues to grow in the South Peace, the OGC will look to make more resources available at the Dawson Creek office. He said the next project is adding a computer for the public to access online resources.
Peace River South MLA Blair Lekstrom said there is no doubt with the increase in industry activity in the region that the office and resource centre is well needed.
“We needed a resource centre where people could walk in and find out much about what goes on with the industry,” said Lekstrom. “I encourage the public to stop by, have a look and ask questions, that’s what this is all about.”
He said the expanded office will be a great compliment to the Farmer’s Advocate Office in Dawson Creek, a resource for landowners who have concerns or questions about their rights as relates to dealings with the industry.
“I think we are very well established here in Dawson Creek and around the region with the ability for landowners to communicate, whether they have questions or concerns, and to really gain an understanding of what their rights are and how industry and landowners can cooperate to make this industry work well for everybody,” said the MLA.
Mayor Mike Bernier agreed, saying the expanded OGC office will be a great asset for the city and the region alike.
Jeakins said besides the new resource centre, the office also houses two field inspectors and a compliment of landowner liaison staff. He added the changes to the office cost about $100,000, and the Resource Centre was designed by we3design.
The OGC's office in Dawson Creek is located at the corner of 102 Avenue and 15 Street.