On Tuesday, July 09, 2013 the following article was published in the local newspaper...
A Stunning number of oil and gas industry pumper trucks line 45 St. in Rocky Mountain House on July 3. A total of 16 trucks parked along the road on the south end of town, with more appearing the following day just north of Main Street. SARAH ANN COLLINS | THE MOUNTAINEER
Economic boom times in the pipelines for Rocky Mountain House?
BY SARAH ANN COLLINS - STAFF REPORTER
The 16 big blue multi-million dollar pumper trucks that rolled into Rocky Mountain House July 4 are just the tip of the iceberg of economic prosperity, according to Mayor Fred Nash. They can't be missed parked end-to-end all along 45 St. near Boston Pizza and Tim Hortons. Only July 04, even more could be seen lining the streets beside Highway 11, causing some residents to come out and take a peek. "They represent some major economic stiumlus in the area," said Mayor Nash. "If anybody has the business sense and the motivation to get into the market, now is the perfect time." Health, Saftey and Environment Manager for Schlumberger Rick Hansen agrees that there are big things coming to Rocky and area. "We're just gearing up from spring break and it's going to be a huge year," he said. From the looks of it Hansen thinks "2014 will be even bigger." The trucks are most likely assembing in town before moving out to perform fracking operations on sites in the area, according to Hansen. Until they move out, all the operators and skilled workers are filling up hotels and motels here in Rocky. As a veteran of the oil and gas industry, Mayor Nash explained that just one lease of land for an oil or gas well may have over a hundred pieces of equipment. All this is great news for the economic development of the town. "Everyone from the restaurateur to the retailer to trades have opportunities. They just have to position themselves," said the Mayor. "This means we'll also need more pumper, more electricians, more labourers, the list goes on and on." HSE Manager Hansen seemed to agree. "We use facilities in Rocky quite often," he said. "Most of the time we can't find appropriate rooms. We are looking at building our own camps out there." Schlumberger is one of the many companies in Alberta recruiting skilled workers of all types. They hope to convince them to stay and make a home in the West Country. According to the Reeves Economic Summit: Oil and Gas Working Group Report, released by Clearwater County on June 2, a solid economic infrastructure is pivotal to retaining tradespeople. The working group, consiting of appointed officials from the County, Caroline and Rocky Mountain House, named the recreation and tourism sectors as having the most potential for improvement. In order to attract and keep young, skilled workers, the community must be "not only a place to live and work, but also a place to play." Council has been investing to improve the town's appeal to local and outside developers, according to the Mayor. "We have key people in place to stimulate business growth," he said. "Our Main Street will be redone next year, we have a multimillion dollar arena expansion happening and more potentially coming down the pipeline." It's not just Schlumberger that is interested in utilizing Rocky Mountain House as an assembly point for equipment and workers, according to Hansen. Mayor Nash has considered this possibility as well. "A lot of people are looking at Rocky and watching to see what happens next."