Fueling the future

Energy Services B.C. actively advocates province’s service sector

By Jillian Mitchell


British Columbia’s Energy Services BC (ESBC) has created an environment where businesses want to be, today and for years to come. Their secret? A three-fold approach built on advocacy, education, and relationship-building.

As the voice of B.C.’s oil and gas service sector for over 35 years, the non-profit association has been well established as a service sector resource for members, explorers and producers (E&Ps), as well as the community. In fact, the multi-region association has a reputation for remaining abreast of natural gas activities, while concurrently working to increase industry benefits for all British Columbians, including their 250-plus members.


Member advocacy is integral to the service sector association, and as such, they continue to market the capacity of the province’s service sector, promoting members to E&Ps with projects in B.C.

“Our member companies are amongst the longest established within the Peace Region service sector,” affirms Art Jarvis, executive director at Energy Services BC, citing that the association facilitates much capacity development and networking opportunities on their behalf.

Add to that, ESBC is a superior advocate of the province in which they live and work. A prime example, the criteria for membership speaks well to this idea—to acquire membership with ESBC, members must have a presence in B.C., hire B.C. residents, and maintain an office and/or operations in the province.

Indeed, the province is vast with opportunity in the service sector, and yet the sector has many challenges, including a limited understanding of E&Ps procurement processes. An integral focus for ESBC, therefore, is relationship-building with E&Ps, particularly those who are Alberta-based and view the cost of the B.C. service sector as a challenge (among the limited information about B.C. service sector and gaps in service needs).

Subsequently, ESBC maintains constant contact with Alberta-based E&Ps to address the following key issues brought forward by the local service sector:

  • Identifying potential suppliers
  • Service sector companies’ safety concerns
  • Increasing opportunities with aboriginals and First Nations


Participation in energy expos remains at the top of the ESBC to-do list. As such, the team retains a regular appearance at the many national and provincial expos.

Of the recent B.C. expo, Jarvis offers, “The greatest value at our expo was the presentations by Donny Van Dyke (Northern Gateway), Bill Gwozd (Ziff Energy), Bob Zimmer (M.P.) and Pat Pimm (MLA). These people informed and impressed hundreds of service sector personnel in the show’s two days.”

The ESBC website, of course, is one more way in which the association promotes education and communication amongst community and ESBC members, alike. The user-friendly website features industry-related events, periodic newsflashes, job postings and a member directory, among other features, to keep the service sector community informed and engaged.

In addition to determining and relaying E&P procurement processes to membership, the association offers marketing resources for service sector companies through website advertising, and assists service sector companies with labour and training issues.


For ESBC, the strengthen pillar is three-fold: strengthen relationships with members; identify B.C. service sector companies, and promote said companies to E&Ps; and finally, identify and build relationships with E&Ps who operate in B.C. and Alberta.

“Our goal is to strengthen our role as the voice of the B.C. service and supply companies,” says Art Jarvis, ESBC executive director. “We aim to promote the growth and development of these companies, as well as to increase the utilization of B.C. service and supply companies.”

To this point, the following relationship building blocks have been developed:

  • Develop a shared vision
  • Address each other’s expectations
  • Identify each other’s strengths
  • Support each other’s limitations
  • Set goals
  • Ensure quick resolve to disputes
  • Define roles and responsibilities
  • Develop a communications strategy

For more information on Energy Services BC, please contact Art Jarvis at art@energyservicesbc.org or visit the ESBC official website, http://www.energyservicesbc.org/


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