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Hall of Famers, SE Legends of oilpatch honoured at Sask Oil and Gas Show

Premier Scott Moe assisted in presenting the awards honouring Southeast Legends and Hall of Fame inductees for the Saskatchewan oil industry, at the Sask. Oil and Gas Show's awards luncheon

WEYBURN – Several outstanding oil business people were honoured at the Saskatchewan Oil and Gas Show at the awards luncheon on Wednesday, with guest Premier Scott Moe assisting in the presentation.

There were two longtime oilmen who were inducted by the Saskatchewan Oil and Gas Show board of governors to the Saskatchewan Oilpatch Hall of Fame, Reg Greenslade and Gregg Scott.

In addition, the Weyburn Oil Show board named five Legends of the Southeast Oilpatch, and they included Vi Day, Norm “Pierre” Mondor, Ron Carson, Ray Frehlick and Ken Lee.

Premier Moe read the bios for each recipient, and helped present the awards to each of them in turn, with only Gregg Scott unable to attend the awards luncheon.

Reg grew up in Shaunavon. His father ran Greenslade’s Welding and Construction, which worked in the oilfield. It was general oilfield services and pipelines, including building facilities. Reg grew up in the business, starting sweeping floors.

He went to Montana State University in Bozeman, originally with thoughts of aerospace engineering. That changed to a mechanical engineering degree with a minor in industrial and management engineering. He graduated engineering in 1989.

He worked his summers with SaskOil in the Bone Creek field, north of Shaunavon. Upon obtaining an engineering degree he joined SaskOil in Regina, followed by a transfer to Kindersley and Lloydminster.

He got involved with an Alberta company called Bighorn Resources, and they grew from six barrels a day to 20, then tripled it to 66. Eventually the company was producing 1,000 barrels per day and did a reverse takeover of Westlinks Resources in 2001.

Westlinks became Enterra Energy Corp. in late 2001, of which he was founder, chair, president and CEO. It was built to about 5,000 barrels per day through the drill bit. That became Enterra Energy Trust in 2003, where he remained chair. He was a director of Tuscany International Drilling Inc., from 2007 to 2013, president of from 2010, and president and CEO from 2011 to 2013.

Reg was also a founder and director of Spartan Exploration Ltd., Spartan Oil Corporation, and Spartan Energy Corp. Spartan Energy had a large focus in southeast Saskatchewan, and was subsequently sold to Vermillion. He is currently a director of Spartan Delta Corp. Spartan Delta is now a 70,000-barrel-per-day company.

Gregg Scott is from very humble beginnings being raised in Plunkett, Sask., population 100, where his dad ran the local hardware store for 58 years.

In 1981, Gregg wanted to get into the oil and gas industry but had no experience, and it was a very tough time to break in. He knocked on a lot of doors in downtown Calgary until he landed a job with a land services company run by Norm McKenzie.

He worked in southeast Saskatchewan for most of the first decade of his land career, including living in Estevan for three years while working on a one-million acre freehold lease play for Voyager Petroleums. In 1992, Gregg launched his own company, Scott Land & Lease Ltd.

While based in Calgary, a substantial portion of its operations were in Saskatchewan, with locations in Regina and Lloydminster. The Bakken Boom, which took place from 2007-2008, which saw one of the largest land rushes in Saskatchewan’s oilpatch history, certainly in terms of dollar figures. In the space of a year, over $1 billion in Crown land sales took place.

The company has grown to over 100 employees with operations coast-to-coast. However, much of its focus is still on Saskatchewan.

In 1960 Vi Bayliss married Tony Day the Days’ business, Fast Trucking, which continues to this day after 65 years in business.

Vi was one of the first women in Saskatchewan to receive her 1A drivers license. As the years passed, she gave up driving to focus on administration. Vi did the bookkeeping for the company, as well as the dispatch, for decades.

The acquisition of a bulldozer in 1979 grew into Day Construction. Tony drilled his first oil well in 1986 under TDL, which is now 618555 Saskatchewan Limited. Having their own oil company and wells led to a service rig company, General Well Servicing, in 1997. Sam’s Trucking was bought in 2004. And throughout, Vi handled the administration of them all. And as their children became more involved, the number of businesses has grown to over half a dozen now.

Norm ‘Pierre’ Mondor, now-retired president of Aldon Oils Ltd., was born and raised in Hudson Bay, Sask., in 1936. Norm followed rumours of good jobs in the oil industry and headed south, first to Estevan and then to Weyburn.

He started working on service rigs and eventually became the general manager of Addison and Leyen, an international service rig company with operations in Weyburn, Olds, Virden and Williston. At the time that Norm was managing the company, its operations involved 11 rigs and 50 men.

In 1972, Norm bought Aldon Oils Ltd., which had a single, low-producing stripper well. Aldon Oils grew grown steadily over the years and eventually started drilling its own wells. Since their first horizontal drill in 1995, Aldon grew to a considerable size until Norm sold it to his son Del in 2011. The company has operations in the Midale, Frobisher and Bakken areas, as well as gas plays in Alberta. Norm retired from the company in 2011.

Ray Frehlick was raised on a farm near Wilkie, Sask., and moved to the Estevan to work in the oil industry, with a focus on the drilling fluids and oilfield chemical businesses.

In 1969, he and Bill Huddleston fired up Prairie Petro-Chem Ltd. It focused on providing chemicals and other products to the oil industry in Canada. In 1972 they expanded to the United States. Within 10 years, Ray had acquired full ownership of both of those companies.

In 1976, Ray and his wife, Doris, incorporated Prairie Mud & Chemical Service Ltd. Throughout the years Ray has been active in the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce, Estevan Chamber of Commerce, Petroleum Services Association of Canada, Estevan Oilfield Technical Society and other business and industry organizations.

Born in 1943, Ron Carson grew up in Lampman. He met and married Shirley Fleck, also from Lampman, in 1965. Ron worked summer holidays during high school at the Steelman gas plant. After graduation, he worked there the next six years.

While working as a gas plant operator, Ron got his welding pressure ticket. He went into partnership with Stan Fleck of Estevan, his wife’s uncle. The business was Fleck and Carson Welding.

They sold out in 1974, and Ron started Carson Welding and Maintenance. Over the next nearly four decades, the company saw steady growth, becoming one of the largest oilfield service companies of its type in the province. At times they had over 1,100 people working for them, and a similar number of pieces of equipment and trucks.

In 2011 Carson Energy Services sold to Flint Energy Services. Several senior managers had part ownership in the company and benefited from the sale. Ron spent some time managing the transition to Flint, then URS, which then sold to AECOM. He retired in 2016.

Since then, Ron has been active on boards and in advisory roles. One of those has been with Canadian Plains Energy, which was founded by former Carsons senior management. Another has been the Deep Earth Energy Production geothermal project. For many years Ron was active with Saskatchewan Oil and Gas Show board, including serving as chair.

Ken Lee, a founding partner in Midale Petroleums, was chosen by the Weyburn Oil Show Board as a Southeast Sask. Legend. In 1954 Ken was hired by Shell Canada and began the first stage of his career in the oil business. While employed by Shell, Ken worked at Midale, Calgary, Houston and Portland. In 1955 Ken married Marlene Fagerheim, also from Midale.

He left the oilpatch for a time to raise his family in Midale, and then Ken returned to the oil business as a consultant and, along with a few friends, started Midale Petroleums. They bought their first two oil wells from Sun Oil in 1971, and they drilled their first well in 1975. The company continued to grow while owned by Ken and four of his very best friends through purchase and drilling.

Ken retired from full-time management of the company in 1998 but has enjoyed the good fortune of being able to remain involved and in close communication with the ongoing management of the company and still serves on the board of directors along with other members of the families of the five partners.

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