Terri-Jane Yuzda

Council Receives Report on Oil and Gas Evaluation

Editor's Note: Following is a report on the most recent APEGGA Council meeting, held June 13 at the Westin Hotel in Calgary. This was the first meeting of the 2002-2003 Council. Five meetings per year are held, in Edmonton, Calgary and one of the branch communities. The next meeting will be held Friday, Sept. 13, at the Grande Prairie Inn in Grande Prairie.

An APEGGA inquiry has concluded that "significant problems" exist in the evaluation and reporting of oil and gas reserves, and that the industry knows and is concerned about them. Council received the report of the inquiry, conducted by a subcommittee of the Practice Review Board chaired by J.C. den Boer, P.Geol., P.Geoph.

Among the inquiry's recommendations are: that senior professionals be held more accountable in their evaluations; that professionals adopt the existing technical standards and definitions listed in the Society of Petroleum Evaluation Engineers Handbook; and that a formal training program be instituted for individuals and companies involved in the practice. It also recommends that APEGGA's Practice Standards Committee prepare a standard or guideline that "clearly presents APEGGA's expectations and requirements."

APEGGA should "remain vigilant" in monitoring calls to restrict professional practice in the area or attempts at regulation by other organizations. Permit holders involved in assessment and disclosure of oil and gas reserves should institute a quality management process, says the report, which came out of a request from the Alberta Securities Commission for higher standards and more consistency in the practice.

At its September meeting, Council will look at potential action items coming out of the report.

Business Plan Updated
Councillors, directors and managers met in Jasper in May to help chart APEGGA's future, and now the priorities from that strategic planning session are working their way into the APEGGA Business Plan, Council heard. A draft of the updated plan will come to Council in September, President Ron Tenove, P.Eng., told Council during a presentation on highlights of the Jasper retreat.

CCPE Addresses Shortfall
A combination of program cuts and assessment increases will help the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers overcome a shortfall caused by the elimination of revenues received for a service it provides for the federal government. APEGGA Council approved an increase of the current rate of $8.65 to $11.05 per member in 2004, to $13.45 in 2005, and to $15.45 in 2006. All provincial/territorial associations/ordre pay an assessment of $8.65 per professional engineer member to the national association, CCPE.

Council heard in April that both the CCPE and the Canadian Council of Professional Geoscientists will no longer conduct initial assessments of potential immigrants who plan to seek licensure in Canada. The assessments, which look at the likelihood of licensure but do not replace or influence the actual process, were big money generators. The CCPE expects a shortfall of $1.9 million this year and $3.2 million next year.

"We've had to take a hard look at our activities and implement some cutbacks," said Fred Otto, P.Eng., one of two Alberta CCPE directors. CCPE's Women in Engineering and student activities will be reduced, and the CCPE board will meet three times instead of four times a year. National communications campaigns will be eliminated. Two national boards will stand down and be replaced with committees.

"These are all unfortunate cutbacks," Mr. Otto said.

The dollar figures are smaller at the CCPG, but so is the budget. The loss of income is $10,000 in 2002 and $18,000 in future years, said CCPG Director Bob Comer, P.Geoph. The 2002 budget, which is about $90,000, has been balanced by eliminating the meeting of the Standards Board. The deficit in 2003 will be $10,000 to $15,000 unless the assessment increases.

APEC Engineer Registry Supported

A new register of engineers in the Asia-Pacific Economic Conference earned the support of APEGGA Council as a way of fostering the use of the Association's professionals in the global marketplace. The title of APEC engineer doesn't bind APEGGA to recognize an outside engineer's credentials, Council heard. Nor does it give the engineers any additional rights to practice in Canada.

However, it does mean the engineers must meet certain criteria. In addition to having completed an accredited or recognized engineering program, the engineers must have been assessed as eligible for independent practice within their own economy and gained at least seven years practical experience since graduation. They must have spent at least two years in responsible charge of engineering work, and maintained their continuing professional development at a satisfactory level.

Member countries in the program so far are Australia, Canada, Hong Kong and China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and New Zealand.

It's anticipated that about 50 applications a year will be generated in Alberta. The Board of Examiners has agreed in principle to become the APEC engineer evaluating body for APEGGA.


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