PSAC works to help improve industry image

In the wake of increasing prices at the pump, do people ask you how prices get set?  What about all this talk regarding fracing?  Do you know enough about the drilling technique to respond to the increasingly difficult questions about just how safe it really is?

What about other aspects of Canada’s oil and gas industry, including its safety record and the diversity of career opportunities in the oilpatch?  Do you know much about those aspects of the industry?

Industry employees are asked questions like this every day and often find they may not have the answers at their fingertips.  This was feedback that the Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC) received in a survey of its member company employees, and so PSAC launched PatchWorks in direct response to that feedback to help them better understand and explain the many facets of the complex oil and gas industry.


PatchWorks is a series of short, monthly articles that provide information, facts and statistics to industry employees. In just a single page, each issue of PatchWorks answers a commonly asked question about the oilpatch, provides examples and points readers to more information.

PatchWorks is just one piece of a broader public outreach program that PSAC developed in recognition that there was work to be done to improve industry’s image and better demonstrate that industry takes seriously the need to operate in a responsible way.  Also a part of that program is Community Partners, an industry-wide infield courtesy program designed to strengthen relationships between the upstream oil and gas industry and community members, one person at a time.

Community Partners focuses worker attention on local concerns related to oil and gas activity in the field, reminding everyone to do things like reduce dust, drive safely and close gates, and ultimately treat community members and their property with respect.


At the heart of the Community Partners program is a simple message – we heard you.  PSAC conducted another survey of residents in communities across Western Canada, who identified increased communication, community livability and environmental protection as being key areas for improvement.  The program is currently supported by other industry associations including CAPP, CAODC, CAGC, SEPAC, CEPA and Energy Services BC, and has also received support from each of the provincial governments in the western provinces.

“When we launched our public outreach program, we knew how important it was to develop practical tools and initiatives that would signal to people that we heard them and take seriously our efforts to improve industry’s record and image,” explains Mark Salkeld, president and CEO of PSAC.  “The increasing support and participation in the program by companies and individuals tells us we got this right, and we will continue down the path of creating meaningful opportunities to engage in a positive way with the public.”

While these are two initiatives among many that industry has undertaken with the goal of improving relations with local communities and the public-at-large, there is work to be done.   PSAC will continue to promote these programs and, also, the record of the industry which continues to see improvements in its operational and environmental performance, in which PSAC members play a leadership role.

To find out more about Community Partners or join the growing list of companies supporting the program, please visit

To read PatchWorks or to subscribe to the publication, visit

PSAC is the national trade association representing the service, supply and manufacturing sectors within the upstream petroleum industry. PSAC represents a diverse range of close to 260 member companies, employing more than 60,000 people and contracting almost exclusively to oil and gas exploration and production companies. PSAC member companies represent over 80 per cent of the business volume generated in the petroleum services industry.


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