CALGARY, Alberta – Following the recent sale of its US properties, Encana has scheduled the full closure of its Calgary office in favour of a smaller, more cultural office space in downtown Grande Prairie, Alberta. The closure comes as a surprise to the bulk of the company’s Calgary staff, most of whom have family and roots in what has been called Alberta’s best and hippest city.
“We get this notice today that our office is moving to GP. Great. I’m a reservoir engineer. I wear trendy suits to work. I drive my Audi S4 to the valley and then ride my Electra Townie into the office. I’m gonna get my ass kicked if I move to GP. Roughnecks and rednecks. Yay! But I don’t do ‘necks'” – Allan Dennak, Encana
The move comes on the heels of the company’s Q2 2015 Haynesville property divestiture, and seeing as there are no really encouraging moves coming from the oil and gas giant these days, it would seem that relocating to a smaller and more focused centre of operations may improve efficiencies. While staff may not be excited about being forced to leave Calgary, executives are looking forward to the chance to operate in a new environment.
“Well this is a great move for us. We can already envision the changes in our operation. Staff can get out and have mud drags instead of peletons. Bear hunting instead of farmers markets. Trucks instead of cars to go. Camouflage instead of suits. Our staff doesn’t know it yet, but they are going to love living the simple life up there. We will help each of them move of course, and we have procured a camp setting for the initial move, while people build or buy housing or trailers in the area. Heck, even the commute will be shorter. It’s all winning!” – David Fratelli, Senior Executive Vice Manager of Public Relations
The camp Mr. Fratelli spoke of is currently being assembled in anticipation of the move. With recent oil and gas activity declining, it was simple for Encana to procure a 5000-person man camp with full amenities and services.
Families will be given form-style lodging with adjoining rooms, while single individuals will be offered rooms in the Adult Living wing, where there will be numerous parties and chances to get wild GP style. The camp will have a theatre, a gymnasium, a pool, and a fully-staffed 24-hour cafeteria with a Tim Hortons.
The move will commence in April, 2016. Staff will be given the option of remaining with Encana at current salaries and benefits, or leaving the company with a 7-day severance and a fruit basket.
All staff will be required to make their final decision by the end of November, 2015 so plans can be arranged to move belongings and families to their new homes in northern Alberta.