What a difference a year makes.  

Last year, when assembling the 2020 Top Operators report, the COVID-19 pandemic had shuttered the global economy. Oil demand had been reduced by over 20 million barrels per day and prices were at lows not seen in decades.  

The mood of the Canadian industry was grim. After five years of being rocked by wild price volatility the pandemic hit like a knockout punch. 

Halfway into 2021, the fog of the COVID-19 battle is clearing as vaccinations increase throughout most of the developed world. Oil prices have stabilized and are climbing. Natural gas prices have also improved. While still wary, operators are now looking forward to the next round.  

But the pandemic left its scars. Balance sheets need repairing and debt needs to be reduced. Investors, after keeping the faith through the dark days, need to see a return on capital. The shift to working from home could also mark a long-term change, as employees look for flexibility in future work arrangements. 

And the world didn’t stand still in 2020. Environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks gained in prominence, partially due to the pandemic. The energy transition increased in pace.  

The 2021 Top Operators Report looks back at how Canada’s oil and gas leaders pivoted to meet the challenges of 2020, and how they are positioning their organizations for future success.  

Once again, we have tapped into the experience of professional services firm KPMG in Canada to provide insight into what strategies operators could pursue to thrive in the current environment.  

The report also features a broad swath of the insights and opinions from industry leaders gleaned from Daily Oil Bulletin coverage.  

New this year is additional commentary from data providers Evaluate Energy and CanOils. Also new is commentary from the DOB’s new parent company, geoLOGIC systems ltd., on how technology changes are impacting operational efficiencies and the ability to manage operation risk.  

The Daily Oil Bulletin and KPMG hope the 2021 Top Operators report provides some context to the current state of the industry and generates conversation on what comes next.  

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