Dec '06/Jan '07

Great dirt and terrific people

By L. Mottola

On October 16, Neil Camarta, senior vice president, oil sands, Petro-Canada, made a lively presentation to a crowd of 85 industry people and students at the McGill Faculty Club.
His presentation, “Great Dirt, Great People,” gave an overview of the complex process of extracting, processing, and refining oil sands. He discussed the economics of an oil sands business and the current challenges Petro-Canada is facing to turn its 10 billion barrel oil sands deposits into a potential to produce up to 320,000 barrels of synthetic crude oil per day.
Petro-Canada has “great dirt,” proven technology, and deep experience in the petrochemical field, as well as in mining, through its partnership with Teck Cominco. However, the company needs many more “great people” to turn this potential into a reality. All disciplines of engineering are required to bring this mega-project alive, as well as a wide variety of trade skills. Petro-Canada offers endless possibilities for people with knowledge, experience, and the drive to excell. Fresh graduates and experienced professionals alike are sought by the company to join in the excitement of building Canada’s energy future.
Every month, the Montreal Branch features a brave and talented undergraduate student in the Mining, Metals, and Materials Engineering program of McGill University or in the Mining Engineering program at École Polytechnique.
Amanda Fitch, a second-year student in mining engineering at McGill, made a presentation about her first workterm at Goldcorp’s Musselwhite mine in northern Ontario. Her experience at this fly-in/fly-out operation was both fulfilling and inspiring. She thoroughly enjoyed her work underground with mining and drilling and blasting crews, rising to the challenges her supervisor presented to her.
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