HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES
- 2019 -
Dean Potter is a petroleum geologist with over 39 years of experience in exploration and development of oil and gas reserves in western Canada, U.S. Rockies basins and the Middle East.
Dean grew up on a farm just outside Regina, and he still owns that farm today.
He graduated from the University of Regina in 1976 with a bachelors degree in geology. In 1980, he completed his masters degree in geology on base metal deposits at the same university.
He married Judith Casson, initially from the United Kingdom, in 1979. She is also a geologist.
From 1980 to 1985 he worked in district geologist positions with SaskOil. This included work in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Alberta. With SaskOil he was responsible for mapping and generation of viable exploration prospects in a wide variety of stratigraphic horizons under the supervision of experienced geologists and geophysicists.
From there in 1985, he moved to PreCambrian Shield Resources Ltd, which became Mark Resources Inc. He spent seven years there, mapping and generating exploration prospects in Saskatchewan and Alberta. In 1991, Dean was honoured as the Saskatchewan Oilman of the Year for the discovery of the Minton pool in Saskatchewan. While at Mark Resources he had the opportunity to explore the U.S. side of the Williston Basin.
At Upton Resources from 1992 to 1998, Dean was initially vice president of exploration and then senior vice president. He directed the growth of Upton Resources from 850 barrels daily production in 1992 to over 5,000 barrels of daily production in 1997. Growth was accomplished through company-generated exploration and development drilling projects in Saskatchewan and North Dakota.
For the next seven years, Dean established his own geological consulting company, Sito Geoconsulting Ltd. He focused on both sides of the border in the Williston Basin, and other U.S. Rocky Mountain basin plays. He also worked in Alberta and B.C., and consulted on projects in Dubai for four years while working from Canada.
In 1999, Dean also founded DPX Inc. It continues to this day as a private royalty company that remains active today in petroleum exploration and development.
Starting in 2005, Dean founded and led two successful private exploration and development companies, Medora Resources Inc. and Elkhorn Resources Inc.
Medora was a southeast Saskatchewan exploration and production company with a wide focus, from Goodwater, Saskatchewan to Sinclair, Manitoba. This included Crystal Hill, Weyburn, Kisbey (Star Valley) and Fairlight. Medora built up 1,600 barrels per day equivalent of production. The company was sold in 2009 to Glamis, which became Legacy Oil + Gas Inc.
Elkhorn Resources fired up in 2009 and sold in April 2014 to Vermillion Energy Inc. at the peak of the market.
Focused on the Northgate area of southeast Saskatchewan, Elkhorn had grown to more than 4,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day by the time it was sold.
Today, Dean is executive chairman of Burgess Creek Exploration Inc. and maintains an active role in the geological development of drilling opportunities. He acted as technical advisor to CAMCOR Partners Inc. and is currently working technical advisor to Steel Reef Infrastructure Corp.
Dean is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta, Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan and American Association of Petroleum Geologists.
Over a 30-plus year career, Dean has published numerous technical papers, most notably on topics relevant to the Williston Basin in Canada and the U.S. He intends to write several more papers for future generations of geologists working in the Williston Basin.
He enjoys his summers at the lake in B.C., upland game bird hunting in the fall, and winters in the Arizona sun. As passionate as he is for Williston Basin geology, he also has a passion for collection and restoration of vintage Fords.
Dean and Judith have three children, a daughter who is a pediatrician, a son who is a petroleum engineer and another son who is a petroleum geologist.
Few have put as much effort into community service as Ray Frehlick of Estevan.
Ray Frehlick was raised on a farm near Wilkie, Saskatchewan. Before long, Ray had moved to the Estevan area to pursue employment in the oil industry and, more particularly, in the drilling fluids and oilfield chemical businesses. Even as a young man, Raymond Frehlick was an entrepreneur and, in 1969, he and Bill Huddleston fired up Prairie Petro-Chem Ltd. It focused on providing chemicals and other products to the oil industry in Canada.
In 1972, they incorporated Prairie Petro-Chem of America, Inc. to do the same in the USA. Within 10 years, Ray had acquired 100 per cent of the shares of both of those companies.
In 1976, Ray and his wife, Doris, incorporated Prairie Mud & Chemical Service Ltd., and that was followed in 1981 by the incorporation of Prairie Mud Service, Inc. in the United States. These two corporations sold drilling fluids and related products and provided service to the oil industries in the two countries. Prairie Mud has grown to where it now has operations in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, North Dakota and Montana. Although the company had to survive many of the inevitable "boom and bust" cycles the oil industry experiences all too frequently, the success of the company comes as no surprise to people who know Ray and Doris. They are tireless workers and provide excellent service to customers. Recognizing the need to stay current with developments and adapting to changes in the industry and technology are part of the Frehlick business philosophy.
Ray and Doris consider the people who work at their businesses to be part of the family, and strive to treat them well. This includes enabling key employees to become part owners. In time, Ray turned ownership of Prairie Petro-Chem Ltd. over to his wife, Doris, two of their sons and one of their key employees, and he turned the shares of Prairie Petro-Chem of America, Inc. over to the two of their sons who were active in that company. In 2002, Ray recognized the contributions of two of Prairie Mud's key employees by transferring partial ownership of the business to them.
Throughout the years Ray has been active in the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce, Estevan Chamber of Commerce, Petroleum Services Association of Canada, Estevan Oilfield Technical Society and other business and industry organizations. He has received many awards that recognize his contributions to business, to his community and to the oil industry, such as being named Southeast Saskatchewan Oilman of the Year in 1993, being inducted Into the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame and having a street in Estevan named after him. In 2002 the Lieutenant-Governor of Saskatchewan presented Ray with the Queen's Medal.
In addition to Prairie Petro-Chem and Prairie Mud, Ray has been involved in numerous other ventures. Plains Environmental was a disposal cavern at Melville which fired up in 2002. Ray was chairman of the board. It was sold in 2014. He also was an investor in Estevan Plastics, a fibreglass plant. Doris ran Estevan Dry Cleaners during the 1980s. Prairie Rathole fired up in 1982 and was sold in 2008. He was a major shareholder in Southland Pulse, which started in 2002. PetroChem’s Canadian side was sold to Clariant in 2014.
Many of these business investments were made to help the owner of a struggling operation continue in business or to help fill a need that would benefit the community. On top of that, Ray has a cattle operation with a couple hundred head of cattle. He owns and operates Frehlick Quarter Horses. Ray, Doris and one of their sons have a grain farm where they seed about 100 quarter sections of land each year.
Ray has been very active in the Estevan community. He has been president of the Estevan Minor Hockey Association, Estevan Minor Baseball and the Estevan Bruins Junior Hockey team. He was active in the construction of Ace Mud Mets ball diamond. He and Doris contributed to the 1980 Saskatchewan Summer Games that were held in Estevan. More recently, they not only contributed financially to, but Ray physically helped build, a number of the buildings for the Saskatchewan Summer Games that were held in Estevan in 2016. They donated the money to build Frehlick Hall so that the Souris Valley Theater. Ray was also a co-chair of 11 of the annual Sportsman's Dinners held in Estevan, chairman of the Weyburn Oil Show Board and co-chair of the 2016 Western Canada Cup Host Committee. The Government of Saskatchewan recognized Ray's leadership and business abilities by appointing him to the Action Committee on the Rural Economy.
Ray has made a point of having the businesses he is involved in be active in the communities they serve. The list of community projects and charitable organizations that those businesses, and Ray and Doris personally, donate to is extensive. They have responded to the needs of hospitals and other medical providers, the arts, community rinks, many sports and just about every other good cause that one can think of throughout the three provinces and two states Prairie Mud does business in. The construction of the current hospital in Estevan, the acquisition of a CT Scanner by that hospital, construction of the Estevan Leisure Centre, construction of the Affinity Place ice arena and the successful fund raising for a new nursing home in Estevan are some of the major projects that Frehlicks have been significant contributors to.
Four of Ray and Doris’s five children became involved in the oilpatch at onetime or another.
Whether it is business, a community organization or politics, Ray states that "It takes leaders and, while many are called, few come forward.”
Eldon McIntyre started out operating wells in southwest Saskatchewan. From that he grew his own integrated oil company and has been an investor and director of several successful oil and gas companies, including Celtic and Kelt.
Born and raised in the Hazlet area of Southwestern Saskatchewan, Eldon McIntyre’s father died when he was six, so he did not initially complete his high school, as farming was keeping him from classes.
He married Marilyn Lugvigsen in 1963. She was his business partner from day one. She passed away in 1982.
Eldon started working in the oilfield in 1969. At the age of 27, with a wife and three kids, he found work operating a nearby oil well, then contract operating several more. While taking some night classes he met a foreman for Mobil Oil. It was the biggest operator in the area at that time, and they insisted their workers had Grade 12. This foreman, who was working towards his Grade 12, encouraged Eldon to continue getting his education and recruited him as an employee.
Those early days of operating taught him many principles that would serve him well in the years to come – like the necessity of doing as much of your own work as possible, what’s now known as ‘vertical integration.’ It also taught him how to squeeze a profit out of wells that produce as low as three barrels a day, even today.
A missed opportunity to buy a well put a fire under him to learn as much as he could while he was with Mobil so that wouldn’t happen again.
A 1973 law called Bill 42 caused the Saskatchewan oilpatch to all but shut down. Eldon saw the owner of one well, not far from his Hazlet farm, pull his treater and everything he could out of the property. Eldon was able to buy the well and lease for about $3,000, in 1975, the salvage value of tubing and rods left in the well. It was put into production in 1979, and went on to produce 50 barrels a day. In the 1970s he founded his own oil company, Jarrod Oils Ltd, which is still active today.
Eldon is a strong believer in what he calls “closeology,” his term for drilling close to wells that are already good producers.
While most oil producers in Saskatchewan hire most of their service work, Jarrod Oils keeps much of that in-house. Thus, his crews not only operate wells, but do everything from pipelining and oilfield maintenance to steaming and snowplowing. For a while he also owned two drilling rigs.
Eldon loves making deals, wheeling and dealing on everything from individual wells and their royalties to entire companies and gas fields. When the National Energy Program came in in the 1980s, big companies were getting rid of their small-producing wells, but he always could make a little money on those because he was operating the wells himself.
His primary interest for Jarrod Oils had been the Roseray formation west of Swift Current. One of the reasons he likes the Roseray is that its well tend to last for decades, and they will provide for his family for generations. Eldon Energy was founded in 2000 to be a successor company for his children.
Eldon found success as and investor and he has also been instrumental in directing a number of public oil and gas exploration companies. Often properties retained from one deal would be used to seed a new company. In the 1980s he was involved in Strike Energy and Genesis Exploration in the 1990s. In more recent years he has served as a director of Celtic Exploration, a Montney gas company which was sold to ExxonMobil in 2013. He recently retired from the board of Kelt Exploration.
When it comes to giving, Eldon believes in sharing oil profits close to home, feeling that if you are fortunate enough to make money, it’s your duty to give some back. This included a $10 million donation to the Saskatchewan Children’s Hospital in 2016. He established the McIntyre Family Foundation whose main goal is to give back to his community and province by providing annual scholarships for students in health-related fields of study.
Two of his three children worked extensively in the oilpatch, and all are owners Eldon Energy, a related company of Jarrod Oils. The next generation is also being brought into the family business.
Eldon was named one of 10 recipients of the 2016 Saskatchewan Order of Merit.