Case Study: Pipestone Energy Corp.
Pipestone Energy Corp. is an oil and gas exploration and production company with its head office located in Calgary, Alberta. Managing a staff of 30-40 employees, the company is focused on developing its condensate rich assets in the Pipestone area of Alberta. While Pipestone Energy Corp. started as a private company, in January of 2019, they acquired another company and soon after went public.
IT Infrastructure Planning, Implementation And Management
After the acquisition in 2019, Pipestone Energy Corp.’s leadership knew they had a prime opportunity to refresh and upgrade their IT. As a growing, public company, they needed to scale up their IT resources and develop a technical foundation that they and their operations could rely on.
“Since we’re starting new and fresh, it would be the right opportunity to make a change and see where we need to go,” says Curtis Bowerman, Controller, Pipestone Energy Corp.
To do so properly meant finding a new IT company to help them manage the transition. While they’d had some success with a previous support provider, they knew they could likely improve by taking the opportunity to find a better level of IT support with a different provider.
“We were a very busy client at the time for the previous IT provider,” says Curtis. “There were some things that weren’t getting done the way we wanted them done, or as quickly as we wanted them done.”
In considering local IT companies in Alberta, Pipestone Energy Corp. became acquainted with Pure IT. After meeting with them, evaluating their capabilities, and learning what Pure IT had to offer, Pipestone Energy Corp. opted to work with them.
“When we originally started to set up, Pure IT came with an excellent infrastructure plan and process,” says Cutis. “We had good equipment ready to go, and we had processes in place that would help us manage our business, and we could be secure with it.”
Pipestone Energy Corp. was able to capitalize on this transitional phase in its business, developing a brand-new IT infrastructure that was prepared to support their operations well into the future.
“We knew we were going to have to buy new hardware, set up new servers, and so, if you’re going to do that, at least from an IT perspective, it’s good to have those people design and manage, it just makes sense,” says Curtis.
Remote Work During The COVID-19 Pandemic
IT resources have never been as important as they are now during the COVID-19 pandemic. For organizations to stay connected and productive while working remotely, they need the right technologies and processes in place.
Unfortunately, due to how quickly the pandemic developed, many businesses were unable to prepare for the shift to a remote work setting. Doing so would have required careful planning, methodical execution of new processes, and expert implementation of new technologies.
“I don’t know that anyone anticipated what it was going to be like,” says Curtis. “I had never worked remotely for an extended period. To be on a full-time basis, the majority of us had not done that. When COVID came, it was quite sudden, and we ended up deciding in the middle of March, we had asked everybody to test their remote access processes, and everyone seemed to be able to do that from home.”
A primary concern for Pipestone Energy Corp. (and all Oil & Gas organizations) was how to keep their resource-intensive geological and geophysical software operating remotely. Most home computer systems wouldn’t have the capability to support software of this type.
“The biggest challenge was our G&G, a lot of those seismic programs take a lot of horsepower, and they don’t normally have that equipment at home,” says Curtis. “There were some that had to take their machines out of the office and take them home.”
Fortunately, Pure IT had already completed the necessary upgrades to Pipestone Energy Corp.’s environment before the pandemic became a global concern. They were able to complete those changes before the pandemic affected their operations.
“With the ability to have our meetings, to see face to face through our webcams, really most of our operations didn’t skip a beat,” says Curtis. “We knew exactly what was going on with our business on a day to day basis. We had weekly meetings with Pure IT just to make sure things were going smoothly. When we went remote, we had a couple of processes to iron out, but for the most part, it was a seamless move.”
Even now, as the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be getting better in small ways day by day, Curtis and the Pipestone Energy Corp. team are confident that they would be able to pivot to remote work at a moments notice. Whether there is another wave of the pandemic or a different highly-disruptive event, Pure IT has built-in reliable business continuity capabilities for Pipestone to rely on.
“If we needed to pull the pin again and say “tomorrow, everyone’s at home,” I would have no concerns about getting up, firing up the machine at home, and getting to work like normal,” says Curtis. “There would be nothing that anyone would have to do to unwind anything. It’s been put in place in such a fashion that I think it’s there to be used whenever it’s necessary. We, for the most part, didn’t have too many issues. I think a lot of that’s attributable to Pure IT, ensuring we had the infrastructure in place to make it happen.”
“I would like to take this opportunity to extend my thanks to the entire Pure IT Team for their support, especially over this period of remote work. Pipestone has and continues to be extremely successful and productive over this period of an unprecedented world pandemic. This is thanks in significant part to the work provided by Pure IT.”
Controller, Pipestone Energy Corp.