North of Yellowknife
On the 22nd I head up to Yellowknife and then catch a twin otter plane 300km further north on the 23rd to a science research camp, with organizers, another teacher and about a dozen high school students. It is an opportunity for high school students to see the kind of research graduate students are doing. I am not sure how much internet access I will have. I fly back to Yellowknife on August 2nd. Should be interesting. If I have internet access I will write about some of the research.
On another note, work in the oil and gas patch is way down. A couple years ago a few who worked in the industry was giving a talk in our school and he said unlike most other industries the oil and gas industry employed just as many people today to drill a well as it did 20 or 30 years ago. Well, I think relatively recently the industry has started using mega platforms that they can drill about 50 holes from and in all different directions. It used to be the rig had to be moved for each hole and created a lot of employment. I think this is a significant labor loss, and it is high income labor loss which has enormous trickle down effects in the economy. There was just tons and tons of equipment for the oil and gas industry sitting idle in various yards along the way.
I don't think I have mentioned Spectra Energy. They have been expanding their natural gas line to increase the holding capacity to 5 times what it was. I am not sure how far they are on it. It might even be finished now. Spectra is huge and they have the capcity to double their output, and when I toured the plant last year I was told that was the plan. I think that is enough increased capacity to actually create a downward pressure on the price. Apparently they produce enough gas to heat a whole Vancouver sized city. Apparently Spectra used to be Duke and Bush senior used to be a owner. American military helicopters were sent out to it during 9/11 as it was feared it would be a target.