According to legend, during the great California and Klondike gold rushes, it was the service providers — those who sold pans and pickaxes — who made the most money, not the miners.
Fast-forward to 2014 and the still-rising shale energy boom is moving the United States ever closer to energy independence. This means drilling activity is skyrocketing — and will continue to be heavy for years.
Meet the Calgary-based energy billionaire planning his next fortune moving drilling rigs, rather than finding properties to use them on. He’s the driving force, you could say, behind an energy services company that is largely under the radar, and will be attending a conference I’m co-hosting Thursday afternoon in Vancouver (Details).
Dave Werklund (Aveda photo)
Calgary businessman and oilfield industry leader David P. Werklund (Aveda Transportation and Energy Services photo)
Growing up on a farm in rural Alberta gave energy entrepreneur Dave Werklund a strong work ethic, core values and a “can-do,” problem-solving attitude.
As a young man, he was a boots-on-the-ground “operations guy” who started out as a production manager for Shell. He leveraged values instilled on the farm and strong firsthand field experience into a career building businesses in the energy services sector.
“I can generally recognize a real opportunity when I see it,” Werklund says.
That’s an understatement, given the Calgary-based businessman’s track record. In 1984, Werklund founded a small oil waste treatment company called Canadian Crude Separators (CCS) with an initial investment of $50,000. The market cap was about $8 million.
By the time he took CCS private in 2007 in the largest trust privatization in Canadian history, it had an enterprise value of more than $3.5 billion. CCS successor Tervita now does more than $5 billion in business annually..