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56 Businessexcellence October 07 CerPro Energy Services president Peter Pleskie explains to Gary Toushek why he sees his oilfield services company as a shiny, well-oiled machine accelerating with controlled growth Disciplineand standards

October 07 Businessexcellence 57 The lucrative Alberta oil patch is getting crowded with exploration and drilling companies seeking the liquid gold, as well as the service companies that assist them in their quest. CerPro Energy Services is one such service company; it sprouted in 2004, established in Medicine Hat by Peter Pleskie, an industry veteran, as a diverse, value focused oilfield and industrial construction company. CerPro fabricates, installs and maintains a wide range of facilities, structures and pipelines; designs and engineers when called upon, and can also manage and supervise oilfield operations. This diversity of skills and services is a key element to CerPro’s success. A welder by trade, Pleskie is a down to earth, hands-on guy who’s always been self-employed in the construction fabrication industry, mainly putting together equipment. He started working in the oil & gas business in the late 1970s, for Alberta Energy. Then after laboring for a variety of other oil & gas service companies, mainly as an equipment fabricator, then for a short time as a construction consultant for a major company, he decided to go it on his own, gathering around him other people he’d worked with who shared his passion for quality service. “CerPro came about because I’d been involved in a few businesses like it, and I’m an older guy; I was working with some younger people who expressed interest in working with me or for me, and my reputation was for getting work done properly, with discipline, following standards.” He started with a handful of employees and today has about 250 people, mostly in the field, and on any given day his crews are working a dozen to 15 client sites in Alberta. The company has more than doubled its revenue annually through organic growth, and currently a larger CerPro head office is being constructed in Medicine Hat to amalgamate the four smaller locations. Clients include giants such as EnCana, Compton Petroleum, Canadian Natural Resources Ltd, Pengrowth Corp, and Harvest Energy. CerPro owns about 250 pieces of oilfield equipment, all purchased new. “I buy new because I’m in it for the long haul,” says Pleskie. “There’s less money down, and the debt is extended over a longer period of time and keeps up my cash flow.” Having enough equipment is important, since oil & gas clients have difficulty forecasting the CerProEnergyServices