Douglas Robert Ramsay
One of the enduring characteristics of honoured members in the Canadian Petroleum Hall of Fame
is that there are few "silver spoons" among the men and women who
have built the Canadian oil and gas
industry. For the most part, these are
self-made success stories, built from
humble beginnings on a foundation of hard work and dedication.
Doug Ramsay, co-founder and chief executive officer of Calfrac Well Services
Ltd., fits that model to a T. Born and raised in Edmonton, Doug began his life in
the industry the way many have before him—working the rigs right out of high
school, first with BJ Well Services in 1973 and later with Dome Petroleum Ltd.,
before returning to school to earn his petroleum engineering technology diploma
(1977) and his certified engineering technologist certificate (1978) from SAIT
Polytechnic, known at the time as the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology.
With his engineering certificates in hand (he added a registered engineering
technology designation to his resumé in 1980), Doug joined Delta
Consultants (1973) Ltd. in 1979 as a consulting engineer, where he was
responsible for drilling, completion and production operations for a number
of oil and gas companies.
Increasing responsibilities came his way, and in 1981, at the ripe old
age of 26, Doug joined Eagle Exploration Inc. as manager of drilling and
completions (D&C), where he handled D&C and workover operations in
Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. He was also responsible for the management
of the company-owned drilling rig.
He joined American Fracmaster Inc. in 1982, becoming general manager of
its western division operations in the United States, before being promoted
in 1984 to manage sales and marketing for its Canadian subsidiary, Canadian
Fracmaster Ltd. He rose through the ranks there, and was eventually named
president, in charge of the company's Canadian and international activities.
The latter portfolio took him to Russia, where he established the first Canadian
joint venture with Russian partners, and helped other companies, like Royal
Dutch Shell plc, establish successful joint ventures in the former Soviet Union.
After a brief hiatus in the mid-1990s, during which he built his family's
ranching and real estate business, Doug joined forces with Ron Mathison
to transform an existing coil-tubing entity and an insolvent fracture
stimulation–services provider into Calfrac. From first-year sales in 1999
of $4 million and a staff of 22, Calfrac has grown to be a world leader in
the provision of frac services, counting annual sales of $1.5 billion and
employing 3,400 people in six countries.
All of Doug's professional successes, says Doug McNeill, executive vicepresident
of business development for Stream-Flo Industries Ltd., can be
traced to his early beginnings in the industry.
"A long history in the industry, starting out in the field, has given him a
great foundation to build on for his future leadership and entrepreneurial
successes," McNeill writes in a letter supporting Doug's nomination to the
Hall of Fame. "Doug drives integrity, service to the customer, his employees'
well-being and personal growth for his employees and himself. A very
humble individual, Doug always had his eye on retaining the culture that
differentiated the company from the competition."
Doug has devoted the same energies that built Calfrac to his local
community, especially in the areas of safety and education.
A member of the board of the STARS air ambulance service since 2007,
Doug clearly understands the link between safety in the oilfield and the
value STARS brings to remote oil and gas field operations. Doug and
his wife, Susan, have personally committed $2 million to STARS, and
he continues to provide valuable advice on how STARS can expand and
enhance its service offerings in western Canada.
And Doug hasn't forgotten the role SAIT played in shaping his career and
giving him the foundations for success. With a $3-million contribution from
Doug and Susan, the institution launched the Ramsay Centre for Petroleum
Engineering Technology, and Doug continues to provide advice on industry
trends, process and advancements, which SAIT's MacPhail School of Energy
continues to incorporate into its curriculum.
"The Ramsays' generous contribution demonstrates their commitment
to building a strong, skilled workforce for Alberta and Canada, and it
will directly impact, engage and inspire thousands of students pursuing
a career within the petroleum industry," writes Brian Bowman, SAIT 's
director, alumni and development, in a letter supporting Doug's
nomination. "As a member of SAIT's Promising Futures Campaign
Cabinet, he has demonstrated true leadership and an unwavering
commitment to promoting the value of post-secondary education in the
energy sector. His dedication and counsel helped draw vital support from
his industry colleagues."