BEC / September / 2016 - page 7

By Cheryl Long
ith more than four billion bar-
rels of oil estimated to be in the
ground, the Frog Lake Energy
Resource Corporation (FLERC) in Calgary,
Alberta is looking at a future brimming with
potential growth. Championed by CEO Joe
Dion, the successful oil and gas explora-
tion and production company is unique for
several reasons, one being the fact that it
is wholly owned by the Frog Lake First Na-
tion, making it the first oil company to be
owned by Canada’s First Nation people.
It’s no surprise that FLERC’s success is
deeply intertwined with that of the Frog
Lake Reserve, a Cree community located
about 200 kilometres east of Edmonton.
The goal is to see Frog Lake and its ap-
proximately 3,000 band members become
self-sustaining as a nation, whether that’s
through future increases in oil prices as
the industry rebounds or by diversifying
into other energy sources, Dion said.
“We want to keep growing, and grow into
other sectors. Oil is our big source … we
intend to go into cogeneration, wind power
and potentially solar as well,” he explained.
Their vision statement sums it up nicely,
highlighting a goal to “create sustainable
wealth” such that “by 2020 we will be
recognized for our ability to continuously
create business opportunities and deliver
long-term value for the benefit of the Frog
Lake First Nation and its partners.”
In fact, this spring Calgary-based Pen-
growth Energy Corp. sold its cogeneration
plant in northeastern Alberta to FLERC for
$35 million, which then leased the plant
back to Pengrowth as part of a 20-year
agreement. The unique partnership will
see the plant continue to be operated by
Pengrowth and allow FLERC to diversify
its revenues by tapping into another en-
ergy source. The plant, located just a few
kilometres west of the reserve, produces
steam for thermal wells and power that’s
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