Partnerships in the oil field
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Success stories in the Oil Sands: Denis Lacoursiere

Making safety products built to last

For years, the only reward Denis Lacoursiere earned for welding his specialty steel products was a coffee mug. He was a welder at Suncor Energy for 33 years, where he hand-crafted numerous side projects that helped the company’s mining operations run more efficiently. His latest product; a high-voltage cable satellite ball, has earned him more than a pat on the back!

The satellite is essentially a safety product. It is strapped onto the high-voltage cables that power oil sands mining shovels, and is used as a grabbing mechanism to move the cable along as the shovel operates. Before making this product, companies would use shoddy steel crates or rubber tires.

Lacoursiere says his product is built to last. The web-like structure is built so that before it’s welded, the joints all fit snug, which is essential as the satellite is constantly being dragged through the mud. “These things take a real beating,” he says.

He and his partner Randy Ringheim launched Oilsands Shovel Products. “I had done so much work for other companies I thought I would start doing something for myself,” Lacoursiere says.

While Aboriginal companies have struggled to gain a foothold into the oil sands industry, Lacoursiere doesn’t attribute the sector’s reluctance to his Métis heritage. “They really don’t differentiate for me. It’s more or less tough for everybody.” For more information visit their website.



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