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Cenovus introduces ten-year work plan

Cenovus Energy recently implemented a 10-year business plan, which it thinks will help recruit and retain workers at its operations in northeast Alberta. Spokesperson Rhona DelFrari says the company is primarily expanding its oilsands operations.
Gary Henault, operations lead and junior co-ordinator, oversees maintenance and organizes projects at the Cenovus Foster Creek operations. Cenovus expects to hire about 200
Gary Henault, operations lead and junior co-ordinator, oversees maintenance and organizes projects at the Cenovus Foster Creek operations. Cenovus expects to hire about 200 people to support the company’s Foster Creek and Christina Lake operations in northeast Alberta in 2010.

Cenovus Energy recently implemented a 10-year business plan, which it thinks will help recruit and retain workers at its operations in northeast Alberta.

Spokesperson Rhona DelFrari says the company is primarily expanding its oilsands operations. Cenovus will hire 400 people this year to reach growing production goals.

"As part of that whole business plan, where we want to take our company and how we want to grow it, they thought that it was really important to at the same time look at the work force that we'll need to supplement and to make sure that those operations are running smoothly," she said.

Cenovus currently employs or contracts around 3,300 workers, but by 2019 the company plans to employ 5,500 people, with the influx affecting primarily its northern Alberta operations. Another slice of the hiring pie will go toward the company's conventional oil operations in its Weyburn operations, as well as expansions in the Lower Shauvavon and Bakken areas.

Of the hiring goals for 2010, around 200 will support the company's Foster Creek and Christina Lake operations in northeast Alberta. Foster Creek operations on the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range will take on 94 full-time employees, as well as several contractors.

While several positions have already been filled, the company is still looking for power engineers, welders, technicians, maintenance personnel, and field and plant operators among other positions.

DelFrari said new employees are needed to meet increasing production, adding that the number of employees Cenovus plans to hire does not include other contractors who will benefit from increased activity. She added that the company would like to hire locally as much as possible.

"We plan to be there for decades to come, so the positions that we're hiring are going to be there for a long, long time," she said. The company offers incentives, such as recognizing a new employees' life experience to determine how much vacation time someone receives.

Cenovus separated from Encana at the end of 2009. As a new operation, Foster Creek received a brief reprieve from paying royalties, a financial break which ended recently. Foster Creek is now paying over $1 million per day to provincial coffers.