Crude Observations

Lazy Day

Well, here it is, the last blog of Q3. Too early to do my Report Card on the Fearless Forecast and, due to circumstances beyond my control, too late to do something completely original from scratch as my professional, M&A life continues to interfere with my blogging side-hustle.


What do I mean by that? Simple really. We have been busy. Really busy. As of Sunday (well 11:59 PM Saturday), we will have closed three significant transactions on behalf of clients since August 11th. This is quite the stretch, especially when you consider that summer deals have historically been kind of rare – almost unicorn like you might say.


But this is what happens in the post-COVID world, time and seasonality don’t matter anymore and when someone wants to do a deal, they do a deal!


And, notwithstanding interest rates and inflation and doom and gloom about the economy and the tanking poll numbers of the Liberal Party and Justin Trudeau (I did “Not See” that coming (heh)), it appears that the M&A market in Canada for energy services and other industries is alive and well, even thriving. Which runs contrary to what you might be hearing from the media. We are even seeing public market deals in the energy services space which is… rare.


Suffice it to say, it has been a busy few months and I am tired. At some point I will be providing you my dear readers with a synopsis of these transactions because they were each unique in their own right and we do like to toot our own horn but it’s too early right now since the last deal doesn’t officially close until Sunday and I am superstitious even though docs are signed and cash is in trust.


So stay tuned and, as a reward to myself I’m going to take it easy this week and engage in an activity I like to call “Prior Blog Thievery”.


Which means I go back into the archives, find a fun blog from the before times, update it a bit and toss it out there for everyone to have fun with if they want.


Prior Blog Thievery


OK, here it is. Everyone’s favourite barstool activity.


That’s right, it’s trivia time.


Or what I like to call Crude Observations Trivial Pursuit.




Just a quick refresher, in Trivial Pursuit you go around the board trying to collect pies and answering questions in six categories along the way. Once you have collected the six pies, you go to the middle of the board and answer the final question to win the game. It’s all very intense.


The original categories were as follows:


  • Geography
  • Entertainment
  • History
  • Art & Literature
  • Science & Nature
  • Sports & Leisure


In the interests of being true to the game, I will use those categories, but obviously have reserved the right to be as sarcastic and cheeky as I want to be within the categories.


There will be 6 questions within each of the six categories. There may be a mix of straight answer and multiple choice.


There will also be a final question. If you get that question right, you may be proclaimed a grand champion, earn the adulation of your blog reading peers and I might consider getting you one of those four foot high plastic trophies to display in your office.


Okay, last bit of admin before we dive in. A sample question. And because I love sports, it will be in the Sports and Leisure category.


Question – Name the NHL team that has been a national embarrassment because of their epic run of Stanley Cup futility and which is likely destined to go another 56 years in the wilderness.


Answer – the Toronto Maple Laffs, oops, Leafs.


See how easy that was? Right. On with the show!


  • Geography


  1. Name the two largest sub-national landlocked producers of oil in North America.
  2. In the seminal golf movie Caddyshack, noted Bon Vivant and erstwhile philosopher Ty Webb said “the shortest distance between two points is a straight line in the complete and opposite direction.” Given this logic, how far must Alberta natural gas travel to reach an LNG facility in Germany?
  3. With an estimated 70 billion barrels of recoverable oil, this reservoir is considered the largest conventional oilfield in the world. Name the field and the country it resides in.
  4. Ironically, this contiguous heavy oil deposit contains approximately 133 billion barrels of oil in place, making it the “actual” largest oilfield in the world. Name the field and the location.
  5. If you took all the oil and gas pipelines in North America and laid them end to end, how many return trips to the moon would you be able to take?
  6. Where was the first producing oilwell in North America located?


  • Entertainment


  1. This American music icon recorded a tribute to oil and gas workers in 1963. Name the artist and the song.
  2. Starring a former oilrig worker, this movie is considered among the greatest oil and gas films ever produced. Name the movie and the star that worked the rigs.
  3. There Will be Blood garnered Daniel Day-Lewis one of his three Best Actor Oscars. What was the name of the book on which the movie was based and who was the author.
  4. This man, who always hits his depth, is considered one of the best off-shore wildcat drillers in cinematic history. He doesn’t know how to fail. Name him.
  5. Deepwater Horizon, the movie chronicling the Macondo blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, rightly distills the majority of the culpability for the blowout to BP, personified by its on rig “company man” Donald Vidrine. Which actor channeled his inner Snidely Whiplash to play that role.
  6. In 2020 this Canadian heartthrob starred in a music video where he plays a rig worker who gets canned and evicted from his house. Name the artist, the song, the accompanying vocalist and the company that laid him off.


  • History


  1. After drilling the first commercial oil well in the United States in 1859 in Titusville, Pennsylvania, this man “colonel” executed what is arguably the first frac’ed oil well by dropping a torpedo down the bore hole of a well in 1865. Fortunately, no one died. Name him.
  2. The first commercial development of the oil sands was begun in what year and by what company.
  3. The earliest historical reference to the use of oil products was over 4000 years ago by this historian.
  4. John D. Rockefeller, the founder of Standard Oil, got his start in the industry by investing in a refinery in what city.
  5. Natural gas has been used commercially since the 1700’s when it was used to light street lamps in Britain. In 1885 this man invented a burner that opened up a whole range of uses for the now easily controlled combustion of the fuel. Name him.
  6. For more than 50 years, a 230-ft diameter crater has been on fire, burning natural gas and emitting CO2 uncontrollably into the atmosphere. What is the nickname for the crater used by the locals and how many of them are crazy enough to live in the nearby village.


  • Arts & Literature


  1. This artist is known for her seminal painting Marina by Night, an oil on linen oilfield painting. Name her.
  2. Name the term coined by Canadian lobbyist and gadfly Ezra Levant in his book of the same name touting the moral superiority of Canadian oil production or what The Economist called a “polemic defence of the tar sands”. What year was the book published and what was the term.
  3. “The Prize” by Daniel Yergin is widely considered one of the most comprehensive narratives about the oil and gas industry ever prepared. What was the name of his much less popular follow up book.
  4. Robert Service is known for his many odes to Yukon gold mining. The closest the energy industry has is this obscure Texas poet. Name him.
  5. Name the Hollywood star who wrote the preface for It’s a Gas: The Allure of the Gas Station, a photo book documenting gas stations around the world.
  6. Born in 1829, this photographer was one of the most prolific photographic recorders of a young energy industry. Name him.


  • Science & Nature


  1. Name the four types of fossil fuels.
  2. What fuel has the highest energy density?
  3. What is the process of injecting water, sand and chemicals under extremely high pressure into an oil well called?
  4. With oil under tremendous pressure underground in ever deeper wells, temperatures can be very high – reaching up to what temperature? (Celsius or Fahrenheit)
  5. How much water does a fully laden supertanker displace?
  6. Just for fun, name 5 (aside from fuel) of the more than 6000 products that are made with or derived from oil and gas


  • Sports & Leisure


  1. What was Coach Eric Taylor’s combined won-loss record as coach of the Dillon Panthers and East Dillon Lions, including playoffs.
  2. How many of the NFL’s 32 franchises have owners who made their fortunes in the energy or immediately related industry?
  3. Aside from NFL Football, name three sports that are dominated by oil and gas related sponsorship.
  4. Two franchises in big league professional sports have been called the Oilers. Name teams and the greatest player each one has produced.
  5. What is the average amount of fuel burned in a NASCAR race assuming 40 cars?
  6. What major oil producer spends the most capital on greewashing.


Bonus Question


What was Mike cooking.


There you go – good luck!


Please email me at with your answers. I will buy the winner some pints.


Answer key may come on Wednesday if I can remember all the answers!


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