CALGARY, Alberta – COVID-19 and gloomy economics in the oil and gas sector have driven some operators out of the business, and others into desperate financial situations. One Calgary-based E & P company has made the bold move to shift their focus to a commodity others didn’t even recognize: sand.
NuVintiv, in its seventh restructuring attempt to hide its failures, has opted to shift all drilling activities away from petroleum assets and focus on new line of child-friendly, 100% organic, playground sands. The former gas producing giant plans to operate 25-30 drilling rigs in fluvial and regional sand plays where petroleum economics have suffered, and simply sell the drill cuttings as boutique play sand for children.
“Every year we’re the butt of jokes at CAAP and CSPG conferences. We needed a new angle and our marketing department came to us and proposed we shift direction. Not incrementally, not as a new exploration venture, but just run the train off the rails and do something new and hip. So here we are, launching the Ancient Grains lineup of play-sands.” – Chuck Jameson, CEO NuVintiv
The company is going to start with three products, and expand as sales grow and other markets present themselves.
The first Ancient Grains sand product, The Shore, is a Cardium-sourced, 90 million year old, fine to lower medium grained sandstone perfect for any backyard play area. It will be the most economical of the sands and be available in 1 and 2 pound bags. So portable even a Tesla can haul some home from the depot.
Willie’s Wondersand, the second in the lineup, tends to be very fine to fine grained sandstone with occasional siltstone, making it wonderful to walk on in bare feet. Sourced from 110 million year old Wilrich fluvial deposits, it is more expensive than The Shore to produce, but will sell better in more affluent markets where discerning buyers seek out the finer sands in life.
The final product NuVintiv is bringing to market is the aptly named Poo Sand. Poo Sand is a fluvial, 60 million year old clastic largely comprised of media to coarse grains with occasionally conglomeratic intervals. Sourced from the Paskapoo formation, it’s ideal for families who don’t want as much of the sand coming in the house on socks and pants. Or, simply for a little different aesthetic than the typical sand found at the hardware store.
According to the company’s product brochure, it proudly boasts the creation of at least 200 jobs in the Calgary area. 2P News’ Yu Mii spoke to Sandy Krackenbush, Nuvintiv’s Leader of Marketing.
“Let’s face it, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of geologists and reservoir engineers around calgary who don’t have much to do with their time – there’s only so much Antique Roadshow binge-watching that they can do. And since they were so good to the industry when we needed them, we’re paying-it-backward giving them jobs. they will fill our new 110,000 square foot facility in the NE where they will stand in 100-person lines and hand-wash the cuttings for that really personal touch. You’ll feel the difference it makes the moment your kids set foot on our ancient grains!”
NuVintiv Ancient Grains will go on sale in March of 2020, and is offering online purchase and home delivery via one of their bored in house professionals. 2P News is eager to do product review videos one the new products are available.