CALGARY, Alberta – The oil and gas industry is suffering these days, of that there is no question. Many operators are cutting costs and finding new efficiencies to remain profitable. Some are even cutting back on day-to-day amenities to pinch the last pennies. In a move some couldn’t believe, Enkarma removed drinking water taps and water coolers from The Bow. This was not only an effort to save money, but go green by not using as much fresh water in the building to help meet environmental targets.
The blowback of this move is one that stuns many, confuses a few, and startles most. After 2 weeks of the new cuts, it was discovered that quite a few of the technical engineering, geology, and geophysics staff were falling ill with unknown ailments. Assuming it was Covid-19, executives at Enkarma implemented more social distancing and quadruple mask requirements with no success.
After failing to solve the issue with Covid protocols, cameras were installed around the building to track their staff and monitor the situation to discover the root of the illnesses. What they discovered shocked executives and staff alike. In order to make enough coffee to remain functional during the day, staff were filling water bottles and coffee machines with water from toilets and urinals. This of course led to a variety of sicknesses and much more downtime in drilling and development. To put a stop to the usage of toilet water, Enkarma Safety Lead Frank Drankek had new signs made up to warn staff of the dangers of using toilet and urinal water for consumption of any kind.
“We had to install signage to help the engineers and geolscience teams understand that toilet water isn’t consumable. For typically smart people, they’re so stupid.”
Some staff on the production and completion teams did not understand that all of the toilets were on the same water lines and searched high and low throughout the tower to find some toilets they could still drink from. They were successful, and shared the location office wide in a text sent to the other teams.
Obviously this cannot continue and we have ensured this information gets to APEGA so they can offer a professional development seminar on the dangers of drinking from toilets and urinals. But until that happens, we feel for our down-trodden brothers and sisters of The Ring and their oppressors and Enkarma for denying them access to potable water.