February 2020 – First Mover

With a mission to inform, empower, celebrate and advocate for British Columbia's current and aspiring business leaders, BCBusiness go behind the headlines and bring readers face to face with the key issues and people driving business in B.C.

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Page 54 of 79

FEBRUARY 2020 BCBUSINESS 55 N IN THE NORTHEAST, LOCAL COMPANIES SERVICING THE STRUGGLING ENERGY SECTOR COMPLAIN THAT B.C. TAX POLICIES GIVE RIVALS FROM NEIGHBOUR- ING ALBERTA AN UNFAIR EDGE. BUT AS BUSINESSES BASED IN BOTH PROVINCES FIGHT FOR WORK, THE INDUSTRY'S PROBLEMS ARE MUCH BIGGER advantage November marks the start of drilling season in the Peace River Regional District in northeastern B.C. Temperatures start falling consistently below freezing, harden- ing the swampy roads that cut through the boreal forest outside cities like Fort St. John and Dawson Creek. The giant 24-wheel, 11-axle trucks that haul oilfield rigs and heavy equipment to well sites would sink if the mud weren't frozen solid. Winter should bring hectic times for Sandy Beech, owner and president of Fort St. John–based D.R.S. Energy Services and president of the Northern B.C. Truckers' Association. His busi- ness specializes in moving rigs for oil and gas companies like Calgary-based ARC Resources and Storm Resources and U.S. giant ConocoPhillips. He employs between 40 and 50 people to operate 27 trucks, plus trailers, pilot cars and other vehicles, which add up to about 130 pieces of equipment. This year, how- ever, Beech isn't racing to fulfill contracts. He's fighting to keep his business afloat and operating in B.C. alberta b y D E E H O N p o r t r a i t b y H O P E L I N Z E E P H O T O G R A P H Y the

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