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JVViews: March 2012 Issue

eStudies and Web Based Learning

February Luncheon Review

Volunteerism - What's in it For You?

PJVA Pub Night

PJVA LinkedIn® Group

eStudies and Web Based Learning

Need a refresher on drafting or working within a CO&O? Sign up for PJVA's e-Studies CO&O course to familiarize yourself with parts of the CO&O you may not encounter in your day-to-day and hone your understanding of the commercial aspects that can impact your project or operation. Do you know someone who would benefit from learning more about the CO&O that governs their asset or operation? Direct them to the PJVA eStudies home page to learn more!

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February Luncheon Review

Feb 16, 2012 - The Most Incredible RRSP
Speaker: Brad Gustafson

Brad Gustafson gave a great presentation on the importance of investing in RRSP's and common RRSP mistakes. A few examples of why people are worried about investing in RRSP's are that the US has the highest debt since World War II, and the Chinese economy is slowing. However, the China manufacturing index is not slowing, and the economy as whole is actually expanding. Stocks are not in trouble, it's the government that is in trouble. These paradigms try and scare us from investing in RRSP's. As a whole our average lifespan is increasing and we need to start planning for our futures.

RSP's are a great way to start planning for retirement and can also be used for tax deductions. Only 25% of taxpayers actually buy RRSP's, yet only 1 in 4 Canadians has more than $50K in savings. Brad Gustafson filled us in on a few key things to know about RRSP's. You can contribute up to 18% of your previous year's salary. If you are unsure how much this equates to check your Notice of Assessment, or contact the CRA by checking their website. If you do not maximize your RRSP for the current year you can carry over the remaining amount to the following year. There was approximately $500 billion that was carried forward in 2011 from prior years. You can exceed your limit by up to $2,000, but can only tax deduct your limit for the year.

A common RRSP mistake Brad talked about was having too many RRSP accounts. This makes it much harder for you to track your contributions and understand how diversified your portfolio actually is. Many people end up rushing and making last minute contributions. You want to have time to think about what you are investing in and if what you have chosen best suits your needs. Someone younger may want to invest in something more risky, whereas someone who is close to retirement may want something more stable. People may avoid investing in RRSP's all together because they believe them to be too volatile. There are many RRSP's to invest in that are very conservative and have stable growth.

It is very important to diversify your portfolio, especially outside of the Canadian sector. Canada only has two sectors, where most other countries have numerous sectors to invest in. A little tip Brad gave to us was to not conform to the market. You want to sell when people are buying and buy when people are selling.

Jessica Sagoo, PJVA Volunteer

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CO&O Model Agreement Updating Task Force

PJVA has established a Task Force under chairman Tim Reimer, to pull together all the industry comments/concerns/improvements in the 1999 CO&O Model Agreement. Comments have already been collected from an industry poll (7 responding companies sent us their comments or their modified versions) and from one Early Morning Session (May 2010).

The plan is to gather as much feedback as we can, sort through the comments, etc. and prepare a new and improved "2013 Model". Membership will then be encouraged to comment on the draft, following which PJVA Board will be asked to sanction the new model agreement. The Task Force would still like to hear from members and member companies, so if you have a complaint, or an improvement, please forward it to

PJVA is also holding an Early Morning Session on March 28 on this topic, and this would be an excellent opportunity to bring forward your comments. Our plan is to have the first draft of improvements ready for September 2012.

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Volunteerism - What's In It For You?

The very lifeblood of any industry association, or non-profit organisation, comes from its volunteers. Although this has always been the case, this statement has never been more true than it is today. It is also true that it has never been harder to find committed volunteers than it is today.

So, since that is stating the obvious; what is the point of this article?

Last fall, CEAMS hosted the 2nd Annual Association Information Night at SAIT for the Energy Asset Management Diploma students. The goal of the evening was for CAPLA, CAPPA, PASC, PJVA, CAPL and IRWA to help the students decide which Association(s) to join by providing them with all the information they needed to make a decision.

After the formal part of the evening, while chatting with the folks representing the associations, a common issue surfaced: finding volunteers who believed in the work of the organisation and saw real value for them in volunteering, beyond just a check mark on their resume.

CEAMS is absolutely no different. We too are looking for worthy volunteers. Volunteers, who understand the concept, see the benefits and want to be able to contribute to the future of Energy Asset Management through committee work and/or potentially becoming a Director,. Given the nature of our particular organisation, we are always looking for people with a desire to share their knowledge, in the ongoing development and updating of the Energy Asset Management curriculum, or even possibly as instructors.

Our collective challenge, as either an Association or a Non-Profit, is to recognize the reality of the changing demographics within our industry and how this is impacting how we recruit our volunteers.

Many of us soon to be retiring baby-boomers (if the stock prices return to higher levels) volunteer because it has always been considered something one does to contribute to society or the community in which we live and work; still a very valid reason, but times are changing as some of us in the silver-haired set are discovering.

Today, our new employees, many of them from the Gen Y demographic, have a different view of how life should be. As an example, for them a reasonable work/life balance is a fundamental requirement, which given the stress related health issues of the baby-boomer generation, is hard to argue with. Rightly or wrongly, they also want to start at the top (that one actually sounds kind of familiar, are we their parents?) and if they can't do that, they want to get there as fast as possible.

Interestingly, they also look at volunteerism differently. For them, it isn't just about "doing good" for the sake of "doing good"; quite rightly, they want to be able to benefit from the experience as well. Needless to say the perceived benefits vary by individual, but some of the more common ones include: the ability to network with and learn from senior members of industry, build a profile among industry members, have a voice at the table and know their contributions/efforts are actually making a difference.

"The fact that I was encouraged to get involved in a couple of our industry Associations very early on, has had a tremendous impact on my career and whatever success I've been able to achieve. My advice to young people wanting to get into the industry; your road to success will be made a lot smoother, not only by joining, but by getting involved and volunteering with one or more of our professional associations. Get involved, leave your mark and you won't look back!" (Jesse Griffith, Land Manager)

So, where do we go from here?

Everyone will have his or her own ideas, but here's some fodder for the discussion:
  1. Perhaps we could start with recognizing that Gen Ys are the future of our industry. Yes, they approach life differently, but then hasn't that been said of virtually every other prior generation. Maybe we can learn as much from them as they cam learn from us.
  2. If it is true, they are the future of our industry, isn't it also true; they are the future of our associations and non-profits?
  3. While appealing to the Gen Ys, we need to work hard to retain our current volunteers, reinforce the value of their experience, corporate memory and insight and encourage them to see themselves as assets with much to give and share.
If you have yet to volunteer for an association, you don't know what you're missing. Each of these Associations has a variety of ways you can volunteer and would happy to answer any questions you might have about how you can get involved; give them a call: And, if you are interested in finding out more about Energy Asset Management and our volunteer opportunities at CEAMS, drop us a line at; we'd be happy to chat about any of the variety of ways you can get involved.

Volunteer! You'll be amazed how much you get out of it!

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PJVA March Pub Night

We held our first "PJVA Unofficial Social Networking" non-event on February 22 at the James Joyce Irish Pub. We had a great turnout of around 35 people. Everyone seemed to have a great time and are waiting with baited breath to find out when March's non-event is. So here it is:

The Garage (Eau Claire)
March 21, 2012
4:30 pm

Pay-as-you-go or run your own tab.

Please click here to RSVP so we have an idea of numbers.


For any questions or suggestions on locations, please contact Social Director, Marcel Savoie at

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PJVA LinkedIn® Group

PJVA is now on LinkedIn®, the world's largest professional network. It's a great way to stay connected and exchange ideas with other PJVA members and industry professionals.

Click here to join the discussion!

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PJVA was incorporated in 1985 to represent individuals and organizations involved in petroleum joint ventures. JVViews is published to keep members informed about upcoming PJVA and industry events, courses and seminars offered and/or sponsored by PJVA and current projects being facilitated by the Association.