University of Calgary restarting Oil and Gas program after realizing demand didn’t stop
After a three-year hiatus due to alleged low demand, the University of Calgary has restarted its Oil and Gas Engineering program.

Alexa Posa

May 25, 2024

After a three-year hiatus due to alleged low demand, the University of Calgary has restarted its Oil and Gas Engineering program.

University of Calgary restarting Oil and Gas program after realizing demand didn’t stop

In 2021, university administrators halted admissions to the oil and gas program following discussions about climate change.

Additionally, they cited a plummet in demand resulting from the industry’s downturn. However, the university will be reinstating the program to address hiring challenges faced by Canadian energy companies.

Anders Nygren, vice dean of the Schulich School of Engineering at the University of Calgary, noted that many students are eager to participate in the oil and gas program. 

He stated, “Some of our industry contacts and industry partners have been telling us increasingly over the recent months and years that they are having trouble finding qualified engineers to hire into the energy industry.”

“We’re hearing more and more that there’s a demand on their side for graduates of programs such as the oil and gas engineering program,” Nygren said.

Oil and gas remains Alberta’s primary industry, with Canadian oil companies generating substantial, even record-breaking profits in recent years.

Energy companies are “very disappointed”

According to Tristan Goodman, president of the oil and gas industry group the Explorers and Producers Association of Canada, energy companies were “very disappointed” by the university’s decision in the past.

“It just didn’t make sense, actually,” Goodman remarked at the time.

“Yes, this industry goes up and down like any commodity-based sector… but I think it was just not a great move on the part of the university, and I’m pleased to see they’re rectifying the problem,” he added.

Goodman continued, criticizing the University of Calgary’s decision as based on a “bad narrative,” referring to student concerns about greenhouse gas emissions. “This is a product that everybody in the world is using. And I think a bit more pragmatism around that is entering the system now,” he said.

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