Smart Energy Solutions

Talon Energy Services

Based in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, with offices in Edmonton, Alberta and Houston, Texas, Talon Energy Services provides full-service solutions to the oil and gas, resource, and heavy industry sectors. The company’s breadth of services includes personnel provision, engineering, fabrication, fabric maintenance, construction, commissioning, and ongoing maintenance services.

With the capabilities to undertake work both onshore and off, Talon Energy Services works closely with its clients to facilitate the successful execution of energy and large-scale construction projects, and always operates on the principles of safety, quality and professionalism.

Since its inception, Talon has achieved a growth rate of almost 800 percent, seeing employment growth of 250 percent and annual revenues reaching more than $30 million.

Talon Energy Services actually comprises a suite of companies, which enables the team to offer bespoke solutions ideally suited to client needs. The organisation’s member companies include Acquaint Personnel Services, which provides personnel services to clients in the energy and resource and heavy industrial sectors throughout Canada and the world; Maderra Engineering, which provides technical, project management and engineering services to the energy and resource sectors, and specializes in electrical, mechanical, piping, and structural services; Keltic Steelworks, the metal fabrication services division, specializing in construction projects throughout Canada; Karrigan Process Solutions International, which provides fabrication services for process equipment for the oil and gas, petrochemical, resource and related industries; Blackhawk Industrial Services, offering fabric maintenance services to the oil and gas, resource, and industrial sectors, as well as the application of industrial painting systems, insulation systems, and fireproofing systems in a field and shop environment; and Ravencor Projects, which specializes in Front-End Project Services such as constructability review, project pre-planning and work scoping. To find out what makes this suite of companies so successful, we spoke with Mr. Terry King, President and Owner of Talon Energy Services.

The Talon Philosophy

A professional engineer with his Bachelor’s in Engineering (Civil) from Memorial University, Mr. King has held senior management positions with M&M Offshore, Flint Infrastructure Services, and Pyramid Process Fabricators, and brings his wealth of experience and personal management philosophy to the team at Talon Energy Services. He cites employee loyalty and the level of engagement between staff and clients as particularly important to Talon’s success. “Unlike many companies,” he says, “clients get to know the owners of this company and we’ve had an ownership group that has come up through the Oil and Gas Industry and knows how it operates. We’ve been able to succeed in areas and timeframes in much less time than our competitors because of our experience in that area prior to starting our company.”

He adds that providing a supportive environment that encourages honesty, integrity and transparency, and performing good quality work in a safe manner are key. These values, Mr. King says, are reflected and upheld at all levels throughout the company.

A commitment to safety is also paramount at Talon Energy Services. All employees and sub-contractors are responsible for meeting and upholding all relevant legislative requirements as well as the policies and procedures of both Talon and its clients. Talon itself maintains a Certified Work Safety and Health representative and a corporate safety representative on its staff to ensure that these standards are met. In addition, Talon also provides a Site Safety Officer to operate on site where needed. The company also possesses a Quality Management System Certification permit from the Alberta Safety Boiler Association and has attained a Quality Control Program Certificate Authorization from the Newfoundland and Labrador Government Services Division.

Current Projects

Such robust quality and safety systems make it possible for Talon to take on a diverse range of projects. The company is presently engaged, for example, in providing personnel services for the Hebron Project – an exploration of the Hebron Oil Field.

First discovered in 1980, the Hebron Oil Field is located offshore Newfoundland and Labrador in the Jeanne d’Arc Basin 350 kilometres southeast of St. John’s. The field is estimated to have between 660 and 1055 million barrels of recoverable resources, and the project is expected to last 25 years, with ExxonMobil as the primary contractor. Talon has also provided services in the Hibernia Oil field, approximately 315 kilometres east-southeast of St. John’s.

Other ongoing projects include the development of a wellhead platform built to complement the existing facilities offshore Newfoundland and Labrador; the company is also pursuing opportunities in the iron ore industry.

Another substantial project the company is engaged with is its work on the Muskrat Falls / Lower Churchill Hydroelectricity Project, based on the Churchill River in Labrador. One of the largest ongoing energy projects in the province, the completed installation will see facilities with a combined capacity of 3,074 Megawatts; this project will provide almost 17 terawatt hours of electricity per year.

Looking Ahead

With an extensive track record both here in North America and internationally, Talon has worked as far afield as South East Asia, South America, West Africa, and the Middle East. Here in Canada, the company was recently named the #3 Fastest-Growing Company in Progress Magazine, and was also ranked as the fifth best place to work in Atlantic Canada.

“As a medium-sized company,” says Mr. King, “we are competing with major companies in the area and working on major projects in a fairly short timeframe. Moving from a personnel company to a major service provider in the energy sector company took us about three years; to get to where we are as fast as we are has been one of our biggest accomplishments.”

Of course, such growth brings with it attendant challenges, and Mr. King feels that these include serving the demanding markets of the Western Canadian and East Coast energy sectors. Finding qualified individuals to fill positions not only at the trade level, but also at the technical and professional levels, also remains an ongoing challenge in this marketplace. It can be tough, Mr. King explains, to find skilled project managers, estimators, quality managers and safety professionals. “We are working on major projects that are worth billions of dollars in either region and we are competing with other companies for the same pool of people.”

In spite of these challenges, Mr. King is excited for the future prospects of the Talon family of companies. That the business has grown so astoundingly is a significant achievement, and Talon Energy Services is not one to rest on its laurels. The team is “looking forward to a great year to make strategic moves with regards to increasing our capacity and bringing in strategic partnerships,” Mr. King says. “We are looking forward to seeing how this plays out in the coming years.”

August 18, 2017, 11:43 PM EDT

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