May 19, 2020

Oil prices up 80 per cent in Alberta--What is the industry's current outlook?

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2 min
Oil prices up 80 per cent in Alberta--What is the industry's current outlook?

Since March, the price of heavy oil in Alberta has risen 80 per cent, a price that shows Canada’s oilsands have officially rebounded. Specifically, Canada’s oilsands are having a much better comeback than any other type of crude.

The majority of oil that Canada produces is known as Western Canada Select. The price of WCS has recently risen from $29.71 a barrel to $52.63 a barrel—an increase of more than 77 per cent in just a little over 30 days.

But why has this happened and what’s coming next?

RELATED TOPIC: The bad, the good and other effects of declining oil prices for Canada  

In short, the “why?” can be attributed to more pipeline capacity, increased rail shipments and some seasonality. Even more so, particular investments that were made by the oil industry several years ago when Canadian oil was undervalued are starting to pay dividends.

As mentioned, the new pipelines have also made it much easier to get Canadian oil to the U.S. refineries quickly and resourcefully. In addition to, these new pipelines have assisted with that task of past bottlenecks being washed away. Older pipelines have even upgraded in an attempt to pump oil in a range of directions (i.e. the supply and demand of crude oil can be kept inline).

Furthermore, it was originally reported by CBC News that there is currently a lot more oil that is being moved by rail than there used to be. These new ways of brining oil to market have assisted the rise, as well as the season—spring and summer are often thought to be times of strength for the heavy oil business.

RELATED TOPIC: An outlook on the current state of Canadian mining

What’s next? Will the oil rebound last?

The reasons for the increase in oil prices have been explored, but most importantly, people want to know if the prices will last.

While analysts don’t believe the increase will last, the idea has been brought to light that because of new transportation systems and refinery upgrades, the  large gaps in price headaches should officially be over, too.

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However, ATB Financial Economist Todd Hirsch had this to say on the matter: “Even with the increase we’re still in a weak price environment but it does reassure people that those doomsday scenarios that took place in January seem less likely now.”

RECENT TOPIC: Learn how Molson Coors is expanding beers in Canada—Should other breweries follow suit?

For more information regarding the oil industry, make sure to visit our sister brands Exploration World and Energy Digital

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Jun 13, 2021

Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl

Kate Birch
5 min
Former CMO for IBM Americas Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl. Maria talks about her new role and her leadership style

Former Chief Marketing Officer for IBM Americas, and an IBM veteran of more than 25 years, Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl.

Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.

With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.

You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?

I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.

We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.

What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?

I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.

The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.

I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.

What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?

When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.

What does success look like to you?

I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.

What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?

I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.

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