Jim Larter holds the badges of nearly all the companies he worked for over his career. The pumpjack behind him is a recent Whitecap well north of Estevan. Photo by Brian Zinchuk

 

In recent years, the Saskatchewan Oil and Gas Show has presented its Southeast Saskatchewan Legends Award. Pipeline Online is publishing their biographies here. The oil show is June 5-6, with the Legends awards being presented on June 5. Tickets to attend the awards ceremony and luncheon can be purchased here (if you are an exhibitor, please do not use that link.) More information can be found at oilshow.ca

In describing Jim Larter’s career, it might be easier to list the oil companies he hasn’t worked for, rather than the ones he did.

That’s because he’s worked for 12 companies, three of which changed names, for a total of 15 banners. And in most cases, he was the senior man on the ground in southeast Saskatchewan, as production foreman or production superintendent.

Larter was born and raised in Estevan, and has spent his career there. His father was the local John Deere dealer who eventually became one of the founders of TS&M before eventually selling his stake.

Larter graduated Estevan Comprehensive School in 1980. He had part time jobs as a kid, pumping gas and running an outdoor rink for the city, as well as helping dad at John Deere.

Larter went into the retail business after high school, working at Frank’s Mens Wear for six years. “I almost bought the place, but I was offered a job in the oilpatch, and found out the money was a lot better.”

He married his high school sweetheart, Cheryl Stang, in 1985. They had two boys, Ryan in 1988, and Scott, in 1990.

“I was a battery operator in 1988 when I started with Imperial Oil,” he said. He was 26, and working at Steelman. In 1991, the area was sold to SaskOil, which became Wascana Energy shortly after that.

That was the beginning of a long trend of buyouts and mergers.

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At Wascana he became an optimization operator. Then in 1996 he was offered a job as a production foreman at Upton Resources, a public company run by the local Dutton family.

“In 2003 the buying and acquisitions and selling took off,” he said. He was at StarPoint Energy in 2003, which became StarPoint Energy Trust. “I became superintendent at that point,” he said.

A production foreman looks after day-to-day operations of a certain area, co-ordinating field work. Production superintendent manages the whole area for a company, such as southeast Saskatchewan. From that point on, Larter was a production superintendent or production foreman, essentially the same role, at various companies.

This was around the time the Bakken boom started to get going, and Larter rode herd over a good chunk of it. Around 2005, StarPoint Energy Trust was bought out by Acclaim, but they soon changed their name to Canetic Resources Trust. Brett Herman offered him a job at TriStar Oil & Gas in 2005.

In 2009, Petrobank/PetroBakken bought TriStar. Two years later Larter was offered a job at Renegade Petroleum. They were taken out by Spartan Energy Corp. He was with Spartan a month before being offered a job again by Herman, this time with Torc Oil & Gas in 2011.

“I was there for 10 years. It was my longest gig,” he said.

Whitecap Resources took over Torc in 2021. “It’s kind of ironic that Grant Fagerheim was the president, because I grew up two blocks down the street from him,” Larter said.

At that point, Larter was responsible for all of Whitecap’s properties in southeast Saskatchewan with the exception of the Weyburn Unit.

Larter retired from Whitecap in May, 2023. When he retired, his coworkers presented him with a mounted and framed collection of badges from most of those companies over the years. And throughout, he did his best to ensure those companies gave back to the local communities.

All told, over those years Larter was responsible at times for wells from Weyburn to Virden, Manitoba, and even into North Dakota. Three times he was responsible for the same wells in the Steelman area, including starting there and finishing there.

Larter’s children followed him into the oilpatch, with Ryan working at Baker Chemicals, and Scott at Primec.

 

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  • 0064 Estevan OTS
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  • 0063 Turnbull Excavating hiring crusher
    0063 Turnbull Excavating hiring crusher
  • 0062 TED_EPAC_Technology_30
    0062 TED_EPAC_Technology_30
  • 0061 SIMSA 2024 For Sask Buy Sask
    0061 SIMSA 2024 For Sask Buy Sask
  • 0058 Royal Helium Steveville opens anonymous rocket
    0058 Royal Helium Steveville opens anonymous rocket
  • 0055 Smart Power Be Smart with your Power office
    0055 Smart Power Be Smart with your Power office
  • 0052 Predator Inspections
    0052 Predator Inspections
  • 0051 JML Hiring Pumpjack assembly
    0051 JML Hiring Pumpjack assembly
  • 0049 Scotsburn Dental soft guitar
    0049 Scotsburn Dental soft guitar
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    0046 City of Estevan This is Estevan
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    0041 DEEP Since 2018 now we are going to build
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  • 0022 Grimes winter hiring
  • 0021 OSY Rentals S8 Promo
  • 0018 IWS Hiring Royal Summer
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  • 0011
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    0002 gilliss casing services
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    9002 Pipeline Online 30 sec EBEX
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2024 Southeast Saskatchewan Legends: Dean Lemieux

2024 Southeast Saskatchewan Legends: Dean Gilliss

Saskatchewan Oil and Gas Hall of Fame: Brad Wall