Trucking company in Canada’s oil patch seeks creditor protection

Prairie Tech Oilfield Service owes large sums to fuel suppliers, truck repair shop

An Alberta, Canada, trucking company specializing in fluid transportation for the oil sector is seeking credit protection as it faces over CA$3 million ($2.3 million) in debt to dozens of companies and the country’s tax authority.

Prairie Tech Oilfield Service, based in Elk Point, filed a notice in the Court of Queens Bench of Alberta on Feb. 22 that the company is insolvent and intends to make a proposal to its creditors under Canada’s Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.

Prairie Tech owes nearly CA$3.2 million to 84 unsecured creditors and an undisclosed amount to 12 secured creditors, according to the filing

The largest claims include CA$1.5 million owed to two fuel distributors, Cornerstone Co-op and Green Leaf; CA$160,000 owed to truck repair shop Overdrive Heavy Duty Services; and just over CA$571,000 owed to the Canada Revenue Agency. 

Prairie Tech did not explain its reasons for seeking creditor protection in the filing. Such filings are typically done before companies make a formal restructuring proposal to avoid bankruptcy. 

Dwayne Vogel, Prairie Tech’s president, did not respond to FreightWaves’ request for comment.

It’s unclear how many trucks or employees the company currently has. In 2019, Vogel told the Calgary Herald that his company had about 100 employees and contractors.

Trucking companies serving Western Canada’s oil patch struggled during a seven-year downturn in the energy sector. While the industry has been recovering from the strength of oil prices, many companies are burdened with large amounts of debt.

Alberta-based heavy equipment hauler ENTREC cited the slump in oil prices when it filed for creditor protection in Canada and bankruptcy in the U.S. in 2020. Its assets were subsequently sold off.

Earlier in 2020, Alberta-based trucking company Dalmac Energy, which specialized in moving hot oiler units, shut down after 55 years in business.

“This is a larger, sad story,” then-CEO John Babic told FreightWaves at the time.