The new two-floor office is 20,000 square feet on 13 acres, with 50 offices. While there are only around 20 employees there now, Talisman's Senior Vice President of North American Shale Rob Broen says this new facility shows the company's commitment to the area.
"We need to be close to where our assets are, and this is where the development occurs," he says. "It's important to us to employ the people of British Columbia, so it's important to us to have a headquarters close to where our assets are."
Before Fort St. John, Talisman used to have an office in Grande Prairie, but then began to invest more and more in northeast B.C. and the Montney shale gas play. Talisman holds 144,000 Tier 1 net acres in the Montney, and is also developing in Farrell Creek. These are considered long-term plays, which Broen says is good for the surrounding community. Since January 2011, Talisman says it has spent over $765 million in Fort St. John and over $50 million in the Farrell Creek – Hudson's Hope area on local vendors.
"This is world class," says Broen. "There's very few plays that are this big in the world in terms of resource size, so we're proud to be a part of it, we're proud to have a significant position, and we'll be proud to develop it for years to come."
As Peace River Regional District Chair Karen Goodings says, Talisman is considered a good neighbour, and has done much to give back to Fort St. John and Hudson's Hope, where its facility are located nearby, through donations and student awards.
"Not only have you improved your office," she argues, "you have also mentored your relationship with the people and that's what's really important to me."
That sentiment was echoed by other officials at the grand opening, including Senator Richard Neufeld and Hudson's Hope Mayor Karen Anderson.