Saturday, 3 September 2016

Have a great labor day long weekend

First a couple of mainstreet news coverage articles came out yesterday.

independent-report-looks-at-husky-response-to-saskatchewan-oil-spill/  CTV

Calls for transparency  CBC

saskatchewan-water-intakes-closed-after-oil-spill-could-reopen-before-winter/  Global (on Thursday)


So, I begin by saying I have noticed that the main news outlets in Canada (CTV, CBC, and Global) are paying attention.  They are highlighting some good things about this disaster.  Not one of us truly knows what the winter will do to this River as far as the oil spill affects go.....we just know that winter will freeze things up like they always do.

Most of our corporate activity on-site in N.Saskatchewan River has been to continue to take water samples for testing and - after the river rise, to protect the containment assets in place, either by removing them and reinstalling them at other locations, or securing them while the river does its thing.

I'll leave the water testing results until a later date.

Much of the challenge with this project is the push-back from Husky insinuating that "we can't verify who's oil that is - if it is oil at all".  (keep in mind, I only get the words of Husky 'second hand')

It will be interesting to see the whole saga play out.

How much of your tax dollars would you like to go to new innovations in the collective?

This picture begs the question, as it has a few who have seen it in real life:

"What is that scum floating in the river that looks like hydrocarbon?

I've compared in real time, the looks of the South Saskatchewan River during the post oil spill (August 2016) and I see no evidence like this on the South SK River.  So, it is hard to believe anyone who says this is not the result of hydrocarbons in the water.

Science must weigh in again.  And, there is a group doing a great job of keeping everyone "honest".

And, that water is heading to Manitoba:

Check that water quality reporting !!!  I am not the only one that sees the comparison to the South Saskatchewan River (or the Little Red)

Back to that "Independent Report" above, and the "need for Transparency" - if you didn't have time to read it, this is the most important statement they made:

The independent group wants facts and figures. In the report, there are a number of recommendations highlighted including demanding "full access to the raw data from Husky's sampling program and a detailed cleanup strategy."

And, before you go to your long weekend retreat, check this out >  We are not the only ones dealing with the issues of oil spill

Peruvian Amazon Region on Alert After Oil Spills

Over n out until next blog


Thursday, 1 September 2016






CBC film crew on-site JSFN.

I pick up the story with events around mid-day on Tuesday, August 30th.  A film crew came to James Smith reserve to go to the shoreline of the N. Saskatchewan River and see for themselves.

Here is a picture I received:

 This was Tuesday, afternoon.

On Wednesday afternoon this article was released on CBC news website:

CBC news Wednesday

Now, keep in mind, that all of this collection of scummy dross in the river was happening everyday, over the past week or more.  The river was supposed to rise before the weekend, so we were hurriedly getting as much collected as possible.

Astonishingly, overnight Tuesday, the river had risen some "3 meters" by some individual's count.  Hard to believe that rain in Edmonton region could affect the river that much.  I now have been reminded that there are hydro dams along the North Saskatchewan River in Alberta.  I live along the Columbia River in BC, and I know how much a river can rise based on Hydro release at times.

With a hard search I found this quote:  "The mean annual discharge from the [North Saskatchewan River] basin in Alberta into Saskatchewan is over seven billion m3."  


I have so many questions as to how common it is at this time of year for the river to rise so much overnight.  But, I am learning quite a few more things during this project.  (even as I learn about Mexico and the oil spill market)

Btw, there is a major business story developing in Mexico as I write.  From the time I take a reprieve from the North Saskatchewan River - I don't know when that will be - I will pick up the story developing in Mexico.  Suffice to say, it is developing larger than we thought originally.

Over n out until next blog.


P.S.  I've buried this purposely.

Taxpayers pay oil companies

Sunday, 28 August 2016

And the blog pendulum swings to the capital market. Every stakeholder counts!

Now, if you are wondering why Husky's common stock went higher on the day after the N. Saskatchewan Oil Spill, read this, and then the next article:

Keep in mind, there is much more to Husky than the pipeline that crosses the N.Sask River near Maidstone, SK.

Husky CNOOC relationship (sometimes partners have disputes too!)

So, given this information is it strange that City-of-Prince-Albert-gets-5-million-from-husky-for-oil-spill-cleanup ?

And, Husky-sends-3.5-million-pre-payment-to-north-battleford

And, by this time, I am learning that the First Nations have had several meetings with Husky, either by teleconference or in person (with various levels of Husky personnel and/or consultants involved)

I won't easily forget the conversation in the parking lot at FSIN (see previous blog of August 2nd - XBoom & PAGC) where the Husky rep viewed the XBoom out of the back of the CFFC trailer.  An entrepreneur always takes his/her steps forward or backward, based on the amount of risk capital placed in the marketing of their products.  I can tell you, at this point I am reminded of the difficulty in getting big companies to take a hard look at how they are spending their capital...innovation or no-innovation.  I can think of a few words for my thoughts, but.....a picture is worth a thousand words.

Over n out until next blog.


Mostly pictures including August 28th, 2016

This blog segment will be mostly pictures.  Some have been taken in between the dates: August 16th to August 28th.  I do realize that pictures are not the same visual as seeing with your own eyes... which I did!!!

And every stakeholder will have their own interpretation of the pictures.  Everyone is affected and influenced by individual prospective.

The river is "alive" in that it rises and lowers after heavy rainfall, and the results are.....more fallout from the spill.

Over n out until next blog.


Activity during the period from August 12th to August 15th.

Looks like I'm not the only blogger to chime in...

The timing of the NEB hearings and this spill helps get the attention on the event.

While the hearings are held: 
As you gaze at the picture of the "talking heads" put yourself in their shoes.  They have a job to do, as they are representatives of the stakeholders within their constituencies.  If you were there, what would you be thinking?  "No to pipelines".....think about that one.  "Yes, to pipelines.....with conditions".  (remember the Northern Gateway initial approval, with 209 conditions?)

This is the picture on site:

While we all realize that the challenge of epic proportions, is the challenge of moving

from the same old story, or same old "stock picture" showing the problem (and as I see it, the problems are evident in both of these pictures)

to the solutions.

While the oil bleeds ("Rome burns") we are at the table talking about how "we can do it better next time" 

"We" can do much better if we take the opportunities to get SOLUTIONS to the table....rather than seeking the same old methods.  After all, if there were no "we's" at the table when Google was being formed, there would likely not be any blogs like this one.  Get my drift....of course you do.  It's an INNOVATION story.  (that I do plan to emphasize throughout)

Robix is a small company that seeks to form alliances that can effect the changes so badly needed in the industry called, "oil spill response and recovery" (emphasis on recovery) and soon to be effecting the clean water industry.

While this activity is representative of the bigger picture, the center of activity in both the First Nations territory affected by the spill and the other parts of the river, during this week of August 8th to 15th, there were many meetings that took place either by teleconference or in person.  Husky has been busy, the Saskatchewan government has been busy, and the Feds have been busy.  All I can say about how busy Stephen Neal (XBoom) and I were, is for you to know that I have only now been able to catch up on this blog.

Over n out until next blog.


Activity during the period from August 9th to August 11th

Now, to be fair to everyone involved (after all Husky is a stakeholder as well) I'm linking their website and the link they provide to all who ask any questions.  Btw, I've heard from a few reporters that the standard reply to questions at Husky is:  "see our website".  So, here you all are:  A sample cut and pasted from this site is here:  (although from August 22nd update)

  • Shoreline cleanup continues, using several techniques, including low pressure washing, vegetation trimming and raking, and removal of debris.
  • Cleanup of the primary focus area is steadily progressing in Division 1, with approximately 47 percent of the shoreline cleaned.
  • Water sampling and analysis is continuing.

This reminds me of the Facebook post I saw recently from someone affected by the clean up process.  I'll post that in another episode of this blog.  The editorial comments I may make will shed light on my viewpoint on this event as it directly relates to the use of innovations in the solution to a disaster like this one.

As the story unfolds, and those affected come to the face of Husky, there is this action:

And there is this reaction from Husky:  (from Husky website)
  • An insurance clinic was held in Prince Albert on Aug. 20 to facilitate claims.
And, from CBC "Deloitte, an independent financial firm has been hired by the City to assist in the claims process with Husky Energy and preliminary meetings with Husky Energy have been positive. The City anticipates a 24-hour claim reimbursement from Husky Energy for all City invoices submitted".

Just an observation on my part, that comes from a few conversations with experienced executives:  "the fact that a claims center was initiated so early in the process, speaks to Husky's realization that this is a real disaster, not just an incident".  

The following is a copyright, so rather than my infringement on the use of the image, please click on the link here and see the picture that's worth a thousand words.

Moving away from the specifics of Prince Albert to the source of the pipeline break is this article from CBC.  And, I ask, "Does anyone think this will be the last oil spill in Canada?"

Over n out until next blog.


Activity during the period between August 5th & 8th, 2016

I will link a few key articles from Reporters covering the story as it happened.  Keep in mind, the reading (as all reporting usually does), recalls the key points in each stage of reporting.  We have now determined that up to 250,000 liters of oil and dilluent mixture were spilled into the N. Sask River.

August 6-8, 2016 - These are the links that I thought deemed posting: 

I received this on August 8.  The article came out in on August 5th.  It is a Saskatchewan regional spill....But the Feds are now monitoring  Keep in mind, that there are political / legal issues that come into play.  Federal government has jurisdiction over the rivers in Canada.  First Nations have legal rights under various Treaty agreements that put them in Sovereign position.  (The legal specialists will have their contributions I'm sure, as time goes on)

Both the Feds and the Province have their hands full.  Feds and Province BOTH consider charges over spill

Despite the threat of charges against Husky, the reality also includes the need to consider the inevitable weather coming in about 90 days.  Saskatchewan weather in November isn't like the Amazon for a spill.  That's the reality.....not a legal wrangling issue, not a politically partisan issue, a real issue.  And the experts weigh in...  oil-spill-specialist-says-timeline-cleanup-depends-weather

I also realized this week that coincidentally the N. Saskatchewan River spill came at a most "inappropriate time".  The talks are about to start on Monday, August 8th, with TransCanada East-West Pipeline application process.  The hearing is overseen by National Energy Board (NEB) in St. John, NB.  So, the Montreal Gazette produced this article:  montreal-has-no-plan-b-if-major-oil-spill-were-to-happen-experts-say

First Nations engage:  kinder-morgan-opponents-slam-world-class-bafflegab-following-husky-pipeline-disaster  (I like the use of the word "Bafflegate")

Derek Nepinak and Manitoba chiefs call for Husky boycott
In the meantime, the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) has called for an immediate nation-wide boycott and divestment of Husky Energy Inc. products and services as a result of the spill in the North Saskatchewan River. The organization's Grand Chief, Derek Nepinak, has asked that the public continue their protest until the company has demonstrated a genuine commitment to mitigating damages and all measures necessary to eliminate the possibility of future spills.

Now, I find this article to follow interesting, for one specific reason:  the reason will follow your read of the article.  It is a wildlife segment:  first-batch-of-birds-released-after-recovering-from-the-husky-oil-spill/   

Here is a quote from my friend MED.  "at the Mississauga Creek spill the wildlife people used our bulk terra product to clean the ducks, with never before seen success. The Director of this organization will give us a recommendation if we need it."

My summary of this blog:  There are innovative products out there right here in Canada, that have the ability to clean and recovery more quickly from a disaster like the Husky Saskatchewan River Spill.  It is high time these innovations got the commercial attention they deserve.  Industry, acedemia, government, Indigenous peoples, environmental enthusiasts....ALL stakeholders.

Over n out until next blog.


Thursday, 25 August 2016

August 25th MOU with James Smith Cree Nation announced

August 25th, 2016

I'm going to divert from the chronological blogs that started on July 31st.  Today's Press Release may explain somewhat.  The link to it is here:  MOU with James Smith Cree Nation

And, "a picture is worth a thousand words"

I'll let you look at that picture for a bit.....I've seen it in real life.  And, it doesn't look good.  Btw, this was taken many miles from the spill source, and more than 30 days from July 20.  (date of picture August 22nd, 2016) 

For background, this MOU was initiated in early August, when Robix and Canadian Floating Fence President set out to demonstrate the XBoom - a practical solution in containment of the oil spill (see July 31st blog).  For the marketers of the XBoom on July 31st, it was an easy vision to see....we would just show the product and explain the advantages, and close a sale....after all, that process is not new for either one of us.

But, for the decision makers involved in the early stages of the Emergency Response, it was another thing.  So, there was a bit of an unexpected response time-lag, and a determination to stay on top of the situation.  Persistence and determination eventually won out.

Here is the link to an article published last night:  National Observer August 24th

Now, if you read all the media reporting on the Husky Maidstone Oil Spill that occurred on July 20, 2016, you will see a story line similar to the early stages of the Enbridge Kalamazoo River, Michigan Oil Spill in July 2010.  The traditional media reports are similar.  And, the rest of this story from North Saskatchewan River is to be told.....

Over n out until next blog


Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Friday, August 5th. Awaiting the response

Friday, August 5th, 2016

This is the day where the Formation Fluid Chief Engineer headed home.  He was invaluable to the project at the early stage, but now we awaited the next shoe to drop.  Presenting a real solution isn't the only part of our operation.  Keep in mind, the XBoom received entry into Husky's vendor list on the Wednesday prior to our arrival in Prince Albert.  As all operations are not just operations, they also have a political element.  That's life....

An observation by my friend:  "The heat must be rising.  They opened a claims center this soon"

Insurance Claim Center opens

And we must know that all government eyes are on this spill situation.  After all, the NEB is set to open a hearing on the Energy East pipeline application by TransCanada

Canada monitoring Saskatchewan

I completed what I could in the interim in Saskatchewan.  Headed back to Edmonton for some business meetings that I had scheduled.

Over n out until next blog.


Media reporting in the 1st week of August (Wed, Thurs)

Here is what the media was sending out to its readers the first week in August, when the oil spill had clearly moved downstream from Maidstone.  The links are a comprehensive read, and sent to me from a oil spill recovery stakeholder.  (*thanks to MED, for the intel)

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

High water levels reported

Opinion letter comparing this to the Valdez spill in 1989  (which was still being reclaimed 25 years)

(used without permission)

Quote from article:  The wildlife death toll has now risen to 58 birds, fish, and other species. Roughly 133,000 litres of oil and other materials has already been recovered, but globs of oil continue to sink to the bottom of the North Saskatchewan River, complicating the clean up effort.

The challenges prompted the province’s Ministry of Environment on Tuesday to announce that it was “unlikely” clean up crews would ever be able to contain all of the oil from the pipeline leak.

Thursday, August 4th, 2016

From the article they said:
Wall also met with North Battleford Mayor Ian Hamilton on Wednesday. North Battleford’s city council recently approved a 12-month recovery plan for the city.
Also they are quoted as saying,
An additional filtration system at the treatment plant “to filter hydrocarbons and other possible contaminants” will also be added, according to a news release.

"4th oil spill in 8 months"  Turns out this Husky spill isn't Saskatchewan's only

Now, you must be tired of reading all that reporting.  I am too, off to Saskatchewan again.

Over n out, until next blog


Tuesday, 16 August 2016

XBoom & PAGC

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016.  It was a full day of presentation of the XBoom product to Prince Albert Grand Council.  They were gracious and engaging.  It was a dialogue that emphasized the real and present problematic effects of the oil spill, and the pragmatic solution that was evident in our presentation.  (*this day was reminiscent of Stephen's impromptu presentation in Dos Bocas, Mexico in July 2015 where he demonstrated the XBoom, getting a "standing ovation" by the 20 or so attendees at that lunch - I'll upload an amateur video of that event in the next few days, along with a Mexico update)

This award winning floating fence containment system was truly a hit in that day of presentation.  Now, it was our goal to get it into the river to work.

Please take a few moments to review the XBoom product.  See:

At the end of the day, we were invited to present the XBoom to the 3 Husky representatives attending the communications meeting with the First Nations group, impromptu in the parking lot outside the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) offices, with the trailer open and a prescribed 10 minute time frame to present.   The Husky reps had finished a meeting at the offices of the FSIN.  An update for those affected was released the previous day on

Enthusiasm for the opportunity to be involved in a pragmatic containment solution was high.  Our thanks and expression of gratitude went out to the Grand Chief of PAGC.  His invitation was gracious and appreciated.

That concluded Tuesday, Aug. 2nd.

Over n out until next blog.


Monday, 15 August 2016

Prince Albert Sunday, July 31st, 2016

We arrived at Prince Albert (PA) on Sunday evening (July 31st) and got our boots on to have a look around the river shores.  A boat clearly seen along the river taking water samples.  A major disruption near the water inlet for the city water treatment complex.  So, had a good visual for Monday meetings that had been organized for us to present to the City of PA.

Monday morning included a meeting with the Grand Chief of PA.  This is called PAGC (a regional Tribal Council).  Many of the local First Nations (FN) reserves within the river region around PA are affected by the spill, due to their direct drinking water source from the City of PA.

Monday afternoon included the opportunity to present the XBoom and Formation Fluid (FFM) system solutions to the city.  We were pleased to have excellent challenging questions on the effacacy of our solutions.  A follow up was organized for FFM to present more detailed information in the next few days.  The issues were primarily around the delivery of enough equipment to match the required flow rate of output at the city water treatment plant, combined with the required 'foot-print' for the equipment to work.  It became apparent the footprint was a secondary issue.  The primary issue that needed a solution was the logistics of procuring an adequate amount of equipment to meet the flow rate requirement.  A temporary inflow line was now working that brought a 12 inch flexible pipeline from the South Saskatchewan River to PA.  30 kilometers of pipe was up and running for PA to have adequate drinking water in the short term.  This would at least solve the problem until winter sets in, about late November.  See:

The FFM Engineer was now working on the water treatment solution using FFM technology.

Our Monday ended with enthusiasm.  Not for the disaster, of course, but for the solutions that were apparent.  We seemed to have a good reception.  We received enough timely information to see the real and present problem.  Potentially bad water, and problematic for the existing water treatment system at the city.

Over n out until next blog.


Sunday, 14 August 2016

Initial Post. North Saskatchewan River Oil Spill July 2016

The purpose of this blog is to update shareholders in a forum that is accessible to all who care to subscribe, or check-in periodically at leisure.

As it is a new method of communication for me, and due to the time that is required to keep communication current, I will try it for a while as a test case.  The timing of implimenting the idea is concurrent to the recent oil spill in the North Saskatchewan River.

First, the idea of a blog for Robix is not new in itself, it just seems more necessary now, especially in light of the recent corporate activity in Mexico, unfolding at the same time as the disastrous river spill episode in the North Saskatchewan River near Maidstone, SK, on July 20th, 2016.

I begin my CEO's blog with the date of July 29th, the day I got a call from one of our shareholders, who said, "Can you be in Prince Albert, SK on Monday?"  That would be Monday, August 1st, and a holiday.  Turns out, he had some contacts that could potentially help Robix in getting close to the site of the response action.  Of course, Robix is an equipment supplier, not a responder per se.  But, an "opportunity only knocks once" someone once said.  And coincidentally, our friend Stephen Neal from Canadian Floating Fence (CFFC) had just made me aware that his product, the XBoom (tm) had been recently awarded a place on the "vendor's list" at Husky.  (kudo's to Stephen for his tenacity to get that done)  (*and hopefully, everyone remembers that Robix announced a co-marketing agreement with CFFC)

So, my response to the caller was quick, "yes!, I'll be there".  Quick call to Stephen, and we were engaged in the logistics planning.  Stephen met me at the Calgary airport, and we drove the distance to Prince Albert, SK.  I invited the consulting Engineer from Formation Fluid, whom I believed could make a serious technical contribution to the opportunity that appeared on the horizon.  I also concluded there was a good possibility that we could make some contacts and headway into the foray along the key points of interest in the N. Sk River.  Entrepenuerial risk was apparent.

Also, what was apparent was that the Robix COV product line was not the focus.  Clean water, and the ability to contain the spread of the spill in the river was the focus.

I'll fast forward to Monday, August 1st, 2016...... in the next blog tomorrow, until I get caught up on all the pertinent events that happened up until today, August 14th.

Over & out til next blog.