[Annual meeting] Imperial Oil – Tim Hearn presentation –

Tim Hearn [Photo: at the podium at the company's annual shareholders meeting in Toronto] is Imperial Oil's CEO. His presentation:
“It was a record year on several fronts, including financial performance.”
The company posted earnings of $1.68-billion or $4.52 a share. (All prices CDN $) Return on average capital employed was 24 per cent.
Imperial is the only Canadian industrial corporation with a Triple-A rating from credit-rating agency Standard and Poors.
Hearn says that if you had invested $100 in Imperial in 1993, it would be worth $550 by the end of 2003, an increase of 450 per cent. Imperial says that's bettter than either the energy index or the composite index on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Hearn also spoke about an issue bedevilling Shell right now and some other major oil and gas producers — how to account for, report, and value reserves.
Hearn says the company has not had to change the way it accounts for reserves to bring the company in line with new regulations about reporting reserves.
“We have always taken a conservative approach to booking and reporting reserves.”
For its first quarter, Imperial Oil reported a profit of $509-million or $1.40 a share. Profit would have been greater but for the rising Canadian dollar, Hearn said. In the same quarter last year, the company posted a porift of $538-million or $1.42 a share — a company record.
Total revenues for the quarter were $5.07-billion compared to $5.48-billion in the same quarter last year.
Hearn also spoke about long-term prospects for the oil and gas industry globally. He says Canada and Canadian companies are uniquely positioned to supply growing world energy demands for the next 20 or 30 years.
“The oil sands of western Canada contain more oil-in-place than the world's largest oil-producing country — Saudi Arabia,” he said.
Imperial Oil Ltd. of Toronto is one of the largest producers of crude oil and natural gas liquids in Canada, a major producer of natural gas, the largest refiner and marketer of petroleum products — sold primarily under the Esso brand name — and a major producer of petrochemicals.

[Annual meeting] Imperial Oil – Sheelagh Whitaker presentation on environment – 1043

Sheelagh Whittaker, who used to run EDS Canada and now runs EDS businesses in Australia, is an Imperial Oil board member. She gave a presentation about the company's environmental and safety record.
“Imperial understands that the work it performs involves an element of risk … Last year was the safest the company has ever recorded. The rate of work-related injuries … was the lowest on record. Imperial's employee injury rate has improved four-fold over the last 20 years.”
She says contractors, though, get injured at a much higher rate than employees. Imperial wants to reduce that injury rate among contractors.
“Imperial's goal is nobody gets hurt.”
“Imperials safety record is among the best in the industry.” Who has the best record?
The boundary Lake Facility has not had a lost-time incident in the last 38 years. 11 Imperial Oil facilities had no work-related incidents last year.
Note to self: [see photo] All the directors are sitting in a row on stage here. It is a row of white guys with one exception — Sheelagh. It's an odd sight in this day and age when we expect the governing bodies of our institutions to reflect the cultural makeup of the group — in this case shareholders — that they represent.
Last year Imperial completed a $600-million project to produce low-sulphur gasoline. Low-sulphur gasoline helps reduce emissions from autos.
Oil companies are large consumers of energy. Company says it co-generation strategy is reducing greenhouse gases.
Whittaker also talked about site remediation, a huge job for an oil company. You have to clean up old gas station sites, oil wells, and other used-up facilities. Imperial spent $90-million in 2003 on site remediation.

[Annual meeting] Imperial Oil – 1035

Blogging from the floor right now at the annual shareholders meeting of Imperial Oil Inc. held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto. Some Greenpeace protesters are outside the building handing out some material. I came in through a parking garage interest and missed them.
Inside the meeting, security is tight. There are uniformed armed police officers at the entrance to the meeting and the meeting floor itself is thick with plainclothes security guards.
To open the meeting, Imperial Oil CEO Tim Hearn called on the company's legal counsel to outline the evacuation procedures for the meeting. Never been to an annual meeting where the company was so concerned about security and evacuation.
Started blogging away when my Airport Extreme Card found the MTCC wireless network. Thought I had access. Turns out I don't have access. So these will be posted up when I get back to the network.

First it was music, now its downloading movies

Pollster Ipsos-Reid says today that one-fifth of American who have
downloaded a digital music file have also downloaded a full-length movie.
Of course, this was only a matter of time and a matter of consumer
BitTorrent users are already using that particular
application to move television shows and DVD-quality movies, in addition to
album-length music collections.
“These data are evidence that American downloading behaviors are expanding
beyond music and moving towards broader digital entertainment acquisition
and consumption behaviors,” Matt Kleinschmit, a senior analyst with
Ipsos-Insight's technology and communications practice, says in a press release
from Ipsos
. “While the music industry continues to define and integrate
the role of digital music in the existing music marketplace, the motion
picture industry is presented with a unique foresight into next-generation
consumer entertainment. Multimedia-enabled portable devices, digitally
formatted television content, and downloadable back catalogue videos are
just a few of the categories that may be mined in anticipation of
near-future consumer demand.”

Record Industry appeals download ruling

Earlier this month, Canada's biggest record companies, acting through the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA), lost a key court ruling.
The Federal Court of Canada ruled that CRIA was not entitled to force some of Canada's largest ISPs to turn over private customer data that the record companies say they needed to commence with lawsuits against 29 Canadians for illegally downloading music.
In his ruling, Judge Konrad von Finckenstein said that the CRIA had failed to make a case that copyright infringement was actually happening — essentially saying a P2P file-sharing system was not illegal under Canadian law — and that the record companies had not presented any evidence that forcing ISPs to turn over customer records was the only way CRIA could proceed.
CRIA filed an appeal of that ruling late last week. In that appeal, CRIA claims von Finckenstein made several errors.
Of some note, given the fact that the Judge essentially said in his ruling that CRIA's lawyers did a lousy job of presenting any evidence, CRIA appears to be keeping the same law firm to handle the appeal.

Clematis is planted

Several weeks ago, I ordered some Clematis and Hostas from Veseys. I got the roots for both in the mail last Wednesday. They arrived in a cardboard box. The 10 hostas — they're an assortment of cultivars — were packed in dirt in a big plastic bag. The four clematis were each packed in their own baggie.
Today I potted the clematis. Tomorrow I plan to put the hostas into the ground.
To pot the clematis, I followed the directions that came with the plants. First, I soaked the roots in water for an hour. I then took an 8″ pot, filled it up about 1/3 with a potting and seeding mix and put the root on top. I then put in more mix, to just past the crown of the plant. I watered with a root-starter solution.
The temperature was about 19 C today so i put the plants out the back for some afternoon sun but brought them back indoors tonight.
As for the rest of the garden, it's slowly but surely coming to life. I'm going to take some pics tomorrow.
But back to the clematis.
Here's the varieties going in this year. The plan is to put them on the back fence.

  • Hyde Hall
  • Harlow Carr
  • Wisley
  • Rosemoor

"Eleven guys. Eleven versions out of focus"

Thanks to Tim Bray for pointing to this fascinating look behind-the-scenes at how photos end up in Sports Illustrated. Sports Illustrated's photographers shot more than 16,000 photos during the most recent Super Bowl. That's right: 16,000 photos. Editors have to go through each one to find the best one for the cover. The article talks about how they do it and gives lots of pointers to the technology and software they use for this job. Very cool.
Here's the clip from Bray's blog:

There’s a fantastic article by Rob Galbraith on how Sports Illustrated moves pictures from the corners of the field to the cover of the magazine. For any digiphoto hobbyist, it’s a must-read. [Tim Bray ongoing]