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Home > Home > Knowledge Centre > Success Stories > FourQuest Energy: Thinking Globally

FourQuest Energy: Thinking Globally

Company Profile

Name: FourQuest Energy
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Industry: Oil, gas and power
Years in Business: 7
Number of Employees: 225
Main Product/Service: Commissioning, decommissioning and maintenance services for the oil, gas and power sectors
Key Foreign Markets: United States, United Arab Emirates, Republic of Kazakhstan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
EDC Services Used: Export Guarantee Program

The Challenge

Established in 2008, Edmonton-based FourQuest Energy provides specialized services for clients in the oil, gas, and power industries in North America, the Middle East and the Caspian region. These services revolve around the pre-commissioning, commissioning and maintenance of facilities such as refineries and oil fields. In 2013, FourQuest stood fifth in Alberta’s “Fast Growth 50” list, while the Oil & Gas Middle East Magazine ranked it sixth on the publication’s “Top 20 Oilfield Companies in the Middle Eastern Market” scorecard.

Being a young business in such a competitive industry has presented a host of challenges, which FourQuest has met by carefully developing its strengths. “We’re a future-driven company,” says President Nik Grgic, “and our plan was always to create a global business operating in multiple regions. This is because our sector is very prone to boom cycles associated with new-build projects. These projects are a major part of FourQuest’s business, so a cyclic downturn in a region where we are working could affect us adversely. Our solution has been to operate in more than one region—we felt that this strategy would smooth out our revenue flows when industry activity in one area slows down while it’s increasing in others. This strategy is working as we predicted it would.”

A commitment to developing strong relationships with its customers is another company strength. “We listen a lot rather than talking a lot,” says Grgic. “Once we understand our client’s issues and needs, the rest will come. That openness doesn’t happen on our first visit to a potential customer, so we concentrate on listening, being patient and developing trust. We’d rather go to one client seven times than seven clients one time.”

On the company side, FourQuest places huge emphasis on training its personnel to the high level of competence its business requires. “We’re the only service company of our kind that has both a dedicated engineering and a research and development program. This helps us not only provide superior services for our industry, but also find new ways to surpass our clients’ expectations.”

But what about that perennial problem of new, growth-oriented companies—finding enough working capital to finance ambitious expansion plans? This came sharply into focus in 2010, when the company was barely two years old and was presented with an opportunity to work on a major project in Kazakhstan—pre-commissioning an oil refinery to bring it from the construction phase to initial commercial production.

How EDC Helped

“This was our first international project.” says Grgic. ”The contract value was large, and comparable to our total annual revenues at that time. Consequently, we needed a $3-million capital expenditures loan to buy the equipment we’d need to carry it out. What made the loan possible was EDC’s Export Guarantee Program—without the guarantee the program provided, we never could have raised enough money to do the project. It was EDC’s willingness to support FourQuest’s first international venture, at a fairly high risk from the financing point of view, that was the deal maker for us.”

Boost Your Working Capital with EDC Guarantees - A special information feature (PDF)
Read a case study about Financing capital expenditures abroad (PDF)

The Result

EDC will be playing a key support role for the company in the future, according to Grgic. “We deal with several different banks and EDC has really delivered for us. Without EGP help, we would have experienced a substantially slower rate of growth in our international business. We’re now expanding our Middle East loan facilities and expect to be working with EDC on various equipment financing arrangements. We’ll also be looking to them for improving our accounts receivable insurance over there.”

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