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Shell's name dropped from employee credit union as oilsands sale effects linger

Last Updated Oct 18, 2018 at 2:00 pm MST

Pedestrians walk past Shell Canada's headquarters during a news conference in Calgary, Thursday, Aug. 26, 2010. Royal Dutch Shell's name is being removed from a tiny 65-year-old employee credit union as its visibility in the Alberta oil and gas industry continues to shrink in the wake of the sale of most of its oilsands assets last year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

CALGARY – Royal Dutch Shell’s name is being removed from a tiny 65-year-old employee credit union as its visibility in the Alberta oil and gas industry continues to shrink in the wake of the sale of most of its oilsands assets last year.

The rebranding of the Shell Employees’ Credit Union as Spark the Energy Credit Union (a name chosen in part because the initials stay the same) was celebrated Thursday at its only branch on the main floor of Shell Canada’s downtown Calgary headquarters.

It follows a vote in June in which individual members who own the credit union voted 96 per cent in favour of moving to a brand that would allow growth by being more inclusive of a broader Alberta energy worker market.

Credit union president and chairman Adam Battistessa, who is also the government relations manager for Shell in Calgary, says the name change is directly linked to the oilsands sale because that event resulted in thousands of Shell employee members switching to work for the buyer, Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.

In the $12.7-billion deal with Canadian Natural and Marathon Oil in 2017, Shell sold all but 10 per cent of its interest in the Athabasca Oil Sands Project mine in northern Alberta but retained ownership of its Edmonton-area Scotford refinery and chemicals plants.

Earlier this month, it announced with its partners final approval to build the $40-billion LNG Canada liquefied natural gas export terminal at Kitimat, B.C.