Profiles

Delivering energy and opportunity

Photo provided by Polar Oils.

Polar Oils is fuelling the future in Saskatchewan.

With four decades of experience serving Saskatchewan’s north, Polar Oils has established its reputation as a quality fuel distributor and wholesaler. While the company has changed and grown over the years, its dedication to the communities it serves has never wavered. “We got our start helping our owner communities access the vital fuels they needed,” says Dylon Gould, Polar Oils’ manager. “Over the years, we have grown into a community-oriented company that supports both local communities and industries with the fuel they need and helped connect communities and support economic growth at the same time.”

In the beginning

When it started, Polar Oils was a heating oil supplier for the Clearwater River Dene Nation and the La Loche area, serving a region that needed fuel—but was not receiving the proper service because of the communities’ isolated location and small population. The operation quickly caught the attention of the Meadow Lake Tribal Council (MLTC), which saw this determined and independent business as an opportunity to make their first business investment. Over the next two decades, Polar Oils would extended its supply heating oil and motor fuels to the remaining MLTC communities across Saskatchewan’s North West.

A crossroads

In 2019, Polar Oils saw the need to adjust its sails in its marketplace. “Our ownership recognized the need to expand the business presence through strategic partnering and restructuring the business model,” says Gould. “It was time to take our brand to the next level and improve our product and service offering.”

Polar Oils today is a business which represents multiple nation cooperation through shared purchasing power in an effort to jointly transition up the value chain. “We have the opportunity to offer a subscription-based entrance for other First Nations to become equity partners,” he says. “This is proven with the addition of our 10th First Nation shareholder of Ahthahkaoop Cree Nation in 2021.”

With the 2019 Polar Oils partnership with TR Petroleum—a Western Canadian independent fuel marketer—the revived and refocused company leaned into what it had been doing for decades. A priority of the company was to market its story and engage ethically and supply commercial consumers adjacent to its communities—Nutrien, K + S Potash, SSR mining and more. Polar Oils’ ability to be successful in RFPs and tender processes showcases the strength in their price offering against supplier incumbents and major integrated refiners. “We supply fuel and provide various vendor-managed inventory services to responsible corporate consumers across the province not just the north,” says Gould.

“Polar Oils has continued to support our nine nations by providing excellent service and reliable delivery to the communities of MLTC in addition to many industrial, commercial and small businesses in the last few years,” says Richard Ben, MLTC Chief. “MLTC is very proud of our ownership in Polar Oils, one of 70 plus wholesaler/marketers in Canada but the only one that is majority Indigenous owned and able to compete against branded dealers.”

A brand that matters

As a regional player, Polar Oils is small in scale compared to national integrated refiners it directly competes with, yet the fierce and independent company has proven its commitment to customers, communities and owners. It has built a brand and an operation that supplies vital fuel and opportunity. “For too long, resources in Canada were developed around Indigenous people and not with Indigenous people. We are changing that with a brand
and a company we’re proud of. It’s one that represents joint participation, autonomy, and self-determination,” says Gould. “When you deal with Polar Oils, you’re helping create opportunity for Indigenous people and de-risk the project at hand through the dependable supply of vital fuel products and services. That matters.”

Learn more at polaroils.com.

Polar Oils
1323 Fletcher Road
Saskatoon

8191 Flying Dust First Nation
Meadow Lake
306.242.1001

Polaroils.com