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“We need to understand what is the price for a pipeline to the coast or, more accurately, the price for your novel approach to this, which we do believe is worth trying out. So, let’s start simple and work our way up. You need to prove your new concept and I have just the project for it. Our Gaberif phase seventeen expansion site up north needs an insulated pipeline to send a hundred thousand barrels per day of hotbit across the way to our processing facility outside of Fort McMurray. Build the pipe in three months and demonstrate that you can go single-shot fifty kilometres trenchless deep beneath the ground without once coming up above ground, and with no need for a surface right-of-way or even a single access point on the surface between Gaberif and Fort McMurray. We’ll finance that. Build that, then come back to see us.”
"Three months is too short. I need seven.”
An annoyed Steve put his phone down on the boardroom table and let that last request sink in before firing back.
"You claim the ability to build a twin pipe from here to the coast in under two years but need seven months to build a single pipe a fraction of that size in both length and diameter?”
"There are initial non-recurring setup steps that are independent of the pipe length. I need twenty-two weeks to setup, then I can get the pipe done in a month,” said Alex.
The tone of Steve’s reply was categorical.
"I’ll give you a few more weeks, no more. You have a hundred and twenty days for the Gaberif to Fort McMurray project. See Mary for the financing details. Standard Rocnus exploration capped ‘cost plus’ terms. I trust you know them. We’ll see how much that costs. Thank you for coming and I do wish you good luck.”
The Chief Executive Officer waved Alex away.
“Alright, what’s next on the agenda? Right, the White Fire acquisition cost recognition timing issue. Get the tax guys in here...”

Alex thanked the members of the Board of Directors and left the boardroom, crossing the tax team on their way to meet those he had just left. That wasn’t too bad he thought as he rode the elevator down, I get a hundred and twenty days at cost plus and a new proving ground. I think Steve likes me but can’t admit it to the Board. I need to get to Dalin double quick.

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