Where we are now
Corporate History
Senior Management

Where we are now

Our OwnershipAzimuthLogoPRGB

Altex is a rapidly growing Canadian controlled private corporation. Our major shareholder is Azimuth Capital Management (formerly Kern Partners) through their investment funds. We are raising additional capital from other investors through Kern Partners for expansion in Western Canada and the US.

 All employees either are shareholders or have the ability to be shareholders in the company. We feel  it is very important to have employees be owners in the company because this helps drive a commitment to service for our customers and value for all shareholders including our employees.

Our Plan

Lashburn Aerial

Altex is led by a multi-disciplinary executive team of seasoned business people with decades of experience and proven track records in the pipeline and rail industries, engineering and finance. The business plan of the leadership team is to further grow and implement our one-of-a-kind Pipeline on Rail model.

Successful implementation of the plan will first and foremost be achieved by continuing to build Altex’s highly skilled and dedicated team of employees. Altex has grown from just 4 employees in 2010 to over 100 employees and contractors. 

Top LoadWe will continue to build state-of-the-art facilities from simple direct truck to rail transloads to mid-tier terminals to full unit train terminals. This allows shippers to test markets and scale up as necessary.

Our Pipeline on Rail and Service Model 

PipeOur Pipeline on Rail model is unique:  Shippers deal with Altex the same way crude oil shippers traditionally would deal with a pipeline. Shippers typically pay a pipeline toll to transport their crude oil from the “pipe head” terminal to a destination terminal.

Shippers do the exactly the same with Altex only we manage even more of the elements of transporting crude oil to market and at less risk and cost. For one thing, our Pipeline on Rail can backhaul diluent in railcars at less cost than the fore haul shipment of crude oil.


Fast Tank Car

We have teamed up with CN to deliver a cost effective, extremely fast, reliable and safe service. Altex and CN’s service model delivers unit train like speeds on CN’s manifest trains. This is a very cost effective solution whether you are shipping one car or thirty cars. 

Of course, our service model can manage your unit train volumes.  But be careful. Most “unit trains” are not true unit trains. Other service providers have you aggregate your shipments over a week or more to run a “unit train”. This is extremely inefficient and costly.

 Altex is the leader in the industry. Call us for more information or visit Doing Business on our website.

Corporate History


Altex Energy was created in 2005 to provide access to new markets for Canadian heavy oil producers of a via heavy oil/bitumen pipeline from Ft McMurray to a location near Port Arthur, Texas. The Altex name comes from the Alberta-Texas plan.

Altex Sign

Altex undertook a significant bitumen testing effort at the University of Calgary Shulich School of Engineering. A procedure to reduce the diluent was ultimately developed and several patents were filed for a new technology pipeline.

During these pipeline discussions with shippers and research, it became obvious to Altex that three issues existed: 1) developing economy of scale, 2) lack of pure bitumen production and 3) working with parties that did not have sufficient credit to underwrite a major investment.

The solution was to develop a transportation system that can solve the production risk, scale and credit issue by railing bitumen to virtually any market within North America. Rail had even better capabilities than the new technology pipeline to reduce the "diluent penalty". Moreover rail could be competitive with new dilbit (diluent bitumen) pipelines. Hence building the pipeline was abandoned in favour of rail.


Canadian National ("CN") was the carrier that met all these requirements; it owns the track up to Ft McMurray and the Peace River areas, and the delivery systems to eastern Canada, Chicago, Canada's West Coast and the US Gulf Coast. Altex then approached CN in the early part of 2008 to propose such a transport system.

CN model smallAltex and CN joined forces in 2008 in recognition of the synergies between our companies. Our partnership increases the value of the expertise and strengths we both bring to this solution. Our common goal is to ensure a seamless interconnectivity along the bitumen supply chain.

Together we spent 3 years developing rail as an alternative to pipelines. Through many joint presentations and conferences and though articles in the press many in the oil industry began to realize the value of our rail system approach and the true cost of shipping dilbit by pipeline. 



We moved our first railcars in the fall of 2010 at CN's Yard in Lloydminster, AB.



The market demand grew from these few "test" shipments from Lloydminster. The Altex system expanded with the addition of Lashburn, SK in 2011. This terminal was the first to add tanks to the process allowing 

increased turn-around for truckers. Originally designed to move 6 cars per day the facility expanded to 32 - 1,000bbl tanks and track storage  for in excess of 100 cars.

Unity night

Altex continued to develop the system approach so that to shippers, Altex would look like a traditional pipeline. Altex manages all rail and truck logistics, safety, royalty and customs reporting allowing shippers to concentrate on marketing their oil.

Altex had an overwhelming response to our system approach. We developed stringent health and safety systems that pass not only the demanding regulatory requirements but those of the communities in which we operate.





In June 2012, Southern Pacific chose Altex to build a terminal in Ft. McMurray (Lynton) to transport their oil to Natchez, MS.
Wainwright, AB came on board and added to Altex's growing number of terminals.


In the fall of 2013, Falher, AB became the Altex's first terminal in the Peace River area. 



Lashburn Carmover


In the fall of 2014, Altex's commissioned the new Lashburn 


facility with storage space for over 250 railcars on site. Capable of loading over 60 railcars per day. 

Lashburn is expanding to unit train capacity with more tanks, railcar storage, and truck rail car loading spots. Claysmore (Vermilion) is permitted and expected to break ground on a full unit train pipe connected design.

The Future

Altex is looking to expand and diversify it's terminal offerings in the Peace River and north-eastern BC regions with NGLs, frac sand, and pipe yards.

Senior Management

President & CEO
John Zahary



John Zahary is a Professional Engineer with extensive senior management experience.  He graduated with a M.Phil in Management Studies degree from the University of Oxford and a B.Sc in Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Calgary.  His experience includes upstream oil and gas companies involved in heavy oil, oilsands, light and medium oil and natural gas production as well as companies with downstream, refining, marketing and midstream assets. 

He has worked in technical, financial and corporate leadership roles including serving as President & CEO of Viking Energy, Harvest Energy, Petrovera Resources and Sunshine Oilsands.  Corporate experience includes publicly traded companies listed in Canada, USA and Hong Kong as well as private companies and international companies with an interest in the Canadian oil and gas upstream industry, infrastructure development and purchasing commodities for export to markets with growing demand like Asia. 

Outside involvements include Board of Director positions with a number of private and public companies including Frog Lake Energy, an oil company owned by Frog Lake First Nation with significant working interest production of heavy oil, as well as other companies currently and in the past.  Volunteer activities include Chairman of the Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committee for Western Canada as well as other interests. 

John joined Altex in July 2014 and looks forward to contributing to the growth of Altex.  


Chief Operating Officer
      Aaron Bishop



In his role as Chief Operating Officer for Altex, Aaron is responsible for the overall functional leadership and management of Operations.  He is responsible for ensuring that Operations, Business Development, Project Execution and HSE, support Altex's overall corporate strategic plan.

Aaron is a Professional Engineer and holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Dalhousie University along with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Mount Allison University.  He has extensive experience in the oil and gas industry, having worked in the upstream, downstream, onshore and offshore sectors.  Prior to joining Altex, he has worked in technical and corporate leadership roles with Imperial Oil and Encana.

When away from the office, Aaron is an Instructor at the Schulich School of Engineering at the University of Calgary and previously was an Adjunct Professor at Dalhousie University in the Masters of Petroleum Engineering Program. Aaron enjoys spending time with his family, sailing, hockey and soccer.

He is the co-inventor of Altex's CDN patent #2,829,003.



Director, Finance & Accounting
      Colleen Johansen

colleen johansen


Colleen Johansen is a Chartered Accountant who brings a broad range of financial reporting and corporate development experience to Altex. A "Big-4" accounting firm alumni with public accounting and industry experience, Colleen has also been involved in performance management, corporate finance, and business development for more than a decade, and brings this background to her role leading Altex's accounting group.

Colleen graduated "summa cum laude" from Saint Mary's University in Nova Scotia, where she earned a B.Comm with a double major in accounting and finance. She began her career in KPMG Calgary's Corporate Audit group, where she led engagements for a wide range of clients and industries, including infrastructure and energy. After obtaining her CA designation, taking a short secondment to KPMG Cairns in Australia, and earning a promotion to manager, she transitioned into industry where she worked for a publicly listed independent power producer in both the accounting and corporate development groups prior to joining Altex in 2014.

During her initial years at Altex, Colleen was a key member of the business development group, with the majority of her time focused on project work, commercial negotiations, contracting, and financial modelling and analysis. After assisting with Altex's more complex accounting issues, Colleen was promoted to Director, Finance and Accounting in early 2017.



Linda Cantlay

Linda HS


Linda is a Chartered Accountant (“CA”) who holds a Commerce Degree in Accounting from Concordia University. She commenced her accounting career with Price Waterhouse Coopers, where she progressed through the firm to reach the position of Manager, Owner-Manager Services. After seven years, she left public accounting to pursue a career in the private sector.

In the private sector, Linda held the position of Controller for various companies, including Oxbow Canada which employs rail to transport sulphur, as they progressed through their start-up and development stages. During her 20 year career in the private sector, she was employed as a financial consultant, controller and functional analyst.

In July 2012, Linda joined Altex first as a consultant and then in September, 2012, as Controller. At Altex, she is responsible for all accounting functions as well as the majority of the treasury functions. Linda is constantly working to improve and advance the company’s accounting and reporting functions as it continues through a period of rapid growth. As controller and in support of her role’s deliverables, she works closely with Altex’s bank, external auditors (year-end and quarterly reporting) and the Board of Directors and Shareholders. Altex has progressed significantly to in improving corporate governance by implementing controls, budgeting processes and financial reporting requirements including IFRS with goal of achieving the standard reporting requirements of a public company.



Director, Sales, Transportation & IT
Curtis Layton


  Curtis is currently the Director of Information Technology and Logistic at Altex Energy. Curtis joined the Altex organization in 2013 with more than 17 years of experience in all aspects of Information Technology including system development, computer operations, networks, architecture and strategic planning. Curtis has a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Electronic Engineering Technology and a Master’s Degree in Information System Management.

Prior to joining the Altex organization, Curtis was an IT leader for Canada and Latin America region for Sensors and Devices, a division of Honeywell, where he was responsible for strategic IT initiatives such as business acquisitions, data center consolidation, SAP/ERP implementations, cost management, and software development. During Curtis’ tenure at Honeywell, Curtis worked closely with the Logistics and Operational organizations focusing on software development initiatives as continuous improvement efforts. These continuous improvement efforts significantly improved efficiencies in data acquisition, data mining, manpower and overall system functionality.

As a result of Curtis’ extensive experience with software development initiatives, Curtis joined Altex Energy to develop a software package that would revolutionize Altex’s Oil on Rail business. Successfully releasing the first iteration of the software in 2014, this new software has contributed to an improvement in customer relations, data accuracies, and operational efficiencies. Curtis enjoys helping individuals, teams and the overall company to develop to their full potential through results-driven strategic planning, accountable workplace execution, effective communication, customer satisfaction and a commitment to excellence all around.