AC rig

What is an AC rig?

If you’ve followed along on our blog and social media channels, you’re probably familiar with AC rigs by now – after all, we’re pretty proud of our fleet. But what exactly are they?

Wayne Kuzio, Canadian Senior Field Superintendent here at Trinidad, and the Canadian rig managers worked together to provide us with the details.

Craig Barker, a Relief Rig Manager from rig 56, put it very clearly: “Control…it is all about control.” So what does that mean to the rest of us?

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Guest post: Building a safety culture is no easy job in these unusual times

Trinidad Drilling General Manager of Global HSE Derek Hibbard
Derek Hibbard, General Manager, Global HSE

The last 18 months have been hectic. Coming off the worst recession in our history and trying to rebuild on the fly has definitely posed some challenges.

We have had to simultaneously juggle rig upgrades, address personnel, service shortages, and train hundreds of new Trinidad hands while doing everything we can to keep our best people from pursuing other opportunities in the industry. At the end of the day, none of this is new, just the latest iteration of the madness that reflects the cyclical nature of our business.

So the challenge is, and will continue to be, how do we develop and maintain a world-class safety culture amidst all of the chaos and continual noise?

The keys really are engagement and empowerment. Continue reading

What it’s really like working as a Floorhand

Is being a floorhand hardSomeone recently typed “Is being a floorhand hard?” into the search bar on our blog.

Here to provide his take on what it’s like working as a Floorhand, we introduce you to five-year Trinidad veteran, James Hofer.

Okay, so James has already worked his way up to a Motorhand gig on Rig 60, but while he waits for his home rig to finish its 1,000-day inspection, he’s filling in on others in our Canadian fleet.

Right now, he’s working as a Floorhand helping out the team on Rig 32, currently drilling near Swan Hills, Alberta. Continue reading

3 reasons why ‘going international’ was this Rig Manager’s best career move

Since he started with Trinidad 13 years ago, Ben Kiemele has worked on our rigs in Canada, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

Trinidad Drilling Rig 601
Rig Manager Ben Kiemele in Bahrain

For a guy who had never traveled outside of Canada or been on an airplane prior to his first hitch in Mexico in 2008, he was quick to take to the international drilling scene.

“Going international was the best career move I’ve made,” said Ben, who is currently a Senior Rig Manager in charge of Rig 601 in Bahrain.

“It hasn’t always been easy, but it’s definitely been worth it.” Continue reading

Tips on running a cost-effective rig

Trinidad Drilling Rig 428
Trinidad Rig 428 drilling near Lampman, Saskatchewan

Rig Manager Julien Bourassa runs a consistently cost-effective operation on Rig 428 in southeastern Saskatchewan. His telescopic double often tops not only our Canadian charts for low-cost operations, but our global ones, too.

Sure, factors like the type of wells you drill, and what kind of mixing mud you use play a big part, but Julien’s cost-reducing tips can be helpful no matter the complexities of the operation.

According to the 38-year oilfield veteran, “Running a low-cost rig is all about keeping your equipment in good shape and only buying the things you need.”

Here’s what else he had to say. Continue reading

Advice from an oilfield dad

Glenn Heffernan, Rig 51 motorhand and father of three

Taking a leap of faith for family

After 21 years working as a car mechanic in his hometown of Saint Phillips, Newfoundland, Glenn Heffernan called it quits. A dedicated husband and father of three, Glenn knew it was time for a career that would provide the life he always wanted for his family.

“Like any dad, I wanted to give them what they deserved,” said Glenn.

He knew from friends in the oil and gas industry that working on the rigs could provide the financial freedom he was looking for.

“When I was about to leave for my first hitch in Alberta, I told my wife I’d do it for five years, maximum,” Glenn chuckled, in one of those loveable accents Canadian east-coasters are known for.

“That was ten years ago.”

Glenn has been a motorhand at Trinidad since he started his career in the oil patch. Like many from Canada’s east coast, he flies over 6,500 kilometers (4,040 miles) to and from Alberta to work a two-and-one schedule (two weeks at work and one week at home).

After a decade in the industry, he knows all about life as an oilfield dad. Continue reading

Managing ‘snaky’ situations in West Texas

Western Diamondback Rattlesnake
A western diamondback rattlesnake pictured at one of Trinidad’s West Texas rig sites

Hey, we get it. Being tough is an unwritten roughneck prerequisite, so you’re not about to get scared off by a snake or two on the lease.

Right….

To all those who have jumped out of their skin after being startled by a rattlesnake hiding under rig matting – your secret’s safe with us.

Working around venomous snakes is a reality West Texas rig hands have to be prepared for.

“Western diamondbacks, coral snakes, tarantulas, scorpions…you name ‘em, we’ve got ‘em in West Texas,” said Marco Rocha, our HSE supervisor based out of Midland, Texas.

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