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.

Continue reading

Rig 134 earns its fifth spot on Pioneer’s ‘Rig Team of the Quarter’ trophy

Dustin Brown, Drilling Superintendent; Gary Malmay, Driller; Brandon Hobbs, Rig Manager

If you are going to do something, do it to the best of your ability.

That mindset has been a defining one for Chad Britt throughout his career. Born into a long line of roughnecks, the Louisiana native is one of the Rig Managers on Rig 134, a trophy-clad triple in our U.S. fleet with a track record of accomplishment.

“I’ve always taught my crews to strive for their very best,” said Chad.

“Rig 134 isn’t gunning for awards, we just want to be a benefit to Trinidad and do our jobs to the highest standard.”

As it turns out, when you are passionate about doing a great job, awards and recognition tend to follow. Continue reading

Trinidad Drilling Rig 54

3 ways we’ve enhanced our rig design to reduce emissions

We always share pictures of our rigs in the most beautiful landscapes. Our favourite shots are often the ones submitted by our crews. Not only do roughnecks love the iron they work on, but they love where they do it – away from city lights with front row seats to the best sunrises and sunsets around.

We share the same appreciation for the great outdoors as our crews do. That’s why we have an engineering and design team making sure we’re minimizing the environmental impact of our operations.

Read on as team leader and mechanical engineer, Jake Hamdan, shares the latest on how we have enhanced our rig fleet to reduce emissions. Continue reading

Trinidad Drilling Rig 137

Rig safety: how to stay safe during tornado season

According to U.S. Tornadoes, an average of 1,224 tornadoes touch down each year across the United States. With Texas being the hottest spot for twister activity, and the majority of our U.S. rig fleet drilling there, tornado safety is always on our radar.

HSE Field Coordinator, Alex Cavazos, has been preparing rig crews for severe weather for the last five years. A native of Texas, Alex understands the affects severe weather can have on a worksite.

“As with any safety-sensitive situation, the best way to handle severe weather is to be proactive and well-prepared,” explained Alex.

Keep reading for his team’s safety tips at the rig when the skies take a turn for the worse. Continue reading