Rig life in Manitoba

The location of Trinidad’s rigs in Manitoba.
The location of Trinidad’s rigs in Manitoba.

Vern Falloon has been working in the oil patch for 25 years, and for close to a decade he’s been drilling in his home province of Manitoba. The work there has been so reliable, he’s stopped paying attention to fluctuations in the oil and gas market.

“I’ve worked as much as I want. I have never seen the highs or the lows,” said Falloon, the Rig Manager of Trinidad Rig 10.

When you think of the Canadian oil patch, you probably think of Alberta, but Trinidad Drilling operates five rigs around Virden, Man., where rig work is steady and rig life is a little different than further west.

Home sweet home

Rig hands working with Trinidad in Manitoba work eight-hour shifts and go home to their families every day (many drilling rigs in Canada run 12-hour shifts in remote locations, which require crews to stay in camps or hotels).

Falloon explained that the Manitoba rigs run four crews on a schedule of 21-days on, seven-days off. This is possible because the rigs operate under long-term contracts, and most of the rig workers live near where the rigs operate in the southwest corner of the province.

“It’s nice, steady work,” explained Falloon. “And that’s why we’ve all gone to four crews.”

Don’t believe what they tell you – there is new iron in Manitoba

Falloon joked that there used to be a myth in the patch that companies wore out rigs in Alberta and then moved them to Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

“We have brand new, beautiful rigs in Manitoba. They’re well-suited for the holes,” said Falloon, who started working for Trinidad in 2005 on the first new rig Trinidad built to come to the province.

“They’ve got all the luxuries of anything out in Alberta,” said Falloon about his iron.

One big family

Trinidad’s Manitoba rigs have very low turnover rates. This, combined with the fact that many of the rig hands travel together to work and are from the same communities, creates a true sense of camaraderie between crew members.

“There is a lot of respect, and everyone is treated equally, and it’s a nice place to work because of it – whether you’re the roughneck or the Driller,” said Falloon.

Because of the camaraderie, Manitoba’s rigs have strong safety records and are good places for those new to the industry to learn the trade.

“As far as a green hand goes, I don’t think you could start out in a better situation because you’ve got experienced crews around you, and they’ll watch out for you,” said Falloon.

Join the Trinidad Drilling team

Falloon is proud to work for Trinidad, and if you talk to anyone on the Manitoba rigs, they’ll tell you the same thing, he said.

Whether you’re in Manitoba or Texas, Trinidad is committed to taking care of its team by providing industry-leading training and safe, high-performance rigs. In fact, Trinidad’s reputation for operating quality rigs is one of the reasons Falloon became interested in working with Trinidad all those years ago.

Apply for a career with Trinidad Drilling today.

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