Although rigging meant putting his Top Gun-inspired childhood dream of becoming a fighter pilot on hold, Maudiel Alegria had a feeling life in the patch had the potential to be (almost) as entertaining.
Alegria, better known as “Mo” or “Mojo”, admitted to knowing very little about a drilling rig, let alone roughnecking, when starting his career in 2002. Bound and determined to give the rigs a go, he committed to making the five-and-a-half-hour drive from Saskatoon to Nisku, Alberta every other Friday to personally deliver his resume.
After months of no call backs, things began to look up for Mo and he was sent straight to the bush! Little did he know, working as a Leasehand on his first rig in northern B.C. was just the beginning of his drilling adventures to come.
Takin’ it international
Mo’s first taste of the international drilling scene was in Montana, USA on Trinidad Rig 51 or “Record Run 51” as the crew liked to call it.
“After that project, I knew I wanted to go as many places as Trinidad would take me,” said Mo.
With a passport now jam-packed full of stamps from the USA, the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Mexico, Mo is well versed in the international drilling scene.
Life on the rigs
According to Mo, the only thing that remains constant on the rigs (other than his hair) is no matter where you are, be prepared to expect the unexpected!
“That’s what makes our jobs great – a group of people giving it their all to get the job done safely and efficiently, day after day,” described Mo.
He says that’s what keeps his job fresh each and every hitch.
“I love being a part of start-up projects, from rebuilds in the yard to first spuds. There are so many challenges to overcome in between and that’s a rush like no other. For those who dislike boring, it’s the perfect career to be in.”
The thrill of a start-up in a new part of the world aside, Mo’s favorite part of working on the rigs is the people you meet.
“I have been lucky enough to work with amazing people on all my projects, not just internationally. There’s something to be said for those that put in more than the job description states and grind every day to ensure everything runs smooth out there.”
One of the challenges Mo has faced working internationally is the language barrier on the rigs. But he’s busy putting those skills to work on his days off. “Let’s just say I could be a Charades champ in the Alegria clan,” laughed Mo.
Life off the rigs
When Mo is on days off from Rig 602 in Dubai, he soaks in every moment he can with his family and friends.
“I’m fortunate to have a great group of people who support me and all my work adventures. They check-in on me daily, no matter where I happen to be. So it’s always a celebration when I’m back home with my loved ones,” beamed Mo.
Where to next?
“I heard a rumour Trinidad Drilling may be sending rigs to drill on the moon… so I’ve put my name in,” teased Mo, charismatically.
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