Part two: what do MacGyver, drilling rigs and a little luck have in common?

Two weeks ago, we learned about Adrian Lachance’s oil patch genealogy and the time he tried his luck at acting. This week, we’ll explain Lachance’s status as a MacGyver of sorts in the drilling business and describe how Trinidad’s Chief Operating Officer got to where he is today.

For those of you who have worked on a Bear Drilling rig or are part of Trinidad’s CanDrill 1,500 fan club, this blog’s for you.

Envisioning the future of drilling rigs

With his acting days behind him, Lachance made his way back to the oil patch determined to learn as much as he could about rig technology and what the industry needed.

“After a few more years in the industry, I knew I wanted to own my own drilling rigs,” recalled Lachance.

“I traveled around on my own dime, educated myself, and gained as much experience as I could with deep, high pressure sour wells in Alberta and northeastern British Columbia.”

Eventually landing himself a rig building gig with another drilling contractor, it didn’t take long for Lachance’s entrepreneurial spirit to take flight.

“I started building a couple of rigs, but the contractor wouldn’t spend the capital needed to create what I envisioned as the future of drilling rigs,” said Lachance, “so I moved on.”

Lachance vowed that if he was going to invest in his own rigs, he would design something futuristic and capable of running 24 hours a day, seven days a week. So, much like MacGyver, he put what he’d learned over the years to use and created a solution the Canadian drilling industry needed at the time (and continues to use today).

Bear Drilling, The Leaning Tower of Power, and CanDrill technology

Adrian and Emily
Lachance and his oldest daughter Emily on Bear Rig 2

Lachance started Bear Drilling in 1996 – just as horizontal re-entry drilling was taking off in Canada. For those of you who are new to the business, re-entry drilling is when an old wellbore is drilled again, rather than drilling a new well.

“At that time, there was a gap in the industry between a drilling rig and a service rig that no one was covering. So I came up with an effective re-entry rig design.”

For those of you that follow us on social media, this is when the infamous Bear Rig 2 (a.k.a. “The Leaning Tower of Power”) was born. With its two-degree workover lean and workhorse reputation, Lachance’s brother’s nickname for the rig quickly caught on.

“I’m telling you,” said Lachance, “that rig worked, and worked, and worked, and never gave us any issues.”

After much success with his first rigs, Lachance went on to build the rest of the Bear fleet, never losing sight of what he believed to be the future of drilling rigs.

“I always knew range-three pipe on a Triple rig with a top drive was the future,” said Lachance.

So he went for it. Not only was Bear Rig 5 the first rig in Canada to have a TDS-11 top drive, but it was the first to use range-three drill pipe. Little did Lachance know at the time that his futuristic rig design would become the foundation of Trinidad’s fleet.

Teal is the new orange

When Trinidad acquired Bear Drilling in 2003, Lachance took on the role of Senior Vice President of Business Development and oversaw Trinidad’s first AC rig builds. Post-acquisition is also when Lachance coined the “CanDrill” name you see on a number of our rigs; a name that describes just that – a rig that can (and has proven to) drill through anything.

During his time at Trinidad, Lachance has been instrumental not only to the technical development of Trinidad’s fleet, but was also an integral part of our expansion into the US, and our joint-venture agreement with Halliburton.

Given we’re close to fifteen years since the Bear Drilling acquisition and we’re still upgrading our fleet with Bear-inspired technology, we think it’s safe to say Lachance knows a thing or two about this industry and what it takes to make it. So, we asked him about his experience at Trinidad. Here’s why he’s proud to be part of our team.

“We have a great bunch of people working for us, we work hard to learn from the trials and tribulations of the past, and we do all that we can to make our customers happy. Those are the things that make me smile every day and fuel the fire to keep growing and improving,” summarized Lachance.

“I’d like to thank all the personnel involved in bringing Trinidad’s name and rig fleet to where it is today. We couldn’t have done it alone.”

Out of the office

When Lachance isn’t strategizing Trinidad’s next moves, you can find him with his family, or at the rink with his (and we do mean “his”) recreational hockey team.

“I own the team,” Lachance laughed, “it’s the only way they’ll let me play anymore.”

Here’s a look at the Bear Drilling fleet, Lachance’s first AC Triple rig designed at Trinidad, and one of Trinidad’s 1,500 HP CanDrill Triples:


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