Maintaining Trinidad’s rig fleet in Saudi Arabia

Maintaining Trinidad's rig fleet in Saudi Arabia

There’s a lot riding on the smooth operation of a drilling rig’s mechanical and electrical systems. That’s why we trust only the highest calibre tradespeople to keep our rig fleet in tip-top condition. In Saudi Arabia, Jordan McKinney, Brett Hrynuik, and their all-star team are Trinidad’s go-to maintenance squad.

Three weeks ago, McKinney explained his role as Maintenance Manager. This week, we’ll learn more about his team and what they’re doing to ensure our rigs perform come heat or high winds in the deserts of Saudi Arabia.

The team

Each of our rigs in the Ghawar Oilfield have their own chief and assistant mechanic and electrician; welder; carpenter; plumber; and AC technician on-location at all times.

“In Canada, rig maintenance is typically performed by the rig crew and motorman,” explained McKinney. “Here in Saudi Arabia, we have full-time chief electricians and mechanics.”

Together, the hand-selected team brings experience and expertise from Venezuela, Croatia, Romania, India, Australia, the United States and Canada.

“We’re privileged to have a really diverse and skilled group,” McKinney said. “Most of our chief electricians and mechanics hold a journeyman, Masters or a home country equivalent qualification.”

Their responsibility

It’s the maintenance team’s responsibility to keep our rigs running smoothly and efficiently, 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

To do this, they follow a preventative maintenance system developed by McKinney and Hrynuik. Think of the system as one big checklist, guiding the team’s daily, weekly, monthly and yearly preventative maintenance to-dos.

“Trinidad built a tablet-based system that captures our daily maintenance routines,” McKinney explained. “It keeps our team organized and ensures we’re compliant with both the requirements of our clients, and the preventative maintenance system we’ve developed.”

In addition to following maintenance schedules recommended by the original equipment manufacturers (OEM), McKinney and Hrynuik have customized extra routines that are tailored to Saudi Arabia’s climate.

“Sandblasting winds, heat stress, and rough rig moves through the desert keep our team on the go,” said McKinney, explaining how important it is to plan ahead and learn from the vast experiences of the team’s mechanics and electricians in different climates.

“There’s never a dull moment in the Ghawar Field. We’ve rebuilt mud pumps in made-for-Hollywood dust storms, and have repaired ground faults from floods that haven’t been seen in the area for decades.”

Sandblasting winds at Trinidad Rig 126 in Saudi Arabia
Sandblasting winds at Trinidad Rig 126 in Saudi Arabia

On top of looking after our Saudi Arabia fleet, the team maintains Trinidad’s 100-man rig camp, and equipment that would normally be rented in North America. They also manage large inventories as simple rig parts can be one week to three months away, depending on logistics and customs.

High performance rigs run and maintained by high performance people

A big part of what makes McKinney and Hrynuik’s maintenance team so successful in Saudi Arabia isn’t just their education and experience, but also the mutual respect and comradery they’ve built as a team.

“I am really only a part of the maintenance team’s story,” said McKinney. “My cross-shift, Brett Hrynuik, is a major stakeholder in all things mechanical and has taught me more than any school ever could.”

Learn more about a career as a Rig Mechanic or Electrician with Trinidad:

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