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.

Keep good maintenance

Julien’s motto at the rig is simple:

“If you want something to run well, you have to take care of it.”

Like many from rural Saskatchewan, Julien grew up working on his family’s farm. His years of hands-on experience with heavy-duty farm machinery set a solid foundation for running well-maintained rigs.

Take Julien’s respect for a good oil change, for example.

“Whether you’re dealing with vehicles, farm equipment or drilling rigs, motors will last a lot longer if they’re running on clean oil,” explained Julien, who takes a hands-on approach to maintaining Rig 428.

“I always tell my crews to keep their oil jugs clean, because clean oil has to go in a clean engine.”

Part of managing a cost-effective rig is knowing where to spend money, and where to save.

At Rig 428, Julien doesn’t mind spending more on oil changes, oil filters, valves, and mud pumps to save bigger mechanical issues.

“Your pump is the heartbeat of the rig,” he said.

“If you work your pump hard and don’t keep up with maintenance, you’re going to spend more money on it down the road.”

For the Rig Manager of one of Trinidad’s most cost-effective rigs, staying ahead on maintenance is the name of the game.

“If you’re always fixing the little things, you will keep your rig running fine.”

Keep your unwanted inventory at the rig low

Julien admitted to focusing less on what he’s spending, and more on what the rig actually needs. He likes to run a strict “no extras” policy.

“I don’t keep a bunch of unwanted inventory at the rig,” Julien noted.

“I just order the things we need, because the things we want, we might not get in this economy.”

A well-maintained rig won’t work without a solid team running it

Keeping a well-maintained and clutter-free rig does more than manage costs. In Julien’s experience, it also attracts good crews.

“The way our rig is run is attractive to guys. I’ve had guys who worked on other rigs and they always want to come back to 428.”

“It makes me feel good to have so many great hands out here.”

Learn more about some of the maintenance professionals behind Trinidad’s all-star rig fleet:

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