Guest post: Building a safety culture is no easy job in these unusual times

Trinidad Drilling General Manager of Global HSE Derek Hibbard
Derek Hibbard, General Manager, Global HSE

The last 18 months have been hectic. Coming off the worst recession in our history and trying to rebuild on the fly has definitely posed some challenges.

We have had to simultaneously juggle rig upgrades, address personnel, service shortages, and train hundreds of new Trinidad hands while doing everything we can to keep our best people from pursuing other opportunities in the industry. At the end of the day, none of this is new, just the latest iteration of the madness that reflects the cyclical nature of our business.

So the challenge is, and will continue to be, how do we develop and maintain a world-class safety culture amidst all of the chaos and continual noise?

The keys really are engagement and empowerment. Continue reading

What it’s really like working as a Floorhand

Is being a floorhand hardSomeone recently typed “Is being a floorhand hard?” into the search bar on our blog.

Here to provide his take on what it’s like working as a Floorhand, we introduce you to five-year Trinidad veteran, James Hofer.

Okay, so James has already worked his way up to a Motorhand gig on Rig 60, but while he waits for his home rig to finish its 1,000-day inspection, he’s filling in on others in our Canadian fleet.

Right now, he’s working as a Floorhand helping out the team on Rig 32, currently drilling near Swan Hills, Alberta. Continue reading

3 reasons why ‘going international’ was this Rig Manager’s best career move

Since he started with Trinidad 13 years ago, Ben Kiemele has worked on our rigs in Canada, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

Trinidad Drilling Rig 601
Rig Manager Ben Kiemele in Bahrain

For a guy who had never traveled outside of Canada or been on an airplane prior to his first hitch in Mexico in 2008, he was quick to take to the international drilling scene.

“Going international was the best career move I’ve made,” said Ben, who is currently a Senior Rig Manager in charge of Rig 601 in Bahrain.

“It hasn’t always been easy, but it’s definitely been worth it.” Continue reading

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. Continue reading

Advice from an oilfield dad

Glenn Heffernan, Rig 51 motorhand and father of three

Taking a leap of faith for family

After 21 years working as a car mechanic in his hometown of Saint Phillips, Newfoundland, Glenn Heffernan called it quits. A dedicated husband and father of three, Glenn knew it was time for a career that would provide the life he always wanted for his family.

“Like any dad, I wanted to give them what they deserved,” said Glenn.

He knew from friends in the oil and gas industry that working on the rigs could provide the financial freedom he was looking for.

“When I was about to leave for my first hitch in Alberta, I told my wife I’d do it for five years, maximum,” Glenn chuckled, in one of those loveable accents Canadian east-coasters are known for.

“That was ten years ago.”

Glenn has been a motorhand at Trinidad since he started his career in the oil patch. Like many from Canada’s east coast, he flies over 6,500 kilometers (4,040 miles) to and from Alberta to work a two-and-one schedule (two weeks at work and one week at home).

After a decade in the industry, he knows all about life as an oilfield dad. Continue reading

Rig 134 earns its fifth spot on Pioneer’s ‘Rig Team of the Quarter’ trophy

Dustin Brown, Drilling Superintendent; Gary Malmay, Driller; Brandon Hobbs, Rig Manager

If you are going to do something, do it to the best of your ability.

That mindset has been a defining one for Chad Britt throughout his career. Born into a long line of roughnecks, the Louisiana native is one of the Rig Managers on Rig 134, a trophy-clad triple in our U.S. fleet with a track record of accomplishment.

“I’ve always taught my crews to strive for their very best,” said Chad.

“Rig 134 isn’t gunning for awards, we just want to be a benefit to Trinidad and do our jobs to the highest standard.”

As it turns out, when you are passionate about doing a great job, awards and recognition tend to follow. Continue reading

Trinidad Drilling Rig 54

3 ways we’ve enhanced our rig design to reduce emissions

We always share pictures of our rigs in the most beautiful landscapes. Our favourite shots are often the ones submitted by our crews. Not only do roughnecks love the iron they work on, but they love where they do it – away from city lights with front row seats to the best sunrises and sunsets around.

We share the same appreciation for the great outdoors as our crews do. That’s why we have an engineering and design team making sure we’re minimizing the environmental impact of our operations.

Read on as team leader and mechanical engineer, Jake Hamdan, shares the latest on how we have enhanced our rig fleet to reduce emissions. Continue reading

From the field to the office: Part two

Dolan Hughson Trinidad DrillingDolan Hughson is the latest field employee to trade in his coveralls for a suit and tie at Trinidad. Much like Canadian Contracts Manager, Steve Bozko, Dolan wanted to learn more about the business off the rigs, and saw our Sales Manager opening in Colorado as a perfect opportunity to drill deeper.

“I know Trinidad’s rigs inside and out,” said Dolan, who started with us 14 years ago as a Rig Manager and worked his way up the ladder to General Manager in our U.S. division, prior to landing the Sales Manager role in Colorado.

“Working on the sales and marketing side is a great opportunity for me to learn more about what goes into contracts, contract negotiations and risk assessment.” Continue reading