Drilling activity in western Canada is busiest during the winter months. From October to mid-March, cold temperatures freeze the ground enough for drilling companies to move rigs without damaging municipal roads.
Come April, as temperatures rise, the ground thaws, and road bans are put in place, a number of rigs are shut down and stacked for what the industry calls “spring break-up.” Typically lasting anywhere from six weeks to three months (depending on weather, activity levels, and the rig’s location), crews are laid off to wait out the thaw.
“Lots of hands look for temporary work during break-up, often picking up seasonal jobs like landscaping or farming,” explained Trisha Hennig, Field Services Manager in our Canadian division. “Others budget throughout the year and take the time off to travel.” Continue reading