Pre-employment physical evaluations on a drilling rig

Physical evaluations: Are you fit-for-duty?

This is the second post in our two-part series on pre-employment testing in Trinidad’s US division.

It’s no secret that working on a drilling rig involves labour-intensive work – often performed in extreme conditions. That’s why new rig hands have to be deemed “fit-for-duty” before they head out to the field to ensure they can handle the physical and mental requirements of their assigned job. To be rig-ready, they need to pass both a drug and alcohol test, and a physical evaluation.

With a solid grip on Trinidad’s zero-tolerance stance on substance abuse and testing procedures, it’s time to get physical! Read on as HR Supervisor, Amanda Vaught, takes us through physical evaluations in our US division. Continue reading

Trinidad Drilling well-trained rig crews

Rig speak 101: Rig crew basics

Working on a drilling rig is no desk job – it can be loud and dirty with plenty of exposure to the elements. It’s also a rewarding career with high earning potential, and a work schedule that’s far from your everyday nine to five with only three weeks’ vacation a year.

If you’re considering a career on the rigs and want to know about each position, this blog is for you. Read on as we take you through crew basics, describe rig positions, and explain why Trinidad is the employer of choice among new and experienced hands. Continue reading

Trinidad Drilling International Rig Crew Saudi Arabia

What’s coming down the talent pipeline in Saudi Arabia

Whether it be at home or overseas, we work hard to invest in the communities we drill in to ensure they’re better off as a result of us being there. One of the ways we’re doing this is by hiring, developing, and mentoring local talent on our drilling rigs through Trinidad Essential Skills Training (T.E.S.T.).

T.E.S.T. is our competency-assurance program that defines global performance standards for each position on our rigs (Floorhand, Motorhand, Derrickhand and Driller). Every rig hand that steps foot into Trinidad coveralls is assessed on these standards to ensure they can perform the skills required for their position. Continue reading

Trinidad Drilling Rig 123

Celebrating seven safe years on Rig 123

Rig 123, not only an impressive 1500 HP Triple, but also our longest no recordable incidents record holder in the US at seven years (and counting).

Since their start with Trinidad Drilling on Rig 100 in 2005, Rig Managers Dustin Ulcak and Nathan McDonald have seen the company grow from 22 rigs in our US division to 66 rigs today.

Although Ulcak has thoroughly enjoyed every teal green rig he’s worked on in his 11 years with us, he’ll be the first to admit there’s something special about the culture and crews on Rig 123.

“… I look forward to coming to work each hitch. When a man looks forward to going to work, it’s ‘cause he knows it’s a safe and enjoyable place to be.”

When we asked Ulcak about Rig 123’s seven year safety success, it was obvious from the input he received from the crew that they too would describe the rig’s culture as something out of the ordinary.

Read on as Ulcak shares five of the crews’ tried and true tips on keeping everyone safe over the past seven years. Continue reading

Work hard. Play hard. The exciting life of Driller Logan Grayling, Rig 438

Logan Grayling in his kayak

If you wanted to count the number of countries Logan Grayling has visited, you might need a calculator and a map to keep track.

Grayling is a passionate whitewater kayaker, and that hobby has taken him all over the world.

He’s kayaked in the United States, Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, Sweden, Finland, France, Austria, Germany, Vietnam, Malaysia and Australia — and the list goes on. Logan has also taken surfing trips to Indonesia, Mexico and Australia. And he also skis and snowboards.

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Green is the colour for Saskatchewan Rig Manager James Kapeller

Saskatchewan (Canada) flag waving on the wind
Saskatchewan’s flag waves in the wind.

James Kapeller was born, raised, and still lives in Arborfield, in the northeastern part of Saskatchewan.

It may not be obvious, but coming from this rural town had an influence on his decision to work in the oilpatch, and ultimately for Trinidad.

“It’s a little town in Saskatchewan that’s had a lot of oilfield people come out of it over the years. I grew up around them,” said Kapeller. “It seemed like a good way to make a good living.”

It certainly turned out that way. Kapeller, who joined Trinidad in 2003 as a Floorhand, is now a roving Toolpush (aka Rig Manager) who goes wherever he’s needed. He spent most of the last four years in British Columbia, and is now Relief Rig Manager on Rig 60, a tele double near Hinton, Alberta.

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Adventurer abroad: Chris Porter on Rig 126 in Saudi Arabia

Chris Porter Trinidad Drilling Rig 126 in Saudi Arabia

Chris Porter, an ex-marine, is no stranger to adventure.

The Driller on Rig 126 in Saudi was a U.S. marine for four years, a tough job that took him into intense situations.

“I was in the United States Marine Corps for four years from 2002-2006,” said Porter. “I’ve done three tours to Iraq, and that was enough for me.”

After the marines, Porter started working in the industry on a compound rig in 2006.

“I live in East Texas, and I didn’t have anything lined up when I got back home,” he said. There was little work in most industries, such as paper milling, when he returned, “so I decided to jump onboard.”

He worked as a Floorhand, eventually moving up to Derrickman, and then as a Journeyman Electrician for a year and a half before deciding to return to the patch.

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Captain Kirk has nothing on this Driller

Trinidad Drilling's Rig 58 in Nisku, Alberta.Shawn McVey’s favourite part of the job is working with technology. So, the fact that he’s a Driller on one of our newest, most advanced rigs is a good fit. Trinidad Rig 58 boasts everything from fully integrated control systems, to its own water purification building, to an enclosed drill floor, to a moving system that allows its backyard to be moved with its centerpiece.

And for McVey, drilling controls are located on a cyber chair that looks like it would be at home on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise.

“Trinidad has given me the training and opportunities to work with the kind of advanced technology that most rig hands don’t get to work with their entire career,” said McVey, who started with Trinidad three years ago on Rig 57, a sophisticated machine in its own right.

We published other blog posts about Rig 58 while it was being built, but it’s been a few months since the nearly 60-metre-tall rig hit the field to drill natural gas in the Liard Basin in northern B.C., so now we want to give you a look at what it’s like to be at the helm of one of the largest rigs in North America.  Continue reading