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

Rig speak 101: Welcome to the jungle

Trinidad Rig 130Rig hands have their own language. In fact, we provide our green hands with a translation dictionary before they hit the field (OK, it’s not really a dictionary. It’s just a glossary). Just like any language, dialects can change slightly from rig to rig, but many of the terms are universal, so newbies will want to familiarize themselves with the basics.

If you’re a seasoned hand, skip to the second part of this post where we have provided a roundup of some of our favourite animal-inspired rig terms. Welcome to the jungle!

For newbies: Terms to learn now

The first “Rig speak 101” basic to know is that there is a difference between service rigs and drilling rigs. We operate drilling rigs. Continue reading

Advice from a CEO: Rig work is not a job – it’s a career

A few weeks ago, we wrote a blog post about Lyle Whitmarsh’s journey from roughneck to CEO of Trinidad Drilling. During our conversation with him, Whitmarsh stressed that it’s important to understand that work in the oil and gas field can be a career, not just a job. Here are some of the insights and career advice Whitmarsh shared:

What advice would you offer to someone who’s green and just walking onto their first rig job?

Priority No. 1 is to keep yourself and your fellow workers safe.

I think the second thing is really believing and understanding that it’s a career. Back 20-some years ago, when I started, it wasn’t necessarily a career. Today, it is a professional career in my opinion – we work more days. And if it is a career choice, then you should take it as a career choice and apply yourself fully and really start to understand that the opportunity is very great for people entering into this business. Continue reading

From newbie to Rig Manager

How to advance your career on a rig

If there’s one myth we want to debunk in our blog, it’s the misconception that rig work is not a career. Working on a rig is not only a career, it’s a darn good one. There is a ton of opportunity for advancement. In fact, our CEO started out as a roughneck.

If you work in the field, the big job you will be working towards is the Rig Manager position.

The Rig Manager ensures the rig operates efficiently and, through leadership, keeps the crew safe. Working your way up to a Rig Manager gig requires years of experience, industry knowledge and training, but with hard work you can get there. Continue reading

5 steps to get you on the rigs


Kimberly Plaquin is a Recruiting Coordinator with Trinidad Drilling. She works out of our facility in Nisku, Alta., and has been hiring rig hands for eight-and-a-half years. Plaquin helped us come up with this list of five steps you should take if you’re thinking about a career on the rigs.

Trinidad rig

1. Make sure this is the job for you

Working on a drilling rig is a great career. You get to work outside with state-of-the-art equipment and get to be part of a tight-knit team. With Trinidad, there are awesome employee benefits, and there is a ton of opportunity for career advancement. But it’s hard work and it’s not for everyone.

Here are a couple of tests you can take to see if this is a career for you:

From roughneck to CEO

Trinidad’s top dog knows how to pull a wrench

“I really did want to make a difference for the field employees and really show them that someone in the office could stay connected and represent all the people in the field.” – Lyle Whitmarsh, CEO of Trinidad Drilling

Lyle Whitmarsh, CEO of Trinidad Drilling
Lyle Whitmarsh, CEO of Trinidad Drilling

Let’s be honest. If you work in the field in any industry, you sometimes feel like head office doesn’t get what it’s like to be on the front line. At Trinidad, you don’t have to feel that way because our CEO has worked on a rig floor.

“I started out as a roughneck working in southern Alberta on the rigs there and then just kind of migrated my way up,” said Lyle Whitmarsh, who has been at Trinidad’s helm as CEO since 2008. Continue reading

Trinidad and safety: It’s in our culture

We think it’s our passionate and innovative people who make Trinidad Drilling a success, but company-wide we don’t just define success by profits. Keeping each other safe every day is even more important.

Evan Rochon is a Field HSE Supervisor for Trinidad Drilling. He is on the road visiting Trinidad’s Canadian rigs four out of five days a week to mentor and train workers on safety and to audit and inspect the rigs.

“When it comes to safety, everyone works as a team here.” – Evan Rochon, Field HSE Supervisor

“When it comes to safety, everyone works as a team here,” Rochon said. “The buy-in in the office, as well as in the field, is key.” Continue reading