One of Trinidad’s exploration and production customers in the United States holds its own Drilling Academy Awards every month. Much like Oscar himself, the award is golden for the winning drilling company.
Maybe that’s why they call it the Golden Drilling Rig Award.
In September 2015, when the envelope was torn open, it revealed the winner as Trinidad Rig 445, operating near Midland, Texas, in the Permian Basin.
Rig Manager George Deveson gets a ton of credit for guiding his rig to 2,222 days of safety.
He has been in the oil industry for just over 32 years, a Rig Manager for 14, and on Rig 41 near Grande Prairie, Alberta, for eight years. It’s fair to say he has the experience, not to mention the dedication, to keep his crew safe.
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.
Brandon Merriman and Trinidad Drilling have a “from the beginning” kind of relationship. The Rig Manager has worked with Trinidad since he started his drilling career more than eight years ago, and he has worked on Rig 124 from the time it hit the field in 2009.
“Safety is the most important issue to us out here,” said Walsworth. “We’re essentially family; we spend more time on the rigs than we do with our families at home. I believe that is what makes safety so important to us. You wouldn’t want anything to happen to one of your family members.”
In April, the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors (CAODC) held a Safety Awards banquet, as they do every spring after the winter-drilling season. One of the awards given out is a special Safety Excellence Award. Individuals who have been nominated by their companies receive this honour. This year, Trinidad picked VanKoughnett.
We hold safety meetings with our crews at every shift change and for each change in rig operation. If we start drilling: safety meeting. If we start tripping: safety meeting. Rig up: Safety meeting . . . You get the idea.
“Good safety meeting habits you set today will stick with your crews for life,” said Craig Barker, Rig Manager on Trinidad’s Rig 56. “I believe this is the most important time of the day.”
If you want to know the secret to operating a safe rig, ask Orland Cook. He is the tool push on Trinidad’s Rig 9, which has worked over 1,400 days* without a recordable injury.
“As long as I have run a crew on the rigs, whether it was drilling or as a Rig Manager, I have always believed that if you are organized and work at a comfortable pace, that you can be safe and efficient every day,” said Cook, a 19-year veteran of the drilling industry.
Vern Falloon has been working in the oil patch for 25 years, and for close to a decade he’s been drilling in his home province of Manitoba. The work there has been so reliable, he’s stopped paying attention to fluctuations in the oil and gas market.
When you think of the Canadian oil patch, you probably think of Alberta, but Trinidad Drilling operates five rigs around Virden, Man., where rig work is steady and rig life is a little different than further west. Continue reading →