The envelope, please: Trinidad 445 wins Golden Drilling Rig Award

Trinidad Rig 445

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.

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2,222 days of safety: Rig 41


Trinidad Drilling Rig 41

When it comes to safety, Trinidad Rig 41 is king.

Every Trinidad rig works toward zero incidents every single day, and Rig 41 shows how it’s done.

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.

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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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Guest post: 6 safe years on Trinidad Drilling’s Rig 124

Trinidad Drilling's Rig 124 in the U.S.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.

“I bleed Trinidad green,” said Merriman, who lives in northern Louisiana and has seen Trinidad’s U.S. division grow from its early days (we started operating south of the 49th parallel in 2005).

Merriman was at Rig 124’s helm when it celebrated six years without a recordable incident in June. This week, we decided to hand the blog over to Merriman to talk about his rig’s safety journey: Continue reading

The crew of Trinidad Rig 133 celebrates five years without an incident.

10 steps for a safer rig: A Toolpush’s top tips

When Trinidad Rig 133 reached five years without a recordable incident, one of our HSE leaders asked its Rig Manager how the milestone was achieved. The reply from Blake Walsworth was so impressive, the Trinidad safety team shared it throughout our organization.

Walsworth, whose rig operates primarily in northwest Louisiana and East Texas, had created an in-depth list of the ways his team takes care of each other.

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.”

Walsworth’s list of safety leadership tools could be useful to anyone in the industry, so we thought we would share it here. Continue reading

Safety leaders: This Trinidad Drilling Rig Manager is doing it right

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.

Do safety meetings really matter? At Trinidad Drilling, they do.

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.”

Barker, whose rig has gone over 600 days without an incident, shared his expertise on what safety meetings entail and why they’re an important part of running safe rigs. Continue reading

How Rig 9 went 1,400 days without an incident

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.

Here are some of Cook’s secrets to safety success. Continue reading

How to ace your first day on the rigs

Rig Manager Steve Stewart (far left) with fellow crew members from Rig 42.
Rig Manager Steve Stewart (far left) with fellow crew members from Rig 42.

The first day on any new job can be overwhelming. Day one for new rig hands can be extra intimidating because their new office is a towering rig full of technically-advanced equipment and numerous moving parts. That’s why we work hard to make sure newbies feel comfortable and safe when they start their new gig.

Steve Stewart, Rig Manager of Trinidad Rig 42, is in charge of training new crew members who start on his B.C.-based rig.

“The biggest thing I stress about working on drilling rigs is to be aware of your surroundings, ask lots of questions and work safe,” said Stewart, who has been with Trinidad for 11 years.

To help prepare you for your first day, Stewart shared some advice on what green hands can expect and some pointers on how you can put your best foot forward. Continue reading

Rig life in Manitoba

The location of Trinidad’s rigs in Manitoba.
The location of Trinidad’s rigs in Manitoba.

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.

“I’ve worked as much as I want. I have never seen the highs or the lows,” said Falloon, the Rig Manager of Trinidad Rig 10.

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