Alberta Oil RoughnecksOil Worker

All about Drilling Rigs

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work on a drilling rig in Alberta? If so, this guide is for you. We will go over everything you could ever want to know about drilling rigs such as working conditions, working locations, safety, and the makeup of a drilling rig crew.

Although there are drilling rigs all over Canada, most of the country’s drilling is done in Alberta, followed by Saskatchewan and then British Columbia. When working with a particular drilling company you will probably be assigned to one rig and when the rig moves you follow it.

Drilling rigs are commonly found throughout all of Alberta so when you work on a drilling rig there is a good chance that you will be able to see the entire province while working. When lodging is not available the company that has contracted the rig will provide the crew with a camp to stay in, which usually includes sleeping quarters, a kitchen, dining facilities, laundry room, and sometimes there is even a recreational room available.

Transportation to and from the work location is typically supplied by your employer but in some cases is not, before accepting a job on a drilling rig make sure you ask your potential employer if transportation will be provided.

Working on drilling rigs is a physically demanding job, with long hours, hard work, extreme weather conditions, and uncommon shifts. Drilling rigs normally run twenty four hours a day until the well is finished. The crews that run the rigs usually work twelve hour shifts.

Time off varies from company to company and from rig to rig but a typical work schedule that you may expect is twelve hours on and twelve off for fourteen days straight and then seven days off. This is the typical schedule but remember it will vary depending on what company you work for, what rig you are working on, and what kind of job you are doing.

Working on a drilling rig means working in all types of weather conditions, it can get extremely hot in Alberta and it will also get extremely cold. Drilling rigs typically have their busy season during the winter when the ground is frozen, so expect to do a lot of work in the winter.

The oil field in Alberta has changed quite a bit since the early oil boom days. Safety is now everyone’s main concern, the safety of the drilling rigs crew as well as the safety of the public and the environment. Accidents and spills in the workplace can be very costly to an oil company as well as the drilling company therefore everyone’s main goal is to complete a job in a safe manner.

Accidents still occur due to human carelessness therefore the oil companies strive to provide all employees with proper and up to date safety training.

Drilling rigs are operated by units of people called “drilling crews.” A drilling crew is usually made up of four to five people and there are typically three to four crews per rig. Crews generally are made up of a driller, a derrick hand, a motor hand, a floorhand (head roughneck), and a leasehand (roughneck). Each crew member has their own responsibilities and work as a team to complete a job successfully.

There is plenty of room for advancement on a drilling rig and the drilling company will help you advance your career if you are a hard worker. If you work hard you can go from a roughneck to the rig manager in about eight years.

Alberta’s drilling industry is still in its formative years and will have much to offer in the coming years. Many hard working people have already made fabulous careers in the drilling industry and as the industry advances there will be plenty of room for many more career opportunities to the right candidates.

Here are some related articles about oil field jobs. Check it out.