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Q & A with CAODC Service Rig Division Chairman, Preston Reum

Tuesday, 20 Aug 2013

Essential Well Service Service RigRoughneck: As Chairman of the CAODC's Service Rig Division, how do you describe the health of today's well servicing sector?

There’s a lot of optimism across the sector.  A lot of new companies are entering the market and joining CAODC’s Service Rig Division. 

However, I think, as a sector, we need to be cautious about over-building. 

A healthy dose of competition is a good thing, but if the fleet gets too large, we’ll be facing serious concerns.  That kind of pressure isn’t a healthy place for the sector. 

There needs to be enough competition to give clients choice and efficiency, but we wouldn’t want to see competition negatively affecting critical areas, like the sector’s safety performance.

Roughneck: What do you foresee for the rest of 2013 and into 2014?

When drilling activity is strong, service rigs benefit.  It was good news to hear from the CAODC Forecast Committee that they’re projecting a stronger third quarter. 

Also, producers have been favouring heavy oil wells for a few years now.  That’s another reason for optimism in the sector.  That kind of drilling program will keep service rigs busy in the future.  Overall, 2013 looks like a solid year.

Roughneck: What will it take for the well servicing sector to improve the stability of the workforce?

It’s always about consistent activity.  If the balance is right – the right number of rigs for the amount of work –  we’ll be able to provide our crews with steady work.  Of course, this is a cyclical industry.  We’re always going to have ramp up.  It’s very important for this industry to have good resources for attracting and training new people. 

CAODC is making some great strides in talking about the service rig sector as a career opportunity.   The CAODC Service Rig Division has its own website – www.ServiceRigDrive.ca – and we ran tv ads last spring in Alberta.  We’re hoping to schedule those ads to run in other provinces next year. 

CAODC will keep looking for opportunities to reach out to jobseekers, and the Service Rig Executive Committee fully supports this mandate.

Roughneck: How is the safety record of the sector?

This is the most critical objective of any service rig contractor.  It’s worth noting that our people have done some extraordinary work in committing to changing attitudes about safety.    We’re reducing incident frequency.  In fact, we’ve been fairly consistent on this for the last five years.

The TRIF graph of the last five years, in fact, is a powerful statement about this industry’s commitment to making jobsites safer.

Roughneck: Are there any industry initiatives that you would like to mention?

The CAODC Rig Data Project is going into place this fall.  It’s a new reporting structure for CAODC members, and I think it’s going to be a very positive development, especially for service rig members.  The activity data for service rigs isn’t as complete as it is for drilling rigs, and this can be a drawback when we’re sitting down with government policy makers. 

From a personal perspective, I’d like to see a stronger industry standard around drug and alcohol testing.  The rigs are safety-sensitive jobsites.  And they’re crew environments.  Our employees rely on their co-workers, so ensuring everyone is fit for work is critical!  They are some good models out there to guide companies in this area (like the Enform model), but I personally think we can be even more proactive.
Roughneck: On a personal note, how long have you been in the oilpatch and who did you work for? Also, what are your responsibilities at your company and what makes your company exceptional?

I started working on service rigs as a summer job in 1986 and 1987.  By 1988, I was working in the industry full time. 

The service rig industry has been a very rewarding career for me.   There is great opportunity for any individual to also have a rewarding career.  My tips for a rewarding career:  good attitude, desire to learn, focused, hard working, take pride, have passion for what you do, always fit for duty, enjoy your day!

We have a great team at Essential Well Service.  My role is to direct, coach and mentor our team,

Essential Well Service is an exceptional company because of the commitment to continued improvement.  It’s a team that’s really striving to always be the best in what we offer, whether that’s safety performance, fleet performance or customer service.