Estevan – Red Dog Drilling of Estevan sent out its latest rig into the field in mid-January, working near Northgate.
Red Dog is still a four-rig drilling company, however, as the new Rig 5 is in some ways a rebirth of Rig 1, the company’s inaugural rig.
“We’ve decommissioned Rig 1,” said Wayne Zandee, president of Red Dog. Substantial portions of the previous rig have been re-deployed with Rig 5.
“We used the drawworks, one mud pump, water tank/ doghouse and boiler,” he said.
There is a new substructure, derrick, pumphouse, catwalk and drill pipe. These are all in keeping with the substantial change. Rig 5 is a lot bigger than their other rigs, since it is configured to run Range 3 pipe, which is 50 per cent longer than the usual drilling pipe used in this area.
“It’s a triple mast, but it will be a super double,” Zandee said. The result is a rig that can make fewer connections compared to a normal double rig.
There are less survey times as well. Combined, the design will allow Red Dog to drill more efficiently, which benefits the oil company to go for longer legs in deeper zones,” he said.
One of the most active drilling areas in southeast Saskatchewan in recent years is right along the North Dakota border – home of the Torquay play. It’s also the deepest part of the basin within this province’s borders.
“The rig is versatile enough to do anything from Waskada to deep plays at Oungre,” he said. Rig 5 is a jackknife triple derrick with 500,000 pound hook load capacity. There’s a new engine and gearing ratio for the existing drawworks, increasing its horsepower from 700 to 800.
There’s a new hydraulic catwalk, replacing the standard catwalk that was used on Rig 1. The rig controls are similar to the system installed on Rig 3, which first went to work in the summer of 2013.
Rig 1 had recently been recertified. “We just recertified it,” Zandee said. The plan was to put it to work for a year. Due to its size, its market was limited since it couldn’t tackle some of the deeper holes. But with a slowdown coming, they decided to take the project now.
“If it was going to be down, let’s take it in and speed this process up,” he said.
As for Rig 2, now the oldest in the Red Dog fleet, Zandee said something could possibly be in the works, depending on commodity prices.
The rebuild of Rig 1 into Rig 5 also diversifies the Red Dog fleet. They now have two telescopic doubles, one jackknife double and one jackknife triple.