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Saskatchewan’s drilling rigs are back at work for the busy season

Estevan – Saskatchewan’s drilling rig fleet went back to work with a bang on Jan. 6, with sister publication Rig Locator ( reporting 57 rigs making hole by that afternoon. This was a jump of 19 rigs compared to its last report on Jan.
Rig Report Panther 2 Valleyview DJI_0030
Valleyview Petroleums was back in the field over the Christmas holidays, working just west of the Weyburn Unit after a several-year hiatus from drilling. They were using the Intellidrill underbalance package, seen in the lower right, on Panther Drilling Rig 2.

Estevan – Saskatchewan’s drilling rig fleet went back to work with a bang on Jan. 6, with sister publication Rig Locator ( reporting 57 rigs making hole by that afternoon.

This was a jump of 19 rigs compared to its last report on Jan. 3.

The map came alive all over the province, with clumps of rigs showing up throughout much of southeast Saskatchewan, at Shaunavon, north of Highway 16 near Lloydminster and, most curiously, in a string along the Alberta border from Alsask to Macklin.

The net result was 54 per cent utilization rate, with 57 of 105 rigs working. That’s a better rate than Alberta, whose 45 per cent was made up of 165 of 366 rigs, or British Columbia, who had 18 of 40 rigs going. Manitoba had five of six rigs working, for a 83 per cent utilization rate.

However, the national drilling fleet has continued its decline, dropping Dec. 10 to 532 from 549 in November. That’s down from around 800 six years ago.

Crescent Point Energy Corp. resumed its usual place at the top of the national leader board, with 14 rigs going, up from eight a few days earlier. Husky Energy Inc. was second nationally, with 12. Vermillion Energy had nine rigs going nationally, tying for fifth place. Whitecap Resources tied for seventh place, with eight rigs going, nation-wide.

In southeast Saskatchewan, Crescent Point was drilling with two rigs; Ensign Drilling Rig 423 and Horizon Drilling Rig 34, side-by-side within spitting distances of the U.S. border south of Torquay. In recent years the company had focused heavily in January and February on the township 1-12-W2, southwest of Torquay, bordered by the U.S. border to the south and with Highway 350 along its eastern side. So far, no rigs have shown up there, but these two rigs are working just east of that area. They are close to Deep Earth Energy Production’s geothermal site, which is drilling with Panther Drilling Rig 2.

Crescent Point had Ensign Rig 421 at Bromhead, Ensign Rig 650 and Alliance Drilling and Oilfield Service Ltd. Rig 3 at Huntoon, northwest of Benson. Precision Drilling Rig 195 was at Melrose, northeast of Stoughton, and PD Rig 146 at Bender, 27 kilometres north of Kisbey.

In southwest Saskatchewan, Crescent Point had PD Rig 150 at Rapdan, and PD Rig 191, Savanna Drilling Corp. Rigs 418 and 419 working close to Shaunavon.

In west central Saskatchewan, Crescent Point employed Savanna Rig 420 at Plato and Rig 436 at Dodsland. These rigs, in particular, show that the company is continuing to drill in areas it has said is for sale. Over the last year it has generally not done that in areas of southeast Saskatchewan that are, or had been, for sale.

Of Vermillion’s nine rigs, six are working in southeast Saskatchewan. They include Stampede Drilling Rig 8 all by itself a stone’s throw from Oungre. Tempco Drilling Company Rig 9 was at Alida, and a cluster of four rigs worked between North Portal, Alameda and Glen Ewen. Panther Drilling Rig 3 was at Pinto while their Rig 4 was at Steelman. Savanna Rig 414 was south of Alameda, and PD Rig 205 was close to Glen Ewen.

Whitecap Resources Inc. had five rigs going spread throughout the province. PD Rig 275 was in its old stomping grounds of the Weyburn Unit. Savanna Rig 416 was just southwest of Swift Current. PD Rig 184 was south of Gull Lake, at Bench. In west central Saskatchewan, Bonanza Drilling Rig 2 was working at Dodsland and their Rig 1 was at Fusilier, as part of the string of rigs near the Alberta border.

Tundra Oil and Gas Ltd. had Stampede Drilling Rig 4 at Pinto. Last summer, Pipeline News received reports that Tundra had purchased some of the properties Crescent Point was offering in the Pinto area, but did not receive confirmation from either Crescent Point or Tundra. This may be an indicator that sale had indeed taken place.

Five rigs were working in a band from Lampman to Browning. Astra Oil Corp. had Stampede Drilling Rig 2 at Lampman. Torc Oil and Gas Ltd. had Ensign Rig 428 on the edge of Lampman. A little to the north-northeast, Villanova Energy Inc. had Stampede Rig 1 at Browning. Nearby, Stampede 3 was drilling for Torc. Ridgeback Resources Inc. employed Horizon Rig 33 at Clarilaw, southwest of Arcola.

Baytex Energy Ltd. had four rigs working on the western side of the province. Savanna Rig 425 was working at Forgan, northeast of Kyle. Savanna Rig 439 was at Avon Hill, east of Kindersley, and Rig 441 was at Dodsland. PD Rig 155 was drilling at Soda Lake, south of Maidstone.

NAL Resources had Savanna Rig 437 at Dodsland.

Teine Energy Ltd. had Ensign Rig 350 at Fusilier, Ensign Rig 356 and Rig 351 at Dodsland, and Rig 358 southwest of Kerrobert.

Tamarack Acquisition Corp. had Tempco Rig 5 at Milton.

A little further up along the Alberta border, Cona Resources had Savanna Rig 435 at Cactus Lake. Rifle Shot Oil Corp. was drilling near Macklin with Tempco Rig 3. Canadian Natural Resources Limited was working a little east of there, at Senlac, with PD Rig 300.

North of Highway 16 is where Husky does all its drilling these days, and it fired up eight rigs in that area. Only one was working close to Lloydminster, with PD Rig 197 at Alberfeldy, just east of Lloyd. The rest were in two areas, around Saint Walburg and Edam. The northern group had PD Rig 340 at Brightsand Lake, Akita Drilling Rig 6 at Celtic, and PD 183 also at Celtic.

The Edam area had Husky employing PD Rig 198 at Rush Lake, PD Rig 192, Akita Rig 8 and Rig 14 at Edam.  

Nearby, Serafina Energy Ltd. was using PD Rig 188 at Prince.

The northernmost rig was up at Onion Lake, where International Petroleum Corporation (IPC) started drilling in the area it picked up from BlackPearl Resources Inc. IPC acquired BlackPearl in December 2018. They had Ensign Rig 537 turning to the right.

Other rigs drilling, but not for oil, included Ensign Rig 689 at Mosaic Potash Esterhazy and Savana Rig 629 drilling for North American Helium Inc. at Consul.