CARLYLE - Three friends in their early 20s in the Carlyle area have started a new business serving the oilpatch and other sectors.
Copperhead Energy Services Ltd. is owned by Colby Himmelspeck, Jace Fischer and Jayden Currie. Since it opened up in early October, it has been busy with a number of projects in the region, including some work in Estevan.
“We saw that oil was starting to pick up here, and three of us got together,” said Himmelspeck.
Steaming and washing are chief among the services they offer. When it comes to steaming, if the pipes at an oil site are frozen up, they will use hot water from a nozzle to warm them up and allow service to resume.
“It [thaws] them, and lets whatever’s froze up to pass through,” said Himmelspeck.
In terms of washing, Copperhead Energy uses a pump with a boiler, which allows them to rival a pressure washer. The three of them purchased a special foam to allow them to wash equipment and anything else.
“Lots of farmers use it, and they’ve said nothing but good things,” said Himmelspeck.
The three have been close friends for some time. Himmelspeck had another business operating, and Fischer and Currie came to him for advice. He decided to enter another business venture, thanks in large part to their friendship.
Lots of local companies have reached out to them for support, including some farmers, because their business extends to agriculture. If a company needs a steamer or a water truck, they will be there.
“Local companies have been really awesome by reaching out. They want to give us work and support,” said Himmelspeck.
Fischer said they had been talking about going into business for about six months, and decided now was the time to forge ahead.
“We started going through documents of how things can get started. We knew a bunch of people who had done stuff like this, so it was nice to get their side of the story and start it up,” said Fischer.
Customers have been happy with their work, Fischer said. The equipment has worked out well.
Fischer said cleaning is the most important service they have to provide. They can carry 1,600 gallons of water, which usually covers them for the full day. Their services are important because people need to keep their equipment clean, and they need someone to respond if equipment freezes up.
Currie hopes things will pick up in the winter time. He’s glad to be operating with his pals.
“We all see eye to eye. That typically helps in a business,” said Currie.
Their clients have included people he knows through hockey and other initiatives. Connections to people in the communities have been advantageous.
All three have jobs outside of Copperhead Energy, with Himmelspeck owning his own business, Fischer a welder and Currie a grain hauler. But they’ve been able to balance the needs of the business and their other work.
“It helps that there are three of us, so we can take turns on the sites,” said Currie.
Fischer has used his connections in the oilfield, and the people they know, to reach out to people.
“I know quite a few guys out there, and my dad, he’s a consultant for CNRL, and he knows a lot of guys. So I grew up out in the doghouse, watching all the boys work. I’ve always had a real passion for the oilfield,” said Fischer.
Currie’s grandfather used to work on the rigs, and his father was a battery operator who would take him to job sites.
Copperhead Energy is based out of Carlyle. They have had a number of projects as far away as Estevan, Alameda and Gainsborough along Highway 18.