Saskatchewan down to 30 rigs in holiday winddown

Estevan – By Dec. 11, Saskatchewan’s drilling rig fleet was already winding down prior to the Christmas holidays, according to sister publication Rig Locator (

Thirty rigs were working on that day. That’s a drop by half from Nov. 15’s 61 active rigs. It also falls slightly below the number of rigs working at the same time in 2016, but is close to par with 2017.

Alberta’s drilling count was at the lowest point, on this day, it had been over the last three years, at 133 rigs working Dec. 11, compared to 177 on Dec. 13, 2017, and 172 on Dec. 13, 2016. More significantly, Alberta’s active drilling rig number stayed essentially flat since Premier Rachel Notley announced on Dec. 2 the province would move to curtail oil production by 325,000 barrels per day in the new year. The rig count on Nov. 29 in Alberta was 135, and hasn’t changed much since.

The top two active operators in the country both had significant numbers working in Saskatchewan, and they happened to be the top two oil producers in Saskatchewan, Crescent Point Energy Corp. and Husky Energy Inc. They accounted for two-thirds of drilling activity for the entire province.

Husky had 15 rigs working throughout Canada, and nine in Saskatchewan. Crescent Point Energy Corp. had 11 rigs working, of which 10 were in Saskatchewan. Husky’s rigs were all in northwest Saskatchewan, north of Highway 16, while Crescent Point had rigs in southeast, southwest and west central Saskatchewan.

Three of Crescent Point’s rigs were working near Stoughton, and a fourth near Benson. None were active in their usual hotspot of Torquay, their Flat Lake play. A further three rigs were working in the Rapdan area southwest of Shaunavon. One rig was working west of Swift Current at Cantuar. Plato and Dodsland each had one Crescent Point rig working.

A few of Husky’s nine rigs were working as pairs, with a set at Brightsand Lake and another at Celtic. Individual rigs were working at Pike’s Peak, Aberfeldy, Lashburn (actually north of Maidstone), Edam East and Edam West.

Teine Energy Ltd. had two rigs going, both at Dodsland.

Baytex Energy Ltd. also had two rigs going, one at Elrose, and the second at Eureka, north of Kindersley

The remainder of those companies drilling employed singular rigs.

Surge Energy Inc. had one rig at Rapdan.

Axial Exploration Ltd. had one rig at Ingoldsby, southeast of Storthoaks.

Two non-oil operations were also underway, with Erco Worldwide drilling a disposal well north of Saskatoon, and Deep Earth Energy Production drilling a geothermal well near Torquay.

Keystone Royalty Corp. had one rig at Browning, near Lampman. Silver Bay Resources Ltd. was working at Bellegarde, southeast of Redvers. Vermillion Energy Inc. was turning to the right with one rig at Wordsworth, south of Arcola.

The most active drilling contractor in Saskatchewan was Precision Drilling, with 10 rigs. Savanna Drilling Corp. had four. Horizon Drilling had three rigs going. Ensign Drilling Inc. had two rigs going, as did Akita Drilling Ltd.

Betts Drilling Ltd., Alliance Drilling and Oilfield Service Ltd., Nabors Drilling, Predator Drilling, Tempco Drilling Company Inc, and Trinidad Drilling Ltd. each registered one active rig in Saskatchewan.

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