Saskatchewan sees 40 rigs drilling in mid-August

Estevan – There were 40 drilling rigs working in Saskatchewan on Aug. 14, according to sister publication Rig Locator ( That made for 36 per cent out of a total of 111 rigs in the province.

Alberta’s rig utilization was just 25 per cent, with 95 of 385 rigs working. British Columbia’s utilization was even worse, with just seven of 47 rigs working, or 15 per cent. Manitoba faired somewhat better, with a 50 per cent utilization, but that was based on two of just four rigs in the whole province.

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These numbers, however, provides something of a misnomer in that they are based on a national fleet of 549 rigs, when five years ago, that number was over 800. While Saskatchewan’s total fleet only dropped one to two dozen rigs, the bulk of those now-missing rigs came out of Alberta’s total fleet.

This week has been one of the few times where the active rig number has exceeded the same time either last year or the year before. In 2017, the rig count dipped to 35 on Aug. 16, while in 2018, the number was 51. Otherwise, the rig count for 2019 has been at almost all times lower than 2017 and 2018.

Curiously, two rigs were reported working out east, with one in Ontario and a second in Nova Scotia.

Four of the top 10 operators have significant activity in Saskatchewan. Tourmaline Oil Corp. bumped Crescent Point Energy Corp. out of its usual top spot, with 11 rigs versus Crescent Point’s 10. Whitecap Resources had seven rigs for third spot, while Baytex Energy was tied with Seven Generations Energy Ltd. for fourth spot with six rigs each.

It doesn’t take much to get into the top 10 list these days, as Teine Energy Ltd. tied with Bonavista Energy Corporation for sixth spot with just three rigs. It only took two rigs turning to the right to land in a three-way tie for eighth spot, with a lengthy number of companies tied for that position.

Of Saskatchewan’s 40 rigs going, two were plugging away at potash projects, one at Mosaic’s Esterhazy mines (although we are told its usually more than the one that shows up on Rig Locator), and another one for Western Potash Corp.’s new solution potash mine south of Kronau. The third rig was northeast of Regina, drilling for TransGas.

In southeast Saskatchewan, Crescent Point had four rigs working in the Stoughton area, one north, south, east and west of the community. Two more rigs were working south of Torquay, and another near Lake Alma. While the company usually has three or four rigs working near Shaunavon, only one was going. Another was working near Plato in west central Saskatchewan.

Aldon Oils had one rig working at Minard, east of Benson.

At Coyote Lake, northeast of Stoughton, Ridgeback Resources Inc. had one rig drilling.

Torc Oil & Gas had a rig at Roche Percee and another at Torquay. Vermillion Energy Inc. had rigs at Steelman and Queensdale, south of Manor.

Canadian Natural Resources Limited had one rig at Ingoldsby, north of Carievale. They had another rig working at Maidstone in the northwest.

In the very southeast corner, Tundra Oil & Gas Ltd. had one rig at Gainsborough.

Over in southwest Saskatchewan, Whitecap had a rig north and another south of Gull Lake.

In west central Saskatchewan, Baytex Energy Ltd. had rigs at Elrose, Kindersley, Netherhill and Gleneath.

Teine Energy Ltd. had rigs working at Kerrobert, Avon Hill and Dodsland.

Whitecap had another two rigs going, one at Coleville, and another at Eagle Lake.

Ish Energy Ltd. was drilling just north of Kindersley with one rig.

South of Macklin, Caltex Resources Ltd. had one rig drilling.

Moving to northwest Saskatchewan, Rife Resources had one rig southeast of Lashburn.

Kaisen Energy Corp. had a rig working northeast of Lashburn. Serafina Energy Ltd. had one rig near Meota and another near Edam.

Husky Energy Inc. had one rig going at Celtic.

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