Ironside Energy Services wins provincial award

Ironside Energy Services has been recognized for its growth since opening nearly two years ago.

The Estevan oilfield company was presented with the award for the top new business venture during the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce’s Achievement in Business Excellence Awards on Oct. 20 at TCU Place in Saskatoon.

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“We’re very honoured and very excited to win it. It’s a big accomplishment to be recognized on the provincial level by the Chamber of Commerce,” said Dan Blackburn, who owns the company alongside Chad Himmelspeck.

Blackburn and Himmelspeck are 50-50 business partners on the venture. They have a day-to-day field manager Durwin Grodecki, and they said he looks after everything, from the oil changes to the people in the company.   

The company will celebrate its two-year anniversary on Nov. 15. When they opened, they had just one dozer.

Now they have expanded their equipment base, and have 26 employees who have played an instrumental role in the company’s success.

Blackburn believes the company was selected for the award because of its growth and the service it provides. The business has also been successful even though it started in a downturn in the oilpatch.

“We started this company when oil was $38 a barrel,” said Blackburn. “And we made it work. We made it work in a down market when there wasn’t a lot going on.”

Most of their work comes from the patch, although they do perform road builds for the Rural Municipality of Reciprocity.

They have dozers that build drill pad lease sites and they perform cleanup on the leases after the well is drilled as part of the reclamation efforts. They have a road grader and they build lease roads in the oilfield sector, in addition to their road-building work for the RM, and they perform pipeline cleanup.

They also have trackhoes for cleanups on the leases, and for digging dugouts and building roads.

Blackburn said they enjoy working with the companies they deal with in the oilpatch, and the people they work with in Calgary at a corporate level.

“The guys that we’re working with are just fantastic guys. And for me and Chad, we both enjoy the heavy equipment, having the heavy equipment, building leases and just seeing the finished product of what our guys are capable of doing at the high level that we’re doing it,” said Blackburn.

Blackburn hopes the company can continue to grow. They have gone through rapid growth, both in terms of equipment and staff members, and he sees a continued demand for their services.

Among the other ABEX award recipients was Affinity Credit Union, who received the community involvement award. Affinity has branches throughout the province, including some in Estevan.

This year, more than 80 ABEX nominations were received and 50 finalists were selected. Ultimately, 12 Saskatchewan recipients were selected. By striving for excellence, these winners personify business success in Saskatchewan.

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