Later in 2018, Spearing may be looking to re-invest

Carlyle – Spearing Service Ltd. in Carlyle has seen a good beginning for 2018.

“I think 2018 is, so far, going to get off to a good start, compared to the last couple years. 2017 was better than ’16,” said Ken McClement, who runs things out of Oxbow and Carlyle. He’s vice-president and general manager.

“The number of rigs and the price of oil is on the increase,” he said.

Their relationship to the drill bit is a little bit delayed, until wells are put into production. “We’re going to get some service work as they’re drilling, and service work as they complete, and on the frac side as well. We’ll see quite a bit of work there,” he said. “The long-term work for us is the production.”

Because Carlyle is their newest shop, they do send a lot of units from other terminals to Carlyle for repairs.

In Carlyle they have around 18 people working including mechanics and drivers. Dispatch for the area is done out of Oxbow. They also dispatch out of Halbrite and Pipestone, Man.

Spearing and Brady Oilfield Services are both owned by the Mullen Group, and Halbrite-based Brady was rolled into Spearing’s operation and name in 2015.

“We’re stable on our numbers. We’re down about half since the crash,” McClement said regarding the number of people they have working for them.

Donny Spearing retired from Spearing at the end of 2017, he noted. He and Trevor Spearing ran the company until it was sold to Mullen, having taken it over from their father, Ken.

Asked about the rates the oil companies are willing to pay, he said, “There’s been some improvement over the last year. There had to be some improvement. Are they where they need to be? No. It’s a new reality. The oilfield is a new reality, here in southeast Saskatchewan, and Alberta, anywhere. I don’t believe it’s going to be a boom and bust cycle anymore. I think it’s going to be more of a long-term industry, when they finally establish what the number is.

“The industry has typically had to pay more, because they demand more. They demand more weekends, more overtime, more services at a given time. I think the oilfield is going to be more of a regular industry, that pays similar wages.”

Asked if those who have left the industry will come back, McClement replied, “I think if the wages are there, and there’s some type of commitment, people will come back. I really do. People like to make money, and they like to get paid what they think they’re worth.”

“We hire fairly steadily. With the rates being what they are, we have people who come and go,” he said. Some come back when things are busier, he noted.

The company hasn’t been buying new equipment, but there are plans for the second half of this year. The equipment has still been used over the last three years, and accumulating wear and tear. “You have to reinvest in your business. It’ll depend on the price of oil, the number of rigs, and our customers’ plans,” he said.

“I think it’s a new industry, where your numbers and expenses and everything have to be in-line with the industry. You have to re-invest, in line with your revenue and work load,” he said. 

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