Miller Well Servicing recently crewed up a sixth rig

Weyburn – Bruce Miller’s company, Miller Well Servicing of Weyburn, is part of a consistent trend of service rig companies that could, at times, use just a few more hands.

When asked if they were looking for workers, Miller said on Oct. 30, “We were. It kind of comes and goes. We go on a hiring spree that have a couple new employees that stay on full-time, with the rest finding out that oilfield workers work hard for the money. Then we start the hiring process again.

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“It seemed like earlier this summer, there was nobody around. You couldn’t even find someone to put in a resumé. But it’s been a little bit better this last little while.

“We have six crews, and only work for six rigs. We did manage to put together another crew to put the sixth rig back to work. It’s a struggle, some days, but we try to keep about 32, maybe 33 guys on to keep six rigs running, because there’s always a day off somewhere or holidays booked,” he said.

Miller Well Servicing has eight rigs in total, but six are active. “There’s a little bit of extra work out there, but it’s hard to keep a crew. You get a call for a rig for two days, and then you might not get another call for it for two weeks, so you can’t really blame the guys for moving on if that’s all the work you can provide for them,” he said.

This is very similar to what other service rig companies have told Pipeline News.

Miller said they’re doing a pretty wide variety of work. “There isn’t a whole bunch of completions now, as it seems there isn’t a lot of drilling rigs working now,” he said.

They’ve been doing some water injection conversions, which are nice, because they take four or five days instead of one or two.

The company recently reactivated a sixth rig. “We promoted the top end jobs from within, but we had to go out and get two or three new green guys to the oilfield. We managed to find other guys who were done their harvest or construction stuff that finished in October.”

The trend for service rig companies needing a few more hands is consistent across the industry, according to Miller. “That’s exactly it. If we’ve got all our stuff running, ideally it would be nice to have a couple more guys, but it’s hard to maintain them if you don’t have the work. As a general rule, all summer, if we had two or three extra full-time guys, it would have been a lot easier on my men, and me, for scheduling

Indeed, they’ve been sharing staff with another Weyburn service rig company, Southern Range Well Servicing Ltd.

Miller said, “We were actually sharing a couple guys. If you don’t have work for them today, I do, we’ll use them. If you need them back, you can. We just try to work through it.”

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