Careers > Working on a Service Rig

Working on a Well Servicing Rig

A Vital Part of the Petroleum Industry

Once a well is drilled, several procedures must be undertaken in order to transform the hole into a productive well and maintain the well for its lifespan of producing oil or natural gas. Once the well has stopped producing, it must be shut down or “abandoned”. Service rigs and their crews have the equipment and the expertise required to perform these operations which are vital to the petroleum industry in the production of oil and gas.

A Vital Part of the Petroleum Industry

What Does It Take to Work on a Service Rig?

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What will I need to work on a well servicing rig?

Before starting a career in the oilfield service industry, a drilling rig employee is required to possess a few key requirements:

  • Legally eligible to work in either Canada, the United States or Australia
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Possess a valid driver’s license
  • Be physically fit
  • Possess required work gear or the means to obtain required work gear (see below)
  • If in Canada, possess a valid H2S alive certificate and First Aid certificate (see below)

Required Work Gear

The following is a list of seasonal work gear worn by service rig workers. Some of these items are provided by Savanna.

Summer

  • CSA approved steel toed boots
  • Coveralls (provided)
  • Safety glasses (provided)
  • ANSI approved hard hat (provided)
  • 1 bag of rubber gloves
  • Rain jacket
  • Duffle bag
  • Under coverall clothing (cotton blends, no polyester, no hoodies)

Winter

  • CSA approved winter steel toed boots
  • Coveralls (provided)
  • ANSI approved lined hard hat (provided)
  • 1 bag of Green Kings (gloves)
  • Rubber gloves with liners
  • Bama socks
  • Rain pants
  • Weather-proof top and bottom
  • Warm under coverall clothing (cotton blends, no polyester, no hoodies)
  • Safety glasses (provided)
  • Duffle bag

Rig Crew and Schedule

Service rigs typically work from a base location, and crews work between 4 and 12 hour shifts each day. Savanna has service rig bases in Nisku, AB, Brooks, AB, Grande Prairie, AB, Dickinson, ND and Toowoomba Qld. If you would like to work on a service rig, you should live in or near these areas. In some instances, rigs are required to operate in remote locations for extended periods of time. When this happens, rig crews either live in camps or in local hotels, and their room and board are paid for by Savanna.

Service rig crews are generally made up of five (5) people: Rig Manager, Driller, Derrickhand, and two Floorhands. Most days begin by meeting the Driller who drives the crew to the rig in a company vehicle. Each member of the crew is responsible for getting themselves to the meeting point, so having a reliable vehicle is an asset.

Throughout a regular work day, Floorhands can expect to perform the following duties:

  • Clean and maintain the rig floor
  • Assist the Derrickhand and Driller on the rig floor
  • Clean and maintain the rig and its equipment
  • Assist with Blow Out Prevention (BOP) procedures
  • Help run tubing/rod in and out of well
  • Assist in moving the rig to and from locations (“rigging up” and “rigging out”)
  • Follow all company safety regulations

At the end of each shift, the crew returns to the meeting point and is dropped off.

Pay

Well-Servicing employees are typically paid every two weeks via direct bank deposit. Overtime is paid for hours worked over 8/day and 44/week. From day one Savanna employees are also eligible for an excellent benefits package.

Training

Once you are hired, you will immediately receive any other necessary training. This training is mandatory but is of no cost to the employee. Job-related, hands on training is conducted in the field through Savanna’s Rig Mentoring Program.

This involves Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) and Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG), along with an in-depth General Safety Orientation.

* First Aid: While it is not mandatory to have this certification, each service rig crew is required to have two members who are certified in Standard First Aid with CPR level C. Therefore, obtaining a certification beforehand is a great way to improve your chances of being hired.

Advancement

At Savanna, there is an excellent opportunity for good quality employees to quickly advance to more senior positions. If you would like to pursue a career  as a Derrickhand or Driller, please speak to your Rig Manager or Human Resources. The service rig industry in Canada, through Enform, has adopted a competency assessment program to allow Drillers and Derrickhands to evaluate and promote Floorhands when they are ready. Savanna’s recruiters can provide you with more information if you would like to pursue a career in either one of these positions.

Substance Abuse Policy

Savanna Energy Services Corp. requires all of its employees to maintain a work environment free of alcohol and drugs. All potential employees must successfully complete a substance abuse screening and rigorous physical test prior to employment. All Savanna Energy Services Corporation employees are required to follow Savanna’s drug and alcohol policy at all times.

Canadian Operations

Courses You Need to Take

eGSO

eGSO is a free, short online general safety orientation program for all employees in the petroleum industry. By June 2014, all employees working in the industry will be required to hold an Enform eGSO certification. Click here to register with Enform Connect and take the course.

H2S Alive

Some well locations have sour gas (Hydrogen Sulfide or H2S) present which is extremely dangerous. All employees are required to possess a valid H2S certificate regardless of whether they are working on a sour gas well. This can be obtained by signing up for and completing a one day (8 hour) course.

Courses are available at various locations across the province. For more information, contact Enform at (403) 250-9606 (enform.ca) or Leduc Safety Service at (780) 955 3300 (leducsafety.com). The cost of the course is usually between $130 and $150 plus tax, and the certification is valid for three years.

Canadian Spring Break-Up

Work in the oil and gas services industry is seasonal. Because of the weight of rigs and their equipment, and the remote location of wells, these locations are often only accessible when the ground conditions can tolerate heavy loads. Therefore, wells are typically drilled and serviced in the winter when the ground is frozen solid, or in the summer, when the ground has thawed and dried sufficiently. During the spring and fall, when the ground is in a transitional state, it is too soft to move equipment on and easily damaged. For this reason, provincial governments implement “road bans” prohibiting heavy loads from operating in certain areas. During this time, rig work is slower, and many rigs are shut down and their crews sent home. Be prepared to be off for anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks without pay during this time. However, rigs that are shut down are usually in need of maintenance, and there may be opportunities for employees who would like to help out in this regard. Employees may be eligible for Employment Insurance benefits during seasonal shutdowns.