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Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
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Atlantic Offline
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Post: #1499
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
I just did up a two page update and it got deleted while copying and pasting aggghhhh!

Anyway to summarize: as of yesterday I am back drilling!

The four month plus wait is over and as of right now I am two days in to a hopefully three week long drill.

I hustled hard to keep busy the last few months but I am glad to be leaving the multiple jobs behind and getting out of town for a bit. Ironically going back to the rig is actually a break for me and a chance to recover from the 80+ hr weeks I have been doing every week since April. The only thing I will miss is the little harem of girls I put together the last few weeks that will probably fall apart now that I am out of town.

For people looking into the drilling this is the time of year to be making the move to Edmonton. The rig companies will start hiring more heavily over the next 2-3 months coming up to the winter season.

Pack the bags, read the thread, fly out here and get a construction/landscaping job of kijiji (took me 20 minutes and pays 20 dollars an hour), get your tickets and hand out resumes in Nisku/Leduc. Might take a month or two to get on the rigs but you will still be clearing a 1000+ a week and enjoying the last of summer weather on Whyte Ave. Come winter you will be rig ready and off to a great start.

(07-24-2013 08:38 PM)MicTyson Wrote:  Seems like the biggest problem is the isolation but that can be combated with a couple books a kettlebell and a laptop. When you're getting ready to start a rotation when do you usually head out to the camp or lodging you'll be staying at? 2-3 days before hand or sooner? And I know you work in below zero conditions but when you were a greenhand/deckhand did you ever have an issue of overheating in the coveralls?

Alberon already covered this and has been dropping a lot of good data lately on the rigs too. As a leasehand you will have very little spare time which isnt necessarily a bad thing. Time will go fast and your rotation will be over before you know it.

You usually head out the day before of the day of your first shift (depends on the distance). As an MWD I usually drive out and arrive on site to start my shift. This usually means 4 hours packing the truck and gear, followed by a 4-8 hour drive and then straight into a 12-14 hour shift. The first day is always the hardest for me buy its also the day I make the most (85c a km for a 600km drive plus my day rates!).

During the winter months the change in temperature from working outside in -35 to fixing something underneath a heater +25 within the space of a minute can take a little getting used to. You learn fast though the little tricks to dressing smart and looking after yourself. As Alberton and myself have posted- its not as bad as it sounds and if you have the right attitude you will be more then okay.

I found after a while that you actually start to enjoy the challenge and learn to laugh at the hardship of the job. I remember once getting a bottle of water from the doghouse and being annoyed that it was so warm to drink then trying to drink it 15 minutes later after its been in my back pocket outside and its frozen Banana I find it such crazy work conditions sometimes I dont even bothered to get annoyed. Of course there are days where I don`t feel so funny about it too.

(07-29-2013 10:59 PM)scotian Wrote:  You`d be surprised, don`t let the fear of working around a bunch of red necks stop you from moving out to Alberta, I met up with the RVF oil sands crew, there was about 6 or 7 of us out that night and Irishman and I were the only white guys, they all got jobs and are working steady.

Exactly. The rigs guys are only going to have more fun if you get annoyed about something. Whether its your big nose, foreign accent or way you walk they will quickly give you a stupid nickname based on something and start shouting abuse at you. Its all part of the rigs and everyone goes through it. They are just having a laugh and trying to weed out the pussys. Make jokes back and work hard and you`ll be sweet. I love the Irish jokes I get because I don`t care less and some of the stuff they come up with is actually pretty funny. I don`t get it much anymore cause an MWD is more official but as a leasehand you will be the target of quite a lot of jokes haha. One guy brought a fruit drink to work 2 years ago and has been called `smoothie' ever since.

As for race being an issue for getting hired I don`t see much discrimination. I work with Nigerians, Indians, English, Philippians etc all the time. The only problems I have seen are were foreign guys kept acting like they were in their home country- blaring Indian music videos in the shack and burning strange Incense. Of course this is going to piss some redneck rig hand off!

Anyone thinking of making the move this winter with drilling in mind post up your game plan and I will try help you out. Again- a lot of it has been covered already so read the thread first
07-31-2013 01:46 AM
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Messages In This Thread
Risks, opportunities, import/export - OSL - 03-16-2013, 06:58 AM
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months! - Atlantic - 07-31-2013 01:46 AM