Alliance Drilling Rig 3 working for Hummingbird Oil on Oct. 17, south of Lampman. The Lampman area is one of the most active drilling areas in Saskatchewan. Photo by Brian Zinchuk

ESTEVAN – The drilling rig report of Tuesday, Nov. 1, shows a noticeable uptick of involvement by small junior producers getting back into the drilling game, both in west central and southeast Saskatchewan. It also marks a big pickup for activity in the northwest from the big players in that area. That’s according to data from the Canadian Association of Energy Contractors, as published by RiggerTalk.com.

There were 38 drilling rigs working throughout Saskatchewan. In the northwest there were 10, followed by eight in west central, four in the southwest and 16 in the southeast.

Starting in northwest Saskatchewan, drilling activity has picked up tremendously compared to earlier this year, when Cenovus, the province’s largest oil producer, was running only one rig.

On Tuesday, Nov. 1, Cenovus had a rig at Spruce Lake, two north of Maidstone and two east of Maidstone, at Rush Lake. One more Cenovus rig was working across the North Saskatchewan River at Vawn. That rig was within spitting distance of a Strathcona Resources rig working at Vawn.

Canadian Natural Resources (CNRL) had a rig drilling just on the outskirts of Marshal, on Highway 16.

Chronos Resources had a rig working just west of Cut Knife, at the intersection of Highway 21 and 40. This is the first time Pipeline Online has seen drilling activity in this exact area, this close to Cut Knife.

Moving into west central Saskatchewan, north of Macklin and within the shadow of wind turbines on the Alberta side of the border, Longshore Resources was punching a hole.

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The Major area, west of Kerrobert, has become something of a hotbed of drilling activity, from a number of producers. North of Major, Strathcona had a rig drilling. Conifer Energy had a rig going on ‘Highway 51 west of Fusilier. East of Major, Baytex Energy was drilling with one rig. Between Major and Smiley, Ish Energy had one rig.

It’s also in this area, closer to Coleville, that Grounded Lithium is completing its first targeted lithium well with a service rig this week.

A little further south, Novus had two rigs working north of Flaxcombe.

Notable for their absence, there were no rigs working in the Dodsland area at this time. That’s usually a hotbed of activity, but whenever it gets muddy, things tend to shut down quick.

Baytex had one more rig working at Elrose.

South of the South Saskatchewan River we find four rigs working in southwest Saskatchewan. The first is drilling for Whitecap Resources, halfway between Swift Current and Hazlet. The next is northwest of Shaunavon, drilling for Crescent Point Energy. That same company had a rig moving in just outside of Frontier.

And on Highway 18, we find the first helium rig. North American Helium is drilling 10 kilometres west of Mankota. That’s also a new area that hasn’t seen drilling activity before. Most of North American’s helium activity in that area has been south of Mankota to date.

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Jumping over to southeast Saskatchewan, Whitecap had a rig drilling in the Weyburn Unit. Just to the west of the Weyburn Unit, Vermillion Energy Inc. had a rig drilling.

Crescent Point had one rig working close to the U.S. border, between Torquay and Oungre. This solitary rig is a far cry from when the company had closer to ten rigs working in that township a few years ago.

Crescent Point’s two other rigs in the region were north of Forget and southeast of Corning. The company recently noted that it is experimenting with multiple lateral, open hole wells in the Viewfield Bakken that are not using fracking. This is a dramatic departure from its standard practice in the area for the last 15 or more years.

A little south of there is another hotbed of activity around Lampman, with six rigs working in a 10 mile or so circle. Midale Petroleums had a rig northeast of Benson, Aldon Oils had a rig at Woodley. Saturn il & Gas had another north of Browning. On the eastern outskirts of Lampman, Whitecap had one rig. Just southeast of there, Surge Energy Inc. had a rig. And south of Lampman, Hummingbird Oil had a rig.

Southeast of Estevan, just outside of the coal mines, Tundra Oil & Gas had one rig working in an area that had originally been developed by Husky several years go.

North of Oxbow, Anova Resources had one rig.

Triland Energy had a rig north of Manor.

Whitecap had one rig north of Alida.

Finally, Burgess Creek Exploration had a rig just north of Gainsborough, in the very southeast corner of Saskatchewan.

 

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