Here’s the eighth day of the 12 Rigs of Christmas! You’ll see rigs of companies still here, and others that have come and gone. Some have changed names and colours. People have come and gone. But you know what? Our industry is still keeping our trucks fueled and our people warm. Please share these posts – you might be in them, or recognize others who are.

Over the years, I can’t count how many times I ended up shooting Stampede Rig 2. I did a number of shoots for Astra Oil, and Stampede Rig 2 was their Steady Eddy, constantly punching holes. I am particularly proud of the few shots you see of the rig beside the dragline. That was the rig’s first hole, I believe, or maybe its second. But what was so significant was the proximity to the dragline, which was, quite literally, right across the road and fenceline, just south of Bienfait. I don’t think you would ever seen a rig that close to a dragline again. With this in mind, I did everything I could go get the alignment of the rig, the dragline, the sun and the weather to make these shots. I think I drove out there at least three times, at different times of the day, parked along the side of the highway with my tripod as trucks flew past. I seem to recall taking 1,400 photos just to get those few shots. I was able to sell a few canvases of it.

To me, those pictures symbolized Estevan. You had the dragline, representing coal. You had the drilling rig, representing exploration. And you had the pumpjack, representing production.

A few of the shots are of the rig drilling at Astra’s Pinto battery. I had to go out several times, because the weather just would not co-operate. No one wants rig photos of a grey sky, period. So the second or third time I drove out there, the sky opened up with a small sliver of blue for all of 10 minutes. I got my drone up and positioned it so that blue was behind the derrick for just a few passes. Then it closed up again, and that was that.


And here’s a slideshow of Stampede Rig 2, showing even more. You’ll see a few drone shots with my original Phantom. That drone did not have a video link, showing you what the drone sees. You mounted a GoPro on it, and flew it in a pattern, praying it would get something – anything. I’ve got a lot better tech now.


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