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"The options are endless for anyone down here looking for work"

- Nikki Dickie

Hear Nikki describe some jobs available in Weyburn.

“Whatever we need is here. That’s why we chose Weyburn.”

- Randy and Cheryl Ivany

Nikki Dickie interviewWhy Not Weyburn?
00:00 / 09:10

Getting a start – or a restart – takes finding the right opportunity, and a solid one can be found in Weyburn as employers like Panther Drilling look to add to their teams.

 

Panther Drilling is a locally-owned-and-operated drilling company that contracts out its drilling rigs to operators in southeast Saskatchewan.

 

Future in drilling

The future in drilling looks promising in southeast Saskatchewan and, in particular, for Panther. First, there is the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) forecast of a 14-per-cent increase in upstream natural gas and oil investment in 2021 showing a rebound from 2020 and a reverse of the decline that began after investment peaked in 2014. While that figure covers Alberta, B.C., Saskatchewan and Atlantic Canada with much of this investment in Alberta and B.C., it is beneficial to know the industry in Canada is looking at growth in the years to come.

“It is a positive sign to see capital investment moving up from the record lows of 2020,” said Tim McMillan, CAPP president and CEO.

“This projected increase can be read as the start of what we expect will be a long road to economic recovery for the natural gas and oil industry, and signals that producers are invested in Canada’s economic recovery.”

But then there are the other resources that Saskatchewan is also rich in that are gaining attention. While initially focused on oil and gas, Panther now also does drilling for potash, helium, geothermal and lithium.

There is an eagerness in Saskatchewan – especially in the southeast – to move ahead significant projects that diversify the energy sector. Drilling for companies such as Royal Helium, which is focused on the exploration and development of primary helium production in southern Saskatchewan, and DEEP, which is developing Canada’s first geothermal power facility in southern Saskatchewan, is inspiring confidence in the energy sector in Saskatchewan.

Investment means employment

That means jobs on rigs need to be filled and Panther is looking for people who are ready to join the industry, whether they are local or looking to make the move to Weyburn.

“The drilling industry as a whole has had their struggles so now as things pick up, we are trying to recruit new workers or retain workers that had been a part of the industry before and maybe found other options in the meantime,” said Nikki Dickie, office manager with Panther Drilling. In the office in Weyburn where she works, there is a team focused on safety, sales, accounting and administration.

Working in the resource sector in drilling is a solid opportunity for someone looking to start or restart a career path in an industry that offers significant compensation.

“Panther has a full benefit package and a full pension package for its employees,” said Nikki, who also explained there is a bonus program for those who stay with Panther.

Panther Drilling has four rigs. Each rig has a manager and a crew of about 20.

“That crew becomes a big part of your life and a big part of your family,” said Nikki.

The rigs run 24 hours a day, seven days a week with workers putting in eight-hour shifts before going home every night. Three crews work each day.

“It’s a physically demanding job, but it can be very rewarding at the same time,” said Nikki.

While there is training on the job, those applying will need to have some safety tickets when submitting an application, including WHMIS and H2S plus first aid. (Southeast College offers First Aid/CPR/AED training  and H2S Alive in Weyburn.)

Maintaining those safety certifications and any needed to progress in the company will be taken care of by Panther for its employees.

“You start off as a floor hand and then work your way up to a motor hand, possibly a derrick hand, and then a driller,” said Nikki, explaining the progression of rig workers.

Currently, the focus is on finding floor hands to join one of the four crews, but Nikki is happy to hear from anyone interested in learning more about working for Panther. Contact details to apply or inquire can be found on Panther’s website.