Saskatchewan’s active drilling rig count was 46 as of June 27, according to sister publication Rig Locator (riglocator.ca). A total of 23 companies were drilling at the time.
Several companies active in Saskatchewan appeared on the top 10 leaderboard for all Canada. Top driller Canadian Natural Resources Limited had three of its 17 rigs working in Saskatchewan. One was near Maidstone, another near Edam, and a third at Steelman. During the downturn, CNRL did very little, if any drilling in the province, so the three rigs, especially the two in northwest Saskatchewan, marks a significant increase of interest in this province for that firm.
Whitecap Resources Inc. had seven rigs working, putting it in fourth place nation-wide. Six of those were in Saskatchewan, with three in the Kindersley area at Whiteside, Eureka and Eagle Lake. Two were a stone’s throw from Gull Lake. The sixth was the reactivation of Precision Drilling Rig 275 in the Weyburn unit. It has literally spent decades drilling in that unit for the various operators that ran it, but when the downturn hit, so did drilling at Weyburn.
Now, with Whitecap as the new operator, they resumed drilling on June 21.
Tied for fifth place nationwide was Raging River Resources, who recently announced it will be merging with Baytex Energy Corp. It had six rigs working overall, five of which were in Saskatchewan. That included one just outside Kerrobert, another at Gleneath, two just north of Plato and one at Elrose.
Also in a three-way tie for fifth was Husky Energy Inc. It had six rigs going, with three in Saskatchewan at Edam, Brightsand Lake and Dee Valley (north of Maidstone).
Teine Energy Ltd. was in a three-way tie for eighth place nationally with five active rigs apiece. Of those, three were working in Saskatchewan, with one at Buffalo Coulee, and two at Dodsland.
Vermilion Energy was also in that tie, with all five of its rigs spread out in southeast Saskatchewan, and three of them in close proximity to the U.S. border. From the west, one rig was working at Oungre, another at Northgate, and a third at Workman, south of Carievale. The other two rigs were at Alameda and Hastings, south of Alida.
Noticeable in its absence from the leaderboard, where, for the last several years, it was usually at the top, Crescent Point Energy Corp. had three rigs going, at Viewfield, Bender and Hitchcock.
Burgess Creek Exploration Inc. had one rig going at Kingsford, north of Estevan. Not far away was Astra Oil Corp., with one rig at Minard. Midale Petroleums Ltd. was nearby, at Benson.
Ridgeback Resources Inc. was drilling at Coyote Lake, near Corning, Torc Oils & Gas Ltd. had one rig at Torquay and a second at Steelman, and Jarrod Oils Ltd. had a rig working at Antelope Lake, north of Gull Lake.
Meanwhile, Novus Energy Inc. had one rig at Flaxcombe, Ish Energy Ltd. was drilling at Prairiedale with one rig, Rifle Shot Oil Corp. kept firing away with one rig at Evesham, northeast of Macklin and Steelhead Petroleum Ltd. had one rig at Kerrobert.
Rockeast Energy Corp. had one rig at Druid, Rife Resources Ltd. had one rig at Soda Lake, south of Maidstone, Gear Energy Ltd. employed one rig at Celtic and Serafina Energy Ltd. had two rigs working in close proximity at Edam.
Two outliers stood out at this time. While there’s usually a rig working for Mosaic Potash at Esterhazy, a new company showed up with a rig at Garwood, northeast of Riceton. That rig was drilling for Milestone Exploration Inc.