Goliath Snubbing and Roll'n Oilfield Industries employees work to install a snubbing unit on a test well at CARE Industries in the Aspelund Industrial Park just west of Hwy. 2 at Blackfalds on Wednesday. Trevor Sopracolle and his staff at Goliath Snubbing have invented a way to use a service rig in the Snubbing process which will speed up the snubbing process says Sopracolle. The new technology will be on display at CARE Industries today (Thursday

Local snubbing company pitching a new invention

When times get tough the tough get innovating.

When times get tough the tough get innovating.

Goliath Snubbing owners Trevor Sopracolle and Garrett Radchenko have developed a system for handling snubbing rig pipe that can speed up jobs, ensure safety and, most importantly, save money.

The Red Deer company was at Blackfalds’ Care Industries Inc. today showing off the invention to oilpatch companies to sell them on the advantages that can be brought to their operations.

Sopracolle, who has been in the oilfield business since 1999, has created a pipe handling system that allows two sections of 10-metre pipe to be put down or pulled out of a well at a time and stacked vertically on what is known as a derrick board.

It’s a way of operating that is similar to the practice more than a decade ago. But for safety reasons the way pipe could be handled on high-pressure wells was changed.

No longer was a derrick hand allowed up the rig to oversee the moving of vertically stacked pipe sections down the well.

In several fatal accidents, derricks hand aloft were killed when a rig blew out sending a column of flame shooting up the rig.

In 2004, regulators responded by prohibiting derrick hands from taking a position up in a rig that was under pressure.

Each section of pipe had to be stored in horizontal racks and retrieved one joint at a time to be put down the well.

While safer, it takes a lot longer and requires a stand-alone snubbing unit or a service rig with a rig-assist snubbing unit.

Sopracolle believed there must be a better way. He invented a system that allows a service rig operator to handle tubing by remote control without the need of a derrick hand.

“It’s a system I can bolt onto the bottom of set of service rigs blocks powered by my snubbing unit,” he said.

“It mimics what a derrick hand can do.”

The potential is huge for service rig companies, which have been losing work to stand-alone units, he said.

“If this catches on, every service rig in the country is going to try to steal their work back from the stand-alones and say he can do it faster,” he said, adding they will also be able to compete with coil tubing operations.

“There are stand-alones that can do in two days what I can do in one. Imagine the cost savings there.”

Oil and gas companies regularly pay $15,000 a day for a stand-alone snubbing unit as well as the cost of all of the other rental equipment on site.

Cutting days means big savings, which everyone in the business is looking for these days.

“There’s still work out there. If I can find a way to make myself more valuable than everybody else I’ll get the work and the other companies won’t.”

Sopracolle said there has been plenty of interest from Alberta companies and from as far afield as the U.S.

Just Posted

Red Deer realtors share precautions in aftermath of Calgary sex assault

“Safety is a huge issue,” says local realtor

Man charged after string of break and enters

Break-ins occurred at rural properties

Red Deer Mountie sexual assault trial begins

RCMP officer facing sexual assault with a weapon and breach of trust charges

Central Albertans invited to bring concerns to air quality meeting

Parkland Airshed Managment Zone holds public meeting June 25

WATCH: Hundreds run in the 5K Foam Fest in Red Deer

The annual event took place at Heritage Ranch on Saturday

Italy’s Milan-Cortina wins vote to host 2026 Winter Olympics

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — Riding a wave of widespread Italian enthusiasm to be… Continue reading

Productivity gains outpace steep rise in agricultural energy use since 1990

CALGARY — Third-generation farmer Ron Lamb remembers his father pulling six-metre-wide crop-seeding… Continue reading

Health: Believing myths is bad for your heart

George Orwell, the English journalist, wrote, “Myths that are believed in tend… Continue reading

Familt: We all get by with just a little help from our friends

The celebration of our great country of Canada is waiting in the… Continue reading

Cavallini, David scores 3 goals, Canada defeats Cuba 7-0

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Coach John Herdman couldn’t be happier about the state… Continue reading

Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse lands same job with Canada’s men’s team

Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse is the new coach of Canada’s… Continue reading

Steamy romance novelist Judith Krantz dies at 91

LOS ANGELES — Writer Judith Krantz, whose million-selling novels such as “Scruples”… Continue reading

Flying Wallendas safely cross Times Square on high wire

NEW YORK — Two siblings from the famed Flying Wallendas safely crossed… Continue reading

Most Read