Nabors drops pressure pumping business

Nabors Canada is getting out of the pressure pumping business, a move that affects more than 90 employees at the Nabors Industries Ltd. facilities in Sylvan Lake.

Nabors Canada is getting out of the pressure pumping business, a move that affects more than 90 employees at the Nabors Industries Ltd. facilities in Sylvan Lake.

Company president and CEO Joe Bruce said 49 employees were released on Wednesday, with the remainder expected to be integrated into other operations.

“Some will go to the U.S., some will go to (Sylvan Lake-based Nabors Production Services) and the remainder, come late November, December sometime if we haven’t found a position for them, will also be released.”

Bruce stressed that only Nabors Well Services Canada, which provides pressure pumping services, is affected.

“Nabors Production Services, which is our service rig division, and our Nabors drilling division are both extremely viable and will continue to operate. There are no plans whatsoever to change anything in those two divisions.”

Bruce said Nabors’ parent company, Nabors Industries Ltd., brought pressure pumping to Canada after it acquired Superior Well Services in 2010.

Used in hydraulic fracturing operations, pressure pumping accounts for only a small part of Nabors’ Canadian business.

“When you look at the overall pressure pumping business in Canada, the Nabors Well Services piece is only about one per cent,” he said, adding that the big players include Calfrac Well Services Ltd., Trican Well Service Ltd., Canyon Technical Services Ltd. and Sanjel Corp.

That’s made it difficult for Nabors Canada to gain a strong foothold in the pressure pumping market, he said, despite making a “considerable investment in the assets here.”

“Given the fact that it hasn’t necessarily played out the way we had initially projected, the decision has been made to move the equipment — specifically the pressure pumping equipment — to our sister company in the U.S., which is Nabors Completion and Production Services.”

Bruce said the prospects are better in the United States, especially since the industry there isn’t subject to seasonal cycles due to weather.

Earlier this year, Nabors Well Services moved from Blackfalds to the Nabors Production Services facilities in Sylvan Lake. Approximately 440 employees, including field staff, will continue to work out of that location.

Given the current shortage of workers in the oil and gas sector, Bruce is optimistic that Nabors’ displaced employees will find new jobs.

“We are aware that our competitors — Trican, Calfrac, Baker (Hughes Inc.) and so forth — are in the process of hiring.”

In addition to Nabors Production Services in Sylvan Lake, Nabors Canada operates a drilling division in Nisku and field offices in Leduc, Lloydminster, Brooks, Grande Prairie and Slave Lake.

Just Posted

Tory MPs gather in Red Deer to hear from voters

Eight MPs from across the province got input on a wide range of topics

Red Deer food bank to re-evaluate to stay up to date on new Canadian food guide

The Red Deer Food Bank Society, which feeds thousands of families every… Continue reading

Young Blackfalds mother copes with double tragedies with community support

Three fundraisers are being held to help Alana Newbold and her children

Red Deer careful about overuse of road salt

Focus on anti-icing to reduce salt use

Carjacking victim would stop to help again

Springbrook woman has some sympathy for carjacker

2-for-1: Total lunar eclipse comes with supermoon bonus

On Sunday night, the moon, Earth and sun lined up to create the eclipse, which was visible throughout North and South America

Liberals have options to help more millennials buy homes, experts say

OTTAWA — The federal Liberals have several options as they look for… Continue reading

Parks Canada puts brakes on Icefields Parkway bike trail in Alberta

Parks Canada says it won’t go ahead with a plan to build… Continue reading

Sylvan Lake resident to receive kidney from younger sister

Sylvan Lake resident Lexie Libby had been losing hope of ever finding… Continue reading

Closing arguments at trial of accused in slaying of Calgary Stampeders player

CALGARY — Final arguments are to be heard today at the trial… Continue reading

Edmonton Oilers fire general manager Peter Chiarelli: reports

EDMONTON — Peter Chiarelli has been fired as general manager of the… Continue reading

Canadian Milos Raonic has Australian Open run end in quarterfinals

MELBOURNE, Australia — Canadian Milos Raonic is done at the Australian Open… Continue reading

$20K pay gap between women, men in Canadian tech jobs

The report defines tech workers as people either producing or making extensive use of technology, regardless of industry

Two Quebec short-film directors mark first Oscar nominations together

TORONTO — Two Quebec filmmakers celebrated in solidarity on Tuesday after learning… Continue reading

Most Read