NISKU, Alberta – Devolution Drilling operates a fleet of 23 seismic drilling and thermal heat drilling rigs in the province of Alberta. But a recent crackdown of a 1973 traffic law has costs on the rise, and will shortly put Devolution, and up to 31 of their competitors out of business by Christmas.
The rigs are equippped with rubber tracks and can not legally be licensed for road use, which means that from area to area the rigs need to be moved on heavy transport vehicles much the same way as heavy equipment or farm machinery is transported. A very specific law on the traffic books however, also states that tracked vehicles cannot even be driven on provincial primary or secondary roadways. In effect, for a rig to cross a ditch to the next field to continue work, Devolution Drilling now needs a tractor trailer to come out, load up, chain up, move, unload, and proceed.
This is absolutely ridiculous! It takes me 4 hours to move a rig for 2 hours work. I’m making half my damn profit and spending it on trucking costs! Just because Redfart needs an 18 wheeler to haul her fat ass from the couch to the podium doesn’t mean my rigs can’t cross the damn road! We’re finished if they don’t revoke this policy. – Sean Overtannen, Owner of Devolution
When asked about any chance of reprieve for these companies, Alan Ardeemore was timid in his reply, but spoke of building government support for the policy and a crackdown on many oil services in the future.
I have not been informed of any, ugh, not using of the law anymore, but we, err, can get, ugh, and maybe need to look at other ideas to, ugh, make a serious try to get, ugh, more stuff better.
Overtannen has published his company’s costs to a number of media outlets, citing an average overrun of 89% per job, equating to nearly double what his profits would have been as clients such as Cheaterson and Bendovus refuse to cover the costs to move the rigs every 45 minutes.
A lawsuit of some kind is in the works according to Overtannens legal council, but he claims finding a way to charge the Alberta government with stupidity is going to take some creativity.