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Spring weather brings the drilling industry in Alberta to a halt

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014, 12:19 PM

It's all part of the yearly cycle in Canada.

Every spring frozen ground begins to thaw causing road bans near remote oil drilling sites. This in turn shuts down most of the drilling industry.

According to the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors, every shut down rig results in over 100 related layoffs.

Unfortunately, during the spring break up, only Mother Nature can decide when it's time for work to resume.

"Because of the weight of the equipment, some of our rig loads can be up to 100,000 pounds and just the softness of the road surfaces, it just would destroy the roads," explains Ron Lapp with Ensign Canadian Drilling.

SEE ALSO: Alberta's warming temps prompt emergency advisory

During the spring months rig utilization, an effective measurement of drilling sector health, drops up to 75% from the high activity winter months.

"In a good year, you might be running 100% of all of your equipment, and we are down to about 31% for our company as a whole," adds Lapp. "In southern Alberta, you might only last a couple of weeks, you know 2 or 3 weeks, but up here it might be a little bit longer, a month or two. Basically it just depends on the year and on the weather."

SURE SIGN OF SPRING?: Temperature roller coast continues

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