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Rig-n-Dig March 2012


In This Issue Rig 11 Profile Year End Results What’s Happening?

Message from Management

Rig Manager Conference 2012 This year’s Rig Manager Conference will be held April 22-25 and April 29-May 02, giving attendees the ability to chose the conference date that best suits them. Both conferences will be held in Red Deer. This past month we’ve been preparing for the annual Rig Manager’s Conference and are looking forward to gathering to reflect on the past year. Last year’s conferences will be remembered as— in addition to the central water main break in Nisku that caused our talented scheduling staff to be on their toes— the first time we hosted Well Servicing and both sets of Drilling Rig Managers and at the same event. The decision to combine the two groups was natural as we continue the process of creating One Savanna; what was excellent however, is the feedback—both good and bad—we received from those who attended. The Good The consensus was quite positive regarding the merging of the Drilling groups and Well Servicing, and a great many of you took the time to mingle and connect with your colleagues company-wide. A lot of faces were put to names, and it was obvious that Savanna has a great collection of talent in our ranks. Although the first round of meetings were a bit dry (due to the water main break), most agreed the second round at the Sheraton in Red Deer went well and the decision was made to host the entire event in Red Deer this year; the facility is excellent in terms of size and suitability, as well as centrally located which is nice for all involved.

a shorter duration, and add a little more diversity in terms of adding a tradeshow and a couple of other lighter features. The Rig Manager’s Conference is an important event for Savanna as it is a chance for both field and corporate people at Savanna to get together to discuss the challenges we face as a company. With that in mind, if you are attending the meetings this year, please take the opportunity to make the most of your time. Get out and talk to people you may not normally get a chance to see or who you are normally interacting with via phone or e-mail. Raise your hand and get into the conversation during the presentations and make your voice heard; we need to hear what you have to say in order to minimize the bad and maximize the good at Savanna. Many people have great ideas on how we can improve as an organization, but sometimes their ideas don’t see the light of day. These meetings are a chance for us to get our thoughts for a better Savanna out into the open so they have a chance to become actions, and Savanna has a chance to improve and become an even better place to work.

Savanna Energy Services Corp. is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX:SVY) For current stock information, visit or

Rig-n-Dig March 2012

Rig-n-Dig is published by Savanna Energy Services Corp. as an information vehicle for our employees and for our community. Suggestions and contributions are welcome and encouraged. Editor/Publisher: Janine Tannahill 403 267 6739 Managing Editor: John Bayko 403 781 9999

The Bad Many of the attendees commented on the duration and scope of some of the presentations. It was felt that a few of the topics covered could have been done with less detail and a little more pace, and these comments were all taken into consideration when planning this year’s event. In light of the feedback, we’ve tried to focus in on the more relevant topics for discussion, keep the presentations to


800, 311 6th Avenue SW Calgary, Alberta T2P 3H2 Phone: 403 503 9990 Fax: 403 267 6749

In This Issue

Message from Mgt. Q4 and Year End 2011 results Rig 11 Profile MMA fighter Kevin Lagasse What’s Happening? Canadian Benefits Classifieds 7 Common Accident Causes Last Page

March 2012

page 2 page 3 page 4 page 5 page 6 page 8 page 9 page 10 page 11

Q4 & Year End Results

Q4 and Year End 2011 Results Savanna’s numbers—rig numbers, employee numbers, financial numbers—continue to grow as we head into our second decade of operations. With operating days, hours and day rates remaining strong, Savanna’s 2011 year end results prove favourable. Q4 2010’s utilization rates. A slight drop in utilization rates during Q4 was in part due to the staffing of rigs, which continues to be a challenge for many locations and divisions, and the industry in general. So far, 2012 has started strong with high utilization rates continuing for both Savanna Drilling and Savanna Well Servicing. Current information is indicating that operating levels and demand could very well surpass those of 2011. This can also be said for D&D Oilfield Rentals, with rental activity gaining momentum. Overall, Savanna accomplished our key initiatives and is well placed for the year ahead. At the start of 2011, Savanna had two TDS-3000™ rigs and 49 heavy double rigs. These numbers have since increased to ten TDS-3000™ (seven of which are operational) and 51 heavy doubles. Our Australian operations also continue to grow with two drilling rigs sent over during December 2011. Activity, margins and returns are forecasted to ramp up during 2012, with a total of eight drilling rigs and three well servicing rigs operational in Australia by the end of 2012. In the plans for Savanna’s future is the addition of a more robust TDS-3000™ built for Australian standards, and the addition of a slant TDS design for the North American market—both of which are patent pending. Based on Savanna’s 2011 operating results, the Board of Directors has reintroduced the payment of monthly dividends to current shareholders. This is a great indicator of Savanna’s financial strength and stability and the confidence the Board has in Savanna’s growth potential. The dividend to be paid has also increased in value since their end in 2010, which is another positive for Savanna.

The tangible results of our retrofit and relocation efforts in respect of our shallow drilling fleet are showing, while our deep drilling and oilfield services business continue to operate at levels well in excess of the overall market… All of this sets the stage for strong sustainable growth…

March saw the conclusion of the 2011 financial year for Savanna Energy Services Corp. Overall, the year indicated solid improvement in the oilfield services industry, with the demand for drilling, completions and maintenance services throughout North America increasing over 2010 levels. For Savanna, this meant a significant increase in revenue, operating margins, earnings and cash flow for 2011 compared to 2010. In many areas, Q4 of 2011 was one of the strongest quarters Savanna has experienced since Q4 2006. Net earnings increased by $10.5 million from Q4 2010 to Q4 2011—the highest since Q4 2006. Drilling rig utilization was also the highest since Q4 2006 and the same can be said for well servicing. Our deep drilling rigs once again proved to be popular with their highest utilization rates since 2006. The continued conversion of our hybrid drilling fleet to the TDS-3000™ platform has been a huge contribution to these rates. Our longreach horizontal drilling rigs operating in Canada also experienced an increase in operating days and day rates, and the fourth quarter saw the first full operational quarter for Savanna’s two drilling rigs in Australia. Overall, Savanna Drilling’s revenue for Q4 was $129.8 million (up from $107.6 million in Q4 2010) with $451.1 million in revenue at year end. Savanna Well Servicing also achieved a significant increase in both operating hours and margins for Q4 2011. Revenue for oilfield services in Q4 2011 increased by $24 million from Q4 2010 with overall yearly revenue increasing by $71.2 million. A lot of the revenue increase was due to Performance and Silverstar joining the Savanna family; however, even though there was an increase in the number of Savanna’s well servicing rigs, utilization of these rigs was on par with

Ken Mullen, President and CEO, Savanna Energy Services Corp.

March 2012



Employee Profile

Rig 11 Profile Savanna Well Servicing Rig 11 is currently working for Taqa North, an oil and gas exploration company. Rig Manager, Murray Draper, says they have been working with the company, mainly on the completions side, for the past year and a half and have built an excellent relationship based on Savanna’s Vision and Values and hard work. He says good customer relations have developed between his crew and the site supervisor, Shayne Cockerill. The rig mainly works in the Vulcan, Alberta area and follows the work of Savanna Drilling Rig 625. Murray Draper, Rig Manager What would you do if you weren’t working on the rigs? I would love the opportunity to be a fishing guide as fishing, the outdoors, and camping are my greatest passions during time off. 3 words that describe you: Crude oil junky What did you get in trouble for most when you were a kid? I wasn’t one to bring home homework, so at parent teacher interview time it was not good. School and I at times didn’t see eye to eye. But I did like the girls and the sports. Nate MacKinnon, Floorhand What would you do if you weren’t working on the rigs? If I was not working the rigs I would like to be involved in the military. I think what our brave men & women are doing for us in other countries is really something, and my hard hat is off to all those involved in keeping us safe. To be involved would be an honour. 3 words that describe you: Humorous, kind and understanding. What did you get in trouble for most when you were a kid? I guess I would have to say that breaking things was my utmost flaw. You might say I had the bull in a china shop syndrome. Probably because I’m a big friendly guy.

Blain Eden, Floorhand What would you do if you weren’t working on the rigs? I think I would like to be a business owner and have a mechanic shop. I love working on motors and pulling on wrenches. I guess that’s why I like rigging! 3 words that describe you: Athletic, soft spoken, kind. What did you get in trouble for most when you were a kid? It always seemed trouble was on the brew when I got my hands into dad’s toolbox. I would misplace tools on a regular basis. But don’t worry Savanna, I have improved over the years.

James Nelson, Derrickhand What would you do if you weren’t working on the rigs? My childhood dream was to be a pilot. I loved the idea of this occupation being a challenge and a reward. But the next best thing for me is still being off the ground on the monkey boards and rod basket. I guess I’m working my way up in more ways than one! 3 words that describe you: Chad Hebert, Operator Honest, trustworthy, a joker. What would you do if you weren’t working on the rigs? What did you get in trouble I’ve had a great passion for the oil patch ever since I for most when you were a started. I really couldn’t see myself doing anything else. kid? I guess thinking back, I I guess my goal would be to further my career into a used to think matches were salaried position within the patch and excel to make really cool. You might call it a better place to work for younger generations. me somewhat of a little fire 3 words that describe you: Compassionate, hard worker, starter, but don’t worry, it honest. (Oops I think that’s four words.) always got nipped in the bud What did you get in trouble for most when you were a before it got out of hand. kid? I guess I played the fall guy to my siblings for the most part. I can’t recall doing anything wrong. All images provided by Murray Draper


March 2012

Employee Profile

In the Cage with MMA Fighter Kevin Lagasse Mixed martial arts, or MMA, is a sport that has gained recent popularity with both spectators and athletes alike. Allowing the use of both grappling (wrestling and submission) and striking (punching and kicking) techniques, the sport incorporates fighting styles such as boxing, wrestling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, muay Thai, kickboxing, taekwondo, karate and judo. The sport’s origin can be traced back to the ancient Olympics with various contests held throughout Europe, Japan and the Pacific Rim during the 1900s. In 1993, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was established as the largest mixed martial arts promotion company in the world. Inspired by the Brazilian combat sport Vale Tudo, the UFC has grown to include most of the top-ranked fighters in the world. To set the stage for an MMA fight, two fighters of the same weight class go head-to-head in an octagon shaped ring known as the cage. Fights include three, five minutes rounds (three minutes for amateur fighters) with the winner declared by knock-out or submission. If the fight lasts for all three rounds with both fighters still standing at the end, the winner is declared by a panel of judges. Through the promotion from UFC and other companies, MMA has grown in popularity, allowing anyone with an interest to try the sport. Being based on more common martial arts, such as the ones you may have tried as a kid, has also allowed interested participants to try their hand at MMA. One such participant is Kevin Lagasse, Rig Manager for Savanna Drilling Rig 435. Lagasse fights and trains out of Medicine Hat and Brooks in Alberta. Lagasse’s involvement with the sport goes back almost 20 years when he became interested in taekwondo and kickboxing; however, it has only been during the last year and a half that he has entered the

cage for fights. About three years ago he participated in a kickboxing class at his local gym and the instructor suggested Lagasse try MMA. Since then, Lagasse has been training hard and has even had the opportunity to train with top fighters such as Randy Couture (at his Las Vegas gym, Xtreme Couture) and Rich Franklin. To date, Lagasse has participated in three official cage fights with his fourth coming up on June 15. His last fight was on February 24 and went for the full three rounds. Lagasse was declared the winner by a unanimous judge decision after dominating all three rounds. He says that even though he dominated, it was probably the hardest fight of his career—

not to mention he had to go to work the next day. Lagasse says his best fight was probably his second. Up against a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu (Lagasse doesn’t have any belts in jiu-jitsu), Lagasse was very happy to submit his opponent within the first two minutes of the first round—a mean feat for any fighter! Having been an avid athlete for most of his life, Lagasse enjoys the physicality and training required for MMA. He says he has always done cardio and weight training, but finds nothing keeps him in shape better than MMA. To the spectator, an MMA match might look like all brawn and wild

punches, but Lagasse says at least 70 per cent of a fight relies on pure cardio. During his time with the MMA community in Medicine Hat, Lagasse has met some great people and is impressed with the dedication people have to the sport and keeping themselves fit. He says people are a big part of why he enjoys the sport, and it’s not just his fellow fighters— the crowd and fans in Medicine Hat are a great support. Lagasse follows a pretty strict diet and exercise plan to stay fit for fighting. It can be hard juggling training sessions around working 24/7 on the rigs, but he says he does what he can, when he can. Now with Spring Break-up upon us, Lagasse is planning to train at least five days a week and work on his cardio every morning during the summer. When he has a fight on the horizon, Lagasse usually takes a week or two off to prepare. Part of preparing for a fight is an intense, and sometimes large, weight cut to make the right weight class for fighting. Lagasse has fought around the 190 pound mark which means a last minute weight cut of about 15 pounds—most of which is water. At the moment, Lagasse’s fight scorecard stands at two wins and one loss and an MMA tournament in Lethbridge about six months ago. At the tournament he won all his fights, received first place for grappling and first place in MMA. Lagasse has been fighting as an amateur, but if he wins his next fight on June 15, he will make the move to professional. Fighting as a pro allows a more aggressive style. Lagasse’s interest and love for sport also extends to his two daughters aged 12 and 13. He says they love to watch his fights and they also go to kickboxing classes with him. When he’s not training, he likes to hit the slopes and go snowboarding with his girls. He credits his MMA success to the support of his family, in particular, his wife Julie.

All images of Kevin (black shorts) in action provided by Kevin Lagasse March 2012



What’s Happening?

What’s Happening? Congratulations!

Poor Phil

Phil Tzeng, Server Administrator, succumbed to wearing the dreaded Edmonton Oilers jersey after losing a bet with Terry Khu, Assistant Controller, during the last ‘Battle of Alberta’ ice hockey game. We feel your pain Phil.

A big congratulations to Shaun Orom, HSE Manager Savanna Drilling Canada, and Cindy Korpesho, Crew Coordinator Team Lead Savanna Drilling Canada, on their recent marriage. The couple left the Canadian cold and said their ‘I dos’ in the warm tropics of Jamaica. Kristi Osmond, HSE Team Lead Savanna Well Servicing Canada, was guest photographer for the couple. Congrats guys!

Happy Birthday!

Randy Bo Bandy, as he is affectionately known, recently celebrated his 48th birthday with the crew at Savanna Well Servicing in Lacombe, Alberta. Randy Charland is a Technical Training Specialist and took the festivities in his stride, including balloons, cake and a birthday hat.

Left to right: James Helm, Matt Richardson, Matthew Anakons, Patrick Rowan and Cory Williams

Rig 603

Savanna Drilling Rig 603 has been working in the Swan Hills, Alberta area. The crew members in the photo are from Ontario and travel between Ontario and Alberta every two weeks.


March 2012

What’s Happening? 10 Year Anniversary

March 13 saw 10 years with Savanna for Joel Bartkiewicz, Controller. He celebrated the milestone with a set a new Calloway irons. Congratulations Joel!

Left to right: Darcy Draudson, CFO, Joel Bartkiewicz, Controller, and Rick Torriero, Manager Accounting and Finance

Savanna Baby Boom

There must be something in the air! This month sees the introduction of three new little ones. Our congratulations go to: Dan Harris, HSE Field Superintendant, on the arrival of his son Benjamin Harris born 28 February at 2:34am and weighing 6 pounds, 6 ounces.

Trevor Vance, Account Representative Savanna Well Servicing, and his wife Mel, on the arrival of Grayson Alexander born 12 March and leading the pack at 7 pounds, 5 ounces.

Don Goldade, Operations Manager Savanna Energy Services Australia, on the birth of Reya Taylor—the only girl in the group. Reya was born 23 February.

March 2012



Canadian Benefits at a Glance

Be in Control March is National Nutrition Month in Canada—so how are you keeping track of a healthy lifestyle, staying fit and choosing healthy and nutritious food? We already know we should:

• Set a realistic goal • Eat a balanced diet • Exercise regularly • Take everything in moderation

But did you know?:

Our EAP provider, Homewood Human Solutions, offers the following services over the telephone or online:


Nutritional Counselling Services: Services such as a nutritional assessment, personalized food plans and one-on-one coaching sessions by telephone with a registered Dietitian.


Shift Worker Support: Working shifts can put a strain on health and wellbeing. There is solid evidence that certain health complaints such as indigestion and heartburn are more common among shift workers. These health problems are most likely related to poor diet, smoking, lack of physical fitness and chronically poor sleep; all of which are under your control and all of which can be improved.


12 Weeks to Wellness: Get ready to take your health and well being to the next level! This 12 week program is self-directed and offers a comprehensive approach to behavior change. You will have access to life coaching, nutritional counselling and health risk assessment.


Health and Wellness Companion: For anyone who likes to self-manage their health and well-being, this unique partnership between Homewood Human Solutions and the Canadian Medical Association’s technology subsidiary provide you with a suite of online health risk assessment and health change tools that enable you to be in charge of your health.

Talk to Homewood Human Solutions regarding weight management and nutrition. They can help you set a realistic target weight and tailor a plan to your own likes, dislikes, and nutritional needs. They can also provide support, help you find strategies for dealing with setbacks and obstacles, and monitor your progress and health as you manage your weight. How much will the services cost me?

Only your time and participation. Savanna pays for the services provided through Homewood Human Solutions. Contact Homewood Human Solutions 24/7 at:

1-800-663-1142, or log onto

If you have any questions, please contact your Benefit Administrator: Savanna Drilling within Canada: Adiel Rautenbach, 403.267.6779, Savanna Well Servicing, D&D Rentals, Corporate and Rotators: Sylvia Sargeant, 403.214.5950,

t fi e n e B n a The Caneapdairtment D


March 2012

Savanna Classifieds

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10% off initial Savanna Staff orders! Order over the phone, via e-mail or by appointment only. 403 596 2220 March 2012




Seven Common Accident Causes Accidents occur for many reasons. In most cases people tend to look for “things” to blame when an accident happens because it’s easier than looking for “root causes,” such as those listed below. Consider the underlying accident causes described. Have you been guilty of any of these attitudes or behaviors? If so, you may have not been injured…but next time you may not be so lucky.







we make decisions we hope will make the job faster and more efficient. But do time savers ever risk safety, or that of other crew members? Short cuts that reduce your safety on the job are not short cuts but an increased chance for injury.

POOR HOUSEKEEPING: When managers or safety professionals walk through your work site, housekeeping is an accurate indicator to them of everyone’s attitude about quality, production and safety. Poor housekeeping creates hazards of all types. A well maintained area sets a standard for others to follow. Good housekeeping involves both pride and safety.

Confidence is a good thing. Overconfidence is too much of a good thing. “It’ll never happen to me” is an attitude that can lead to improper procedures, tools, or methods in your work. Any of these can lead to an injury.

IGNORING SAFETY PROCEDURES: Purposely failing to observe safety procedures can endanger you and your co-workers. You are being paid to follow the company safety policies—not to make your own rules. Being “casual” about safety can lead to a casualty!

INCOMPLETE INSTRUCTIONS: To do the job safely and right the first time you need complete information. Have you ever seen a worker sent to do a job having been given only a part of the job’s instructions? Don’t be shy about asking for explanations about work procedures and safety precautions. It isn’t dumb to ask questions; it’s dumb not to.

MENTAL DISTRACTIONS FROM WORK: Having a bad day at home and worrying about it at work is a hazardous combination. Dropping your “mental” guard can pull your focus away from safe work procedures. You can also be distracted when you’re busy working and a friend comes by to talk while you are trying to work. Don’t become a statistic because you took your eyes off the machine “just for a minute.”


FAILURE TO PRE-PLAN THE WORK: There is a lot of talk today about Job Hazard Analysis. JHAs are an effective way to figure out the smartest ways to work safely and effectively. Being hasty in starting a task or not thinking through the process can put you in harms way. Instead, Plan Your Work and then Work Your Plan.


“It is better to be careful 100 times than to get killed once.” —Mark Twain

March 2012

Last Page

In Memoriam Sam Sinclair 1980 - 2012

Sam Sinclair was employed by Savanna for two years at The Woodlands’ office, Texas, as an Operations Coordinator. In a month’s time he was going out to work in the field on a drilling rig to gain more experience and further his career with Savanna. Sadly, Sam was diagnosed with leukemia and died suddenly and tragically, two days later. He was 31 years of age.

“Sam never met a soul he didn’t like and his spirit, energy and laughter will be missed. To say Sam was a “people person” is an understatement. Anyone who ever spoke with him or met him, has a “Sam story” or two—that’s just the kind of impact he left on people. Sam was a good soul and he will be incredibly missed.”

Jeff Miller, Manager, HR

“Unfortunately, I did not have the privilege of working directly with Sam but always looked forward to sharing a breakfast taco or two with him and discussing his dream of getting in to the marketing side of our business. All I can say is Savanna has lost a wonderful and dedicated employee and we as co-workers have lost a great friend. I shall miss him as I know everyone he ever had contact with will do so as well.”

Chuck Daniels, U.S. Sales & Marketing Manager

March 2012



Here’s your chance to power the step of people with Parkinson disease. Take the

SuperWalk Energy Challenge! We know that you probably already know or will know somebody with Parkinson disease. One in every 300 people you know over the course of your lifetime will be affected with this serious progressive disease of the brain. Here is your chance to step up and step out and put some power in their step. Parkinson SuperWalk is the largest fundraising event of the year to provide the primary support and hope for over 100,000 Canadians and 8,000 Albertans living with Parkinson disease. Parkinson Alberta Society is the only charitable organization in the province providing this support to Albertans living with Parkinson disease. On SuperWalk 2012 Weekend energize your colleagues and step up and step out at any location across the Province as the “Energy Team” for Parkinson disease. At Parkinson Alberta Society small steps add up in powerful ways!

Registration opens online April 3, 2012 for


2012 Weekend

September 8 & 9

Visit for details and to register for SuperWalk or call us at 1-800-561-1911 (Toll Free across Alberta) for additional information

Rig-n-Dig March 2012  
Rig-n-Dig March 2012  

Q4 Results Rig 11 Profile What's Happening?