Involvement in the Oil Industry
In July 1951, Ron came to Lloydminster for the fair and ended up getting a job with Casey Ball pulling casing. Casing was scarce in those days, so anything they could salvage was used again.. Some of it was thin and rusty, so they had to be careful how they handled it or it would dent or bend.
Between 1951 and 1954, Ron worked for Casey. He spent a winter working seismic and worked for Husky on drilling rigs and service rigs. In 1953 Ron spent some time wildcatting In Saskatchewan.
In 1954 Ron went to work for the Lloydminster Development Company. While working there, they gave him a variety of jobs including working on service rigs, working on drilling rigs, driving truck, operating wells and working on maintenance crews. There was pretty good variety.
Between 1954 and 1971 the company changed names several times from Lloyd. Development (L.D.C.) to Kodiak Petroleum, Manhatten Development and Pat Operators. There were some pretty lean years in there when the company would run out of operating funds and shut down for awhile. During those times, Ron would go out and find work wherever he could. Some of the companies he worked for were Roberts Drilling, Border Drilling, Big Horn Drilling and Kissack Oil Well Services.
In 1971, Murphy Oil took over Pat Operators. Ron worked for Murphy until October 1992 when he took early retirement, which he thinks was a smart thing to do.
All in all, Ron enjoyed his 42 years in the oilpatch, where he met and worked with a lot of wonderful people. He plans on spending the next few years doing all the things he never had time to do when he was working.
In 1951 Ron made around $1.00 -$1.25 per hour pulling casing. There was no such thing as travel expenses for meals or lodging, so he pulled a little trailer around.
Ron recalls "you had to be a jack of all trades in those days". He remembers hauling oil into a plant, taking the sample in and spinning it and then going back to dump the oil.