Paul Yeoman began in the oil field in 1946. He was working on a threshing machine with a friend at the time when his friend’s father came running with the news that a rig had come into town. The prospect of being paid threshing wages throughout the year lead Paul to take his first job in the oilfield. He worked on drilling a well that became known as the “discovery well” and its location is LSD 4-14-47-27-W3. The company was Regent Drilling and it was their first drilling rig. It was financed by Husky although their operations were not yet running in Lloydminster. The well is not active but has not been abandoned either. A second well, LSD 2-28-47-27-W3, was drilled after the success of 4-14.
As a roughneck, Paul was paid $3 per day. The rotating drill had replaced the punch drill but was still quite new. Paul became the pumper for this well in 1947 and became Husky Oil’s first Canadian employed in the production and drilling department. He continued with Husky for 26 years, being promoted in 1952 to a sub-foreman position. He supervised two service rigs, pumpers and roust-about crews in the area. In 1955 he became Production Foreman and was transferred to Weyburn, Saskatchewan where he was in charge of three drilling rigs and one service rig. He moved to Calgary in 1962 to become the District Production Superintendent in charge of all operations in Southeast Saskatchewan; Kindersley, SK; Savannah Creek, AB; Pembina, AB; and Stettler, AB. Savannah Creek was a real challenge because of the sour gas that they had to deal with. At the time, encounters with sour gas were not well documented and little was known of its effects. The gas had a bad effect on metals and hard strong metals were affected the worst. The challenge was to find a soft metal with enough strength to drill.
From 1963 until 1973, Paul was also in charge of all Husky Exploration Drilling, which covered all drilling operations in Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, and the North West Territories. He also managed Husky’s first joint interest operations for several years. While working with Husky, Paul did plenty of traveling and visited Cody, Wyoming many times. During these visits he came to know Mr. Glenn E. Nielson and remembers him as a “friendly, faithful man.” Glenn once told Paul that in his early days of management, the time would come when payroll was due and there wasn’t enough money. Glenn would go to the bank to take out a loan and then he would be able to sell enough oil to pay the bank back. Paul remembers that while Glenn wouldn’t be best described as an ‘original thinker,’ he had the ability to grasp others’ ideas and then had the courage to make them work.
In 1973, Paul left Husky to assume the position of Manager of Operations for Canadian Hydrogas. He built the framework for a new production department by setting up policies and procedures. The next 6 or 7 years saw Canadian Hydrogas re-enter many suspended wells on company property. They also had an aggressive drilling program. Norcen Energy purchased Canadian Hydrogas and Paul managed their heavy oil operations through his company P. D. Yeoman Management Services Ltd.
In 1985, Paul supervised the drilling and completion of about 30 wells for Lasmo Exploration in the Lloydminster area through his management company.
After the completion of this project Paul retired from the oil business and took up farming with his brother Ken.