Owner seeks return of stolen oilfield equipment
SASKATOON The owner of a $45,000 piece of oilfield equipment wants the alleged thieves to bring it home.
In a news release issued over the weekend, Unity RCMP said a blow-out preventer was stolen from a Cona Resources well site in Winter, Sask. sometime between Nov. 5 and Nov. 11. RCMP said the alleged thieves would have had to use a trailer and a “picker truck” to remove the equipment, which is described as “very heavy and large.”
“I find it really hard to believe that someone would take it,” said Brent O’Donnell, owner of Cru Well Servicing Ltd., which owns the equipment. “The biggest thing about oilfield equipment is that you have to have certifications. Without that certification, the piece of equipment is actually useless.”
If the thieves tried to get the equipment certified, they would have to admit to working with stolen property, as the serial numbers and other identifying markers are needed for certification, he said.
“The sad part is this is probably going to end up getting sold for scrap metal or never being used,” he said.
The theft is the largest he’s experienced, but this type of behaviour is not uncommon because equipment is sometimes stored in remote and isolated areas, O’Donnell said.
He plans to keep his equipment in better-lit, more populated areas in the future, he added.
Theft can hit particularly hard during an economic downturn.
“When times are tough, it’s an added expense that you don’t need,” said Hal Wright, president of Pipemaster Oilfield Services, noting improving security also requires investment.
“With the economic downturn in the oilpatch, it isn’t getting any better, that’s for sure,” he said.
Ray Frehlick, president of Prairie Mud Services in Estevan and a member of the Petroleum Services Association of Canada, said while theft of a piece of equipment like a blow-out preventer is likely an “isolated incident” due to its size alone, he’s had fuel tanks drained and tools taken in the past.
“There’s a huge amount of vandalism,” he said.
“We live in the city of Estevan here and we can’t leave our trucks out at night unless the fuel tanks are locked up on them, because they’ll steal the fuel.”
Anyone with information about the theft is asked to call RCMP in Unity, Wilkie or Macklin, or contact CrimeStoppers at 1-800-2228477.