A pilot project designed to be used in the Alberta oil sands will bring up to 30 new jobs to New Brunswick, creating a unique industrial sector within the province.
Advanced Helicore Inc. of Calgary is the developer and manufacturer of a new helicopter-portable drilling rig. The prototype is being constructed near Moncton as part of a pilot project undertaken by the company.
“This is an exciting endeavour, proving again that New Brunswick can be a destination for projects in the oil and gas industry,” said Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet, who is also the minister responsible for Opportunities NB. “Advanced Helicore’s project will help develop a unique skill set for our labour force, and help us foster an environment for economic growth.”
The portable oil rig significantly cuts down the time required for set-up and tear-down and minimizes the environmental impact by eliminating the need to build access roads to the drilling site.
“I believe in first steps. Everyone has ideas. What is rare is the opportunity to take the idea and follow through. This is the first step, and this is what New Brunswick means to me,” said Robin Fournier, president of Advanced Helicore. “I have chosen New Brunswick because I know the community. I know they are skilled, hardworking, good people, and I know that with this endeavor it will be the quality of the crews that make or break the company’s success.”
The jobs being created by the company require skills in hydraulics, steel work and drilling. If the pilot project is successful, a training program could be developed in the future to train New Brunswickers interested in working on these rigs.
Opportunities NB is providing the company with a $250,000 forgivable loan in support of job creation. The project is expected to increase the provincial gross domestic product by about $9.9 million annually.
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