In our industry today it is hard to find a mechanical contracting team who is ready to go to work with proven, experienced and qualified personnel. The world has been hard on oil and gas – lots of qualified people have been laid off one too many times and have finally left the industry. How many times have you hired a new mechanical contractor only to find out that their crew is not ready, has never worked together before and is not capable of coming together as a team to accomplish your goals?
At Rhino, we believe that our success is dependent on everyone working together as a team. We focus on taking care of our staff so that when the phone rings we have a team who doesn’t need to go to practice, they’re ready for the game. We are always focusing on your next job, because it’s that consistency of work that makes it possible for us to look after our staff year after year.
Although we will probably do the happy dance when you award us that first job, we have learned not to put our faith in any one project. At Rhino our focus is on creating lasting wealth through long-term relationships with our clients that are based on repeatable positive experiences. Starting with detailed project planning and following through with attentive project execution, Rhino’s team engages with our clients to deliver a positive experience every time.
This is our story…
Rhino was started in 1999 in Three Hills, Alberta to provide routine maintenance services to local oil and gas producers. Rhino started out with one picker truck and two guys proudly ran it completing turnarounds, pump jack maintenance, spill cleanups, threaded piping tie ins, and all kinds of related oilfield maintenance “crew” work type projects.
Early on one of Rhino’s main clients was an oil producer with a sour gas plant, including a sulphur process, and a water flood. We learned early on how to handle environments with extreme sour gas and sulphur dioxide concentrations.
As the CBM boom started to happen in central Alberta in the early 2000’s Rhino was well positioned and we began completing a number of threaded well head tie ins, group separator tie ins, satellite installations and related new construction work. We developed a good name for ourselves with our clients and they came to trust Rhino and our crews.
In time there was demand for operational services such as CBM well testing / group meter proving, fluid shots, contract operating, surveillance and regulatory compliance and reporting and similar type services. We called this our “Data-tech” division and it soon dwarfed our maintenance and construction activities. In 2007 we opened our first shop/office complex in Three Hills giving us a lot of breathing room as opposed to the space we were sharing out on one of our founder’s farms.
By 2009 we had bought out a major competitor in this space, A&G Gas Solutions of Drumheller and we had in the neighbourhood of 25 trucks heading out daily to provide data-tech services. We proudly serviced in excess of 10,000 gas wells/year.
All the while we continued to provide maintenance and construction services. By 2010 we had started doing the odd underground tie in and we had achieved ABSA certification for our quality control program allowing us to fabricate welded piping under the ASME code.
As we continued to grow this division we were excited in 2011 to purchase our first excavator. Also by 2011 we had outgrown our first location in Three Hills and moved out to our current location. The owner of Rhino and Rhino share a farm site NE of Three Hills. Here, Rhino has 4500 square feet of shop space, a 1000 square foot office complex and about 5 acres of dedicated yard space.
In 2012 we completed our first pipeline, working closely with Flexpipe Systems to install 6 kms of 3” FP301.
By 2013 we were grateful that we had done the work to grow our construction service and setup the quality control program that underpinned it. The bottom had fallen out of the CBM world and our Data-tech division ground to a halt seemingly overnight. We were able to repurpose a lot of the staff and equipment and quickly found construction work that replaced all of our lost income. From that point onward we poured all our efforts into establishing ourselves as a quality mechanical contractor.
In 2014 we started up a full-time reclamation and abandonment service bringing us into the position of a full-service mechanical contractor offering construction, maintenance and reclamation services.
By the end of 2014 we had over 60 staff, unfortunately that was short lived with the oil price crash and subsequent downturn that started in early 2015.
Once again, Rhino adapted to survive. We downsized somewhat, but our focus was on maintaining the quality of our services by maintaining our staff as much as we possibly could. The focus was on building out our staff so that they had multifaceted skill sets, and the ability to work together well on any project. We stopped looking so much at individual project successes and focused more on a long-term survival strategy – building relationships, creating a reputation based on repeat positive experiences. The staff that stayed with us through this time are the foundation of our company today. Our current supervisors and leadership come from this group.
Once again, Rhino adapted to survive. We downsized and focused on projects that we could do competitively and profitably with a small, experienced crew. The staff that stayed with us through this time are the foundation of our company today and most of them are supervisors or in leadership now.
Rhino has built back from that low time and at the end of 2019 we had 40 personnel on staff.
We are pleased to be the people that we are, hard-working, experienced, loyal, the kind that never give up. Our team has worked together for many years and we bring that cohesion to the job site. We’ve got construction experience, maintenance experience, operations experience, and decommissioning experience. We still run things off the farm, keeping overhead low and staying adaptable. Right now, we want you to know that we are grateful for your interest in our team and we’re looking forward to getting to know you.