Environmental and Operational Excellence

The Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors represents a wide variety of members in the drilling and service rig sector of the Canadian oil and gas industry. From small, one rig companies to large, multi-national organizations, CAODC members are committed to demonstrating world-class environmental standards wherever they operate.

Over the years, many technological advancements have been made that have allowed both drilling and service rigs to reduce their environmental impact, while improving their technical performance and reducing their operating costs. These advancements are driven by the need to remain competitive and meet customer demand, while also upholding a committment to environmental stewardship.

Fortunately, what is good for business is also good for the environment, good for employees and their families, and good for the communities around the globe in which our members operate.

Air Quality and GHG Emissions technologies.

CAODC Members currently operate:

  • Rigs that run on natural gas, often taken directly from location, instead of diesel for a 27% reduction in emissions (or approximately 9,000 less litres of diesel per day). Additionally, these engines can be equipped with a three-way catalyst to significantly reduce NOx emissions. Natural gas can often be taken directly from the well head, reducing methane emissions at the source.

  • Hybrid drilling rigs are capable of achieving reductions of over 50% in emissions (15-25% less CO2, 80% less NOx and 90% less particulate matter) and 20% fuel savings.

  • Rigs that can be equipped with Selective Catalytic Reduction technology, which is an advanced emissions control technology that injects a liquid reductant agent through special catalyst into the exhaust stream of a diesel engine. Selective Catalytic Reduction technology is a means of converting NOx into nitrogen and water, ultimately reducing NOx emissions.

  • Rigs that are capable of drawing power from local electricity grids in place of diesel or natural gas.

  • Tier 4 Engines: Currently, Tier 4 diesel engine standards are the strictest EPA emissions requirement for off-highway diesel engines. This requirement regulates the amount of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter emitted from an off-highway diesel engine. Tier 4 regulations began in 2008, and are determined based on an engine’s horsepower rating. By the time final Tier 4 regulations were fully implemented in 2015, PM and NOx emissions had been reduced 99% compared to 1996 levels. 


CAODC Members employ many different technologies and techniques to minimize land use, such as:

  • PAD and “walking” drilling rigs can drill multiple wells from a single location, eliminating the need to clear additional land.

  • Rig design has improved by reducing the amount of buildings and associated equipment needed for a full rig set up both in terms of quantity and size.

  • Innovative techniques for noise reduction from sound insulation, to automated power/load adjustments, to fully enclosing a rig to minimize noise and disturbance in sensitive areas.

  • Innovative automation and optimization techniques to ensure maximum operating efficiencies.

Operational Processes

CAODC members are continuously developing operational processes that reduce environmental impact such as spill response and prevention procedures, noise reduction techniques, hazardous waste handling and storage protocols, and fuel use strategies.

While the finer details of these techniques can be proprietary, CAODC members, through their volunteer committee involvement, openly share and develop industry best practices. This affords members with less capacity for developing new or comprehensive procedures the opportunity to learn from and adopt industry leading ideas.

Additionally, CAODC members have created and administer some of the most comprehensive training tools and techniques in the world. Rig personnel are highly skilled technical experts operating multi-million dollar, state-of-the-art equipment in what amounts to a small, mobile business unit. Innovative approaches to teaching skill sets that involve technical expertise, leadership, business management, and more, are developed and refined by Canada's drilling and service rig companies.

Community Engagement

CAODC members are active participants in the communities in which they operate. Corporate giving programs, volunteerism, First Nations partnerships, mentorship programs, scholarship programs, and career development are just some of the initiatives CAODC members undertake regularly. The Calgary Food Bank, United Way, STARS Air Ambulance, Inn from the Cold, The Mustard Seed, and Brown Bagging For Calgary's Kids are just a few of the organizations our members contribute to every year. 

For specific CAODC member company ESG information, please visit individual member websites by searching our MEMBER DIRECTORY.