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The Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors (CAODC)
The Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors is an active trade association representing drilling and service rig contractors throughout Canada. As of October 2006, the Association membership includes 46 drilling contractors, 3 offshore, 70 service rig contractors and 158 associate members.

The drilling contractors represented by the CAODC operate a fleet 827 land-based rigs and 6 offshore rigs. These rigs account for nearly 100 percent of the fleet currently operating in Canada. The large majority of the land-based rigs operate within the four western provinces .

Service rig members of the CAODC operate an array of rigs representing some 95 percent of the entire Canadian service rig fleet. In total, CAODC service rig contractors field 946 units in Western Canada. The bulk of the rigs operate in either Alberta and Saskatchewan .

The associate members represent a wide cross section of the business community. These members, while neither owning nor operating drilling equipment, have a keen interest in the industry and include oil companies, banks, Canadian and U.S. brokerage houses, investment analysts and other oilfield service companies.

The CAODC represents drilling and service rig contractors operating in Canada. This sector is a labour intensive segment of the petroleum industry, providing direct jobs to thousands of Canadians.

The Association works on behalf of its membership in government and public areas and is responsible for developing standard procedures for member companies. The past 50 years have seen an expansion of this mandate to include the areas of safety and training. Significant technological changes have taken place in the industry since 1949 when ten drilling contractors founded the Association. Today's regulatory and performance standards evolved out of the industry's cooperative efforts, made possible through the coordinating role of the CAODC.

The following description, written in 1960 by CAODC President S.W. (Steve) Shambaugh, still stands as a, definitive description of the "raison d' etre" of the Association.

"The Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors (CAODC) was formed in June, 1949, for the purpose of providing a means of close co-operation between all of the drilling contractors and to bring about an improvement in the status of the oilwell drilling contracting industry as a whole, with a view to increasing its value and its efficiency as an integral part of the petroleum industry. The CAODC has provided a ready means of contact and co-operation with federal and provincial governments, municipal authorities, and others, in matters relating to the oil and gas well drilling industry."

On September 1, 1984, the CAODC introduced a Land-Based Drilling Contractor Membership Agreement. The document set out a “code of ethics or business practice” and included definitions with respect to equipment and training standards. The following year, a Service Rig Contractor Membership Agreement was introduced. Both agreements have persisted in essentially the same format. These initiatives made it possible for the industry to take on a self-policing role. They are distinct milestones that demonstrates the evolution of maturing that has taken place, in both the industry and the Association.

The CAODC strives to maintain a knowledge base commensurate with the level of service demanded by its membership. Much of the knowledge base is reflected in the Association's wide selection of printed material and audio-visual aids specific to drilling and service rigs. The CAODC is unique among Canada's petroleum trade associations because it is also a training material depository. The CAODC prints an annual catalogue that details these training aids and generates approximately one-third of its operating revenue from the sale and distribution of these materials.

Today, training remains at the forefront of the CAODC's most important initiatives. The CAODC was instrumental in developing competency standards for the service rig industry and worked closely with the Alberta government to develop the Rig Technician trade for drilling rig employees. One of the greatest assets this trade enjoys is industry's ability to use the CAODC to coordinate the extensive planning and to garner the necessary industry input that made the trade possible. The CAODC will continue to be closely associated with the Rig Technician trade and remains a point of contact for other provincial governments interested in adopting the program.

Other important historical milestones include the co-founding of the Petroleum Industry Training Service (PITS), the industry's training arm, and participation on the - Canadian Petroleum Safety Council (PSC), a cooperative initiative of petroleum industry trade associations and government departments which strives for the continued improvement of health and safety performance. (PITS and PSC have since merged into one organization, Enform.) The CAODC has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Alberta Labour - Occupational Health and Safety to participate in the partnership program in health and safety. For additional historical information, see rosters of Past Presidents, Past Service Rig Division Chairmen and Honourary and Meritorious Award recipients.

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