The oil and gas industry, particularily in the exploration end of the business is by necessity especially secretive. Drill sites are most often classified as a "tight hole" which simply means no one not working on the site is permitted close to the project. In the oil fied it is not unusual to see vehicles parked some distance from a "tight hole" with a scout with camera and binoculars counting the links of pipe being brought up in a bit change to calculate the depth of the project and gauge the progress of the drilling.
I had seen oil service vehicles back in the spring parked in Tisdale and was puzzled by it because we are a very long way from the active oil and gas fields that run from the Leader area at the Alberta border across the whole of the province the the Virden area on the Manitoba border. With the price of oil having risen into the stratosphere gas and oil in low yield and marginal volumes were actually profittable for recovery and there are several new methods of recovering oil and gas from underground formations that have made marginal production areas profittable.
This truck stopped in Tisdale this afternoon when its driver needed to stoo for lunch so it would suggest that he was going or coming from a drill site somewhere in this part of the province, an area not known for convention oil and gas reserves. The interesting thing about this service vehicle is this is a GASFRAC truck used when a natural gas well is being fixed or tested for production. Natural gas is sometimes found with oil reserves but in some cases is found in formation on its own and sometimes those formations are of extremely small porosity meaning that it is hard to produce gas from such a formation or well into a formation of that type.
GASFRAC is a specialised company that has developed methods of bringing marginal gas formations into production. It is worth a look at their web site to note that this is not a vehicle that is used for some other process it is specifically used in the developing of natural gas production from a formation. It is reasonable to surmise that somewhere in this part of the unconventional oil and gas production part of Saskatchewan there is at least one well that has the protential for natural gas production.
We will keep our eyes wide open for other service vehicles and if you know about a possible well site let us all know about it.