Their relationship began in 2005, when Wills, who'd been working in the West Texas oil industry for over 20 years, was called to Canada for a job interview with Western Lakota.
"We were looking at moving into North Dakota. Gordan, at the time, was living in Texas. So we brought him up for an interview, and we talked a lot about the possibilities. He was just a little...blood ran a little cold and he wanted to stay in the warm part of the world and asked why we didn't try to West Texas," said Hawkings.
So that's what they did. Savanna Drilling eventually acquired Western Lakota, where Wills now works as operations manager. Hawkings eventually left Savanna to start up CanElson Drilling, where he serves as President and CEO.
Although they now work for competing companies, they still share a unique bond. Hawkings said, "Even though we are competitors, we do stay in close touch. There are times when I've asked for his advice because he has a lot of drilling experience and the odd time he's asked for mine, but it's been a relationship based on mutual trust and the fact that we're both drillers from a drilling background."
Since operators have a lot of local options when it comes to choosing a drilling company, Hawkings and Wills say they're both grateful Henry Resources gave their Canadian companies a chance. "Without Henry giving either one of us a chance here, probably would have never happened. We owe an awful lot to Henry Petroleum," said Wills.
There was a good reason Henry Resources chose these two Canadian companies. Coming up next week, we'll see how their rigs differ from what you typically see in the Permian Basin. We'll also find out why both companies chose to bring in Canadian rig hands to train local workers, and why when they get here, they don't want to leave. That's next Thursday at 10pm on Big 2.
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