By Sarah Junek, Associate Editor
Early on as a lifting and hoisting specialist, Eamonn Young’s skills stood out. He could identify efficiency problems, but more importantly, he effectively communicated them to his team. After a decade of planning and overseeing rig moves as a specialist with Shell, Mr Young now operates Young Co Trucking, a trucking and rig move services company. He’s also held a seat at the IADC Rig Moving Committee for multiple terms, serving the 2016-2018 term as Chairman.
In that role, he’s seen and led the discussion on some of the biggest challenges around moving land rigs. Every second that can be shaved off of a rig move, especially in North America unconventionals’ fast-paced, 24-hour cycle, represents an opportunity for cost reduction. That’s why operators look to specialists like Mr Young to improve rig move performance to the safest and most effective level possible. To do this, however, requires experience and knowledge in moving various types of land rigs and with different logistical situations.
Mr Young grew up in the oilfield. Born in Ireland, his family moved to Conroe, Texas, when he was five so his dad could work as an operations manager for Pozos Drilling. “He operated four or five land rigs until about 1987,” Mr Young said. Even when his father began to work rotation in Africa for Sante Fe, during his time at home he would still find himself going to a rig yard in East Texas to fix old pumps, drawworks and generators for Larry Dow, Founder of Tri-Flo International.
Mr Young spent his childhood idolizing and learning from people like Mr Dow. “I just kind of hung out and learned from him,” he recalled, noting that he’s now working on a mud pump consulting job for Mr Dow’s son. “It’s kind of come full circle.”
Mr Young always knew he’d probably get into the same business as his father, never feeling very disciplined on the academic side of things. “I networked with a bunch of really good people and just always looked up to them and got advice if I needed it,” he said. Out of high school, Mr Young first worked in crane operation and transport. But being locked in, whether in a crane or an office, wasn’t the life for him, he said. During this time, he discovered his talents were destined for training and management in logistical moves. He found that where he thrived the most was solving puzzles, such as finding the best way to execute oversize moves of rigs and cranes.
“I’m going to figure out how everything works and figure how everything needs to go together. That’s when my efficiency skills kick in,” he said.
On His Own
He established his credibility in the industry as a trainer when he began working for Shell in 2007. With a background in heavy lifts, he worked well as a subject matter expert for health, safety, security and environment, specializing in lifting and hoisting and dropped objects. Whether working with Shell employees or contractors, he would explain the process in different ways until he was sure there was understanding on both sides. “I don’t give up until I wholeheartedly believe you know what we’re talking about and you know how to do the right thing,” Mr Young said of his time as a trainer for Shell.
As owner of Young Co Trucking, he’s now in the most challenging phase of his career, he said. “I went from guaranteed money to not having that big umbrella,” Mr Young said of his move to being an independent business owner in 2014. Several contractors during his time at Shell provided him the push he needed to take the leap. Thinking on his feet was where they’d seen him at his best. “I’m pretty good at identifying waste and judging how much equipment and where the focus of the rig move ought to be on at any given time during the rig move,” Mr Young said.
As Chairman on the IADC Rig Moving Committee, Mr Young led the group to discuss the challenges of good communication between local and state municipalities over regulations and coordination between rig-move contractors and drilling contractors. This year, the committee plans to establish definitions and address key questions in the relatively new area of moving rigs at night. Is it more hazardous? What defines a night move? Does it require extra personnel? What kind of lighting is needed?
For Mr Young, he believes that his time leading the committee developed him further as a leader. He was able to both mentor and receive mentoring from other truck company owners and management. He was also able to bolster participation in the committee, he said. “I’m extremely proud of being invited to not only participate but able to serve as Chairman.” DC