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Ron Sorokan


Ron Sorokan’s rig designs helped push the frontiers of oil and gas development


Ron Sorokan built some remarkable drilling rigs over his career. His rig designs for harsh environments, rapid mobility and operating efficiency helped establish Edmonton and Nisku as an export hub for Canadian drilling rigs destined for oilfields in the North Slope of Alaska, deserts of Kuwait, the North Sea and the jungles of South America.

Ron’s pioneering innovations continue to influence rig designs today, and he also inspired a generation of leaders through mentoring and his highly collaborative business approach.

Ron was born in 1945 in Smokey Lake, Alberta. He became a journeyman welder and worked in various capacities until he was hired into oil and gas equipment manufacturing in 1967.

In 1972, Ron and his business partner Fred Pheasey pulled together a joint investment of $8,000 to buy Pyramid Steel in Edmonton, which later became Dreco Energy Services.
In 1981, Dreco became the world’s leading oil derrick manufacturer with $243 million in operating revenues and earnings of $12.4 million.

Notably, Ron participated in the design and build of the first partially self-propelled drilling rig for the North Slope of Alaska.

In 1997, Dreco merged with National Oilwell to become the largest North American manufacturer of oil and gas drilling and production equipment, supporting the transformation of resource extraction around the world.

Innovation continued at Dreco, including the design of Rig 26, which is currently being built by National Oilwell Varco and will be the largest mobile land rig in North America, capable of drilling over 35,000 feet.

Ron’s quiet leadership, extraordinary work ethic, innovation and collaboration fostered meaningful client relationships within North America and globally.

Many professionals and skilled workers who worked under Ron’s guidance went on to start successful companies, which is a testament to his capacity for mentorship and personal support


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