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Troy Edmund Ducharme (1946-2014)


Born: Westlock, Alberta


The oil and gas industry is the only business Troy Ducharme ever knew, beginning as a 17-year-old rig hand in 1963 and ending with his passing at 67 in 2014—a career that spanned five decades and took Troy from the Middle East to the oilsands of northeastern Alberta.

A native of Westlock, Troy signed on with Hi-Tower Drilling in 1963 and in just two years moved up to the position of driller.


Two years later he caught what he called his big break and joined Christensen Diamond Products as a core hand and diamond bit representative. His first posting was to Beirut, Lebanon, and then to Evaz, Iran, where he made a name for himself by running a 12.25- inch bit on a Reading & Bates rig for 5,000 feet without tripping, at the time a world record. He followed that feat up by drilling 2,700 feet to completion with an 8.5-inch diamond bit, another record.


Troy returned to Canada with Christensen as a sales representative before striking out on his own in 1976 with the launch of a wellsite trailer company, Ducharme Oilfield Rentals, which designed the first adjustable housing for horizontal drilling, and Rapid Camp Sales & Service, a manufacturing facility for wellsite trailers.


In 1993, Troy expanded his reach with the acquisition of Slotco Manufacturing and another slotting company, G&L Oilfield Services. He merged the two to create G&L Slotco Oilfield Services, which perfected slotting and seaming liner technologies used throughout the SAGD sector of the oilsands industry and in seven countries around the world. G&L Slotco was acquired by the Regent Energy Group in 2014.


“Troy’s contribution to Canada’s service and supply sector was enormous, and this sale ultimately enabled Troy to continue to deliver the highest-quality product and service to the world, which was always his utmost priority,” Precision Drilling founder Hank Swartout said in nominating Troy to the Canadian Petroleum Hall of Fame.


Other companies launched or acquired by Troy include Dynaslot, acquired and folded into G&L Slotco in 1998; Tree Savers International, launched in 1998 and acquired by Stinger Wellhead Protection in 2003; Infinistar Energy Services, a Houston company active in the coil tubing industry, launched in 2004 and acquired by Weatherford five years later; and Rhinokore Composite Solutions, which manufactures a thermoplastic honeycomb core material used in rig mats, insulated frac tank systems and other construction applications and was acquired in 2011.


In 2016, the Ducharme family completed a $1-million donation to the Hotchkiss Brain Institute at the University of Calgary to help fund ongoing research into multiple sclerosis following up on Troy’s earlier donations that helped launch the University’s multiple sclerosis research lab.


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