DIRECT HORIZONTAL TEAM
The Direct Horizontal Drilling team is responsible for the leadership, guidance and day-to-day operations of the company. Each member of the leadership team has direct hands-on experience in HDD, and particular expertise when it comes to operating in the tough geological and climactic conditions exemplified by Canadian operations.
Each of these industry experts has a comprehensive understanding of the unique challenges presented by Canadian HDD projects.
Owner / Director
Neil Brown is involved in many ventures that add to the vast experience he has accumulated over his 50 year of experience and dedication to our local oil & gas industry.
In 2004 Neil created Terracore Specialty Drilling Ltd., a downhole oil & gas drilling company that focused on shallow gas and oilsands coring projects. Neil was able to grow this company to 12 of the industries safest and highly automated ADR drilling rigs in less than a 4 year period. The aggressive growth did not go unnoticed by the competition and in July 2008 the drilling assets were sold.
In September 2008, Neil purchased Direct Horizontal Drilling and immediately initiated the expansion of the fleet from 4 to 18 rigs which included the two largest HDD rigs in Canada. His vision includes upgrading all rigs to make them the best and safest rigs in the industry and improve drilling techniques to make drilling faster and more efficient. Neil prides himself on having the best people, treating them right, maintaining the equipment to the highest standards and structuring the company in a manner that always positions it to excel.
Growing up with an oilfield drilling contractor family, Lon Briscoe has been around drilling rigs and equipment all of his life. With more than 42 years in horizontal directional drilling and oil & gas drilling, Lon Briscoe possesses an impressive and well-deserved reputation for operational excellence.
Prior to joining Direct Horizontal in 2008, Mr. Briscoe held senior leadership roles at Guthrie McLaren Drilling, Wadeco Oilfield Services and, more recently, served as co-founder and President of The Crossing Company.
His early career experience in conventional and experimental drilling techniques sparked a lifelong dedication to innovation that continues to drive Direct Horizontal and that has resulted in industry changing technological advances.
Brian Sadoway’s oil and gas career started in the late 1960’s and progressed through ranks building his career from the ground floor up to international operations. Brian Sadoway has an amazing 49 years of drilling experience. Prior to assuming his role at Direct Horizontal in 2012 he managed operations for over 80 deep well drilling rigs for one of North America’s top drilling contractor.
Brian has gained the broad-based experience and expertise in all aspects of drilling through hard work, determination and maintaining core values of safety, integrity, and reliability. As Vice-President, he has ingrained these values into our talented team as a standard of operation at all levels whether it’s on the floor of a rig or communicating with stakeholders at a management level. His commitment to providing a quality product and professional service while staying on schedule and within budget is second-to-none.
Ryan began his career with Direct Horizontal Drilling in 2001 as a roughneck and has since worked his way up to Operations Manager where he manages Directs state of the art drilling fleet.
His extensive knowledge is utilized for designing and maintaining our custom built high performance rigs.
Ryan carries responsibility for the day-to-day operations of Direct Horizontal Drilling.
Troy has 20+ years in the drilling industry, his expert knowledge has progressed him through the ranks to his current position.
Troy has been the DIRECT Field Supervisor since 2009, and since that time has supervised field operations for some of the most difficult and complex HDD projects in the country. Nearly two decades of drilling experience in a variety of progressively more responsible roles has meant that Troy has a wealth of experience in the varied and diverse disciplines needed for successful operations in the field.
Troy’s impressive resume includes successful completions of multiple HDD crossings ranging up to 1800 meters in length and ream diameters up to 60”.
Dustin started with Direct Horizontal Drilling in 2004. He has progressed through the ranks and spent 12 years as a Rig Manager before becoming Field Supervisor. He has gained experience in all aspects of horizontal directional drilling.
Successful completion of multiple HDD crossings ranging up to 2300 meters in length and ream diameters up to 60″.
Alex has worked for Direct Horizontal Drilling since 2014 beginning his career as a roughneck for both the maxi and light rig divisions. Alex worked as a steering hand for 5 years and took over as Technical Manager in 2020. Alex has acquired first-hand knowledge in the design, preparation and execution of HDD crossings – he has had the opportunity to apply this knowledge to a diverse range of HDD settings.
Alex assisted in Direct Horizontal Drillings transition from wired tool to wireless EM tool using in-house technology.
Alex has experience in over 150 Crossings. Comprising of 30+ HDD Intersects; including the longest HDD intersect in Canada.
Health & Safety Manager
If there is anyone who knows the true value of creating a culture of safety, it’s someone who has spent time as a roughneck.
Jonathan’s early career began in such a manner, and it taught him early on just how valuable safety is on the jobsite. Over the past 10 years he has carried several titles on the operational side of the HDD industry but his career in health & safety began as the Field Safety Supervisor with DIRECT Horizontal Drilling. As the Health & Safety Manager he is mandated to provide leadership and mentorship to supervisors, workers, and other stakeholders promoting the company’s safety program. He ensures that all relevant legislation is incorporated into the strategic health, safety, and environment planning and takes a hands on approach to training staff.
His commitment to Health & Safety is matched only by his dedication to lifelong learning, and Jonathan holds an enviable record of achievement and numerous certifications in his field.
Business Development and Project Management Team
Business Development Manager / Senior Project Manager
Rick’s initial experience in the drilling industry began in 1978 where he was employed with an Alberta based drilling company for 15 years, experiences included drilling water wells, exploration drilling, foundation drilling, monitoring and dewatering drilling, then Field Drilling Supervisor.
The knowledge gained from drilling experiences in various sub surface conditions around Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia and Canada’s Arctic have proven to be an asset when doing an HDD crossing.
Rick’s experience in the HDD Industry began in 1993 where he joined the team of D&KHorizontal where he began as driller, then Rig Manager. In 2001, Rick helped co-found Direct Horizontal Drilling Inc. where he presently is Business Development Manager / Projects Manager. Other duties while at Direct included Rig Manager, Drilling Supervisor, and Operations Manager.
Business Development / Project/Contract Manager, Edmonton, AB
To adequately meet the needs of customers, Business Development requires in-depth knowledge and extensive broad-based experience. David Fisher offers these qualifications as well as considerable know-how earned through years of specialty training and practical experience.
David has worked his way through the ranks during since 1996 when he began his horizontal directional drilling career: he has served as a motorman, mudman, driller and most recently as rig manager.
With this first-hand experience, David is eminently qualified to meet the needs of customers in the Edmonton area.
Project Manager, Edmonton, AB
Ernesto Gabuat is a seasoned project management professional with extensive experience in the HDD industry.
As a Project Manager, he is responsible for project team management, service delivery, and administration for a variety of our ongoing projects.
For assigned projects, he is the primary client contact and is responsible for delivering a high quality project on time and within budget. It is his responsibility with other members of the project team to set goals and standards for overall project quality.
Ernesto a graduate from NAIT in 2002, has spent his entire working career in the HDD industry.