Cougar Drilling Solutions

Edmonton Alberta

Directional drilling solutions

Primary market: Global

Number of employees: 280

CEO: Blaine LaBonte




Cougar drills down


The high oil prices of recent years coupled with new recovery methods which are making previously inaccessible resources, particularly natural gas, economically feasible, has sparked significant demand for drilling products and services. Cougar Drilling Solutions, which is led by Blaine LaBonte, its CEO, is one such provider.


“We have always supplied directional drilling tools,” says LaBonte, a long-time industry veteran, who bought out the family business from his father several years ago. “However in the last five years we have offered clients to do the actual drilling too.” 


Cougar Drilling Solutions, which has a wide range of North American and international clients in places ranging from Saudi Arabia, to Turkey and Congo, drills for just about anything says LaBonte. It’s a tough industry, where trust and reputation count for a lot. Because of the huge potential windfalls that result from positive drill results, secrecy is often at a premium. “Some companies go to extreme lengths,” admits LaBonte. “They won’t talk over the phone, share data and other stuff like that.”


LaBonte attributes the company’s strong results to a variety of factors, including its successful record even prior to recent positive oil and gas industry trends. These include its considerable experience in manufacturing the drilling tools, motors and thrusters and other equipment it sells and the quality of the ancillary electronics and guidance systems it supplies.


LaBonte’s recently completed executive MBA has also helped as has the company’s renewed commitment to getting and keeping top industry management, engineering and other professionals. Cougar Drilling’s practice of taking some of its customer’s employees on staff for given periods of time, to help them become more effective drilling services consumers has also proved effective.






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