The Darling Downs and Surat Basin regions are renowned for their prosperity in mining; it's been a driving force in the growth of the local economy, and in addition to producing much of the nation's resources, also accounts for a significant portion of the state's job creation.

But behind this thriving local resources sector is a realm of collaboration many would be unaware existed, with community centred, innovative solutions at the forefront of operations.

Rig and Well Services, a proudly home-grown Toowoomba drilling and well-servicing company, has led the charge in this sense. As a subsidiary of  Ventia, they continually look to diversification and innovation as a means of supporting the communities in which they work.

Collaboration is a true cornerstone of Rig and Well Services' operations, working with clients to support safe, state-of-the-art, sustainable operations. It is this ethos which has seen Rig and Well Services construct 16 new rigs and invest a staggering $186 million in new rig technology in the past decade.

One such innovation is Australia's newest well servicing rig, the Advantage Light Rig Extra (ALRx). The rigs, which are being built in Toowoomba as part of Rig and Well Services' contract with Shell's QGC business, features several improvements including safer operations and improved efficiency, with the capability to increase productivity by 30 per cent in the field.

According to Rig and Well Services General Manager Kyle Koziol, such investments provide enormous flow-on benefits to Toowoomba and the surrounding regions.

"Local businesses and the local economy are benefiting from Rig and Well Services' latest rig build project with more than 40% of the project spend being injected into the local economy," Mr Koziol said.

"Our people are committed to building and operating the safest and most efficient rigs, purpose built for Australian conditions.

"Through a deliberate investment in innovation and operational excellence, we are delivering safer operations at a lower cost to support a globally competitive Australian resources industry."

Such future-focused investment is a testament to a company taking the sustainability of their industry into their own hands and as a result, producing further economic perks for the regions in which they operate.

A clear-cut example of this is Rig and Well Services' plans to increase its local workforce by 20 percent and local procurement by nine percent through its five-year contract with Shell's QGC business, to provide well servicing rigs and associated services in the Surat Basin.

"We have approximately 1,400 people across Ventia working on contracts within the region with locally employed people working at our offices, workshops and warehouses in Toowoomba and Chinchilla and on rigs and camps throughout the Surat Basin.

"By setting goals within contracts to increase local employment and procurement, we commit to providing more opportunities for local communities and maximise the flow-on benefits to the local economy."


And while Rig and Well Services' contribution to the region has been immense, one must encapsulate the whole picture of Ventia's involvement in key projects in the region to truly appreciate the overall organisation's impact on Toowoomba's economic story.

Ventia's delivery of services to the Oakey and Cabarlah Defence Bases, key involvement in the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing, contribution to Toowoomba's Telstra and NBN installation and its corporate real estate services for Goodstart Early Learning Centres in Toowoomba and surrounds is evidence of an organisation proactively seeking to stimulate growth within the Darling Downs and Surat Basin Regions.

Add to that Rig and Well Services' Community Grants Program, which has seen 151 community groups in Toowoomba and the Surat Basin receive more than $230,000 in funding, and it is obvious the benefits of Rig and Well Services' involvement in the region stretch well beyond its own industry.

When it comes to the future prosperity and advancement of Toowoomba, there is no denying the immense role Rig and Well Services and Ventia have played in laying the foundations and more importantly, the role they will continue to play as we navigate the next decade of enormous opportunity and continued economic growth.

* Editorial from The Toowoomba Chronicle as part of their Future Toowoomba campaign.