Oil Riggers Series Finale

Wednesday 3rd June 8.00pm

This gripping documentary series follows life on the oil rigs of west Texas. In the last episode of the series, Justin makes a decision about Derek’s future on the Big Dog rig. A couple of mistakes on the rig floor cost Josh dear. And Wayne makes his bosses very happy with a remarkable find.

The 50-day window to drill three wells is closing and Big Dog remains in last place. The rig has yet to complete its second well and driller Justin is fed up with Derek’s constant arguing and backchat. Justin is especially frustrated by Derek’s failure to remember simple procedures. He has resisted firing the wayward worm because hands can be hard to find in the middle of a boom period. But it looks like Derek’s luck has run out after yet another fight. “You’re fired,” Justin tells him.

A bemused Derek cannot think why he has been given his marching orders, but Justin insists that the inexperienced hand has pushed him too far. “I’ve given you chance after chance after chance,” he says. “I hope he rots in hell,” is Derek’s response. A new man takes Derek’s place and morale on the team immediately improves. There is no chance of Big Dog finishing its second well in the time remaining, but rig owner Autry Stephens is prepared to hand Justin another chance. “The driller’s shown some progress so we’re going to give him another shot,” he says.

Over at Longhorn, young driller Josh is desperate to finish his second well in the five days remaining. But a safety inspection almost ends in disaster when Josh starts up the machinery before realising the inspector is hanging from the derrick. The next day, Josh further damages his team’s faith in him when he pulls the wrong lever and sends a 500lb tong smashing into worm J-Rod’s side. A battered J-Rod bravely vows to work through his pain. “I can’t breathe so good, I think I might have cracked some of my ribs,” he says.

This latest accident only confirms rig owner Mike LaMonica’s fears about using an inexperienced crew. “He’s not seen enough things go wrong to watch out after his hands,” is Mike’s verdict on 24- year-old Josh. After consulting with his business partner, Mike decides to let Josh and his team go. A combination of potentially deadly mishaps has proven Josh’s undoing. “Small things have a tendency to build up out here,” says Longhorn supervisor Chris.

Viking, meanwhile, is the only rig to dig its three wells in 50 days. Driller Wayne is so pleased with his boys’ hard work that he even allows his best hand, Steve, to have a go on the controls. “Make Papa proud,” he jokes. “I’m not gonna live forever – I gotta teach these guys to take up my slack when I get old.”

Even with his 27 years of experience on the oilfield, Wayne is surprised when the Viking strikes oil 4,000ft from total depth. The boys whoop with delight as black gold spills over the rig floor. “We don’t see this every day!” cries Steve. Mike LaMonica is equally stunned to learn that Viking has found oil at such a shallow depth. As the excited rig owners swoop on the platform to see the find for themselves, all the signs are that Viking has tapped a huge well. “This is a once-in-a- lifetime deal for me,” says Mike.

About the author

  • BBC One
  • BBC Two
  • BBC Three
  • ITV1
  • ITV2
  • 4
  • E4
  • Film4
  • More4
  • Five
  • Fiver
  • Sky1