Drilcorp Ltd based in Seaham, County Durham has been awarded a de-watering contract in Aberdeen AB12 3QA in the north east of Scotland, consisting of 220 boreholes to a total depth of 7,5 m. The site has between 5 m and 7 m of overburden comprising sand and gravel of mixed lithology’s and large to very large granite cobbles and boulders then onto granite bedrock. Some excavated boulders have been recorded at over 1 m in diameter. These strata’s have proved problematic to the drillers on site.
"John was so impressed with our equipment and helpfulness that he agreed to purchase a second Symmetrix system including a second COP 54 hammer based on our recommendations, on the spot."
The Director of Drilcorp Ltd, John Gowans, asked me to propose a solution to the situation on site, the obvious choice was our new Symmetrix Retrievable N-model R168/10-132 complete with a new Secoroc COP 54 hammer to run it. I put the package together and had it delivered to site. On Thursday 19/6/14 I attended the site in Aberdeen to commission the new system and check that the operators were using it correctly. The rig was a Massenza MI6 with a tilt out head and 3,6 m stroke and the compressor was an Ingersoll Rand 400 cfm/200 psi custom tracked unit. We set-up the new system and began drilling at 12:10 pm, running the compressor at 10 bar with low rotation speed (no gauge on the rig) and encountered numerous large boulders which were no match for the system.
The operators were slightly apprehensive using the new kit in front of an Atlas Copco employee but still managed to have the borehole to the total depth by 12:40 pm. The operator joked that it would take him longer to pull out the casing than it would to drill the hole (it did). I have personally drilled similar ground conditions using the old design of retrievable Symmetrix system N-model and did so for some years, and I can confirm that the new Symmetrix design “is a weapon!”. The increased flushing capabilities dramatically improve the system and from a quality point of view it should be able to sustain a lot more punishment than its predecessor. Even just drilling to 7,5 m on this site I could see a vast improvement. The latching in and out of the ring bit has also dramatically improved with less rotation required due to the 5 no latching points. It seamlessly glides into latched and unlatched positions effortlessly and this was also noted by the operators from Drilcorp Ltd.
During the site visit I had numerous telephone discussions with John Gowans regarding the progress in which we were making. John was so impressed with our equipment and helpfulness that he agreed to purchase a second Symmetrix system including a second COP 54 hammer based on our recommendations, on the spot. This second system is currently being prepared to ship to site, tailored for a Berreta T44. The trial has also produced some extra consumable orders including our Matex environmentally safe hammer oil. It has also helped to build a strong, successful relationship with the customer and helped secure future orders. I currently have interest for this system from three other contractors including Greencat renewables based in west Lothian, Geodrill Ltd from county Durham and both the Scottish and England based offices of Soil Engineering. I will be making plans to get these other contractors to trial and purchase this system as soon as suitable sites are available.
Epiroc operated under the trademark “Atlas Copco” prior to January 1, 2018.
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