October 28, 2020
Brazil takes up about half of South America and readily calls to mind images of the expansive Amazon Basin, a tropical rainforest system covering large portions of its northwest region. But Brazil actually comprises six major ecosystems. They include the Cerrado savannas of central Brazil, its Atlantic Forest along the east coast, and fertile Pampas plains of the far South.
It is in the semi-arid scrubland of its northeastern region, the Caatinga, that Agricola Famosa is producing some of the world’s highest quality fruits on its Fazenda Macacos melon farm. To meet the irrigation demand for the 30,000-hectare farm relies on being able to tap the Jandaíra Formation aquifer. To do that, Agricola Famosa has found its greatest success using the latest generation of Epiroc’s lightweight water well drilling rigs, the TH10-LM. It’s the perfect fit for a company known for its sustainable farming practices that produce high-quality fruits through innovative, new technologies, ongoing research initiatives, and commitment to the environment and society.
"People could see the rig is strong and robust with easy operation. It has a compact footprint but a large capacity."
Leonardo Reis de Lima Gonçalves, Geology Supervisor of drilling company Top Bombas, said, “At the Macacos farm, located in the Potiguar basin, we find basically the Jandaíra limestone which, because it is microcrystalline, has an extreme resistance. And even on such hard rock, the machine has high productivity.” This limestone is particularly hard as ancient corals created it beneath the state of Rio Grande do Norte on the extreme tip of Brazil’s northeast “horn” that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean. The rig’s performance is due to a combination of features. One is its 763 kgf-m (xx ft lb) rotary head, the highest torque in its category. The other is its exclusive stand-rod system that eliminates the need to switch rod in the middle of drilling operations. As one rod is drilling, the next rod in string is mounted parallel to the operation. Positioning and threading are completed in a matter of seconds, and drilling continues on without undue delay.
The TH10-LM offers a number of safety-enhancing advantages as well, such as a raised operator’s platform that gets the driller off the ground and increases visibility. Greater situational awareness further enhances worksite safety. Leonardo said, “I am also responsible for safety. This machine offers a safer rod-handling system than others.” Both pneumatic and rotary-mud drilling are used for drilling operations at the Macacos farm. The 8-inch wells to depths of 490 feet (150 m) are drilled with hammers, while the rig offers the capacity for drilling up to 20-inch holes on rotary-mud.
Hélios Betoven Barboza Bezerra, drilling foreman, said, “The rig’s pipe elevator and rod handling system make our job easier. We have drilled 14.5-inch wells here to 360 m (180 feet) in about 20 days.” And they have drilled 17-inch holes to 196 feet (60 m) in just half a day. “The TH10 is faster than any other rig in our fleet.” “The Epiroc staff is always at our disposal, for training, doing preventive maintenance, helping us make adjustments to the rig, always helping to make our job easier,” Leonardo said.
The Epiroc TH10-LM features a more robust design overall, especially its lattice tower. Stronger components mean less cost and downtime for maintenance and repair. The direct-drive water-injection pump means no belts or pulleys to replace. Transporting the TH10-LM generally does not require any special permitting since there’s no rear counterweight. Drilling operations are about 50 percent greater than comparable rigs by other manufacturers. Increased productivity with straighter, more precise holes thanks to the drilling mast’s innovative pipe-supply system with a fixed head in the tower.