August 7, 2020
"The TH10 is fast, taking just five to seven hours to complete a well."
The TH10 works well for both mud and air drilling because it comes with a Centerline 3×4 mud pump and a Deutz deck engine. Driller David Okello said he has plenty of power to drill with either mud or air. “The surface has rocks and boulders that make mud drilling difficult. I am cautious not to get stuck. I’d never get out.”
Air drilling rock goes fast and easy. “If we start a hole at 8 a.m., we’ll finish by 3 p.m.” The goal is to get sufficient flow for the hand pump - a minimum of 130 gallons (0.5 m3) per minute. Anything less is considered a dry well and is abandoned.
The well is cased with 5-inch PVC pipe to depth and backfilled with cuttings. For the top hole, the casing is set with a concrete seal. This top hole is a sanitary seal 3 meters from the surface. As Okello is air drilling the 7-inch hole, he tracks the fracture zones he passes. They will perforate the PVC casing at each zone.
The air package to drive the hammer is an Atlas Copco XRH 836 compressor delivering 836 cfm (395 L/s) at 300 psi (26 bar).
The TH10 is built with a heavy-duty TATA SA 1212 TC truck with all-wheel drive. The truck has more than enough power to get them where they need to go. Okello said he’d buy this same drill if he were to buy another, but the next time with a 6×4 drive for areas where they need better traction.
The deck engine powers two hydraulic motors that drive the torque and speed of the rotary head. These motors drive gears that provide torque and speed. Maximum torque is 3,746 lbf-ft (5,070 Nm). The driller has variable control of speed from 0 to 85 rpm.
Okello said while there are heavier drills with more pullback, the TH10 is a good fit for their operation and completes shallow wells quickly and efficiently. “I like the performance and enjoy drilling with it.”