Schramm Rig to 'Walk and Talk' Down Under


Schramm Inc.’s T500XD rig – which features step changes not only in rig technology but data acquisition capabilities that allow the rig to walk and talk – will head Down Under later this year.  

Energy Drilling Australia is buying the second T500XD rig manufactured by Schramm, which will drill for Senex Energy Ltd. in Australia’s Cooper Basin and for Statoil ASA in the Northern Territory. The rig is expected to begin drilling activity in Australia at mid-year.

The T500XD, which was launched last year, is a direct answer to the oilfield industry’s need for a land drilling rig that is safer, faster, has a smaller environmental footprint and can save producers time and money, say officials with Schramm. The oil field industry in the United States and internationally is moving towards using rigs that have a smaller footprint and enable safer pipe handling, said Fred Slack, vice president of marketing and sales administration at Schramm. The industry also is moving to pad or factory drilling.

“The T500 directly answers this product need, with its walking feature from hole to hole and it ability to drill both the tophole portion of a well and horizontal drilling,” said David Hartzell, vice president of engineering at Schramm and the project manager for the initial T500XD launch.

The rig has been undergoing testing and validation at Schramm’s 27-acre, 250,000 square foot, century-old manufacturing facility and headquarters, located in the hills of West Chester, Pennsylvania near Philadelphia. “Clever logistics” will allow the rig to be shipped from the Baltimore, Maryland to Brisbane, Australia, company officials say. While the company has moved product around the world before, the shipment of the T500XD marks the first time the company moved equipment of this size.

Schramm will verify the rig’s 500,000-pound hoist capacity prior to shipment. Schramm spent a lot of money to create and test fixture and validate the rig’s tophead technology, but still found it had to adjust parameters during operations. The company anticipates it will make more adjustments in Australia to account for the local formations and operating temperatures. With temperatures as high as 130 degrees Fahrenheit, rigs drilling in Australia require higher viscosity oil, which will require changes to the machine’s characteristics, Schramm President Ed Breiner told reporters during a recent media tour.

Schramm Rig to 'Walk and Talk' Down Under


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Karen Boman has more than 10 years of experience covering the upstream oil and gas sector. Email Karen at


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