Ausdrill reported Tuesday that its subsidiary Energy Drilling Australia (EDA) will this week mobilize its latest ‘‘weapon’’ -- an $18.5 million (AUD 20 million) high-tech rig that has been heralded as the first of a new generation for the industry.
The Schramm T500XD Telemast is the first of its kind in Australia, and only the second in the world.
Since its arrival from the United States in June, the rig has been commissioned and put through a rigorous audit process in Brisbane to ensure it is ready for Australian conditions. It will now be put to work in the Cooper Basin, drilling for unconventional gas targets.
The Schramm is EDA’s fourth rig, and the most advanced. It is being brought on line to capitalize on an increasing demand for exploration drilling in Queensland, the Northern Territory and South Australia.
EDA General Manager Simon Mayers said the new rig had already generated considerable interest from operators within the industry.
‘‘For a number of reasons it offers quite significant cost savings for operators. In addition to the fact that no cranes are required to assemble or move it, it is highly mechanized which reduces the number of people required to operate the rig directly, therefore decreasing the safety risk for both operator and contractor. Due to the highly mechanized nature of the rig we have eliminated the need for a derrickman and pipe handling is all automatic, with all operations controlled from within the doghouse.’’
Mayers said the company was pleased that it had been able to keep to a very tight schedule to commission the new rig and have it in the field.
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