Congratulations to Crux Subsurface, Inc. on winning the Deep Foundation Institute’s (DFI) 2014 Outstanding Project Award (OPA) and the 2014 C. William Bermingham Innovation Award for their Sunrise Powerlink Project in California. The project involved the installation of over 3,700 micropiles for the foundations of new steel lattice towers for a 117 mile transmission line running from Imperial Valley to San Diego. All of the micopiles were installed using rigs and equipment mobilized by helicopter in the difficult terrain. The project was the first to use Crux’ patented steel micropile cap, which is what they were awarded the Bermingham Innovation Award for. Crux credits the steel cap design for reducing the on-site construction time by 64%. [Source: Read more about the awards from the Deep Foundations Institute (DFI). Image: Crux Subsurface, Inc.]
According to Reuters, there is a shortage of steel pipe that the drilling industry uses to drill and case wells. I presume the shortage also applies to geotechnical and well drilling as well. The run on the pipe has been spurred by the increased surge in the U.S. onshore oil and natural gas drilling market. The situation is not helped by record high steel prices as well. (Photo by yak23flora)
I talked to our local geotechnical/geoenvironmental drilling contractor to see if he has been affected by this shortage, and he said that he had, but that the supply shortages on all manner of drilling equipment and parts has been even more challenging. He cited the booming mining sector and their desire for exploration holes as a major source of his problem. He said one of his rigs had a broken overshot for an NQ coring system, that’s the device that attaches to the wireline and retrieves the inner tube from the drill stem while coring. He said there wasn’t a single overshot in North America that he could buy!