PalmettoINSITU, a S.C. based geotechnical drilling company

Starting a Geotechnical Drilling Company

The geotechnical drilling business is not an easy one to enter, just ask Michael Cox of PalmettoINSITU in Charleston, South Carolina.  He recently celebrated two years in business and sat down with National Driller magazine […]

Drilling Rock Star, Jeff Hart
Project Related

The Drillers, Rigs, Rock and Hart of the Chile Mine Rescue

Drilling Rock Star, Jeff Hart As 33 trapped miners waited more than 2,000-ft underground for their rescue, a whole team of Chilean government officials, mining engineers, equipment manufacturers and of course drillers came together get the job done.  Jeff Hart, a driller from Denver, Colorado was one of the stars of the day.  Hart was in Afghanistan drilling deep water wells when he got the call and hopped on a plane.  He works for Kansas-based Layne Christensen, and along with 3 other Layne employees, he manned the Schramm T130 drill rig that was part of “Plan B” that eventually became the shaft from which the trapped miners were rescued.

matt_sttafell_jorge_herreraOn the drilling platform overseeing the drilling was James Stefanic of Layne, and crew members Matt Staffel, Doug Reeves and Jorge Herrera.  The rig and I presume some of the support equipment was owned by Layne’s Latin America affiliate, Geotec Boyles Bros, SA.  The drill bits were from Center Rock, Inc. of Berlin, Pennsylvania.  The Center Rock CEO, Brandon Fisher, was on site throughout the operation as well.

Read on for more info, photos, video and links on the drilling, drillers and geology of the Chile Mine rescue.



Tight Pipe Supplies Pinch Drillers

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!