It’s hard to believe that the Ancient Egyptians had to dig holes using only a bucket, a shovel, and a hell of a lot of elbow grease. But with it being 2017 and all that, the amount of machinery we have offered to us is incredible. So what exactly is needed to be able to dig hundreds and thousands of metres into the earth’s surface? Because let’s face it, you wouldn’t want to do it the old fashioned way would you?!
I’m not going to list every single bit of machinery used in the well-drilling process, because that would take a VERY long time. Instead, we’ll start with the basics. There are a number of different wells; water wells, oil wells, natural gas extraction wells, the list goes on. While they all differ quite dramatically in one way or another, they all have one thing in common—they’re all extremely deep holes in the ground.
So, What’s involved?
Not surprisingly, a variety of extremely expensive power tools and rotary equipment are used in the drilling process. Chances are, if you’re drilling hundreds of metres into the into the ground you’re part of a professional, skilled team. It definitely isn’t a one man job! Like a lot of things, the better the machinery the better the end product. The most common way of drilling these days is using a Drilling Rig. Essentially this is a huge machine that drills holes (boreholes) into the ground. Drilling Rigs come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They can be mounted on to the back of trucks or trailers, and they can also be in the form of permanent land structures that never move.
But there is heaps of background work that needs to be done before physically drilling a well in to the ground. The location, the costs, the planning, all need to be considered before any kind of drilling can take place. There is a tonne of rules and regulations that need to be addressed. Not to mention weighing out the positives and the negatives of drilling in that particular place.
How long does it take?
It’s hard to give an exact amount of time it would take to drill a well. I mean, how long is a piece of string?! There are many contributing factors that influence the process so it completely differs depending on the situation. For example, the geological condition of the area will influence the duration massively. If it’s all rain, thunder and lightning all day, it’s inevitably going to delay the process. The length of time it takes will also be determined by the standard of the equipment being used. If the creme de la creme of drilling technology is being used by a professional who has been in the industry for years, it may take a fraction of the expected time.
“We drill 18 wells with 12 inch diameter borehole in a year, so it will be 3 weeks per well in average. In contrast, the traditional or unskillful driller in Indonesia can spend 12 months drilling a 150 meters water well borehole”. Supra Indodrill, Nationwide Water Well Drilling Contractor Indonesia
Generally speaking, if you have the right team and the right equipment you could drill a twelve inch borehole in one week. In fact, you could potentially get it done quicker if all goes well. That’s averaging at around 30 to 40 meters of drilling per day….pretty cool, right?