The end of 2017 gives us an opportunity to share some of our accomplishments and technology advances. One of the reasons we love this business is it gives us a chance to work closely with clients to solve real-world issues. How can we improve our processes and technology to install wells that meet your goals? How can we push the technology to allow you to do things you couldn’t do before?
In 2017 DTD installed almost 30,000 feet of wells on numerous projects across the US. We worked in remote Alaska and over a dozen states in the continental US. We increased in size, expanding our fleet of rigs, and adding employees to our drill crews, management and business development teams. A list of notable projects and other additions follows.
Alaska – With many weeks of preparation, followed by a long and complex mobilization, DTD arrived at a remote site on the Yukon River in May, officially starting the project on June 1. Drilling through the summer, which brought wind, rain, bugs, and logistical challenges, DTD completed the project on August 26. Crews installed eight wells, averaging 962 feet in length, for a total of 7,700 feet. All wells were installed using DTD’s patented Knock-Off technology in single-ended configurations.
Texas – DTD installed a 2,300-foot, 12-inch diameter horizontal water supply well to support an industrial operation. The well was designed to allow higher and more consistent flow from the Ogallala Aquifer than vertical wells have been able to attain. Vertical wells tapping this source suffer from excessive drawdown and limited pumping rates in the neighborhood of 75-150 gallons per minute. Pumping tests show the horizontal well can sustain rates up to 1,000 gpm, and as of December, has been pumping at 700 gpm for 5 months.
Georgia – DTD completed several projects in Georgia this year. The largest included the installation of two horizontal air sparge wells, each over 2,500 feet with horizontal sparge screen set 135 feet deep, to mitigate a plume from a petroleum release. Wells of this length are relatively unique, but are becoming more common. For example, just this December DTD finished another 2,000 ft horizontal sparge well, this time just a few hundred miles away from the first pair of Georgia horizontal air sparge wells.
Equipment acquisitions – DTD kicked off the year with the purchase of an American Augers DD-10, a 100,000 lbs rated rig with big-rig capabilities. The rig was used on a number of pipeline projects early in the year, and is already slated for work in January 2018. In the fall, we acquired a Ditch Witch JT-30AT. This is a dual-rod rig that is purpose-built for drilling in rock, and difficult conditions that challenge the capabilities of conventional horizontal rigs.
Team additions – This year, Jacob Gallagher, an experienced former member of several vertical drilling marketing teams, joined the DTD marketing staff. With experience in vertical drilling, Jacob spent his first months of employment with DTD in hands-on HDD training, as a capable member of various field teams. Starting in 2018, he will join our marketing staff, attending conferences and teaching our “HDD 101” brown bag lectures. Also joining the DTD team is Patrick Ferringer, PG, two new field managers in training and a drill operator.
Technology – DTD was granted two more patents in 2017. The first was in recognition of DTD’s radial collector well invention, which increases yield for groundwater extraction wells in shallow and/or thin aquifers. In December, DTD was notified that our patent claims for another component of our already-patented Knock-Off drilling technology were accepted, with the patent to be issued early next year. This additional patent assures that all of the key components of the system are protected. DTD is the sole-source of this innovative installation technology in the industry.
Next year is forecast to be as busy as 2017, with the calendar already filling. In addition to drilling at sites across the US, DTD will be well represented at the Battelle Chlorinated Conference in Palm Springs, as well as at several other national and regional conferences.