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At the forefront of deep drilling

03rd April 2013

Bauer Maschinen’s Ulrich Schöpf, deputy sales director of the company’s Deep Drilling Division talks to Oil & Gas Technology about R&D, the development of automated deep drilling equipment and the upcoming TBA 100 T1 rig

At the forefront of deep drilling
TBA 100 T1 deep drilling rig

OGT: Could you start by elaborating on how Bauer Maschinen has evolved since 2010?

Ulrich Schöpf: Looking back, we realise that it was the right decision to go into the oil and gas business and develop our TBA deep drilling rigs and enlarge our product range, not only for Bauer Maschinen but for the entire Bauer group of companies.

OGT: Would you describe Bauer as an innovative company?

US: Inventions and innovations have always characterized the history of the Bauer Group. Numerous patents and innovation awards are a clear testament of the company’s slogan of “passion for progress".

OGT: How has your R&D and testing program characterised the history of the firm? In particular, what impact has it had on the development of deep drilling equipment?

US: Based on more than 40 years of experience of the engineers, Bauer Maschinen’s R&D department works closely with field experts, universities and manufacturing partners to ensure a continuous adaptation to state-of-the-art standards and to enable the implementation of new technologies in Bauer’s drilling rigs. Bauer’s in-house test yard with a 1,000 m deep well offers a unique set-up for testing the drill rigs and other rig equipment for the simulation of operative sequences. All of this enables Bauer to develop and manufacture drilling rigs which set new standards of safety, efficiency, productivity and ease of service in the deep drilling business.

OGT: What can you tell us about deep drilling rigs which you have recently launched? What details can you give regarding deep drilling rigs which you are planning to release?

US: All rigs of the automated TBA-series have the goal to meet the market requirements for high safety levels, increased efficiency and productivity as well as environmental protection.

The major safety aspect in the rig design is to offer hands-free operations and to mitigate work risks, for instance at dangerous heights. All TBA rigs are equipped with automated pipe handling systems and therefore fingerboards, and as such the dangerous working place of the derrickman is no longer required.

The compact design of the Bauer rigs simplifies the transportation process, ensures fast and easy set-up, allows a minimized well-site layout and thus reduces the overall project costs.

Brasfond Brazil has formed a joint venture with BAUER Maschinen of Germany under the name of Brasbauer, based in São Paulo, to manufacture deep drilling equipment ‘made in Brazil’. By the end of this year Brasbauer will launch its new TBA 100 T1 rig which is specially designed for the Brazilian market and manufactured in Brazil.

OGT:  What are the main features and applications of your upcoming TBA 100 T1 deep drilling unit?

US: In order to meet future market requirements, out-of-the-box thinking is necessary and therefore tailor-made rig solutions for different applications are of growing importance.

With its on-board diesel driven hydraulic power unit, the hydraulically driven TBA 100 T1 boasts an independent power supply, fast and easy rig-up with self-erecting systems of the mast and drill floor and a fast and effective hoisting system with pull and push function.

Safety is of the utmost importance during all operating procedures, in particular during the trip-in and trip-out process and casing running operations. The pipe handling system directly interacts with the top drive without personnel interference or the need for a mouse hole. The make-up and breaking of the drill string is managed by using an automated power tong.

OGT: What type of certification does TBA 100 T1 have?

US: The TBA 100 T1 is designed according to API standards and can also be supplied with CE certification for the European market.

OGT: Would you describe TBA 100 T1 as designed to meet the particular technological needs of oil and gas companies operating in Brazil?

US: With drilling locations becoming more and more remote and access becoming more difficult, transportation costs are increasing at an alarming rate. Two of the main goals for the design of deep drilling rigs are, therefore, to meet the need for fast and easy set up and to simplify the transportation process, thereby reducing costs. The trailer-based TBA 100 T1 can be moved in only 3 loads, including pipe handling system.

Through the implementation of service programs and remote fault diagnosis systems, precious production time can be gained. The reduced manpower on the rig due to the installation of automated systems results not only in a short-term cost reduction but also leads to long-term benefits as a result of talent shortages and the workforce age profile.

OGT: How have your deep drilling rigs been received in Brazil and, in particular, how well do you think TBA 100 T1 will be received?

US: Our unconventional approach to the rather conservative drilling business has had an especially positive response.

The TBA 100 T1 has been jointly developed with major oil companies and drilling contractors which are specialised in Latin America. Therefore, we are certain we will meet the stringent market requirements of the region.

OGT: What are Bauer’s plans and expectations for the future in the country and in Latin America?

US: Latin America is one of our main focus areas. In addition to the local set-up of Brasbauer in São Paulo, the network of service and support centres will be expanded even further in Latin America to guarantee fast reacting after-sales service and the availability of spare parts.

This interview was conducted with the help of Ulrich Schöpf, deputy sales director, Deep Drilling Division, Bauer Maschinen.

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