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Savanna Energy introduces new third generation Hybrid rig

Savanna Energy Services Pty Ltd is pleased to introduce its patented third generation Hybrid rig technology to the exciting CSG play in Northeast Australia.

Led by General Manager Mike Bill, who has extensive experience in Australia’s oil and gas sector, Savanna has assembled a team of experienced professionals to operate both state-of-the-art drilling and well servicing units based out of their field offi ces located in Toowoomba, QLD. Toowoomba was chosen as a strategic base due to its excellent proximity to the Surat Basin, and Savanna also has a head office in Brisbane.

Drilling and well servicing
Savanna’s brand new third generation Hybrid rigs are a culmination of extensive shallow drilling expertise gained in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin. With the development of their first generation Hybrid in 2001, Australian Operations Manager Don Goldade and Savanna went on to set records for wells drilled throughout the province of Alberta through 2006, and refined their combination coil tubing and conventional pipe drilling rig into the highly mobile, compact, efficient machine it is today. The Australian Hybrids employ all of Savanna’s record setting features and benefits but were also built specifically for operations under Australian conditions. With open air buildings, insect limiting fluorescents, and built to Australian transport requirements, Savanna’s Hybrids are suspended on wheels and supported by an in-house trucking division.

Top drive technology, joystick operations within a climate controlled doghouse, and the ability to switch from drill string to coil tubing, enables Savanna’s crews to engage safe and effi cient drilling speeds of up to 300 metres per hour in ideal conditions. When drilling with pipe, a hydraulic catwalk and pipe skate are operated via remote control and the pipe is manipulated with the topdrive to completely minimise manual handling; when drilling with coil, the drilling floor is completely vacant as no connections are required. Additionally, a self-contained circulation system recycles water and limits water usage, and the small footprint of the Hybrid unit was designed for environmental best practice and leaves virtually no site disturbance (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTF5_6ikbdQ). Savanna’s Hybrid rigs are capable of drilling with 73mm to 89mm coil or Range 3 conventional drill string (102mm X 13m). The topdrive units on these rigs are integral and move easily as one unit with the derrick, as does the coil injector unit which is capable of 55,000kg of pull/push.

In addition to its drilling rigs, Savanna has deployed three world-class workover rigs based in Toowoomba. These mobile double service units are outfitted with Human Machine Interface (HMI), Programmable Logic Controls (PLC), and joystick operation. These rigs were also built exclusively for Australia, and are currently in operations near Chinchilla. Savanna’s well servicing units bring wells into production and provide maintenance throughout the life of the well in addition to performing abandonment services when the well’s capacity has been reached.

According to Savanna Drilling Field Superintendent, Steve Kitzul, he couldn’t be happier with how Savanna’s Hybrids have been operating thus far in Australia. “Rig 406 has drilled nine wells with coil reaching ROPs (rates of penetration) of up to 150m/ hr and depths up to 800m. Crews have adapted well to our safety culture and are applying it well on the rigs… The rig has undergone an inspection by the Queensland government which resulted in further praise to Savanna and its culture”, notes Kitzul.

On the well servicing side of things, the December floods in Queensland impacted two of Savanna’s service units. After executing a safe and effi cient extraction of the rigs from the post flood locations, both rigs were completely refreshed and redeployed. Additionally, a third service rig has arrived in Toowoomba and is ready for deployment. According to Kevin Pressey, Field Superintendent, “aside from the rigs not being able to float, they have performed well under the Australian conditions. As far as meeting the demands of customers,” Pressey notes, “the rigs are doing just fine with continual improvements to exceed customer expectation and improve rig up/rig out time as well as ease of operations.”

Community Based
Savanna has entered the Australian market with a goal of establishing itself as a longstanding member of the community. “We are committed to utilising local workers and contractors wherever possible and anticipate continued jobs and business growth for the local community as our operations grow,” remarks Bill. With a five-year contract already in place, Savanna is committed to staffing its offices and crewing its rigs with Australian employees, and creating viable career opportunities for years to come.

In Canada, Savanna has undertaken several initiatives to engage the community such as establishing Aboriginal partnerships, immigration training programs, and charity initiatives. New to Australia, Savanna will look for opportunities to continue its mandate toward community and most recently was actively engaged in community relief efforts during the Queensland floods in December 2010.

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