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Sonic Only Tool to Succeed


The Oklahoma panhandle dishes up difficult drilling with its layers of rough limestone and caliche. Often drillers resort to using water, whether with rotary or sonic, to achieve desired depths. But when setting monitoring wells, water clouds the results.

8150LS truck wash

Geoprobe® 8150LS sonic successfully dry drills to 200 feet in tough formations in Oklahoma.

“Most people believe the only way to do it is with mass amounts of water, but you don’t know when you hit groundwater,” Robert Keyes, president of Associated Environmental Industries, said. “When doing water rotary, you dilute the sample and don’t know where the water is coming from.”

Companies who had tried drilling at a site in Guymon, Oklahoma, lost pipe strings in the rough formation. Being successful dry drilling with his Geoprobe® 8150LS in Oklahoma and Texas, Keyes had faith in his rig and his driller, Billy Graham, to get the job done. He convinced the state to let them give it a try, offering “free” services.

“I told them ‘if we fail, you don’t owe us anything’,” Keyes said. “We don’t like the word ‘can’t’. We either make the box bigger or tear its walls down. We keep getting better at what we do.”

Using the 8150LS, rod loader, and 4.5-inch HD sonic rods, Graham successfully completed the four, 200-foot borings and accurately set the monitoring wells. 

“We got the full, accurate lithology to put the screens where needed to isolate the contamination,” Keyes said.

He credits the tooling and machine along with Graham, known for accepting challenges and succeeding.

“When coring at that depth, you may get a 10-foot run, you may only get a 2-foot run. That’s a tremendous amount of tripping out,” Keyes said. “With other brand sonic rigs we own, guys are worn out after a 200-foot core without the rod loader.” 

Keyes attributes his business success to following the technology. So when Geoprobe® began developing its sonic line of machines and tools in early 2000, he watched eagerly – knowing he’d have the service support he’d lacked after purchasing another brand’s sonic.

“I evaluated price versus production on the 8150LS and it fell right where we needed it to be. I haven’t regretted it since,” Keyes said. “If you’ve been in the drilling business long enough – a day – you realize how important service is. The service support and remote diagnostics are priceless. If you’re broke down anywhere in the country, a Geoprobe® service technician can tell you exactly what you need to do.”
 


Video: Geoprobe® 8150LS Sonic Drilling Rig

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