By Alex Endress, Editorial Coordinator
The trend among drilling contractors to install walking systems on rigs has solved a major logistical problem for operators on multiwell pads – negating the need for costly and time-consuming moves by easily walking rigs small distances. However, while the industry has produced a variety of high-end walking rigs with 1,000 hp or higher, the cost and ability of those rigs often exceed the requirements to drill the top hole and intermediate sections of a well. Wisco Moran Drilling is looking to fill this void with the 750-hp PadWise 1 walking rig.
“There’s ample amount of walking rigs in the marketplace. What we are trying to do is provide an economical small rig because not every well requires a high-end 1,500-hp walking rig or 1,000-hp walking rig,” Wisco Moran President Joel Bouldin said at a rig demonstration on 17 February at the company’s yard in Arcola, Texas. The rig can drill vertical depths up to 12,000 ft, Mr Bouldin said.
It has four 14-in. lift cylinders, eight traveling cylinders and four walking feet. Each foot has a lift capacity of 400,000 lb, providing a total lift capacity of 1.6 million lb on the PadWise 1. The rig is capable of moving at a rate of 4.4 sec/ft when using the walking system.
PadWise 1 was sent to South Texas in late February to begin drilling a 15-well program in the San Miguel formation. Wisco Moran is currently planning to outfit another rig with similar walking technology, although this one will be larger, with 1,000 hp.
To bring down rig costs, the company has built the PadWise 1 as a mechanical rig – something that Mr Bouldin believes will increase the competitiveness of Wisco Moran’s rigs while global oil prices remain low. The rig is also equipped with a 250-ton top drive, two 1,000-hp triplex mud pumps and an NOV ST-80 Iron Roughneck.
“We sense that the (large walking rig) market is adequately covered by the larger private and public drilling companies. They do a very good job at that, and they’re very innovative,” Mr Bouldin said. “We’re not trying to compete in that market… We’re trying to fill a niche.”