When I sat down for an interview with Dando Drilling’s Rupert Coler a couple weeks back for an upcoming feature in National Driller Magazine, I had no way to know just how important the depth of our interview would end up being. It’s not like I was asking boring, stock questions, but at the same time, I had questions prepared that surely wouldn’t shock or turn the drilling industry on its ear. I figured we’d be talking strictly about the unique specifications of our SPT Auto Hammer and how it’s meshing with the Dando Multitec 4000 being put to work to widen the Panama Canal.
Just repeating that back, it does seem standard, right?
But as Rupert went into further detail about the client using the Multitec 4000 rig, the Universidad técnica de Panamá, it started to become obvious that this isn’t simply another drilling project.
This is a gigantic undertaking that’s literally changing the shape of the planet.
Helping The People on the Ground
Taking samples next to one of the country’s most important facilities, the University, demonstrates a reality we wrote about a while back – that drilling is about people first and the economy second. The widening of the canal and improvements made to its adjacent ports is about more than the increased amount of cargo that will be able to pass through, it’s about the people living in Panama that will immediately benefit from the improved infrastructure.
And because of the implications to nations that also depend on the viability of the canal, it’s about people all over the world who will be affected in some small way by this project.
And Viking West is playing a part in the development.
Improving an Icon: The Panama Canal
Looking at pictures of a Viking West attachment being used beneath the shadow of the Bridge of the Americas, I’ll admit – it’s a thrill. This project, which has been taking place for the better part of a decade, includes building a new set of locks on both the Pacific and Atlantic sides of the passage. The Panama Canal is one of history’s greatest industrial achievements, a project shared by, and argued over, by nations all over the world.
And it’s almost done.
The project includes building gigantic locks which allow even greater ships to pass through the country. Although Viking West has a relatively small part to play in the project, the fact our Auto Hammer is a key component in the process is undeniably a badge of honour.
Here’s a quote from Rupert from the upcoming National Driller article on the specifics of the Dando multipurpose rig being used:
“(3P Sociedad Limitada Ingenieria Civil) decided on the Multitec 4000 and we fitted Viking’s SPT hammer on our carriage system which allows us to do SPT and driven window and window-less sampling. There was some HQ wireline coring as well, so the rig needed to wear a lot of hats, so to speak.”
Contributing to a Global Economy
Life in the drilling industry involves some, should we say, non-exciting aspects. However, some of the least interesting components of a rig or a location are the most important. It’s the simplest pieces that hold the most important projects together.
There’s always more to a story, particularly one surrounding something as important as improving geological infrastructure on one of our planet’s greatest accomplishments to date.
In the end, we’re just happy to be part of improving it just a little further.
Stay tuned to our LinkedIn profile next month for our interview with Dando Drilling’s Rupert Coler.