Prototype drilling rig taking shape at HRI

MASSIVE PROJECT’The mast of HRI’s prototype mobile drilling rig lays horizontally near the substructure of the project. Together, these two pieces are only a part of the giant structure that is nearing completion at the Brady plant. The size of the rig can be compared to the man standing near the top of the mast at the right of the photograph. After more than 10 months of virtual ’round-the-clock construction, the one-of-a-kind mobile drilling rig being designed and built at Brady’s own Heartland Rig International (HRI) is slowly nearing completion. The massive $10 million plus structure is comprised of six separate modules. Those modules are beginning to be linked together and assembled near the construction facilities at HRI, within sight of passing traffic traveling on U.S. Hwy. 377. The design of this particular rig is focused on producing a mobile rig that utilizes a working crew of five or six individuals, rather than the traditional 30. It is almost totally automated with over $1 million in computers integrated into the rig’s design. “This project is basically being designed to operate at substantially reduced operating costs as well as being extremely environmentally friendly,” said Tom Fairweather, rig systems technician with Phoenix Alaska Technology. “Despite its size and complexity, the entire rig can be disassembled in one day, moved to a new location and then reassembled in another day.” The massive individual parts of the drilling rig are slowly reaching their finished stages and being assembled piece by piece. When the entire operation is completed, HRI and Phoenix Alaska personnel will subject the rig to actual drilling tests to evaluate and test the project. Once testing has been completed, the rig will be disassembled and shipped to the North Slope of Alaska where it will fulfill British Petroleum drilling contracts.

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