Schilling Robotics, LLC, experts in subsea systems, and Gregg Marine, Inc., experts in drilling and geotechnical testing services, announced today the successful completion of their Factory Acceptance Testing on their new Seafloor Drill. Gregg will begin field testing of their drill in the waters offshore of Vancouver, British Columbia this July.
The Seafloor Drill was conceived by John Gregg, president of Gregg Drilling, Inc. He approached MARL Technologies and Schilling Robotics to bring his concept into reality. MARL was able to provide the drilling platform, and Schilling engineered the controls, power systems, and subsea packaging for the system. "This is one of the first platforms commercially available to truly compete with traditional geotechnical drill ships, and the only one to utilize patented wireline technology," said Gregg. "The design and durability of this platform will save companies on cost, increase accuracy, and offer a positive environmental impact. The system is rated to 3,000msw and with the initial tooling, will drill up to 500ft (150m) under the seabed. This is the first seabed drilling unit to combine this much power and drilling precision on the seabed." Combined with Gregg's 3000msw rated DeepCPT and 6m One-pass Drill, the Seafloor Drill will benefit oil and gas companies, mineral and mining companies, as well as scientific organizations. Gregg feels that in the future with additional tooling capacity the unit will be capable of exceeding 200m.
"We are proud to again partner with Gregg Marine for the engineering and assembly of their Seafloor Drill system. This is the first of four systems that Gregg will build, and it is changing the landscape of drilling and core sampling technology," said Tyler Schilling, president and CEO of Schilling Robotics, LLC. "We are excited to be a part of the innovation and global applications that Gregg is implementing," said Schilling.
The Drill will be used for geotechnical surveying and core sampling, but its design flexibility also allows Gregg to change the tools downhole for additional activities. Utilizing patented wireline technology through a license from Williamson Technologies, Gregg will be able to switch out the drill head and perform Cone Penetration Testing (CPT) to determine strength parameters in soft soils. Other tools are being developed, such as a downhole vane shear test and geophysical tools to give 3D modeling capabilities. Gregg's seafloor drill will revolutionize the industry with the capability to offer all of these technologies within one platform.