Mobile drill uses Actros power

Diesel Industry News
Mobile drill uses Actros power

The sturdy Mercedes-Benz Actros has been chosen for a new Australian mobile oil and gas well servicing rig. Brisbane-based Exploration Drill Rigs (XDR) chose the current generation Actros for its innovative XDR 75 rig.

The sturdy Mercedes-Benz Actros has been chosen for a new Australian mobile oil and gas well servicing rig.

Brisbane-based Exploration Drill Rigs (XDR) chose the current generation Actros for its innovative XDR 75 rig, which is about to start work in Queensland.

Nitschke Energy Services, which is based near Hahndorf in the Adelaide hills, is making final preparations before deploying one of its two XDR 75 Actros models to Queensland. 

The XDR 75 can be used for a range of well servicing tasks. It was developed from the start with workers in mind, with some clever safety features built in, but its productivity is also a key selling point.

The design of the XDR 75 means it can be set up and packed up faster than conventional rigs, while it can also deliver time savings once the job has started. The 8x4 Mercedes-Benz Actros 4148 was judged to be the best truck for the job, with one reason at the top of the list of benefits.

It is available with a high power continuously rated direct PTO (Power Take Off), which means the XDR 75 rig can take all its power from the truck’s 12-litre V6 engine that generates a healthy 480hp and 2300Nm of torque. The PTO can deliver 2000Nm of torque to operate the rig.

Often, truck mounted drill rigs require a secondary engine to power the rig and these can be big and heavy power units with up to 12 cylinders. The additional engine also takes up a lot of room on the back of the truck, which can increase the size and weight of the truck and rig combination.

Nitschke Energy Services managing director, Jonathan Nitschke says: “At the moment a lot of other rigs are Canadian and American and they are much larger units,” he says.

“A lot of them are overweight, over width and over height, while this is highly mobile so it is about having the right tool for the right job.”

The XDR 75 Mercedes-Benz does not require any over-dimensional permits to travel on Australian roads, nor does it require escort vehicles.

Nitschke, who ordered the first two XDR 75 rigs in late 2013, has worked closely with XDR to fine-tune to rig to suit the Australian oil and gas market. He is confident the technology will be well accepted by the industry and deliver savings for him and his customers.

“Productivity wise, on set-up, pack up and moving between sites we think we will be 20-30 per cent faster than these traditional rigs that are currently being used in the market,” he says. 

“At the moment clients want reduced cost, increased productivity and innovation, they are the three drivers and this ticks all of those boxes.”

Nistchke has had plenty of experience with Mercedes-Benz products given the business that his father founded used a lot of them.

“We have had 30 or 40 8x8 Mercedes trucks over the years and they are a very good strong truck, they are good off-road and the servicing and everything is pretty good for them as well,” he says. “They are a good truck.”

Nitschke will also use two Actros 2655 B-doubles that carry everything that is needed to operate the XDR 75 unit. This includes large fluid tanks, well control equipment, drill annulus and rams that prevent blowouts, as well as a 20ft workshop container, site office and forklift.

Exploration Drill Rigs is the only Australian gas and oil rig servicing manufacturer that develops, makes and sells this kind of rig.

It says the XDR 75 breaks new ground when it comes to efficiency and safety. The rig takes just 30 minutes to set up and the same amount of time to pack up, but also requires fewer workers thanks to its programmable Logic Control Computer and sensors, which “enable safer and faster rig operations with fewer personnel whilst providing comprehensive well servicing data for the benefit of the client.” 

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