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Stauchy Blog » Blog Archive » The New Rodwell - Thurs, Dec. 7 (LAS)

The New Rodwell - Thurs, Dec. 7 (LAS)

At approximately 2000, I met with Martin Lewis, the Operations Manager, Josiah, one of the night shift heavy equipment operators (and co-driller), another experienced driller, and John, an NSF rep here to help with the Design team who also used his knowledge to help with the procedures for the drill.  We reviewed the JHA and additional safety issues before heading out to the location of the new rodwell.  Our existing rodwell is coming close to being spent and this summer we need to complete a new rodwell and allow it to operate/warm water for a year before switching from the old rodwell to the new.

The NSF rep and I watched from the outside and identified any concerns as the drilling progressed.  One of the tricky things with this drilling operation is that we were drilling through an existing ice tunnel.  Our water/sewer lines run through ice tunnels near the station drilled several years ago near the station.  The new rodwell is at the end of one of these legs and the surveyors/estimate was to split this tunnel in the middle.

When we thought we reached this point based on depth (approximately 30ft below the ice), Martin and I went down to the tunnels to see how we did.  The drill almost perfectly split the tunnel in half, but came close to the large piping system that ran along the tunnel.  I pulled out my hands to take some pics.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t wearing glove liners and my hands were immediately cold.  I turned and headed back to the Power Plant to warm my hands.  About the time I was warm, I called for Martin who told me that he would be right behind.  I radio’d him to see where he was.  His radio went dead.  I headed down the tunnels.  At that point, I got a radio call from BK who was up at the rig.  They had also lost radio with Martin.  I found Martin still at the end of the tunnel.  Only the drill was in the ground.  He showed me what he had learned – if you lean against the lines, they would move just enough out of the way that the drill could get by without hitting the lines.  I helped hold the lines back while we finished augering what we could.  The remainder of the well will be drilled with hot water later.  We finished up at about 2300 and I headed to bed.

Pictures are: (1)The drill rig (2)My favorite of Martin, who returned to the States just a few days later.  He hates the picture - I threathened to enter in the annual Antarctica photo contest :) .  He is showing hands clear of the rig prior to the driller advancing the machinery. (3) Drill through ceiling of tunnel.

SIMCO Drill rig       Martin Lewis       Drill through tunnel ceiling

-LAS

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