When it comes to safely delivering a successful drilling project there are a number of factors involved. Company safety culture, experience and a willingness to listen to and understand the project’s needs are key.

This includes the driller’s knowledge and experience used to identify the most appropriate drilling method and also having alternative methods available when conditions change.

This is particularly important when it comes to working in challenging conditions while delivering successful outcomes for all  stakeholders.

Bunbury Drilling Company (BDC) has over 60 years’ experience drilling for the mining, agricultural and public water supply industries, and for more than a decade has been able to deliver every project they have been involved in safely, on time, and on or under budget.

BDC has worked continuously in the Pilbara since 2011 and is experienced with coal mine projects, such as dewatering and pressure relief, as well as deep sedimentary drilling to depths of 1,000 metres.

BDC is armed with the experience to be able to take on challenging projects and the company has, in a number of instances, stepped in to take on failed projects and has successfully completed them on each occasion.

Turning it around

A project that BDC was contracted to recover was a drilling program in the West Pilbara. When BDC was called in, the original contractor had been unable to complete a single bore after 12 months of drilling using multiple rigs.

BDC General Manager, Dale McLeod, said the project involved the installation of production and monitoring bores which were to be used for dewatering.

“Over the course of 12 months BDC drilled and installed more than 28 bores between 100 and 230 metres in depth, safely, on time and under budget.”

The challenge

Mr McLeod said the major challenge that the previous contractor came across was the ground conditions, which in this case were reactive clays.

Reactive clay swells when in contact with water, either from the formation or from the drilling process, and can also shrink when it is dry. This creates a range of issues that can lead to the loss of the drilled hole if not managed appropriately.

“BDC had a better understanding of how to control the hydrodynamic conditions in the formation, resulting in successful drilling and construction on every site,” said Mr McLeod.

“We know the best drilling methodologies to utilise to control the formation’s reaction to drilling operations – experience really does count.”

This partner content is brought to you by Bunbury Drilling Company. For more information, visit

Lauren brings a fresh approach to content. While she’s previously written for publications as diverse as Australian Geographic, The Border Watch and Girlfriend, she’s found her true passion in her current role as an editor in the world of energy and infrastructure trade magazines.

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