Water Well Journal

June 2016

Water Well Journal

Issue link: http://read.dmtmag.com/i/681918

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Page 36 of 111

A ll along California's Central Valley, water well drillers have been racing to keep pace with demand and getting rigs capable of performing the task. Atlas Copco salesman Joe Beloso got an inquiry from Scott Belknap, owner of Scott Belknap Well Drilling in Dinuba, California, about trying an Atlas Copco RD20 for water well drilling. Belknap's customers needed up to 28-inch- diameter wells drilled to depths as great as 1200 feet in complex soil environments. The mobile, self-contained deep hole RD20 rig is engi- neered with 120,000 pounds of pullback capability for the oil- field, but compact enough for agricultural and municipal water wells. Belknap already operated Atlas Copco T2W, T3W, and TH60 water well rigs. Beloso called his colleagues Tom Moffitt, Atlas Copco business line manager of deep hole rigs, and Ray Kranzusch, product manager for oil and gas drill rigs. Kranzusch, who works closely with RD20 top hole contractors in the oil and gas drilling industry, recognized a mutually beneficial solution and introduced the Belknap group to an RD20 crew freed up by the slump in oil drilling. Although RD20s were developed for presetting casing in oil and gas projects, Kranzusch says their use in other applica- tions is not unusual, ranging from ventilation shaft drilling and creating grouted pilings, as well as drilling water wells. Belknap's crews were able to put the RD20 to work imme- diately without the usual commissioning and training period required for a new, unfamiliar rig. For the RD20 crew, they would be making the transition to reverse circulation tech- nique while working under an established water well contrac- tor. The Belknap family has been working in California agriculture for almost 100 years. They have a close relation- ship with the land and with their customers. They are an integral part of the region's business community. Belknap says his history in the area helps him do his job better. "We don't need a map to tell us 7 miles that way, you'll be drilling in 'Old Faithful,' getting 1000 gallons per minute, but 10 miles this way, you'll be lucky to see 20 gpm." The Belknaps are also farmers, so they identify with their customers' water needs. Mixing Oil and Water OIL AND WATER continues on page 36 Rig crews from oil patch help water well contractor bring drought relief to California farms. By Joe Bradfield WWJ June 2016 35 Twitter @WaterWellJournl

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