So far, EWS – Australia’s biggest onshore well servicing outfit – has built two of its Advantage Series workover rigs, both of which are currently being used by Santos in the Cooper Basin.
It is now halfway through building a third, to be known as Rig-8, which will also go to Santos in January.
While Santos is obviously a convert, EWS spokesperson Christine Reid said interest in the rig has also been high from other big names such as Origin Energy, whose representatives were among those who attended the company’s recent open day.
What separates the Advantage Series rig from old-fashioned workover units is technology, according to Reid.
“In an Australian first, the rig has an automated pipe handler, which does away with the need for a derrickman and someone on the ground to guide up the pipe,” she said.
“Less manpower translates to cost savings and the potential for fewer accidents.”
EWS has also made the rigging up and down process more efficient. Instead of taking four hours to move, the Advantage Series rig can be shifted in an hour – saving the operator more money and time.
“The new rigs also have no guide wires and are very compact, therefore leaving a small foot on the environment,” Reid said.
A team of three mechanical engineers employed by EWS took about 11 months to design the rig. The company is now working towards building three or four a year at its Toowoomba-based manufacturing facility.
In 2004, the company introduced the petroleum industry to another Australian first. Its Rig Snubbing Unit (RASU) is unique in that it can service a well without killing it, thus maintaining flow and productivity, the company said.