Epic Drilling General Manager Jeff Fox stands in front Australia's deepest drilling rig at Redbank.
Epic Drilling General Manager Jeff Fox stands in front Australia's deepest drilling rig at Redbank. David Nielsen

It's an epic tale: Bigfoot rig rests ready to roam

RIG THAT WALKS: Epic Drilling general manager Jeff Fox shows off Australia’s deepest drilling rig, based at Redbank.
RIG THAT WALKS: Epic Drilling general manager Jeff Fox shows off Australia’s deepest drilling rig, based at Redbank. David Nielsen

A MASSIVE drilling rig known as Bigfoot is all set to roam the desert in search of oil and gas.

The 61-metre-high drill was built in Redbank by the aptly named Epic Drilling Services and has a capacity to drill down 6500m, making it the deepest land-based drilling rig in Australia.

"This is an epic drill," Epic Drilling general manager Jeff Fox said.

No one would disagree.

The drilling rig has taken the company two-and-a-half months to assemble and is 90% completed.

It is called Bigfoot for good reason.

"The reason we call it Bigfoot is because it is a pad drilling rig, which means it walks," Mr Fox grinned.

"Bigfoot has got four big walking feet on it ... great big 12-ton pieces of steel on each corner."

The drill rig will now be rented to an oil and gas company that does exploration or multiple well pad drilling.

"The rig has got many capabilities. One of them is long reach - up to 6500 metres," Mr Fox said.

"It can drill vertical or horizontal. It can basically drill in any direction.

"This is a very unique rig for land-based drilling.

"It will be rented out on a day rate.

"We supply the rig, the crew and the camp to an oil and gas company here in Australia.

"We go out into the field and drill the wells for whatever capacity they want, whether it be a horizontal or vertical well drill."

Before it is ready to take into the field, the rig must be disassembled.

All the parts and additional equipment required fill 118 trucks.

The segments of the drill were manufactured in Canada by National Oilwell Varco (NOV) for an Australian company called Geodynamics.

Geodynamics put it up for sale when they changed their drilling program and Epic Drilling acquired it and shipped it over late last year.

When the ship was coming to Australia, it went through a cyclone near Honolulu and lost four of the main components of the massive rig.

"So we sent it back to the manufacturer in Canada and had them rebuild all the parts that we lost, bring it all back and put the whole thing back together," Mr Fox said.

"It has been an epic adventure."

Epic Drilling is an Australian company and the Redbank site employs around 35 staff and contractors.

"All of our staff are local," Mr Fox said.

BIGFOOT FACTS

  • The drilling rig is 61 metres high
  • It has capacity to drill down 6500m
  • It was built in Redbank by Epic Drilling


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