Prime Drilling provides specialist HDD rigs for CSG application

In December 2011 Prime Drilling received an order for two horizontal directional drilling (HDD) rigs that were to be used for coal seam gas extraction in Australia.

The company developed a specialised version on the basis of the existing rig type PD 100/80 RP-C 45 degrees with a maximum thrust/pull force of 100 tonne.

The specialist drilling rigs needed to have:

  • A penetration angle between 6-45 degrees;
  • A minimum drilling speed of 25 mm per minute;
  • A breakout system with a clamping range of 105-405 mm.
  • A self-centering pipe handler without re-adjustment of the drill rods and the casing pipes; and,
  • An explosion-proof safety area of 3 m radius around the drilling mast.

All welded steel constructions had to be checked by non-destructive material testing and documented accordingly.

The drill mast was designed for two different drill rod lengths and was 18 m in length.

The Prime Drilling team even managed to exceed the strict Australian safety requirements.

For example, a specially developed spring loaded park brake was installed to prevent the heavy power rotary head from sliding down even in case of total failure of the hydraulic system.

In the summer of 2012 the two rigs were shipped from Hamburg, Germany, on a 45-day journey to Brisbane, Australia, and are still in operation today.

The drillings performed are horizontal blind hole bores, with a diameter of 88.89 mm, a length of up to 1,800 m and a depth of up to 350 m.

Completing this order was the first step in the development of Prime Drilling’s multifunctional directional drilling rig (MDD) rig.

MDD rigs are vertical rigs and are designed to operate from 8-90 degrees, mainly for oil and gas applications.

Prime Drilling was founded in 1999 and specialises in the manufacture of HDD rigs with a pull force of up to 6,000 kilonewtons.

More than 180 of Prime Drilling’s HDD rigs are in operation around the world.

Prime Drilling machinery is distributed in Australia by Prime Drilling GmbH TT Asia Pacific Pty Ltd.

For more information call (07) 3420 5455 or visit

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