Mark Ortman discussed with Dillon Sickler, East Coast Service Center (ECSC), what to do with his company’s 2005 Schramm drill rig T450M mud rotary rig with just under 15,000 hours on it. They ultimately began a rig refurbish in September 2020.
“They outdid our expectations,” said Ortman, co-owner of Ortman Drilling & Water Services, Indiana. “And they have great customer support.”
Standard practice had Sickler with the customer for a week once the refurb was completed to ensure the rig is operating smoothly in the field.
“It’s just like a new rig from an OEM and doing a startup,” Sickler said. “With 400 to 600 hoses on a rig, there’s going to be a leak somewhere. We just want to make sure everything goes smoothly. It’s also a good way to get input back to engineering here. They might be fighting a battle on something that you could help with.”
With the 2005 Schramm drill rig T450M back to factory specification, Ortman’s team quickly noticed how the rig felt tighter. The ECSC stiffened the rig frame where the cylinders that raise the mast arm attach. In addition, they made it so the rotary table hydraulically opens to remove and install slips rather than having to manually open the table.
“You get a 15-year-old rig with 15,000 hours on it, and everything starts to get sloppy on you — even when you stay up on your maintenance,” Ortman says. “They knew exactly where some issues had been problems the last 10 to 15 years; they resolved a lot of those issues too during the refurb. While they had stuff torn apart, they stiffened it up where it needed to be."
Ortman, who believes Schramm builds one of the toughest rig frames in the industry, says the refurbished rig is essentially a new rig.
“We got 15 years out of it the first time,” he said. “You might not get 15 more years, but you should probably get 10 to 12 years.”