In the past, seismic programs had very few options on types of drills available. Traditionally, seismic lines were cut no less than 5m wide to allow for conventional drills to travel down the lines with tow cats near to ensure drills were able to traverse the steep slopes.
There has been significant improvements in the design of drills which have reduced the environmental footprint from seismic exploration. There are many Drilling options available today, ranging from heli-portable drills, hand drills, LIS track drills, and wheeled top drives with floater tires, and/or buggy mounted. The type of drills required for projects today is determined by terrain, ground conditions, environmental concerns, and forestry restrictions.
• Heliportable Drills – Specifically used for difficult terrain, environmentally sensitive areas & areas with limited access.
• Hand Drills – Used in soft and wildlife sensitive areas.
• LIS (Low Impact Seismic) Drills – Small compact drills where line width are restricted 1.75m to 2.5m. These drills reduce the environmental impact on the land but are still powerful enough to drill in difficult subsurface areas.
• Conventional Drilling – Extremely powerful top-drive drills mounted on track drills or wheeled rigs.