Driller’s ‘Rigless’ Abandonment Unit Pulls Monitoring Wells
National Driller recently wrote about about Max’s Enterprises, a Kansas company that offers auger cleaners for geotechnical and environmental drillers. Shortly after posting that, I got a call from David Hunziker, Max’s lead driller, who let me know about some of the company’s other custom tooling. He had a lot to say about the company’s “rigless” abandonment unit.
“As a drilling contractor myself, I saw a great future in monitor well abandonment because we were putting in wells and very few were coming out,” Hunziker said. “There was no easy way to remove them, and I knew how important it is to remove a conduit that would take the contamination straight to the water table.”
Hunziker had an idea.
“I developed a well extraction tool that pulls the PVC and I was surprised to find it pulls the casing, even if it is cemented in, because it is being pulled straight,” he said.
The device attaches to the receiver hitch of a pickup or SUV, and gets its power from a small hydraulic unit that fits in the truck bed. He says the device can remove well screen and riser in minutes, and eliminates the need to run a large rig back to a site for a simple abandonment. Max’s has used the device on hundreds of monitor well abandonments in Kansas and Missouri since 2008.
Hunziker and Max’s are selling the units, and seeking to find operators in nearby states or partners in some markets.
Max’s Enterprises, based in Fort Scott, Kan., is a family-owned company offering environmental and geothechnical drilling services, as well as custom tooling. For more information, visit www.maxsenterprises.com.