Model of a System Rapid deep-well drilling installation

© Technisches Museum Wien, Photo: Peter Sedlaczek
© Technisches Museum Wien, Photo: Peter Sedlaczek
© Technisches Museum Wien, Photo: Peter Sedlaczek
Collection Area
Energy & Mining
1910 - 1919
At the moment this object is not published in the museum.
Already before the turn of the century, drilling installations were developed for the crude-oil areas of the Austrian province of Galicia, which reached deposits of crude oil up to 2,000 metres below ground.

In the early days of the crude-oil industry, the ‘Pennsylvanian’ drilling method was widespread. It was equivalent to cable drilling: the rock was shattered by dropping a heavy drill bit, and then removed using a so-called bailer, a pipe with a non-return valve on the lower end.

In the 1880s, the ‘Canadian drilling technique’ was brought to Galicia by the Canadian crude-oil pioneer William H. McGarvey: the fixed boring rods allowed a much faster impact and additionally permitted the introduction of flush boring. Here a flushing liquid is pumped through the hollow boring rod and emerges by the drilling bit. It continuously transports the well cuttings to the top in its backflow through the annular space between the drill column and the rock.

Building on this, the Viennese drilling company Fauck developed its ‘Rapid’ system. Here the conversion of the rotary motion of the drive shaft into the up-and-down motion of the drill column took place using chains or cables through an eccentrically-arranged disk and no longer through a walking beam. Without the heavy weight of the walking beam, and with a small stroke of just 50 to 100 millimetres and very accurate guidance of the chain, it was possible to drill very quickly: 100 to 250 percussions per minute allowed to drill up to 60 metres each day to depths of up to two kilometres.

McGarvey was very successful in the Galician crude-oil industry and later moved to Vienna where he became a member of the Reichsrat and the board of trustees for founding the Technisches Museum Wien (Vienna Technical Museum) in 1910.

Inv.Nr. 9746

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