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Bahía region, Brazil

Herrenknecht Vertical delivered two hydraulic deep drilling rigs for a large Petrobras oilfield development campaign in Bahia region, a poorly accessible and sparsely populated area of Brazil. Each rig drilled a total of almost 100 kilometers.

The rigs’ hydraulically self-erecting substructure and mast systems enabled jobsite crews to swiftly assemble and raise the rig without heavy cranes – and numerous wells to be drilled. 

Logistical and technical challenge

Petrobras’ campaign required two rigs that could be rigged up and down quickly without needing to bring specialized heavy crane equipment into the remote region. Herrenknecht Vertical developed and delivered two tailor-made rigs of the TI-350 Slingshot type to Alagoinhas, 100 kilometers north of Bahia state capital Salvador.

Quick and easy rig-up 
and rig-down

The rigs‘ innovative feature is the self-erecting slingshot system and telescopic mast. They are assembled at the drilling location in a compact, horizontal position. The substructure and mast are then raised using an integrated hydraulic cylinder lifting system. Raising of the complete rig to the required working level can be done without needing heavy cranes.

Also, the telescopic mast works with hydraulic cylinders. Instead of hoisting the drill string and the top drive with ropes as with conventional drawworks, a Herrenknecht Vertical developed hydraulic cylinder hoisting system with a doubles stroke of 22 meters is used. Joystick control in the driller’s cabin ensures swift and precise operations in the borehole. The hydraulic system works in a uniform way from the first millimeter – whereas with rope drawworks there is a delayed and uneven reaction as the rope expands under tensile load.

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Safety first

Manual pipe handling, the norm for decades, is now carried out by the hydraulic horizontal-to-vertical pipe handler. The pipes are provided at a defined hand-over position by the horizontal catwalk in front of the rig, from where the hydraulic gripper arm transports the pipe as doubles to the vertical well center position at the touch of a button from the control panel in the driller’s cabin. Subsequent steps, such as making up the connection at the rig floor and at the top drive, are also largely automated. No-one needs to work in hazardous areas, minimizing the risk of accidents.

Full support during the project

In the Petrobras Bahia campaign, more than 60 wells were drilled to depths of up to 4,200 meters. The two TI-350 rigs proved to be true marathon runners.

Herrenknecht Vertical deployed a maintenance crew on both rigs during the campaign, teaming up with the customer’s drilling crew, to carry out maintenance and maximize rig availability. Due to air temperatures as high as 60°C, we integrated an extra mobile cooling tower in the rigs’ hydraulic oil circuits.

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Download our project data sheet:




Bahia region, northeast Brazil


Petrobras Brazil

Rig type:

TI-350 Slingshot


Oilfield development

Drilling depths:

to 4,200 meters (18,050 ft)

Well diameter:

17 1/2’’ to 8 1/2’’