Skip to main content Skip to page footer



Sichuan province, China

Herrenknecht Vertical’s first deep drilling rig type TI-350 Slingshot was used in China. Its high level of automation allows precise drilling down to 6,000 meters with maximized safety and small crews.


With its hydraulic XY stepping system the entire rig can be skidded to drill multiple wells from a single location. 


The most efficient solution for exploring shale gas is a “multi-well pad”, on which the drilling rig moves easily from well to well. Our implementation of this was the XY stepping system integrated into the “Innovative Hydraulic Rig” of the type TI-350 Slingshot delivered to China in 2014. Hydraulic cylinder supports can raise the entire deep drilling rig and move it forward, backwards and laterally. Time-consuming rig-down and rig-up procedures are eliminated. 

Customer China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) wanted a project-specific and customized rig for exploring shale gas deposits in Sichuan province. The exploration and production of natural gas trapped in shale is technically challenging. Some deviated wells at great depths are required in this region.

XY stepping and dedicated training speed up hands-off pad drilling

Thanks to the XY stepping system, the wells could be drilled with an alternating program: not one after the other, but section by section, eliminating the need for frequent drill pipe and mud changes. Due to the telescopic catwalk in the horizontal pipe rack system, the rack also stayed in place when skidding the rig, as the catwalk transfers the tubulars to the same hand-over position for the pipe handler.

We provided training for the customer's personnel who were quickly able to start drilling with the hydraulic rig. Our service team later conducted additional training on tripping operations.

“Innovative Hydraulic Rig” benefits

Hydraulically assisted processes in Herrenknecht Vertical deep drilling rigs are the basis for several innovations. Compared with conventional systems, their use saves time and cost and increases safety. The supply of the drill pipes and casing into the well center, for example, is handled by the pipe handler, a hydraulic gripper arm in this case. This passes the drill pipes onto the elevator at the top drive, which is managed by a hydraulic cylinder hoisting system that ensures accurate control and precise work in the well.

The rig operator can see all processes in real time on the cockpit displays in the driller’s cabin. Data is recorded for evaluation and allows project monitoring and optimization. Operating the rig from the driller's cabin further reduces the presence of personnel in hazardous areas.

In China, automation enabled the rig to be staffed by only four crew members per shift, reducing crew requirements by up to 40%.

show less

Download our project data sheet: 




Sichuan province, China

Rig type:

TI-350 Slingshot


Shale gas exploration drilling

Drilling depths:

5,700 meters

Well diameter:

26” to 8 1/2”