In 2014, Pacific Drilling Co was selected by AECOM to assist with a multi year, multi phase investigation of the sediments within a coastal lagoon in northern San Diego County. Our team was tasked with collecting in-situ soil samples at depths of up to 40 feet below the mud line within the 915 acre Ecological Reserve.

Challenges included moving equipment and personnel in a biologically sensitive tidal marsh environment over land and water. Drilling on land involved avoiding sensitive vegetation and hand carrying equipment long distances. Drilling over water involved dealing with large tidal fluctuations, strong afternoon sea breezes, sensitive fish habitat and overcoming surging silts, sands and gravels.

Our in house fabrication team modified a shallow draft pontoon boat with spuds and a moon pool to create a stable yet mobile drilling platform for our Beaver tripod rig, equipped with our custom built wash bore system. We then teamed with Bob’s Crane Service to lift the barge and equipment into the lagoon during the appropriate tidal window. Our drill crew, together with the AECOM field staff were able to access all boring locations and retrieve the required information. The project was completed in 2016 on time and within the approved task budget.

We thank AECOM for putting their confidence in us.