We have harnessed plasma with the temperature of the sun to bring disruptive innovation into the drilling and milling industries. With minimal footprint, it is faster and more cost-effective than any conventional technology. It has higher drilling rates in vertical and in deviated wells. PLASMABIT® has lower energy consumption and overall is cheaper to operate than conventional systems. Our proprietary hi-tech platform involves 13 unique technology inventions and technical solutions and 2 design patents.
The contactless tool, using a rotating plasma arc at temperatures up to 6000˚C, is able to disrupt any material, while the technology remains undamaged. The harder the rock is, the easier we can drill through. Thanks to an integrated cooling system the bit constantly keeps its temperature at a safe operational level. Wear and tear are not an issue, since the drilling bit has no moving parts and works without any contact.
PLASMABIT® has advanced hi-tech features. It includes precise chemical, electrical, and mechanical systems to control the overall tool operation, including positioning, feedback, and plasma focus and movement.
With years of experience in R&D for drilling, well construction and intervention, supported by European Union research grants and strategic industrial partnerships, we are now perfecting our technology with our team of 20+ doctoral level employees and 60+ master level engineers in our Technology Center and test well.
We have performed the first ever plasma milling under water, as well as the first ever plasma milling in a High Pressure/High Temperature environment. Soon, we aim to prove PLASMABIT® performance in a real high pressure environment and at depths never achieved before.
The GA Drilling team have been requested to present our transformative technology all over the world and through various papers. Here is a selection.
- Utilization of Electrical Plasma for Hard Rock Drilling and Casing Milling
- Non-contact Approach in Milling Operations for Well Intervention Operations
- Well Intervention Using Plasma Technologies (Russian)
- Well Intervention Using Plasma Technologies
- Use Of Plasma-Based Tool For Plug And Abandonment
- Plasma-Based Milling Tool for Light Well Intervention
- Update in Development of Advanced Plasma-Based Technology for Rigless Well Intervention
Our research projects
Our company is active in the Horizon 2020 Programme, Cross-border and National projects and in projects funded by Structural funds of the European Union. We have implemented following R&D projects:
FP7 – Rock Processing
GA Drilling is a member of the FP7 Sustainable Technologies for Calcined Industrial Minerals (STOICISM) Consortium, consisting of 17 partners from 8 different European countries. Key contributors on this multidisciplinary platform include several universities, specialised SMEs & corporations, an industry association, as well as applied technology and research institutes. Focus of the STOICISM project will be to develop sustainable and innovative solutions for minerals processing routes reducing the carbon footprint of chosen calcined industrial minerals, thereby serving the whole supply chain from the extraction and waste valorisation for the end users.
TSB – Continuous Casing
GA Drilling,in cooperation with industrial partner Weatherford have implemented the project entitled “Thermal Vitrification Casing while Drilling technology”. The project addressing the need of technologically and economically efficient way of in-situ vitrification method and casing production from surrounding material was funded from Technology Strategy Board (TSB). In contrast to present-day technologies the continuous casing production system is able to work parallel to the drilling process ensuring borehole structure and robustness providing transport and service access route. The main goal of the 6-month project was to map the potential of this innovative technology.
Based on the project, simplified rig complexity was marked as the major advantage of the technology. This feature reduces the major costs connected with drilling operations – Rig Daily Operating rate. This item is significant mainly in offshore operations which have high logistic and safety requirements. The detailed description of various component costs was described in the market analysis section. The opportunity for the technology is based on hard-to-reach reservoirs represented by tight oil and shale gas reservoirs.
SIEA – Drilling Platform
On January 1, 2014 GA Drilling implemented a project entitled “Research of the drilling platform system for extermal disintegration of rocks in extreme environment” with the ITMS number 25110320109. Project was aimed at sophisticated industrial research and was implemented and completed without partners. The main objective of the project was industrial research focused on the drilling platform for rock disintegration in extreme environments, including movement and control mechanism. The project consisted of three main activities and two supporting activities and was implemented during 23 months.
ASFEU – Drilling Technology
On August 1st 2010 GA Drilling implemented a project entitled „Applied research and development of innovative drilling technology for ultra-deep geothermal wells” along with its partners, Institute of Materials & Machine Mechanics of Slovak Academy of Sciences, Comenius University in Bratislava and the Slovak Technical University in Bratislava. The goal of project was to create an innovative water jet generating system based on the use of electric-discharge plasma with increased pulse effect. The project consisted of six main activities, and two supporting activities. The length of the applied research project was 36 months and we achieved all set objectives. We would like to take up again with further research of innovative drilling technology for ultra-deep geothermal wells. Currently we are in 5-year sustainability period, when project is being monitored.
ASFEU – Mechatronic Systems
On February 1st, 2011 GA Drilling implemented a project entitled „Robust autonomous mechatronic systems for ultra-deep geothermal wells“ along with its partner The University of Žilina. The goal of the project was to research and implement the innovative mechatronic systems for extreme conditions of ultra deep geothermal wells. The project is being implemented through three main activities, and two supporting activities. The length of the applied research project is estimated for 36 months, what is the optimum time to achieve the objectives of the research project.
ASFEU – Plasmothermic Processes
On February 9th, 2011 GA Drilling implemented a project entitled „Applied research of technology of thermal plasma processes” along with its partners, the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry at Slovak Academy of Sciences and the Slovak Technical University in Bratislava. The goal of 36-month project is research of electroplasmatic system of disintegration of materials with plasmathermical processes, research and implementation materials for plasma-chemical processes of plasmatron and research of processes of plasma exposure on rocks.
ASFEU – Center of Excellence
On February 5th, 2014 GA Drilling implemented a project entitled „Centre of Excellence for plasma high-productive processing of materials and additive creation of structures” along with its partners, Ecoland, s.r.o., the Institute of Materials and Machine Mechanics of Slovak Academy of Sciences and CELIM Slovakia. The main goal of the project was to provide know-how and the necessary infrastructure in the strategic area of highly productive plasma processing of materials and additive creation of structures. The project was implemented through three main activities and two supporting project activities. Project duration was 21 months which was an optimal time to achieve its objectives. The project was successfully finished on October 31st, 2015 and we would like to take up again to it in the 2nd stage of this project, where we will continue with industrial research. Currently we are in 5-year sustainability period, when project is being monitored.
ASFEU – Competence Center
On August 1st, 2011 we implemented the project Competence Center for New Materials, Advanced Technologies and Energy with code ITMS 26240220073, where the company GA Drilling was one of the partners of the applicant, which is the Institute of Electrical Engineering Slovak Academy of Sciences. The main goal was to build an integrated Competence Center, linking the private and academic sectors aimed at supporting key industries of Slovakia. The project consisted of five main activities, and two supporting activities with the length of 52 months. The project was successfully completed on November 11th, 2015. As partner we fulfilled all set objectives and planned outputs and project indicators. Currently we are in 5-year sustainability period, when project is being monitored.