by Nick Lawton
ODESSA - About 85% of Schramm Inc.'s production go overseas to severe operating areas.
They stress reliability under intense pressure, which they certainly found in Chile.
It only took a moment on August 5th to trap 33 Chilean miners underground.
That's when Schramm got the call.
"We want to do good, and truly this was an opportunity to do so," Fred Slack, Schramm's Vice President of Business Development, explained.
They moved all of their T685 rigs over to the mine where they drilled the 5-inch hole to find the miners.
"We sent people down to the job site who were literally sleeping with the machine," Slack said. "To make sure it was operating at full capacity, optimizing every moment."
Once they were found, Schramm brought in something heavier, the T130, becoming the "Plan B" rig, using hydraulics to have both the power and the control to enlarge the tunnel to 28 inches.
"The conditions were such in Chile that the rock was very hard and that particular method is well-suited for hard rock drilling," Frank Gabriel, Vice President of Sales for Schramm, said. "It hits the rock, breaks the rock, and moves the rock chips out of the way while it's drilling."
That was enough room to bring the miners out and back to their families.
Now Schramm has an exhibit at the Oil Show in Odessa, showing off a rig similar to the one that dug the miners out.
They remain proud to serve American industry and their part in history.
"We're very proud that we played our small part in this rescue effort," Gabriel said.
"People buy the confidence of something made in America that works, and we're proud to be a part of that," Slack said.
And if you'd like to see the rig and talk to the Schramm representatives, their exhibit is at the far right by Andrews Highway.