The latest industry happening's from the perspective ofND's editor.

Jamestown Well Yields Artifacts

Archaeologists at Historic James-towne have discovered a remarkable piece of slate covered with faint sketches, words and numbers thrown in what appears to be an original Jamestown well abandoned and filled by 1611. Sketches of New World birds, flowers, a tree and caricatures of men are scratched on the slate, along with letters and numbers.

The well is located at the very epicenter of the 1607 James Fort site. Archaeologists digging in this vicinity last fall discovered a 14-foot-square area that their testing determined contained layer upon layer of rich dark soil laden with 17th-century objects.

According to record, Smith’s well water had gone bad by 1610, and may have contributed to the rash of deaths that occurred during the infamous “starving time” of 1609-1610. It is very possible that the slate belonged to one of the unfortunate colonists who died at Jamestown during that tragic winter.

Ground Source Heat Pump Conference

Ground source heat pump leaders and industry experts will gather Oct. 21-22 in Dallas for the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA) Technical Conference and Expo, the nation’s largest and oldest conference dedicated to the ground source heat pump industry.

The 2009 conference at the Gaylord Resort and Convention Center at Lake Grapevine will focus on expanding the ground source heat pump market with up-to-date industry research, developments and opportunities for drilling contractors. Drilling product manufacturers and distributors will be on site, giving attendees the chance to network with geothermal professionals from around the world.

The three-day drillers training workshop, taking place Oct 19-21, educates current drilling contractors and drilling project managers on proper construction and completion methods for vertical geo-exchange boreholes. Workshop topics include GSHP system design and layout basics, system materials, thermal conductivity, drilling processes and pipe joining techniques.

For a complete information, visit

Coming Soon: Drillers Directory

Your friends atNational Drillerare developing an on-line directory where the many companies in need of drilling expertise can locate the drilling contractors who can meet their needs. For example, an engineering firm or an HVAC contractor has a project in your market area and needs a driller. That firm goes to and finds a participating drilling contractor – you’ll likely want to be on that list. Complete details will be available soon, and we’ll certainly keep you posted.

Hydrofracturing Legislation

Legislation has been introduced in both the House and Senate that would place hydrofracturing under the supervision of the Environmental Protection Agency, and eliminate its exemption from Safe Drinking Water Act regulations. Should be a pretty good fight.

Need More Information?

While our tear-out Reader Service Card has been discontinued, you still can get complete details from manufacturers on the products you see in advertisements and the “Product Showcase” and “Product Info” editorial sections. The form is on page 70. It takes 2 minutes to complete; just answer a few questions and write the products’ card codes in the spaces provided and mail or fax the form. It’s just that easy to get all the information you need on the products and services you see in the magazine.

We've Got Mail Re: Cash Flow

I read with great interest the article “The Cash Flow Dilemma” by Jim Olsztynski in the June, 2009 issue ofNational Driller.  We in the drilling industry have faced cash-flow difficulties for many decades. Our very small company is presently “celebrating”  (I say that facetiously) 25 years in business and it has been a struggle since the beginning. Speaking for the drilling firms providing environmental and geotechnical services, I can say that payment is seldom made to us in a timely manner. We are required (take it or leave it) to live by the terms of contracts dictated to us by engineering and environmental consulting firms; such terms frequently state that payment will be made to the drilling contractor at some time after the consultant’s receipt of payment. This can be months after your date of billing, long after you’ve had to pay your myriad of job-related expenses in addition to those fixed expenses. Some contracts even state that consultant’s receipt of payment from their client is a condition precedent to their obligation to pay the subcontractor (driller)! In other words, if they don’t get paid, you don’t get paid! Tell that to your banker!

I honestly don’t know why we in this industry have allowed this practice to go on for so long!

Thank you for your thought-provoking article.
Carole Caprioni
Jersey West Drilling Inc.
Mason, Ohio

Jim Olsztynski responds:

Thanks for taking the time to write, Carole. The contracts you describe contain so-called “pay IF paid” clauses, which the Ameri-can Subcontractors Association and various other groups have been trying to outlaw for a number of years. If memory serves, they may have succeeded in a handful of states but it’s an uphill battle across the country.

Good luck.