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Wednesday, 17 October 1956

Mr Swartz z asked the Minister representing the Minister for National Development, upon notice -

1.   Is any information available regarding a new drill for use in the oil industry which is being developed by an Australian engineer for a French firm in France?

2.   Are there prospects of this new-type drill being used for oil search operations in Australia?

Mr Fairhall - The Minister for National Development has furnished the following replies: -

1.   It is known that Australian engineers are employed by Les Establissements Neyrpic of Grenoble, France, on the development of a turbodrill for use by the oil industry. The concept of a turbo-drill is not new, as it was first introduced to the oil industry in 1925 by Russian engineers. Since this time the Russian turbo-drill has gradually been improved, and Russian scientists now claim to have achieved penetration rates from three to five times as fast as those of conventional rotary drills.

2.   The turbo-drill is better suited to oil-fields where drilling conditions are well known, than to prospect drilling such as is being done in Australia. It is therefore unlikely to replace conventional rotary drills in the search for oil in Australia, but may come into use if oil is discovered in commercial quantities. Officers of my department are in contact with Les Establissements Neyrpic and will keep me informed of the progress in the manufacture of the new drill.

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