DOSECC Core Drilling Company to Help Determine Viability of Deep Borehole Waste Storage

nara vista core drilling company

Global Scientific Core Drilling Company Working with DOE, Enercon, and NM Community to Drill to New Depths, Determine Viability of Deep Hole Waste Storage

January 23, 2017, Salt Lake City, UT. 

DOSECC Exploration Services, a global drilling company and subsurface technology firm based in Salt Lake City, Utah, announced today that they, as part of a team led by Enercon Federal Services, Inc., were awarded a contract by the US Department of Energy to evaluate the scientific and technical aspects of drilling deep, large diameter boreholes in crystalline rock for the safe and effective disposal of waste. Although holes of this type may eventually be used for the disposal of certain forms of nuclear waste, the purpose of this contract is to investigate the geological and geochemical properties of deep granite and evaluate techniques for drilling large diameter (8-3/4″) holes to a depth of 5,000 meters (16,405 feet) in this environment.  No nuclear waste will be placed in the hole or be used in the project in any way.  The project will be conducted near the town of Nara Visa, New Mexico.  DOSECC will be partnering with Enercon Federal Services, Wastren Advantage and Fugro.

“This test is deeper and larger than what has typically been drilled in crystalline rock, yet our team is accustomed to these types of challenges, and is uniquely prepared to contribute to new solutions that will benefit society,” explained DOSECC President Dennis Nielson.  “We have spent the past 23 years conducting scientific drilling projects worldwide, always while working closely with the communities where we work, so this project is right up our alley.”

Most of this year will be spent working with local communities and government entities to communicate the purposes and methods of the testing including: how the site will be responsibly managed during testing, how the land will be restored once the research is complete, as well as permitting the hole and developing the drilling and testing plan. Since previous efforts to test this method in North and South Dakota lacked community support, DOSECC’s strong track record of building trust with residents through transparency and communication was a factor in their selection.  

Marc Eckels, DOSECC Program Director for this project explains, “This will be important to our society as a whole, yet we cannot succeed without the community’s support. We work with them to detail our commitment to a responsible scientific study. In addition, efforts are always made to hire and purchase services and supplies from the local area whenever possible.” Eckels explains further that the data gained from this uniquely deep geological research has potential for other local and societal benefits, such as providing new drilling and testing techniques for geothermal energy applications.

“We are pleased to work with Enercon and have been impressed by their team as we’ve worked together thus far,” reports Philippe Wyffels, DOSECC CFO, “We have a superior site and a superior team to carry out the project, and have had positive experiences thus far with the community, including the passage of a county resolution supporting our scientific work.”

The scientific drilling and data collection itself will not likely commence until the spring of 2018, once the DOE determines the most promising site where a successful community partnership has been established. When the drilling portion begins, the scientific drilling team will be tasked with drilling a 5000-meter deep borehole 8-3/4” in diameter. If successful, a second borehole, 17” in diameter, would be drilled to the same depth at the same site. The data gathered will allow scientists to study the type and temperature of the rock as well as the nature and chemistry of the fluids encountered.

For more information about this and other DOSECC core drilling projects around the world, please visit

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DOSECC Expands Drilling Data Analysis Services


DOSECC Expands Drilling Data Analysis Services

Global drilling company adds veteran associates to expand full-spectrum project capabilities in geothermal drilling, geotechnical drilling, and mining/exploration drilling.

DOSECC announced today the addition of several associates to its drilling services team as the company continues to expand its full-spectrum project capabilities. In addition to global core drilling operations, the firm provides clients with full project management services, preliminary site assessments, equipment engineering and fabrication, and final data analysis.

Read full press release here.

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Chicxulub Project Watched Around the World

scientific research

With the successful conclusion of the high-profile Chicxulub Crater project last month, we are sharing here the kudos the project team received from around the world.  The Chicxulub core drilling project sought to shed light on the crater left by the asteroid that led to a global mass extinction—what geophysicist and expedition leader Joanna Morgan called “The most important event in the last 100 million years.” The drilling was recognized and photographed by journalists and scientists from around the world, the Governor of Yucatan, and even an astronaut orbiting the earth.  

You can read more about the project here.

Here are just a few excerpts of the coverage:

Discover Magazine: How We Found the Dinosaur Doomsday Site (March 23, 2016)

“In the coming weeks, a team of scientists will begin drilling Chicxulub’s central peak ring for the first time. Discover will be on site in Mexico as the team tries to answer some of those questions.”

NATURE: Geologists Drill into Heart of Dinosaur-Killing Impact (March 31, 2016)

“‘All of this happened in the span of several devastating minutes, says Joanna Morgan, a geophysicist at Imperial College London and the project’s co-chief scientist. ‘It’s astounding.’”

SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN: What Really Killed the Dinosaurs? (April 4, 2016)

“An extraordinary vessel—part ship and part drilling rig —is being equipped in the port of Progreso, Mexico, to drill into Earth’s past. This spring and summer it will attempt to recover a thin cylinder of rock, 3 ¼ inches wide by 3,300 feet long, starting in the Eocene world about 50 million years ago, drilling all the way back into rocks created and contorted by an asteroid impact, 66 million years ago, when the dinosaurs disappeared.”

WASHINGTON POST: 66 million years ago an asteroid destroyed the dinosaurs. Now scientists are drilling into the crater it made to understand how.  (April 6, 2016)

“The Chicxulub crater, as the site is known, is buried in sediment and hidden beneath some 1,500 feet of water. That makes it very hard to study, even though it’s ground zero of one of the worst mass extinctions in Earth’s history, one of just five times when life itself out on the planet was in danger of being snuffed.”

NPR: Scientists Set To Drill Into Extinction-Event Crater In Mexico (April 8, 2016)

“In addition to being interesting from an extinction element, it’s also interesting because it’s a well-preserved, very large crater that we can access without leaving the planet. It’s equivalent to studying the really big craters with peak rings, for instance, on the moon, on Mercury, on Mars — but obviously at a fraction of the cost.”

—Sean Gulick, University of Texas at Austin geophysicist, team co-lead

PHYS.ORG: How Does an Invisible Underwater Crater Prove an Asteroid Killed the Dinosaurs? (April 14, 2016)

“A team of scientists recently set off to drill a 1,500m-deep hole into the seabed off the coast of Mexico. Their goal is to learn more about the asteroid impact some 66m years ago that many scientists believe killed the dinosaurs.”

YUCATAN TIMES: International Scientific Expedition Drilling off the Yucatan Coast (April 2016)

“Drillers will quickly bore their way through the top 500 metres of sediments, and then collect core samples more carefully as they go deeper…At about 600 metres, the core will pass through rock from the Palaeocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum, when temperatures spiked about 55 million years ago, creating a greenhouse world. At 650 metres the core should hit the peak ring.”

NPR: Geologists Find Clues In Crater Left By Dinosaur-Killing Asteroid (May 6, 2016)

“We went through a remarkable amount of the post-impact world. All the way into the Eocene times — so between 50 and 55 million years ago.”

—Sean Gulick, University of Texas at Austin geophysicist, team co-lead

YUCATAN.COM  There’s Life in the Chicxulub Crater (May 17, 2016)
“The first results of the Chicxulub crater project are encouraging with valuable clues, say scientists of Mission 364.” English version here –

BBC: Chicxulub ‘Dinosaur’ Crater Drill Project Declared a Success (May 25, 2016)

“”It’s been a remarkable success. We’ve got deeper than I thought we might do,”
—Dave Smith, British Geological Survey

TIM PEAKE, Astronaut at the International Space Station, Facebook

“66 million years ago a 14-km wide asteroid struck this part of Mexico and wiped out the dinosaurs. Asteroid Day. Looking north-east at the most eastern part of Mexico, Yucatan and Cancún.”


   Credit: Tim Peake

“Outstanding job and congratulations to the DOSECC folks!”

—Javier Zevallos – General Manager Mexico & Central America, AMC Drilling Fluids & Products