BDA Working Party on Minimum Content for a Driller’s Log Launched

November 12, 2021

Following the recent British Drilling Association (BDA) Webinar presentation made by Mike de Freitas in which he highlighted the need by designers and contractors for a record of the driller’s experience whilst progressing a hole, the BDA has launched a working party to look at the issue.

Specifically, the working party will look to establish a Minimum Content for a Driller’s Log, to ensure that information of drilling progress relevant to the interpretation of strength and other data used in design and construction is captured. It is intended that the means for achieving this will:

  • augment the facilities for drillers that the companies of many Members have already made to enable them to record their drilling, and
  • advise on how this should be presented to capture relevant information of drilling progress.

It is hoped that as a result of this the BDA will be able to assure any client who employs a BDA driller that the BH log they receive will contain a formal record of:

  1. the structure of the hole and its method of construction,
  2. the tests completed, samples recovered, and water levels encountered, and
  3. a metre-by-metre record of the progress of the hole.

It is thought items 1 to 3 would be in addition to a formal geologist’s log of samples and/or core and therefore clients would actually receive items 1, 2 and 3 plus a geologist’s log.

Guidance on item 3 will be provided by the WP whose membership is

  • Natalie Bews representing the BDA
  • Lee Allardyce representing drillers
  • Peter Hepton representing contractors
  • John Davis of GCG representing consultants
  • Michael de Freitas representing engineering geologists.

It is hoped that this will be in addition to the record presently made of Bore Hole construction, water levels, in-situ tests, samples obtained, and core recovered and boxed, and to any drilling progress automatically recorded by a rig.

With the driller usually the first person to encounter the nature of ground on site, a record of the driller’s experience is not only relevant to recording the conditions encountered at that time but also required to assist the interpretation of in-situ tests, laboratory results and water levels, and the movement of water levels with progression of a hole.

The driver for this further information is our ability to measure ground response to ground engineering in real time. This is revealing differences between what the ground does and what it was predicted to do and to explain, and eventually eliminate, such differences it is necessary to know whether it is the theories that are at fault or the data they use, or some combination of both.

The BDA also wishes to build on the developments that many of its members have already made to assist drillers digitally capture information and to develop a Minimum Content in agreement with its members.

The first stage in this exercise, during which the BDA Members were invited to submit an example of their respective Company/Drillers logs, be this in an electronic format of data capture or paper/sheet format or field notebook, has been completed. The purpose of that exercise was to ensure any developments required to achieve an agreed Minimum Content are compatible with present systems and can be readily developed.

Recognising that most users of drillers logs are engaged in ground engineering, it is essential that any definition of Minimum Content benefits from the collective experience of the industry as a whole. The BDA therefore looking to those engaged in ground engineering and use drillers logs to contribute to this exercise by responding to the following questions.

  1. Do the digital logs you receive include the drillers comments?
  2. Do the digital logs you receive contain sufficient information for your Design purposes?
  3. Do you use other forms of drillers logs as well as the Digital log?
  4. What information would you like to see included as Minimum Content on a digital log?

Comments should be returned by emailed direct to

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