Cape Town

As dam levels in Cape Town, South Africa, sink to critical levels, the city is well into its Water Resilience Plan.

Both council and residents in Cape Town are now turning their attention to groundwater to reduce some of the pressure on municipal water sources.

In the harsh summer heat, residents Cape Town have been reduced to a usage of around 25 litres of water per day, from one of 200 collection points spread out across Cape Town.

Aquifer extraction will bring bigger volumes of water into the city's systems at a much reduced cost compared to other methods, such as desalination.

Water-well drilling will hopefully provide an extra 80 million litres of water a day to the desperate population in Cape Town.

The drilling industry has boomed over the past few months, as investment pours in to create boreholes and well points to reduce the pressure on the municipal water system.

AMC (formerly Samchem Drilling Fluids and Chemicals) has been supporting South Africa for the last 34 years.

Based at our regional headquarters in Johannesburg, our team has been working closely with drilling contractors to optimise operations and alleviate delays in the area.

AMC supplies a range of cost-effective, environmentally friendly drilling fluids, services and technical support to assist in the successful completion of water-wells, from single aquifer systems to complex multi-aquifer artesian wells.

AMC’s water-well engineers provide unrivalled support to its customers.

With expert knowledge and understanding of geological formations in the Western Cape area, and supported by extensive Research and Development laboratories for further water and geological chemical analysis, they provide effective mud program recommendations and monitoring – making sure operators deliver on time, within budget and safely.

AMC’s solutions are able to:

  • Increase productivity and rate of penetration
  • Provide monitoring and reporting for complete visibility
  • Address downhole issues such as torque, lost circulation, fluid loss, borehole instability or hole cleaning
  • Educate, train and support drill crews
  • Reduce health and safety risks
  • Manage waste and environmental impact.

Rely on expert advice

Our team of mud engineers work closely with clients, providing advice and training for the best use of our drilling fluids and equipment to improve operational efficiencies, reduce costs and resolve site-specific challenges.

We can provide support on site, via land-link or via our new AMC MUD AID technology.

The newly launched AMC MUD AID is a remotely monitored, in-field mud testing unit, designed to optimise and automate fluid management.

The AMC MUD AID guides drillers to complete drilling fluid programs, without the need for a dedicated drilling fluid engineer on site.

With real- time sampling, the unit compares the drilling fluid system against project-specific mud programs or API specifications, and provides instant recommendations for maintenance or treatment.

The AMC MUD AID monitors drilling fluid 24/7 to ensure optimal efficiency and to reduce any potential delays to the operation.

The key is in the fluid

AMC’s range of biodegradable and environmentally acceptable drilling fluid options can assist impact-aware operators without affecting performance. These products include:

  • AMC GUAR GUM - a modified natural polymer specifically used to create a low solids, biodegradable drilling fluid for use in water wells. AMC GUAR GUM provides excellent viscosity, breaks down naturally and avoids mudding of water aquifers which frequently occurs when using bentonite as a mud additive
  • AMC AEROFOAM is a biodegradable mixture of anionic surfactants which has been formulated for use in the mineral and water well drilling industries. AMC AEROFOAM may be used in a variety of air drilling operations, ranging from simple air drilling to stiff foam drilling where the foam is reinforced by the use of polymers such as AMC GUAR GUM.
  • AMC ROTAFOAM CONC - highly concentrated foam which has been formulated for use in mineral and water well drilling applications. AMC ROTAFOAM CONC produces high volumes of foam exhibiting greater bubble strength with superior retention. AMC ROTAFOAM CONC can assist in lowering air volumes, improving cuttings transportation, regaining returns in highly cavernous states and better control water inflows. AMC ROTAFOAM CONC can be used for dust suppression, mist and foam drilling or combined with select polymers and bentonites. AMC ROTAFOAM CONC can assist with hole stability, reduce the stickiness of clays and shales and problems associated with mud rings and bit balling
  • AMC WELLCLEAN™ - used in the development and cleanup of water wells where bentonite based mud has been used. AMC WELLCLEAN breaks down the viscosity of a bentonite mud and will disperse any wall cake that has formed on the walls of the drill hole, promoting rapid and effective clean up

These products complement our existing range of high-grade water-well drilling fluids for a range of budgets.

Our engineers are supported by laboratory specialists who have the ability to analyse samples and customize drilling fluids for clients.

Preserving the environment

Environmentalists are concerned about the threat of contamination and lack of rehabilitation measures in place during these desperate times.

Technologies such as AMC’s award-winning Solids Removal Unit range are a cost effective solution for minimal impact drilling.

Available in several configurations such as ultra-lightweight, lightweight and heli-portable, these innovative closed-loop systems eliminate the use of sumps and maintain drilling fluid at optimal performance, delivering maximum ROP, drastic water, mud and waste reductions and more.

The AMC SRU works by circulating drilling fluid directly from the drill collar to be processed by the shaker and centrifuge, where drill solids are separated from the mud slurry and discharged via a waste chute.

By containing fluid systems and water, these systems are able to prevent contamination and environmental disturbance, eliminate evaporation and recycling drilling fluid for reuse.

Ongoing improvement in productivity

AMC can offer drilling contractors continuous improvement in their operations, including reduced costs, improved productivity, enhanced safety and reduced environmental impact through optimising workflows and offering market leading products.

For more information about how AMC can assist in water-well operations contact one of our friendly representatives at AMC South Africa:

Phone: +27 (11) 908 5595 or, or visit