Water drilling licences

Water drilling licence class 3

This is an unrestricted licence that permits drilling operations in flowing aquifers, including the Great Artesian Basin.

How to get a class 3 drilling licence

In addition to operating in class 2 conditions, class 3 permits drilling operations in flowing aquifer systems.

Artesian, flowing or high pressure, aquifers need a high level of knowledge and skills due to the driller's need to understand and control hydrostatic pressures.

There are two ways that you can be issued a class 3 drilling licence.

The first is if you have held a class 2 licence or have been employed as a driller for at least two years, and you have completed at least six class 3 bores under supervision and passed the appropriate drilling licence examinations.

The second is if you have been issued a class 3 drilling licence to carry out bore construction work in another Australian state or territory and the qualifications and knowledge equal that needed for a class 3 drilling licence in the Northern Territory (NT).

Skills, experience and knowledge

For a class 3 licence you must have the knowledge and skills needed for a class 1 and class 2 driller, including the drilling method endorsement you are applying for.

As well as this you must be experienced in all of the following:

  • drilling fluids - methods, procedures and calculations needed for formation fluid pressure control
  • grouting - methods, procedures and calculations needed to carry out pressure cement jobs
  • bore design in aquifer systems that have high pressure conditions and design of efficient bores, which includes being able to calculate screen surface areas and diameter
  • aquifer testing - the procedures for a flow recession test, static and staged pumping tests on flowing bores
  • decommissioning - designing and selecting the right materials for the decommissioning of bores having high pressure conditions.

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Last updated: 14 July 2020

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