DCA Europe


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Recommendation – Education – Networking


The DCA Newsletter has been published every six months since 1995 to provide its members with retrospective and advance notice of DCA events, the status of task groups and further training events. In addition to regular technical articles on current topics in HDD technology, it has also provided a forum for members to briefly present their own company within the association and for contributions from the entire spectrum of the HDD industry.

The times are fast-moving and so the Executive Board has decided to break new ground.

In future, information from the association will be sent to members promptly. Member information will continue to be sent by e-mail, distributed via the News section on the homepage and recently also posted on LinkedIn. So you can stay informed.

Get involved and actively contribute to the design of the posts with contributions from your company. We would be delighted.

You can find the current member information here:

DCA-Mitgliederinfo 01/2024 – German

DCA Members’ Info 01/2024 – English

Newsletter archive

Top articles in the Newsletter

  • 27th DCA Annual Congress with record attendance
  • Skilled labour – DCA plans HDD technology image film
  • DCA and FSTT conclude cooperation agreement

Foreword of the president

Dear members and friends of the DCA,

we are looking back on a, I think, very successful annual congress, with a worrying keynote presentation about “Geopolitics – an explanation for everything?” (only to be confirmed by dreadful events the weekend after the congress),
interesting lectures and a panel discussion highlighting the amount of work in the near future for all of us, whether employer, engineer, supplier or drilling company. In my understanding we can only manage this when we are all working closely together. The peak of this workload will be between now and 10 years or more and one of the most critical bottlenecks will be personnel. My personal conclusion was that I will not be bored until my retirement! Within the DCA we are looking at various ways to assist here. We have always recognised that personnel must be trained and have supported various initiatives from several parties since many years. We are now investigation in the DCA a way to promote working in the HDD industry in general. This idea originated in the bar (!) immediately after the panel discussion and has gained support from several companies. We are working on this and will come back to all of you for further support. We have also recognised that in the industry we only see a limited number of women, and most of these women most are working in, I hate to say this, traditional female roles with the employers. Women are in office based engineering positions or supporting roles like HSE departments. Only very few are working in the actual construction. And we have heard from those women working in construction, that our all-male world is not always friendly and open minded towards women. 50% of the world population consists of women, so if we can even motivate only 10% of those, our personnel problem could be solved. The board wants to actively promote women to be full part of the industry, and we have taken some initiatives in this matter. Further information will follow in the members meeting.

And looking into the publicum during various events over the years, I am afraid that women are not the only group being underrepresented in the DCA. Any suggestions regarding this topic are welcome. On a positive note, the DCA is very much alive, with a growing number of members, from small scale to large scale, from suppliers to employers and all over Europe. And based on the feedback, we are on the right track, for almost 30 years now. In these years, the world has changed in many ways, especially in regards of communication. Some of us received their first 3 kg heavy “mobile” phone around that time, with the warning only to use that for very important and, more importantly short, phone calls. Nowadays, our not even 200 grammes mobile is a minicomputer used on site for all sorts of applications. Communication has changed completely, and even in the board room of the DCA, filled with old white men, we have become aware that modern communication is not on paper. Therefore this is the last issue of our traditional newsletter! In the future we will communicate in a style more appropriate for 2023. We will use News-emails, our website and our LinkedIn channel. But although times are changing, certain good habits should not change; we normally celebrate each lustrum, but our 25th anniversary had to be cancelled for reasons we all know too well. And with 30 years approaching, we are exploring various options to celebrate in style. But for now, I wish you all a merry Christmas or other holidays and a happy new year!

DCA Newsletter No.55 December 2023

Top articles in the Newsletter

  • DCA Board re-elected at the Members’ Meeting
  • Technical Information No. 6 “Coating” published (German version)
  • 27th DCA Annual Congress in Leipzig in preview

Foreword of the president

Dear members and friends of the DCA,

you are currently reading the latest issue of the Newsletter, either as hardcopy on paper or on your screen in the digital version. You will have noticed that over the last years we are more and more trying to reduce the amount of paper we produce at various occasions. We only provide the information we consider to be crucial on paper, and within the board we sometimes have interesting discussions on what is the absolute minimum that must be readily available on paper. But when you look in the room after only three hours that the meeting has lasted and most of the paper is still there, partly untouched, we have the feeling that we can further reduce. We have therefore decided to refrain entirely with paper printouts at the Members Meeting. Instead, we will distribute the necessary documents in advance by email or by link. We will use the same procedure at the Annual Congress next October. Your feedback on this topic would be appreciated! The year has started well for most of our members, the market is booming. Our main worry is currently how to get qualified personnel as well as certified equipment and (spare)parts. There is plenty of work in the market, which unfortunately sometimes results in poor planning and poor execution. Due to the limited availability of resources in the entire chain, from initial planning, through contracts and execution the quality is lacking in some cases. This is, especially for an association as the DCA, painful to see. In the meantime, for the DCA-board, it is also business as usual, the members meeting and IRO have taken place, as well as the members forum. I think all of these were well received. We are preparing for the annual congress, always the highlight in the year for the association.

At the congress, we will also pay attention to the aforementioned problems; there is a lot (too much?) of work coming our way. How can we manage all that, maintain quality and meet the increasing demands? And all this in such a way that our industry does not completely collapse after the current boom. We think it will be an interesting congress again! Later in the year there are the traditional courses in Kassel and we are serious looking into the option of offering one day base crash courses for those who are only indirectly involved in HDD, both in German and English. Those are only the activities initiated by the DCA itself, besides all that we are obviously also supporting activities organised by our members where possible. I wish you all a beautiful summer, a relaxing holiday for those wo still have it coming, and I am looking forward to seeing you all again in October.

Jorn Stoelinga, President

DCA Newsletter Edition 54 July 2023

Top articles in the Newsletter

  • 26th Annual Congress successfully held on the british island
  • Members’ forum 2023 – Topic “Accuracy in HDD-drillings”
  • Task group on the topic of „subsoil“ – DCA and GSTT combine interests

Foreword of the president

Dear members and friends of the DCA,

The year is running to an end, usually a time to relax, look back at the past year with satisfaction and look forward at the year to come. This year it is with very mixed feelings. In the larger part of Europe we are preparing for a winter full of festivities. And despite a higher utility bill, most of us will have a warm place to celebrate with their loved ones. In other parts of the world, even within Europe, this situation is completely different. People are suffering from violence, hunger and a lack of power and heating. Under those circumstances, Covid is only a minor issue. And we should only be so grateful we are not directly affected.

Despite the uproar the world is currently in, it is also business as usual. And we, in the board of the DCA, had an almost normal year. At the start of the year, Covid was still around and caused the DCA Members Meeting to be organised as a hybrid event again. And despite some technical challenges, we can see this will be the future, as it enables all members to participate without having to travel to Oldenburg.

Covid also derailed the IRO exhibition, normally a place where the DCA members meet and greet. But most other events have taken place, sometimes a little adapted to the circumstances, but in general, very few events had to be cancelled. Many of our members have organised trainings, seminars, showcases and one our members even celebrated a 75 year anniversary. The board of the DCA was invited to and/or participated in many of those. Such events are always a good opportunity to meet our existing members and introduce our association to others.

We have also organised our own events, such as the courses for DVGW, the members forum and the annual congress, to name a few. And as we are, over the last years, trying our best to be more European, the members forum was organised both in English and German in parallel sessions. Preparations were done in English, to come to one combined presentation for both sessions. It was very interesting to see the similarities, but also the differences in the results of the two groups.

Our annual congress in Stratford-upon-Avon in the UK, I think was again a very successful event, as I understand from the feedback received personally and in the board. Unfortunately, the Brexit caused some additional stress and plans B and C to be developed, but thankfully, with the help of some of our members, we managed to get the equipment in the country and those plans could be forgotten again.

Many interesting, and in some cases very surprising and futuristic speeches were presented. Looking at the plans for sustainable energy alone, the future for HDD looks bright, and when we include the demand for glass fibre and gas pipelines, we should worry more about the availability of equipment and (experienced) crew than about projects.

Two different workshops were organised, again in both English and German. Many members participated very actively in the preparations for these workshops and the forum, and I would like to take the opportunity to thank all of them for their input. Both in the preparations, but also in the actual meetings, I really enjoy the lively discussions between our members, who are in effect obviously competitors, but knowledge and experience are often shared in an open and constructive atmosphere.

The evening event in the stunning and very English manor was a great success as well, and I think I have never seen this many people on the dance floor
as this year.

This year task group 2, coating is finalised,
and we are now in the process of the translation the German text into English. Both the German and English versions will be available shortly. We have also collected all the changes to the Technical Guidelines from various parties and are now in the board working on finalising the text. Once the German version is completely ready, it will be translated into English and then sent around for comments.

I wish you all a great Christmas holiday and hope to see you again in the new year!

Jorn Stoelinga, President


Top articles in the Newsletter

  • 4th Members’ Forum with record attendance
  • 26th Annual Congress in Stratford-upon-Avon, UK

Foreword of the president

Dear members and friends of the DCA,

The year is progressing and on the moment sort of back to normal. For us in the board, it means we are preparing our traditional events, and our board meetings are conducted live again. However, the Covid crisis has shown us that Teams meetings are a good add on, and in cases where some members cannot be present in person, hybrid meetings are a good alternative.

But appearances are deceptive, the world is still in turmoil. The war in Ukraine is ongoing, with devastating consequences for the people there. And in other parts of Europe we are starting to feel the consequences of this tragedy, as well, but these effects are nothing compared to the killing amongst Ukrainian civilians and soldiers, and also Russian soldiers. Not to mention the total destruction of various cities and infrastructure.

Covid is not over yet either and even in this summer could be on the rise again. New types have been discovered and might prove to be even more contagious or have more severe consequences. Luckily, many events can still take place and people are enjoying this. However, in everything we plan we must have in the back of our heads that it may have to be cancelled. Having said that, the organisation of our yearly congress is in full progress, and I think we are preparing another highlight. It will not be easy to top last years´ but we are trying to!

Besides the congress, we have participated in various other events, and will do so in the weeks and months to come. You will find information on some of these events in this newsletter. The IRO is organising the famous Rohrleitungsforum again, in the last week of March,2023. Although it will not be in the university itself; I am sure it will be a very interesting event. As always, the DCA is organising two blocks of 3 presentations each. So, this is also a call for papers, if your company has executed an interesting project, or developed an HDD relevant product or concept, please contact Mr. Quante or myself.

Traditionally our members´ meeting will be held on the Wednesday before. The hybrid version of last year was generally well received, although it suffered from some technical difficulties. However, I am sure we will be able to improve on this issue, and the modern technology allows us to have as many members participate on what is basically the democratic part of our association. And as we have new board elections on the agenda, it is important that all members can join, even those who live further away, or do not visit the IRO Rohrleitungsforum.

Lastly, I wish you all a very busy and healthy summer, and please take care of your family, your colleagues and yourself! For those who still have it coming, have a pleasant holiday, and I am looking forward to seeing many of you in Stratford upon Avon in October for an event full of information and pleasure. As Shakespeare said in the Merchant of Venice: “ With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come”

Jorn Stoelinga, President


Top articles in the Newsletter

  • 25th DCA-Annual Congress Bonn
  • Task group 4: Data Acquisition & Logging
  • Representative for France

Foreword of the president Jorn Stoelinga

Dear members and friends of the DCA,

while writing this foreword to the newsletter, I am looking back at, at least in my view, a very successful congress. The questionnaires have been evaluated in the meantime but going by the feedback I got from various members, the entire congress was very well received.

Despite the last-minute change in the speaker for the first speech, and the presentation from our UK contributors had to go via Teams, the entire programme was interesting and relevant for all of us. The evening in the Redoute went by so fast, it must have been great. When the desserts were served, to my surprise it was already 11 pm! An evening to remember, especially for the three assistants of the magician Mr Scharleman. It was really good to meet with everybody in person again. Looking at the number of people attending the first speeches on Friday morning, may be some of us enjoyed the bar a little too much. It is always a pity for those who have dedicated time and effort in a nice presentation to find themselves before a room only filled with half the people of the day before!

Of course, in this edition you will find more info on the various items of the congress. And in the members section on the DCA website, further details can be found.

But our congress was not the only event this year, there were some other meetings held earlier this year where the DCA was represented, and in this edition you can find a short review on those gatherings in Poland and the UK. Obviously our new members will also present themselves, so you will know who to contact for various services.

Looking ahead into the new business year, the board we will continue with the existing task groups and other ongoing topics. The next members meeting is already scheduled for January! As usual(!), this will be organised on the day before the IRO exhibition in Oldenburg. However, this year it will not be in hotel Wöbken as we have done for many years. This year it will be in the Patentkrug, on the North side of the town.( I wonder how many people will be late because they drove to the old place out of habit.) To allow those members who do not attend the IRO to join the meeting, it will be organised as a hybrid event again. This was very well received this year.

Of course we will also organize a member forum, if there is sufficient interest in 2022 in both German and English. The topic will be decided at the next board meeting, but looking at the feedback from the workshops at the congress, the choice could be both „subsoil parameters“ and „drilling mud and how to deal with it“.

Last but not least the organisation of the next annual congress is starting again. The decision for the location has been made and we are now starting with the programme. I trust it will be interesting and entertaining event again!

I wish you all a Merry Christmas, and a healthy and happy 2022, and I am looking forward to seeing you all again in the Patentkrug.

Jorn Stoelinga, President

DCA_Newsletter_Nr. 51_December_2021

Top articles in the Newsletter

  • DCA Hybrid Members‘ Meeting – Workflow under the sign of Corona
  • HDD in the focus of the energy transition – TenneT presents range of tasks
  • DCA Newsletter celebrates anniversary – 50 interesting issues accompany the positive development
  • DCA with new internet presence – New informative members‘ area

Foreword of the president Jorn Stoelinga

Dear friends of the DCA,

You are currently reading the first pages of the 50th DCA Newsletter. As you can see it has been completely restyled, with two languages in one magazine. A great way to link all members within Europe. And since it is published twice a year, it points once again out, we have missed our 25th anniversary! But where often delays result in cancellations, this will not be the case for this celebration. We proud ourselves in being alive and kicking, a growing association doing our best to serve the industry and be a means to connect the various stakeholders, by offering both technically interesting platforms and social networking opportunities. Such anniversary must certainly be one of those!

And although we have not been able to organise any of our normal events, we see a little light at the end of the borehole. The number of vaccinations is increasing, and the number of active cases is going down rapidly in most parts of the world. This also allowed us to organise our members meeting in April as a hybrid event, and with serious precautions it was possible to actually have members in the room. Sadly, I was not able to attend the live part of the event myself and it felt uncomfortable, talking into this black hole without seeing the faces or response from the audience.

But it was both technically as well as substantively a successful event. Apart from the obligatory items that have to be dealt with in such meetings, Marco Reinhard and Scott Stone presented the experience of our members with the pandemic as well as Brexit and the way the drilling contractors at the DCA see the future. Both Mr Reinhard and Mr Stone conducted many interviews over telephone in the weeks before the meeting to get the most recent view on the topics.

Furthermore, due to the change in our statutes, the entire board needed to be elected. I am glad to say that most of the previous team was happy to continue with their work in the board. Mr Jaguttis and Mr Kißing were not up for re-election, and from this place I would like them both for their hard work, their constructive input and lively discussions.

With our new members Mr Ronald Siebel and Jörg Himmerich we managed to get two people on board with a lot of experience in HDD, who I am sure will be able to contribute to the further development of the DCA. A short introduction, written by themselves, can be found elsewhere in this magazine.

While we are living in a world where the verbs Zoom and Team have taken on completely different meanings than two years ago, and we are all participating in digital meetings, webinars and so on a daily basis, I think I can speak for most of us when I say I am craving for personal contact and live meetings again. This is why the board is seriously exploring the possibilities for our annual congress:

Will it be possible, and if so, in the usual setting or with adjustments?

Of course, justice must be done to the spirit of the event, with a balance between lectures, active participation and other activities! Decisions on this will be taken soon and communicated to you, but please keep October 6, 7 and 8 free in your calendars, as I sincerely hope to see many of you in Bonn!

Last but not least, you have received, or will receive shortly, the access codes for the members area of our refurbished website www.dca-europe.org. In this section you will find a lot of interesting information, such as the reports form our task groups, the presentations from our congress, the IRO HDD blocks and the members forum. Please inform the office if your colleagues should get access to this section as well.

Please stay healthy and hope to see you soon!

Jorn Stoelinga, President


Top articles in the Newsletter

  • HDD under the sign of Corona – DCA representatives report from Italy, Spain and the UK
  • European idea of the DCA in focus since its foundation – A status report
  • DCA Member Forum 2021 – HDD Workshop on “Subsoil Investigation”, bilingual

Foreword of the president Jorn Stoelinga

Dear friends of the DCA,

These are strange times and I hope you and your loved ones are all in good health. As many of you, I am working from home; Access to the office is limited to a minimum presence and modern technology enables us to do a lot while not being there. At the same time, I experience mixed feelings about it, because an important aspect of the “normal” working day is missing. Personal, live contacts, which we have always taken for granted, now turn out to be very important and an essential part of our work. Sure, via Teams, Zoom and similar programmes we can organise meetings, but body language is easily missed, certainly when cameras are turned off. Especially in meetings with people you have never met before, and dealing with difficult topics such as permit issues or additional works, live meetings are far more effective.

On the positive side, it also saves a lot of time, not only on hours spent in planes, trains and automobiles but online meetings seem to be less time consuming. Which is not necessarily the same as more effective!

However, we are an association of HDD contractors and therefor more important is how this pandemic effects the day to day work in the field. Additional cost caused by hygiene measures and the safe distance (more vehicles, additional canteen facilities etc) apply to every job site In some cases these will be relatively minor, in other cases these can be substantial. It will obviously depend greatly as well on the kind of work that your company is doing; Crews that leave home and return the same day, on small drilling rigs are likely to be less effected than teams that leave home one Monday morning only to be back week(s) later. Under the current situation the crews are staying in hotels that offer only limited services. And possibly have to go 10 days into quarantine upon return as well, if not (also) when arriving. Although unpredictable, these costs must be taken into account. Especially the ever changing rules and regulations, the differences between, and even within countries are making this to an unpredictable factor in our estimates. How this all affects some of our members can be found in an article on the Corona situation, later in this magazine.

And on top of this, there is another danger on the horizon; Brexit will have an effect on all of us. Some may be hurt only a little as a general economic factor. Others will be hit more severely by it, because they do a large share of their business in the UK, or sourcing part of their products and services from the UK. Obviously, for our UK based members, the problems could be even more serious. Another uncertainty, which is not making our life easier. This goes completely against the values that the DCA stands for, being a European association. An interesting article how the DCA developed more and more as being truly European can be found on page 8.

Amidst all this turmoil, the DCA tries to continue to be there for our members, but like everything else, nearly all events we and our partners had planned and organised for this year had to be cancelled. As I am writing this, we still hope to be able to organise our annual workshop in January. Although we had planned to make it available in both English and German, travel restrictions may exclude international members to visit Aachen and we may have to limit ourselves another year to a German version only.

Apart from that, the board continues to work on the Task Groups, the revision of the guidelines and other items we feel are important. This seems to pay off, the number of members continues to increase; we now have a total of 128 members, of which 49 are ordinary embers, 78 associate and 1 honorary member. A good starting point for the next year!

I wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy 2021, a year in which we hope the pandemic will be under control, and no further threats arise.

Jorn Stoelinga, President

DCA_Newsletter_Nr 49_Dezember_2020

DCA_Newsletter_No 49_December_2020

Top articles in the Newsletter

  • Scott Stone becomes DCA representative for the UK Four new regular members from the island
  • DCA Members‘ Forum Aachen Discussion forum established
  • Global Corona Pandemic 25th anniversary celebration and 25th annual congress postponed

Foreword of the president Jorn Stoelinga

Dear friends of the DCA,

First of all I hope you are personally in good health and the same applies to your family and friends. In these strange times where the way we live has dramatically changed, personal health is more important than ever. And where everybody tries to work from home as much as possible, our core business, performing HDD´s, cannot be done from the dining room/home office. Our work is very much, rain or shine, with the boots on the ground or in the mud.

However, where in many industries the activities had to be stopped, and in later stages only resumed with drastic changes and often limited capacities, the HDD business seems to be blooming. That is, as long as the jobs are within one country and there are no cross border issues requiring crew to go into quarantine upon arrival or return. All these different regulations in various countries, but also sometimes different approaches and measures, have made those working internationally, realise once again how the European Union, with open borders, level playing fields and similar requirements has made our lives so much easier.

The effects of the Covid-19 is limited for most of us to office jobs being done from home, which is not always easy with children requiring attention, limited space on the kitchen table with both partners working at home and three children dong their homework at the same time. Videoconferences with interesting back grounds in both vision and sound are common ground now for most of us. And obviously extra attention when in the office and on the job sites, with frequent washing of hands, additional cars and units on site. But in general, HDD is business as usual.

But, unfortunately, the board had to cancel our planned 25 years anniversary. For all of us, members of the DCA, this is certainly disappointing, but for the hotel/restaurant business the whole situation is obviously much more dramatic, since everyone is cancelling all sorts of events.

In the board we have now also taken the decision to cancel the yearly congress, with great regrets and pain in our hearts. This event is not only a technical highlight, but also highly appreciated for the social effect. It is the social glue between our members, being contractor, engineer or supplier, it is a great opportunity to reminisce as well as to meet new people; However, in the current situation, with unpredictable developments in the field of travel, the difficulties of handling more than 120 people in a large and smaller rooms while keeping distance and with enough, sufficiently clean air we saw no other possibility than to cancel this years conference. Nevertheless, the energy that has been put into the organisation of it is not completely wasted, in 2021 we will still visit Bonn and follow roughly the same programme elaborated so far.

The board has also been working refreshing the DCA. The website will be updated with a special members’ corner. New software has been purchased to be able to refresh our flyers. As you can see the newsletter has been restyled but at the moment only with a new title page due to lack of time. It is planned to print a German/English version in order to reduce the carbon footprint in December 2020.

We have also discussed the recently introduced and well received yearly members‘ forum. This event only for members, has so far only been offered in German, but we would like to make this available to all members. We think we have found an interesting solution for this. The members‘ forum will be held bilingually for the first time in 2021, i.e. in two separate rooms, the German and English-speaking groups will discuss the topic of the forum „Subsoil parameters“. For this purpose we ask for your active participation. For further information, please refer to this newsletter in the usual place.

From a safe distance, I hope we will all remain in good health, with many good and interesting projects we can see interesting presentations of in the years to come.

Jorn Stoelinga, President


DCA_Newsletter_No 48_July_2020

Top articles in the Newsletter

  • DCA mourns for honorary member – Hermann Lübbers deceased
  • DCA Member forum 2020 – Workshop takes place in Aachen
  • 25 years DCA – Anniversary event takes place in Brussels

Foreword of the president Jorn Stoelinga

Dear members and friends of the DCA,

we are slowly going towards the winter, traditionally a time of the year where work outside is a little less. With the current market situation however many of us still have a lot of crew and equipment on the job sites. We can look back at a very busy year for most companies in this booming economy, where we are still expanding networks for more traditional energy, as well as working very hard on a grid for more sustainable energy sources such as electricity and district heating. As an organisation we can look back at a successful congress in Krakow, Poland. With lectures sketching the situation in our host country, as well as interesting presentations from large projects, the challenges in small scale works, as well as a special application using HDD. The workshops were well received with active participation of the attendees; apparently the development of electrical rigs as well as the alternative technologies developed on the basis of HDD and/or microtunnelling are interesting subjects. Many participated in the lively discussions, and it was interesting to see that both the German and the English language groups came to similar conclusions. Among technicians, borders apparently are not so important. Unfortunately, the event was overshadowed by the news of the death of Mr Hermann Lübbers from Beermann Bohrtechnik GmbH, former president and honorary member of the DCA and Mr Jürgen Hecht from Prime Drilling. Two people who have meant a lot to our industry. Our thoughts are with their families, and we wish them all the strength they need in this difficult time. In the board we are currently preparing for the new year, with all the usual activities for our members, like the further education in Kassel in December, the members forum in January and of course the members meeting in February next year. In May 2020 the DCA celebrates its 25th anniversary and we would be happy to welcome many of you in the heart of Europe. On behalf of my fellow board members, I wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy new year with interesting and profitable job sites!

Jorn Stoelinga, President


DCA_Newsletter_No 47_ December_2019

Top articles in the Newsletter

  • Members Meeting – Jorn Stoelinga becomes new president
  • Pipeline project Zeelink – Dialogue makes work easier
  • DCA-Working group 4 – Focus on automation

Foreword of the president Jorn Stoelinga

Dear members and other HDD enthousiastics,

I am pleased to be able to reach out to you as the new president of our association. In 25 years we have grown from a young and new-on-the-market association to a well-known and respected institution in the HDD business. On this point I would like to thank all my predecessors for achieving this. Since we are not a starting association anymore, it was necessary to update our statutes to reflect the current established situation and modern times. We are very happy the boards proposal was well received and accepted at February´s members meeting.

In the newly elected board, we see a lot of familiar faces, as well as a new comer. This will allow us to continue on the route that has proven successful but at the same time reflect and see where we can improve. Together we will take on the tasks that are on our plate.

Obviously we will continue to organise our successes, like the education and training sessions, members forum, drilling saloon and most importantly the yearly congress. We will also continue to work on topics that are of importance to the industry as a whole in task groups and strive to renew and keep updated our broadly recognised Technical Guidelines.

One of the main goals of the DCA is to be a European association and the new board will put more emphasis on the association being European. I think in the new board this is well reflected, with members from 4 different countries employed by companies, not necessarily based in their home country. We will try to attract new members from other parts of Europa (of course without forgetting about our current members) to ensure our ideas about quality and are respected and recognised in all corners of the continent. This will allow both employers and contractors to work per known standards.

This process was already started in the previous board by appointing local representatives, leading to a new Italian member and the DCA participating at the No Dig conference in Florence this year. Also the yearly congress being held this year in Poland for the first time, will make the DCA more visible as well in the eastern part of Europe.

Our business will always remain unpredictable up to a certain point, but that is also a bit of the charm. I wish you all a successful summer!


Jorn Stoelinga, President


DCA_Newsletter_No. 46_July_2019

Top articles in the Newsletter

  • DCA-Members forum 2019 – HDD-Technology Workshop „Small Scale Drilling”
  • Changes at the top – Marc Schnau announces resignation for 2019
  • 24th DCA Annual Congress – Event takes place in Krakow, Poland

Foreword of the president Marc Schnau

Dear members and friends of the DCA,

another year is coming to an end and we all probably ask ourselves again “where is the time gone?”

Initially, the HDD industry market was still somewhat cautious in the beginning of 2018, but then picked up speed, not least due to numerous projects, above all in broadband expansion and the construction of new high-voltage and extrahigh-voltage power grids.

The DCA also continues to travel at a constantly high speed, on the one hand to routinely handle day-to-day business and on the other hand to push ahead with special projects for the further development of the association.

From an objective point of view, our annual congress in Frankfurt is also part of the routine, although with over 150 participants it can be described as record-breaking and therefore not an everyday occurrence. However, we would like to “get used” to such a lively response in the future, in order to be able to book this order of magnitude as routine at some point.

We hope that we were able to meet the expectations of all participants in Frankfurt as far as possible. The positive response we have felt so far suggests that this is the case. But we would also like to ask for constructive criticism and suggestions for improvement.

We have already reported on this year’s projects, e.g. the DCA working groups, the introduction of DCA representatives for certain countries or regions in Europe, etc. in Frankfurt and will further inform elsewhere in this newsletter. The latest project of the DCA board is a revision of our statutes. Essentially, we want to concretize and update the purpose and objectives of the association, revise the forms of membership and the structure of the board. All against the background that we want to place a significant focus on the interests of active drilling companies, both large and small, in connection with the assurance of quality standards. Because if the quality of the HDD process and the satisfaction of the drilling companies are guaranteed, all other participants in the HDD industry will automatically benefit as well.

As you can see, the DCA continues to work on positioning and aligning itself in such a way that the position of HDD technology as the most effective trenchless laying method is supported and expanded. With a view to the future, however, I would also like to inform you in this context that, as already announced in Frankfurt, I will not be available to stand for reelection as President of the DCA at our General Meeting in February 2019 due to a professional reorientation. But you can be assured that the board will present a proposal for the future board structure, which guarantees the continuity of the previous work and promotes positive further developments.

But first of all, we can look forward to Christmas. I wish you and your families a pleasant and reflective time and a good start into the new year 2019.


Marc Schnau, President

DCA_Newsletter_Nr. 45_Dezember_2018


Top articles in the Newsletter

  • Members Meeting 2018 – Hermann Lübbers was appointed honorary member
  • Leading Article HDD – Topic: Blowouts of drilling fluids
  • Technical GuidlinesTolerances – Task group presents results for discussion

Foreword of the president Marc Schnau

Dear members and friends of the DCA,

this newsletter wishes to inform you about the current work of the DCA, its task groups and events the DCA played a part in.

Our members meeting and the International Pipe Forum in February in Oldenburg surely play a major role. Beyond these we launched the first DCA HDD forum in January, exclusively for DCA’s members. This event continued the discussion started during the annual congress in Dordrecht. Then a panel discussion has initiated a kind of failure culture within the field of HDD. By means of an open and honest exchange of experiences we wish to advance the directional horizontal drilling technique and its market position.

During the members meeting we informed you that we want to improve the European membership campaign and the care of these members. For this purpose we decided to install DCA representatives that shall be in charge in certain countries or regions. In the meantime we appointed Mr. Renzo Chirulli of Vermeer and Mr. Brian Jorgensen of Ditch Witch as the first two persons for these tasks. Mr. Chirulli will take care of the Italian market, Mr. Jorgensen of the Spanish market. We wish both of them much success!

Another issue that is keeping us busy not only in view of the HDD technology is digitalisation. Related to this is the desire for more quality of life, operating efficiently and an improved product quality. This influences both our private and professional life, poses challenges and sometimes lets questions of meaningfulness arise. Do we need refrigerators or drilling devices that communicate with us via internet? How can we handle this flood of information and data, or use them so that in the end efficiency and quality benefit from them? Against this background we chose our guiding theme for this year’s annual congress in Frankfurt: HDD towards 4.0.

What do our clients expect from us, what do we expect from our technology, and what can this technique achieve in future. What is relevant today and what in future? Exciting questions we would like to discuss with you in Frankfurt.

The programme is on its final straight. We are sure that we will provide you with an annual congress full of information and attractiveness.

Until then we are looking forward with you to a beautiful summer, some relaxing holidays, a successful business and a reunion at our annual congress in Frankfurt.

Till then,

Marc Schnau, President

DCA_Newsletter_Nr. 44_Juli_2018

DCA_Newsletter_No. 44_July_2018

Top articles in the Newsletter

  • DCA Members Forum HDD-Technic – Workshop for Members
  • HDD Mud Technology – Seminar in Celle Handling of muds and laboratory training
  • 23rd DCA Annual Congress – The congress will take place in Frankfurt/Oberursel, Germany

Foreword of the president Marc Schnau

Dear members and friends of the DCA,

2017 is drawing to a close, and I hope you can all look back on a successful year. Despite the usual ìend-of-the-year rallyeî I wish you that you will be able to enjoy some contemplative seasonal hours.

As far as the DCA is concerned, we can first of all look back on a successful annual congress in Dordrecht. 127 participants made for a very well visited event. From talks with the participants during and after the congress can be seen that both, the programme and the cultural environment, were well received. Nevertheless we always appreciate any suggested improvement, or signs regarding the preferred future orientation. At any rate we will never be satisfied with what we achieved, we will always try to find potential for improvement. One approach we already detected is a more concerted motivation of DCA’s regular members to participate in the annual congress.

Furthermore I can inform you that the newly-formed board discussed at its last meeting in a very vivid and creative manner, both new ideas and the existing structure. Among other things we will firstly offer a gratuitous one-day workshop for DCA members in January 2018. Generally we want to continue the discussion we have started in Dordrecht concerning failure analysis and quality enhancement. You will find further information about this seminar in this Newsletter edition. We hope for brisk participation and a constructive exchange of experiences.

Besides we started to carefully examine our current DCA guidelines to collect the necessary need for adjustment for a next reprint that is not scheduled, however. We gladly receive your criticism and experiences from practically applying DCA’s guidelines.

Other issues on our DCA agenda did unfortunately not proceed as quickly as we had hoped for or expected. The matters of the task groups’ disposal of drilling fluids and drill cuttings and coating quality proved to be very complex, as I already reported in Dordrecht. We are often dependent on external expertise and information. But we firmly act on the assumption that we will make the quantum leap this winter and then can present results.

All in all, so my personal conclusion after nearly one year as DCA’s president, the association is on at the right track to tackle challenges that have to be tackled, and beyond that to develop ideas how we can successfully support the HDD field in future as well.

I wish us all a satisfying close of this business year and a very Merry Christmas.

Your president

Marc Schnau

DCA_Newsletter_Nr. 43_Dezember_2017

DCA_Newsletter_No. 43_December_2017

Top articles in the Newsletter

  • Members Meeting 2017 – Marc Schnau elected as new President
  • Leading Article – HDD – Responsibilities to Third Parties
  • 22nd DCA Annual Congress – Podiumsdiscussion – “HDD Trouble-shooting”

Foreword of the president Marc Schnau

Dear members and friends of the DCA,

first of all let me thank you that you elected me president of the DCA at the members’ meeting on February 08, 2017, placing your trust into me. To me it is a major privilege and challenge at the same time, to represent the interest of the HDD industry and to actively shape DCA’s future and the technology together with you. The members’ meeting already stated that Hermann Lübbers had put his house in order before handing it over. Special thanks from all of us go to him for his exceptional commitment and all the work he rendered for the association.

In the meantime the newly-elected board resumed its work; intensive and vivid discussions brought new ideas and questioned one or the other routine. For example are we tackling the idea to offer training courses free of charge for members in form of a one-day seminar. As soon as we have the facts we will inform you.

We are trying to create a kind of failure management – within the HDD industry, or at least within the DCA. Failure does not (necessarily) mean lack of performance of one of the parties involved, however; rather we understand it as deviation from the original plan. False estimations and misinterpretations (for example in geology) are also relevant of course. We drilling contractors all know what unplanned and unwanted incidents might occur during a drilling performance that complicate the work or cause extra costs: loss of drilling fluids, blowouts, breaking bars, tool wear … to name just a few. Where possible we prefer to keep these experiences to ourselves. Finally there is always someone smarter afterwards who knows how it had better be done. Or the experiences they have gained will be seen as a future competitive advantage and thus well guarded. But instead we should increasingly and together avail ourselves of just these experiences; then we can effectively augment the quality and reliability of the entire HDD method. Finally we are all together competing both with conventional pipe laying and with other trenchless construction methods. Let us together work on promoting the HDD method as future No. 1 of trenchless pipe laying. For that reason our annual congress will be held under the title “HDD first” from October 04-06, 2017 in Dordrecht (NL). Currently we are intensely working to prepare the programme, and I can assure you already that we will make interesting first steps into this transparent and honest failure management for example. I wish us all a beautiful summer, successful in terms of drilling contracts, and maybe you will find the time for some relaxing holidays. I am looking forward to a regular and constructive exchange of views with all of you.

You can avoid mistakes if you gain experiences. And you gain experiences if you make mistakes.

(Laurence Johnston Peter (1919-1990), Canadian-American management consultant)

Your president

Marc Schnau


DCA_Newsletter_No. 42_July_2017

Top articles in the Newsletter

  • 21st DCA Annual Congress – Soil and rock in the target!
  • HDD further education GW 329 – Again well attended!
  • Congress 2017 in Dordrecht – 22nd Annual Congress will take place in the Netherlands

Foreword of the President Hermann Lübbers

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen, dear members,

the year draws to a close; it is the right time to draw the balance. Everyone is looking back onto the past business year of their company, is looking back on individual occurrences of the past year – and we all usually find many positive aspects but also some things that did not run absolutely perfectly. Just as well it was for associations like the DCA of course.

Generally speaking the year was satisfactory. Look how the number of members developed, or the financial status of our association, or the number of participants at our two main events etc. – all is in good order and condition. We, whether we are members or from the board, may be contented with what we have achieved. But I was a bad president, if I did not emphasize that there is still room for improvement! Following the proverb “Zufriedenheit ist die Feindin großer Taten“ (Contentment is the enemy of Great Action), we always have to look ahead and may not be dazzled by snap-shots.

Our annual congress in Hamburg surely can or may be called a success again. But there were also some negative aspects we will have to tackle. An example of the ideas often mentioned was the choice of lectures and lecturers. The wish was uttered to arrange a programme with more HDD specific lectures. This idea is not new, and we have been trying every year to transact it. But this requires the respective interesting projects and lecturers we normally can only find among our members. The board members will leave nothing undone to pepper the congress with such lectures. But we can only successfully transact this wish if our members develop appropriate activities and hand in their suggestions on occasion! By the way, that request applies to all fields of the congress; suggestions for workshops or site visitations near the respective venue are always very welcome! On the other hand I do consider those issues very interesting that are subordinate and thus let us all look beyond our own nose. Inspirations and advancement often originate from sectors rather unknown to us. Please make your contributions that we all can shape our congress in the way you wish for yourself. There are still other things on the boil, namely the association’s enduring issue “disposal of drilling fluids”. Please bear with the task group and the board that the advance rate of this issue does not progress as quickly as most of you wish, us included. On the one hand the topic is very complex, and on the other hand it is also dependent on third parties. We are on course with this issue; unfortunately not on an autobahn but on a street of subordinated category, however. As you all know we cannot make headway on such streets as we wish or should. Look about the great world of politics ; here, too, not all tasks go off without a hitch; here, too, you often feel that those responsible are not on their way on an autobahn in view of pace and progress of a project.

Perseverance will finally produce some acceptable results and prevents a stalemate. To quote Socrates: “Stagnation is the beginning of the end!“ In this sense I send you Season’s Greetings and a Happy New Year

Your president

Hermann Lübbers, President



Top articles in the Newsletter

  • Mud Technology Seminar – Pilot course in Celle
  • Task Groups 2016 – “Recycling of Drilling Fluids” and “Coating Quality”
  • 17 Years DCA Board – DCA bid farewell to D. Pellerin

Foreword of the President Hermann Lübbers

Dear members of the DCA,

the European Soccer Championship is already in full swing in France, and in Aachen the preparations of the meeting of the European industry of directional horizontal drillings are going full speed – our annual congress is foreshadowed. Hamburg, the metropolis on river Elbe, will be the venue this year. Top-class lecturers, a good location, and of course an ambitious social programme will hopefully convince you to do us the honour of joining us in October. Invitations are in print already and will soon be sent out.

What is the association engaged in? This question is easily answered this year: the disposal of drilling fluids! The fewest of us reflected years ago what kind of problems this liquid, consisting of water and natural clay (bentonite), would cause us. Until today at least small-diameter drillings deployed it as “soil conditioner” onto agricultural areas; but since July 2015 this is practically forbidden. The respective decree of the Ministry of the Environment in Hanover gives certain leeway, indeed, but a great amount of drilling fluids has to be brought to the dump today, in effect. Of course waste management companies see many positive aspects in this fact; like a warm rain this decree makes for increasing sales. Today the disposal of drilling fluids “devours” costs that are already 3-4 times higher compared to some years ago. Thus the price for an average drilling in a small diameter splits into the ratio 50 % for the actual drilling, and 50 % for the disposal related to it. In the end the consumer has to pick up the tap, which means all of us via energy costs. One chance is to allocate these additional costs to the end-consumer; more likely, however, is the following: In future, enquiries will increasingly compare open with closed constructions. The HDD industry has been well positioned hitherto; it could absolutely stand up to this market competition. But given the current frame conditions, our clients will more and more often turn to open-trench constructions again, and they have to for economic reasons. The consequences of this attitude should be clear; we will have to face recession in our industry. If fewer directional horizontal drillings are tendered and applied, this will result in fewer orders not only for the contractor; producers of the equipment and waste management companies for drilling fluids will, too, feel the effects of this development. I do not want to lapse into the tactics of the European big industry and provisionally claim support from politics (keyword jobs). But neither does it help to wink at this issue.

Back to the roots. Is the product drilling fluid, mixed with unpolluted soil, really harmful to the environment? Has the “waste” to be classified in a way that each drilling company will soon need transport permission for the carriage of this material? Is the application of drilling fluids mixed with drill cuttings to agricultural areas lawful according to the decree of soil protection? Above all, can it be called not harmless to the soil? The answers can only be: no, no, it is not so.

We, the industry of directional horizontal drilling, will confront the problems that lie ahead. We do not want to skirt some limiting criteria by means of wrong data like it happened elsewhere. We want to act openly but this requires that all those involved are cooperating: contractors, associations and authorities. Really important to me is how we deal with the specifications of the substances used to produce drilling fluids. As soon as we are able to provide the agrarian engineers in the committees of the Ministry of the Environment with the respective data, and as soon as we can formulate suggestions how the product can be further utilised in a duly way, the horizon will brighten up again for drilling fluids. Reprocessing of drilling fluids like it has been practised in large scale drillings for many years now will probably raise problems in small diameter drillings. DCA’s task group is dealing with all these issues and will work out suggestions and concepts for the further proceedings. Still owing is a comparison of this problem in other European countries; it should be made at any rate. And we should not rule out to apply to the court in Brussels.

I wish all of you pleasant holidays and am looking forward to meeting you at our next congress in Hamburg.

Hermann Lübbers, President