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Bulletin 20900e






Top Drive Rig Floor Safety Orientation Doghouse Manual

Better Ways to The Bottom™ Top Drive Rig Floor Safety Orientation Doghouse Manual




Better Ways to The Bottom™


Top Drive Rig Floor Safety Orientation Printed in Canada / Dec. 2002 TC120 ©Tesco Corporation


Top Drive Rig Floor Safety Orientation Doghouse Manual

Table of Contents Introduction



RIGGING UP THE EQUIPMENT Torque System Power Module Service Loop Top Drive

4 5 6 6



CHAPTER 3 Safety Interlocks



CONTROLS AND ROBOTICS Clearance and Visibility Extend Link Tilt Grabber Grabber Lift Pipe Handler Elevators Mud Saver Valve and Actuator

Top Drive Rig Floor Safety Orientation Doghouse Manual

MAKING CONNECTIONS Safety Breaking Out Making Up Singles Making Up Doubles Making Up Triples

12 12 12 12 13




Drilling Tripping Cold Climate Reaming Working Tight Hole Jarring Running Casing Cementing

13 14 14 15 15 16 16 16

CHAPTER 7 10 10 10 10 10 10 11 11

TOP DRIVE CONSIDERATIONS Slip and Cut Drilling Line Maintenance

17 17





This manual is intended to provide basic information only, and does not constitute a comprehensive guide to the functioning or operation of a Tesco Top Drive. It is to be used only in conjunction with the orientation and on site supervision provided by Tesco personnel. The Tesco Top Drive Technician must be notified of any concerns or incidents involving Tesco equipment and its operation. OTHER THAN AS DESCRIBED IN THE PRECEDING PARAGRAPH, TESCO CORPORATION, ITS AFFILIATED COMPANIES AND EMPLOYEES ASSUME NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR USE OF THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS MANUAL. At Tesco, we put a lot of effort into developing ways to make drilling a well more efficient. Training the operators to run the equipment in the most effective manner makes the job easier by reducing downtime and safer by eliminating the risk of injury to workers. This manual will provide you with information to present to your crew during a pre-job safety meeting or whenever you need to reinforce what you already know.


Rigging up the Equipment The Torque System:

After measuring the rig and determining the torque system configuration, the top drive technician will require the help of a select number of crewmembers. As a driller, it’s up to you to choose workers who are confident working at heights and follow instructions well. A well thought out pre-job meeting and the right people can make rigging up the top drive much easier and safer. The torque system includes the following: 1. Torque Track 2. Torque Anchor Beam 3. T-Bar In the next few pages we will describe the parts of the torque system, what they do and some effective ways of installing them.

Torque Track:

The torque track consists of varying lengths of track. Each section is designed to fit another by lining up the flanges and tightening the bolts. The length of the track depends on the size of the rig mast but in all cases the bottom of the track, called the deflector section, should be between 7 and 8 feet from the floor. The track is hung by attaching an adjustable hanging cluster to a pad eye that has been welded to the crown’s beams. The bottom of the track is secured to the derrick by bolting on the T-bar and fastening it in to the torque anchor beam. Using turnbuckles we can center the track and provide rigidity along the length of the derrick. The turnbuckles are attached to the torque track and derrick using clamps or by welding in pad eyes on the derrick beams prior to rig up. In some cases our technicians may pre-assemble the torque track on the ground and hoist up to 2 sections at once. When hoisting the torque track, good communication and the use of a hold back line are required. Once the first section of track has been lifted to the drill floor with the tugger line, it is then lowered through the rotary table so that the top of the track can be attached to the traveling block. After raising the track above the floor with the blocks, the rest of the track sections can be hoisted to the floor and placed in the rotary table individually and bolted into the previous sections. Top Drive Rig Floor Safety Orientation Doghouse Manual

When the torque track is fastened together in the length required to allow the top drive to travel between the highest and lowest points in the derrick, it then needs to be secured to the crown. This is done by attaching the hanging cluster at the top of the track to a welded-on pad eye with a shackle. Next we need to position the torque track so that we can fasten the t-bar to it and make sure that the torque anchor beam will accept it as well. Once the torque track is in place the turnbuckles need to be attached to it and secured in predetermined locations on the derrick strongbacks. Using these adjustable, locking turnbuckles we can center the track and help provide rigidity along the length of it. When the torque system is installed it should be straight and at the proper distance from well center and the rig floor.

Torque Anchor Beam:

The torque anchor beam accepts the torque directly from the quill and transfers it to the derrick. On some rigs we can weld the anchor in place, on others we need to install the beam using clamps. The beam is usually attached to the lowest strongback where the energy can be displaced across the widest point of the derrick. Periodic inspection of the welds or the clamps tightness must be performed to prevent any movement of the torque track.

Position the hoisting sling and tugger line on the center of the load. Carefully raise the anchor beam to the appropriate strongback. The top drive technician will need assistance to position the anchor beam on the strongback and hold it in place until the clamps can be secured. Safety - Make sure all workers are connected to an approved fall arrest system.

Top Drive Rig Floor Safety Orientation Doghouse Manual


The T-bar is a solid steel arm that bolts on to the torque track at it’s lowest point and takes the drilling torque from the top drive and transfers it through the anchor beam and across the derrick. The T-bar can be installed in the torque anchor as soon as the beam is secured to the derrick. The T-bar can also be bolted on to the torque track just before the track is hung from the crown when the bolt pattern section of track is at a comfortable height. When the T-bar is attached to the torque track and the track is hanging from the pad eye at the crown, the T-bar should be just slightly higher than the anchor. This way, when the anchor clamp is tightened down it will pull the track into tension. After all the main components of the torque system are installed the turnbuckles can be adjusted to straighten the track. Note: All shackles, turnbuckles, and similar items should be secured with cotter pins or safety wires, to prevent accidental loosening.

The Power Module:

The Tesco hydraulic top drive comes with a building containing a prime mover that drives a series of variable displacement, bi-directional hydraulic pumps. These pumps send hydraulic flow through a closed loop, high-pressure system to the top drive motor(s), which provide quill rotation before returning to the skid to be filtered. Additional gear pumps send hydraulic flow through an auxiliary system to the top drive, operating the various robotic functions as well as circulate oil through a filtration and cooling system before returning to the reservoir. The power module also contains an electrical panel, which accepts a 480 or 600 volt AC input from the rig’s Page 

generators and converts it to other voltages that operate the electrical components of the top drive system. When spotting the power module, it must be lifted using proper hoisting techniques and placed in an ideal position for the service loop to reach the derrick. If the service reel is not attached to the power module skid, then it should be placed on rig matting with the power module and connected to the auxiliary hydraulic system.

Before the top drive is raised to the rig floor, the torque bushing and extend frame need to be installed onto the torque track and pinned in place.

With the top drive stand positioned over hole center and secured to the derrick legs using chains and boomers, the swivel can now be properly doped and threaded into the quill with a chain tong.

The Service Loop:

The service loop sends and receives electrical communication from the power unit and the driller’s panel as well as hydraulic flow to and from the top drive. It is critical that these lines not be damaged due to improper lifting or obstructions in the derrick. Once the service loop has been installed, observe its movement along the entire travel of the top drive. The service loop should make no contact with any part of the rig. Using a soft hoisting sling and the floor tugger, the operator will raise the service loop into the derrick while the top drive technician reels out enough slack to install the lines into the hose saddle and capture clamp. Once the hose saddle position has been determined it is then attached to the derrick. The rig design and top drive model will determine where the saddle is located. A safety sling should always be installed around the hose saddle and hoses, and then attached to either a welded in pad eye or a suitable beam. Safety slings should also be installed between the hose ends and the top drive.

The Top Drive:

The top drive is a heavy, unbalanced load and should be carefully handled to prevent injury or equipment damage. The top drive technician should always be present to oversee any loading or unloading of Tesco equipment. Once the top drive arrives on location, it should be placed on the catwalk so that it can be hoisted to the rig floor using 2 point, load rated slings attached to the blocks. A hold back line should be used to prevent the top drive from shifting once it is lifted.


becket or block hook.

On top drives equipped with an integrated swivel, the swivel bail or yoke is directly installed into the

Now the top drive can be lifted from the transport stand by raising the blocks and the transport stand removed from the rig floor. Using the blocks, line-up the pin holes between the extend frame and the top drive and insert the drive pins and keepers. With the weight of the top drive hanging on the overhead blocks and swivel, remove the torque bushing pin. The top drive technician will connect the service loop to the top drive and install the driller’s panel. With the power unit now running and the service loop and drillers panel connected to the top drive, we can now make up the swivel to the specified torque. To do this the off-drillers side tongs must be raised to the required height to bite against the swivel or cross over and back up slings attached to a suitable point on the derrick. It is critical that the bottom of the top drive be secured with a cross chain on the grabber leg or a joint of heavy weight drill pipe connected to the saver sub and set in the slips - or both. Torque should always be applied to the swivel connection in ‘drill mode’ and only the required personnel to do the job should remain on the rig floor.

Top Drive Rig Floor Safety Orientation Doghouse Manual

Chapter 2 Component Identification Top Drive:

Top Drive Rig Floor Safety Orientation Doghouse Manual


Chapter 3 The Drillers Panel

The Rosemount Gauge receives a milliamp signal from a pressure transducer located on the top drive.


The drillers panel is a stainless steel enclosure equipped with all of the controls, indicator lights, mounts, gauges and connectors required to operate the top drive from the driller’s position. All of the controls are 24 volts DC electric over hydraulic. The two main cables to the panel are 37 pin conductor cables with each wire serving a specific function. One 37-pin cable connects the power module to the driller’s panel and the other connects the top drive with the driller’s panel. The four smaller cables are 4 or 5 pin Amphenol connectors which control input to the safety interlocks, overrides and digital gauges for quill torque and RPM.


When deciding where to mount the driller’s panel it is important that your view of the rig floor from the driller’s position is not obstructed and that you can reach the controls well enough to operate the drawworks and top drive simultaneously. All of the cables to the panel should be routed in such a manner that moving parts will not damage them and they should be elevated from the floor.

Instrument Gauges:

There are two digital gauges on the driller’s panel, the RPM Gauge that meters quill rotation and the Rosemount Gauge, which reads quill torque. Separate from the driller’s panel is the Hydraulic Pressure Gauge, which reads the closed loop pressure in psi. The RPM Gauge gives an exact reading of the quill speed.


The transducer measures the differential between the high and low pressure sides of the top drive hydraulic motor(s). This measurement gives you the most accurate torque reading while drilling, when the hydraulic oil in the loop is in a high flow state. The Hydraulic Pressure Gauge is used primarily to set the torque reliefs, which control the amount of torque that can be applied to the quill. This gauge is also very accurate when making and breaking connections, when the hydraulic oil in the loop is in a semi-static condition and pressure losses are at a minimum.

Indicator Lights:

There are indicator lights installed in the driller’s panel reminding you that a function is, or has been performed. The response to an illuminated indicator light should be: Stop - Why it is illuminated and how will it effect further operations? There are indicator lights for the following: DC Power This green light should be illuminated at all times, indicating that the power supply to the driller’s panel is on. Grabber When the grabber is closed, the light will come on and will not go off until ‘grabber open’ is selected. Valve When the mud saver valve is closed, the light will come on will not go out until ‘valve open’ is selected.

Top Drive Rig Floor Safety Orientation Doghouse Manual

Auxiliary Pump This amber light will illuminate if the Mud Saver Valve When the valve is switched to auxiliary pump is already running and then a robotic close an interlock exactly like the function is selected. This indicates that the hydraulic drawworks one is energized to cut off pressure needed to operate the robotics has been the air supply to the mud pump clutch delivered. If you notice that the light is on, check to see controls. This prevents accidentally if any switches have been left in the energized state. starting of the mud pump and deadending pump flow against the mud When the pump is left pressured-up, the oil return is restricted and the oil must pass over a relief. When this saver valve. occurs, the hydraulic oil will quickly become very hot and the pump may eventually fail. Connection Mode/Forward To make a connection, the driller’s panel If a robotic function is selected and this light does must be switched to ‘connection’ not come on, the function has not occurred. mode. When in this mode, several preset functions occur and the Pipe Handler Unlock When the pipe handler is drawworks interlock is part of those functions. Once unlocked, a proximity switch located on the top drive will the tool joint has been made up to specified torque, it activate a light on the drillers panel, indicating the locking would be possible to leave the top drive in ‘forward’ and assembly has been disabled. There is also an interlock hoist the drillstring to remove the slips. The drillstring associated with this circuit that will be described in the would then turn and the slip handles could injure the floorhands trying to remove them. The interlock cuts following section. (Tesco Model HCI only) off the air supply to the hoisting clutch, preventing this from happening. Once the slips have been removed, Safety Interlocks: An interlock is a term used to describe an electrical do not switch to ‘forward’ until ‘drill’ mode has been input from one function that prevents the use of another selected. by cutting off the flow of electrical current. Interlocks are used on the top drive to minimize the possibility of an unsafe condition. The following describes which functions have interlocks, how they work and why:

Grabber When the grabber is switched to the closed position, a signal is sent to the drawworks interlock installed in the rig’s drawworks console. This device is a solenoid actuated air valve, which closes and cuts off the air supply to the hoisting clutch controls. This will prevent the accidental lifting of the blocks when the top drive quill is not connected to the tool joint against which grabber has been closed (i.e. after a connection has been broken). The grabber is not designed to accept any significant amount of load; this could result in pulling the grabber components from the top drive. Override – In order to hold toolface while directional drilling, the grabber will remain closed on the top tool joint. If the drillstring needs to be worked while holding toolface, the grabber close interlock must be overridden. To do this, push and hold the red button, located on the brake handle control box and hoist simultaneously.

Top Drive Rig Floor Safety Orientation Doghouse Manual

Pipe Handler The improper use of the pipe handler can have serious consequences, but with safety interlocks and proper training we can minimize the risk of any incidents. When the pipe handler “unlock” is actuated, a proximity switch locks out the quill rotation unless the pipe handler caution (rotate) button is pushed and held while in ‘connection forward or reverse’.

(Tesco Top Drive Model HCI, ECI &EMI only)


Chapter 4 Controls and Robotics

hydraulic gauge to bleed off below 1000psi before selecting grabber ‘open’.

Clearance and Visibility:

Allow 5 seconds for the grabber to fully open before switching the grabber to neutral.

The top drive takes up much more space on the rig floor than a kelly would, so this work area must be kept clear of obstacles that may interfere with the movement of the top drive and that of the personnel. When the top drive is moving through the derrick, you must be aware of it’s position at all times. Because you are not always able to see the top drive, the other members of your crew must also watch and be aware of the top drive’s position and movement at all times. Note: If you are unsure about any situation, stop and ask for help. This will save more time in the end and reduce the likelihood of an incident occurring.

Robotic Functions:

Extend This feature allows the top drive to reach forward over the mouse hole, giving it the ability to make up stands in the mouse hole for drilling as well as aiding the process of handling tools to and from the v-door. Note: An optional extend alarm is available if requested. This device provides an alarm if the top drive is extended. Note: If you leave the top drive extended out while hoisting with blocks, the top drive could make contact with the monkey board. Link Tilt Commonly known as ‘the bails’, the links can be tilted to move the elevators up to 35 degrees forward and 55 degrees back from vertical, extending the reach of the top drive to perform many tasks associated with pipe handling. Grabber The grabber acts like a back-up tong and closes onto a tool joint to arrest the reactive torque when making up or breaking out a connection. Rule of thumb: Allow 10 seconds for the grabber to close before applying torque. When breaking out, close the grabber and leave the switch in the ‘close’ position until the connection breaks. Then open it while reversing out of the thread box. This way, you can hoist out of the tool joint once completely un-threaded without the interlock disabling the hoisting clutch. For making-up a joint, leave the grabber switch in the ‘close’ position until the specified torque is reached and the top drive stalls. Return the ‘pumps’ switch from forward to neutral and allow the pressure on the Page 10

Grabber Lift (Tesco Top Drive Model HMI, not equipped): A hydraulic cylinder, located in the grabber leg, raises and lowers the grabber to the required height for backing-up the tool joint. Always position the grabber at the top tool joint before raising the top drive from the floor level. If for any reason, such as having to begin a trip before the stand has been drilled, you can simply close the grabber to break-out of the stand at the monkeyboard height without having to guess whether or not the grabber is in the correct position. Pipe Handler In order to turn the elevators in the direction needed for a certain operation, the pipe handler will have to be used. To perform this, proper operation is critical for worker and equipment safety. The following steps must be followed before unlocking the pipe handler: • All personnel must clear the area of the top drive, elevators, and links. • Link tilt vertical (if possible, latch the elevators on the pipe). • Pumps to ‘neutral’. • Pipe handler ‘unlock’ and return to neutral. • Grabber ‘close’ (on the saver sub). • Pumps ‘forward’ or ‘reverse’. • Push ‘pipe handler – caution’ button (rotate) The pipe handler section of the top drive will now rotate up to 360 degrees at 4 RPM. Once the orientation of the pipe handler is correct, these steps must be followed to disengage pipe handler rotation. • Release ‘rotate or caution’ button. • Pumps to neutral. • Grabber ‘open’. • Pipe handler ‘lock’ and return to neutral - a visual

Top Drive Rig Floor Safety Orientation Doghouse Manual

confirmation is critical to ensure the locking mechanism has fully engaged the lock ring gear. The top drive can now return to normal operation. Hydraulic Elevators The Tesco top drive comes equipped with automatic elevators, which eliminate the need to have a person manually operate them. This gives the ability to open and close the elevators on extremely tall stands of BHA and reduces worker exposure to additional h a z a r d s associated with manual operation of the elevators. The 3-position switch must be turned to ‘open’ and a safety push button held at the same time with no load in the elevators for them to open. This way, selecting the wrong switch cannot accidentally open the elevators. The elevators can be closed by either switching to ‘close’ on the drillers panel or by pushing the close button located on the brake handle control box. When closing the elevators, visually confirm the latch has closed. Mud Saver Valve and Actuator Tesco top drives incorporate a double ball mud saver valve with a remote actuator to act as both a mud saver and as an emergency blow out prevention valve. The actuator is designed to allow you to open or close the mud saver valve at any point in the derrick. It is critical that the actuator is never functioned while the quill is rotating; this will damage the internal components and lead to failure of the actuator. When you select valve ‘close’ the actuator will close with up to 5000 psi of hydrostatic well bore pressure against it. Once you have selected valve ‘open’ the actuator will open and cannot be closed again for 7 seconds. This prevents the accidental re-closure of the valve once the mud pumps have been started.

Top Drive Rig Floor Safety Orientation Doghouse Manual

Page 11

Chapter 5 Making Connections Safety:

Making connections with a Tesco top drive greatly reduces time and manpower needed to get back to bottom and drilling ahead. We can add pipe to the drillstring in single joints and double or triple stands. When making a connection, many tasks are being performed by the top drive and it is critical that all personnel are aware of pinch point locations and stand clear of the top drive. All connection torque values must be agreed upon by the customer prior to drilling, and a connection worksheet signed. The Tesco technician sets the torque parameters and these cannot be exceeded.

Breaking Out:

The top drive can be drilled down to floor height by opening the elevators and selecting link tilt ‘back’. To make a connection, rotation is stopped, the mud pumps are turned off, the slips set, and drillers panel set to ‘connection’ mode. Know the weight of the top drive and overhead hoisting equipment. This amount should be read on the weight indicator gauge when the slips are set. If you have less than the weight of the top drive on the weight indicator, the counter balance system will not be able to lift the top drive out of the thread box and thread damage will occur. If you have more than the weight of the top drive reading on the weight indicator, the threads will be damaged and the top drive could bounce out of the threads and also damage the seal face.

“working single” remains on the top drive. Note: Make sure that all connections are properly doped.

Making Up Singles:

Extend out and stab into the mousehole single. Latch the rig tong on to mousehole single and rotate the quill forward to shoulder up the connection. Important – Do not torque the connection in the mousehole with the top drive. Carefully retract the top drive into the torque track while hoisting out of mousehole. Position the new single above hole center and slowly lower it into the stump. Latch the rig tong on the stump and rotate the quill forward to make up the connection to the specified torque. The torque value will be read on both the hydraulic pressure gauge and the Rosemount gauge. Similar procedures are used for an ‘off-bottom connection’, but extra care must be taken when hoisting to retract the top drive and avoid contact with the monkey-board.

Making Up Doubles:

Using the floor tugger, install one single in the mousehole and another single on the v-door left connected to the tugger. Extend top drive over the mousehole and link tilt forward so that the elevators can close on the vdoor single. Hoist the v-door single above the rig floor and stab it into the mousehole single. Shoulder up the connection by using either a chain tong or by carefully guiding the top of the new stand into the top drive with the Once the mud pump SPM and standpipe pressure link tilt function and rotate the quill until both connections gauge read zero, it is safe to close the mud saver valve. have shouldered up. Use the rig tongs to back up the Switch the grabber to ‘close’, wait for the dies to set, single in the mousehole while making up a connection and then select ‘reverse’. The connection will not break with the top drive. until the ‘break out’ button is pushed and held. Once the connection has broken, the break out button can be Important - Do not torque connection in the released and the grabber opened. Continue reversing mousehole with the top drive. until the connection is completely unthreaded and the counter balance system has gently lifted the top drive Now, carefully retract top drive into the torque track while hoisting out of the mousehole. Ensure top drive saver sub out of the thread box. and blocks are clear of monkey-board. Position the If preferred, connections can be made ‘off bottom’ by new stand above hole center and slowly lower it into the hoisting one single through the table, before setting stump. Latch the rig tong on to the stump and rotate the slips. The rig tongs must be used to break the the quill forward and make up both connections to the connection instead of the top drive. In this method a specified torque. Page 12

Top Drive Rig Floor Safety Orientation Doghouse Manual

Chapter 6 Note: If the rig floor is too large to pickup singles from the v-door with the link tilt and extend, it is still possible to make double (or triple) connection. Make a single connection as described above. Raise the top drive and joint of pipe. Place another joint of pipe in the mousehole and make up as per ‘off-bottom’ connection. Repeat if a ‘triple’ is required.


Although it is possible to make up triple stands in the mouse hole with the top drive, it may be more efficient to make up stands in advance and leave them racked in the derrick if drilling with triple stands is required.

Rotating Once you have made a connection and the slips have cleared the table, select ‘valve open’ and start up the mud pump, then select ‘drill’ mode immediately. The preset functions in connection mode will be disabled and now you can manipulate the quill RPM by selecting ‘forward’ and ‘increasing or decreasing’ the pumps. Slide Drilling In order to hold toolface while sliding, you must close the grabber on the saver sub, allow the grabber cylinder to pressure-up, and then switch the ‘pumps – forward/reverse’, to neutral. The grabber light will remain on.


When drilling ahead with a top drive, adhere to the same safety and operating practices and procedures as with conventional rotary drilling.

When sliding, the grabber is closed and the hoisting clutch interlock is activated. In order to work the drillstring you must push and hold the ‘override’ button on the brake handle control box while hoisting. This allows the drawworks drum clutch to engage. When running a mud motor, keep accurate records of the reactive torque (motor pressure) in the string. At any given time, you may need to orient the toolface of the downhole motor. To do this the grabber will need to be opened; if you do not track downhole torque history, turning the string in small increments will be impossible. Assuming that you know the amount of torque present, follow these steps to orient the toolface: 1. Select ‘drill forward’. 2. Decrease the pumps so that x psi (the pressure equal to the reactive torque) is present on the hydraulic pressure gauge. 3. Select ‘grabber open’. 4. If the value of x provides enough torque, the string should not turn. Turn the string to the right by selecting: 5. ‘Increase pumps’ until the pipe turns very slowly and under control. 6. When you have achieved the new orientation, quickly close the grabber.

Top Drive Rig Floor Safety Orientation Doghouse Manual

Page 13

The amount of loop pressure needed to hold the drillstring when the grabber is opened will change as depth, and angle of build increase. This is why you should record a downhole torque history, because the x value will be easier to predict. Turn the string to the left by decreasing loop pressure (‘decrease pumps’), and, if there is not much reactive torque present, select ‘reverse’ until positioning is complete, then close the grabber. Note: The maximum reverse torque is set to prevent the string unscrewing. Do not engage the ‘breakout’ function or the drillstring could come apart.


The Tesco top drive reduces the amount of time and work involved in tripping and reaming by giving you the ability to thread into the drillstring at any point in the derrick. This is useful when encountering hole problems while tripping (for instance, pulling tight, bridging off or when a kick is evident). In short, any time when the need to pump fluid into the well exists, it can be done without having to position the drillstring at floor level in order to install the kelly. Tripping pipe with a top drive is similar to conventional methods, with the exception that the robotic functions ease pipe-handling procedures. At no time is it necessary for the rig crew to position the elevators or open and close them. The link tilt function can push the stand of pipe to be racked to the worker, both on the rig floor and to the derrickhand. When running in the hole, the derrickhand does not need to lean out to throw the stand in the elevators; he can simply ease the stand into the elevators, which are extended toward him. Once the stand is placed in the elevators, they can be closed hydraulically. After the stand is racked in the derrick or added to the string the links should be returned to the vertical hanging position by selecting the ‘float’ function. Important – The links and elevators should never be manually operated by a worker.

Cold Climate:

When the hydraulic top drive is working in a freezing environment, the oil quickly becomes thick and this will reduce its effectiveness. While drilling, the heat from the top drive motor(s) warms the oil enough so that this is not a concern, but whenever the quill is not rotating, such as when you are slide drilling or tripping, the cold Page 14

climate function should be used. To activate cold climate follow these steps: 1. Push in the cold climate button (on the left side of the drillers panel). 2. Select engine speed ‘slow’. 3. ‘Drill’ mode. 4. ‘Forward’ pumps. 5. ‘Increase or decrease’ pumps, to maintain 700psi on the hydraulic pressure gauge. When the cold climate button is pushed in it de-energizes the circuit to the top drive speed control valve and allows the flow of loop oil to pass through the motor manifold and circulates the closed loop system without turning the quill. Selecting engine speed slow brings the prime mover to idle speed for cold climate operation. This saves overall wear and tear on the engine when it has a low load on it. Drill mode allows you to control the hydraulic pumps internal swash plates, which command the amount of oil flow to maintain 700psi. Forward pumps directs the oil flow in such a way that it passes through the maximum amount of filtration before going through the pumps again. Follow these steps in order to properly disengage the cold climate function: 1. ‘Neutral’ pumps. 2. ‘Connection’ mode. 3. ‘Neutral’ engine speed. 4. Pull out the cold climate button. By selecting neutral pumps, the flow of hydraulic oil is stopped. Important: Never push out the cold climate button without the preceding 3 steps. Connection mode keeps the prime mover at an idle when the engine speed is switched to neutral. After pulling out the cold climate button the top drive can now return to normal operation. Tip: If the top drive will rotate and everything else is operating normally, double check that the cold climate button has not been accidentally operated. Top Drive Rig Floor Safety Orientation Doghouse Manual


Back reaming out of the hole is one of the greatest features the Tesco top drive provides. These steps should be followed before commencing: Note – Reaming is to commence only at operator’s discretion and until the driller is experienced with this operation, the Tesco technician should be alerted. 1. Ensure the correct saver sub is installed on the top drive and keep it properly doped while reaming or back-reaming. 2. Connect the top drive to the drillstring. 3. Open the mud saver valve. 4. Start the mud pumps and establish circulation. 5. Remove the slips. 6. Select ‘drill’ mode. 7. Pumps ‘forward’ Set quill speed to 30-40 RPM. 8. Hoist the drill string and close the elevators on the stand. 9. Work the drill string until free of obstruction. When you are ready to rack the stand in the derrick, the procedure is as follows: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Stop rotation. Stop the mud pumps. Set the slips. Break out the lowest connection with the rig tongs. Hoist stand out of the stump and allow the pipe to drain. 6. Close the mud saver valve. 7. Lower the stand to approximately 2 inches above the rotary table. 8. Ensure the grabber is in position at the top tool joint. 9. Close the grabber and break out the top drive. 10. Once the top drive is unscrewed from the pipe, open the grabber and the stand will rest on the floor. 11. Hoist the top drive until the elevators pick up the stand. 12. Link tilt forward until the derrickhand has control of the stand and it has been placed in the birdbath. 13. Open the elevators. 14. Link tilt back to vertical. 15. Lower the top drive to the floor and continue back reaming if necessary.

Top Drive Rig Floor Safety Orientation Doghouse Manual

If an obstruction is encountered when tripping in the hole, or if for any reason it is necessary to establish circulation, i.e. well control, the top drive can be connected to the drillstring quickly by following these steps: 1. If an obstruction is encountered, hoist until the drillstring is free, and a connection is at floor level. 2. Set the slips. 3. Lower the top drive and guide the top tool joint into the grabber. Set backup tongs on tool joint at floor level. 4. Select ‘connection’ mode. 5. Rotate the top drive into the top tool joint and shoulder it up. 6. Make up the connection to the specified torque. 7. Open the mud saver valve. 8. Remove the tongs and the slips. 9. Start the mud pumps and establish circulation. 10. Select ‘drill’ mode. 11. Set quill speed to 30-40 RPM. 12. Ream through the obstruction until the string is free. 13. Lower top drive to the floor and disconnect the topdrive – see, break out connection procedures.

Working Tight Hole:

It is important to know that when torque is applied to the drillstring you cannot pull up to the maximum force that the pipe is rated for. The top drive technician will provide information on specific classes of tubulars and their torsion/tension thresholds. In tight hole situations, it will be necessary to free the pipe using the top drive. With the top drive, the ability to maintain mud pump flow, raise and lower the drillstring and hold torque all at the same time is possible. It is recommended that when working tight hole, some torque can be applied to the drillstring. This is best done by selecting: 1. ‘Drill’ mode 2. ‘Decrease’ pumps 3. ‘Forward’ pumps 4. Slowly ‘Increase’ pumps

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By decreasing forward pump pressure, there will not be enough hydraulic flow to rotate the pipe. Now, slowly ‘increase’ the pumps until the pipe begins to rotate. Maintain enough pressure on the hydraulic gauge to hold drillstring in torsion without reaching the torque relief setting on the top drive. When maintaining static torque over extended time periods, it is recommended to increase the pumps to a value less than the torque relief setting and allow the pumps to control the desired torque. If the top drive torque relief is activated, the hydraulic oil passing through the relief over time, will create excessive heat. The hot oil may, in turn, activate a power unit shut down, resulting in an untimely torque release of the drill string. The power module is equipped with numerous safety shutdowns. When the hydraulic oil reaches the high oil temperature shutdown setting, the prime mover will shut down. This should be avoided, especially in situations where hole problems are encountered. Continue working the drillstring while maintaining torque with the top drive until a free point is established. When the pipe begins to rotate at this torque setting keep raising and lowering pipe in the free point increasing the travel distance until the obstruction is cleared.


If jarring is required, the torque applied to the drillstring will need to be released. By slowly decreasing the quill torque shown on the hydraulic gauge, the reactive torque in the string will overcome the quill torque and the pipe will, in a controlled manner, rotate in reverse until torsion is released. Once this is done, set the slips in order to break out the top drive.


When using the hydraulic elevators to support a wire line sheave, disconnect the hydraulic hoses at the elevator quick connects to reduce the chances of accidental opening. Note: The hoses should also be disconnected to prevent accidental opening in any other operation where the elevators support a load other than the drillstring (for example, when a set of secondary elevators are supported from a nubbin in the hydraulic elevators).

Running Casing:

Using the top drive for running casing offers some advantages over conventional methods. At the customer ’s request, Tesco can provide a crossover sub to connect the quill to the casing, eliminating the need to rig-up chiksans and fill up hoses. The top drive also provides pipe handling functions to make handling casing much simpler and safer.


Unless it is absolutely necessary, never attempt to cement through the top drive. With the exception of this rule, cementing with a top drive is similar to conventional methods.

Tesco does not recommend jarring with the drillstring connected to the quill. The drillstring should be suspended from the elevators before jarring commences. Disconnect hydraulic hoses at the elevator quick connects to reduce the chances of elevators opening accidentally. After any jarring is done the top drive technician will need the time to perform a visual inspection of the top drive components and fill out a ‘Post Jarring Checklist’. In the event of excessive jarring a load path inspection may need to be performed at the earliest convenience.

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Top Drive Rig Floor Safety Orientation Doghouse Manual

Chapter 7 Top Drive Considerations


This manual is intended to provide basic information only, and does not constitute a comprehensive guide to the functioning or operation of a Tesco Slip and Cut Drilling Line: Top Drive. It is to be used only in conjunction with Some daily rig operations change when a rig is fitted with a top drive. Some simple procedures that your the orientation and on site supervision provided by crew has performed regularly will need to be adjusted Tesco personnel. The Tesco Top Drive Technician to consider top drive issues. must be notified of any concerns or incidents involving Tesco equipment and its operation.

To slip and cut drilling line, obviously the weight of the top drive cannot hang from the same line as the blocks alone did. The top drive technician will assist you in determining the length of a block-hanging sling to be installed in the derrick to a suitable beam so that the top drive is positioned at floor level. If your rig is already fitted with a block-hanging sling, the sling and the eye on the blocks should be rated to support the weight of the top drive as well as the traveling block. The top drive will have to be connected to the drillstring and set in the slips as low as the block-hanging sling will allow, to help distribute the additional weight of the top drive.

Note – When performing a slip and cut with a top drive it is possible to pump fluid into the well if necessary. Important – The blocks should never be hung from a floor tugger.

OTHER THANAS DESCRIBED IN THE PRECEDING PARAGRAPH, TESCO CORPORATION, ITS AFFILIATED COMPANIES AND EMPLOYEES ASSUME NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR USE OF THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS MANUAL. Tesco Corporation (“Tesco”) has made every effort to ensure that this manual describes the basic knowledge needed to provide a quick reference for top drive operators.

This manual is to be used in conjunction with an orientation and on site supervision.

Top Drive Maintenance: The regular daily maintenance and inspections on the top drive do not have to interfere with rig operations. In order to keep the top drive running safely and efficiently, up to 15 minutes every tour must be available to service the equipment. The top drive technician’s knowledge of drilling allows him to choose a ‘window of opportunity’ to do this when the top drive is accessible from a ladder on the rig floor, while minimizing the impact on the customer’s operation. If any service or repairs need to be done on the top drive, all of the drawworks controls and the driller’s panel must be locked out and tagged to ensure the safety of the personnel. Important – The top drive technician must be notified of any concerns or incidents involving Tesco equipment. Top Drive Rig Floor Safety Orientation Doghouse Manual

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Top Drive Rig Floor Safety Orientation Doghouse Manual

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Top Drive Rig Floor Safety Orientation Doghouse Manual

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Corporate Headquarters 6204 - 6A Street S.E. Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2H 2B7 Tel: 403 692-5700 • Fax: 403 692-5710



World Wide Operations 11330 Brittmoore Park Drive Houston, Texas, USA 77041 Tel: 713 849-5900 • Fax: 713 849-0075 Top Drive Rig Floor Safety Orientation Doghouse Manual

Printed in Canada / October 2006 / TC Due to ongoing product development, all specifications are subject to change without notice.

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