Oil Drilling Equipment and Methodology The drilling rig, tall and noisy, has become an iconic American image of industry. The main task that the drilling rig needs to perform is to efficiently drill a hole into the earth surface in order to reach gas and oil pockets. Small in diameter, the hole that these drilling rigs bore can run as deep as several thousands of feet. The reason the hole needs to penetrate the ground for such a long distance is so that it can ultimately reach the trapped pockets of oil and gas that are buried deep below the earth’s surface.
The most noticeable feature of the drilling rig is what we refer to as the “mast” or “derrick”. This is easily recognizable as the tall structure right above the hole being drilled. Some masts can reach heights as tall as 60 meters or 200 feet. In order to drill a hole this far down the drill itself must be very durable and strong. For this reason the drill is very heavy and requires that the mast be of sufficient strength in order to support the weight of the different tools used in the drilling process. In order to drill several thousand feet below the Earth’s surface rig engineers need to incrementally add to the length of the drill. It is necessary for the mast to be as tall as it is in order to accommodate the extremely large segments of pipe that rig engineers need to join together to increase the length of the drill.
The individual pieces of drill pipe are known as joints. At the end of all ©2009 Heartland Energy Development Corporation
the joined pipe segments of the drill is the bit. The bit is the drilling element that is actually responsible for carving away the earth and essentially boring the hole. The amount of weight that is applied to the drill bit during operation, is regulated by a hoist known as the drawworks There are two main types of drilling methods that exist. One is known as cable-tool and the other is rotary. The cable-tool method goes back several centuries, and yet was still used as a modern drilling technique as recently as the 1940â€™s. This method is well suited for drilling through hard-rock. Drake and Smith used this method of drilling at Oil Creek as did many others during the same period. Although a very effective general drilling method it does not work well in sandy or muddy conditions. Another problem is that and crews are responsible for removing the soil and rock the bit carves out. The cable-tool method works by attaching a large heavy bit to a cable, and then raising the bit slightly before letting it fall to the ground. The cable and bit are attached to a seesaw type of mechanism that allows the bit to be raised and dropped repeatedly in a very short amount of time. Specific to a cabletool rig is the seesaw mechanism that is responsible for raising and lowering the bit. It is referred to as the walking beam and it is mounted in the mast. By the peak of this style of drilling in the 1920â€™s, many cable-tool rigs had started to power their walking beams with a steam ÂŠ2009 Heartland Energy Development Corporation
powered engine. The tall mast was used to lift the bit out of the hole so that it could be worked on directly. When dropping the bit into the ground several weights atop the bit, named sinker bars, would help the bit to penetrate the rock. The bit for a cable-tool rig is more similar to a blade than the bit for a rotary rig. A rotary drill bit has several adjacent rows of extremely sharp edges that work to grind out the rock with every revolution of the drill. In a rotary drill rig configuration, the drill consists of several joints of metal pipe that create one long conduit. In order to reach the foundation the rig workers occasionally need to add another pipe joint to extend the length of the drill. Rotation for the drill is created by either a rotary table, or by a top drive mechanism. You can think of a rotary table as a heavy, oversized turntable. Top drives use electronic motors to power the drill. Regardless of which rotation method is employed, the system would not work without the addition of fluid circulation. While the drill is working away boring a hole, a second system, ÂŠ2009 Heartland Energy Development Corporation
powered by a large industrial pump, is circulating a muddy fluid through the main pipe that will carry out of the hole, and remove, any of the rock debris that is created during drilling. Another benefit of the drilling mud is that it also cools down and oils the bit. The final benefit to the drilling mud is the greatest benefit of all. The mud forms a wall cake in the hole that prevents sandy or muddy foundations from seeping into, and ruining, the hole while it is being drilled. ----Heartland Energy Development Corporation is a privately held oil and gas producer with an experienced team of management and industry expertise who specialize in developing domestic gas and oil fields. Learn more: http://www.heartlandenergydevelopment.com/ http://heartlandenergydevelopmentcorporation.com/ http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS240305+12-Feb2009+MW20090212 http://heartlandenergydevelopmentcorporation.biz/ This is not an offer nor solicitation to buy - such may be done pursuant to a Heartland Energy Development Corporation Confidential Information Memorandum.
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Published on Apr 8, 2009
Covers the different equipment and drilling methodology used during the oil exploration process.