A Primer of. Oilwell Drilling. A Basic Text of Oil and Gas Drilling. Seventh Edition by Dr. Paul Bommer. published by. THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS. A PRIMER OF OILWELL DRILLING A Basic Text of Oil and Gas Drilling Sixth Edition by Ron Baker jjg Hi И published by PETROLEUM. This is a great book about oil well drilling. It starts with the history of oil well drilling in the USA and then moves into detailed descriptions of a modern drilling rig.

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A Primer for Oilwell Drilling. Sixth edition. - Ebook download as PDF File . pdf) or read book online. A basic text of Oil and Gas Drilling. Book has many. A PRIMER OF OILWELL DRILLING Format, pdf. Size, 1 Mb. D O W N L O A D. This is the seventh edition of the popular Primer - it has been. Discover them in zip, txt, word, rar, site, ppt, and pdf file. a primer of oilwell drilling - extended campus a primer of oilwell drilling a crane.

It was feet metres deep and produced 15 to 20 barrels about 2 to 3 cubic metres a day. It was considered a great success and prompted the drilling of many more wells. Oil and gas production provided much of California's energy.

Individuals and companies were drilling wells all over the country. Virtually anywhere entrepreneurs could erect a rig, they were drilling an oilwell.

Texas was no exception. The area around Beaumont, Texas is flat, coastal plain country. When something interrupts the flatness, people tend to notice.

Consequently, practically everyone in late nineteenth-century Beaumont knew about Big Hill.

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Big Hill, whose formal name was Spindletop, was a dome rising about 15 feet 4. Enough gas seeped out of the dome that a lighted match easily ignited it. One person particularly fascinated by Spindletop was Patillo Higgins, a self-taught geologist who lived in the region.

He was convinced that oil and gas lay below Spindletop about 1, feet metres deep. Around , Higgins obtained land on top of the dome and, with several financial partners, drilled two unsuccessful wells. The problem was that at about feet metres , the bit encountered a thick sand formation that the drillers called "running quicksand.

History The sand was so loose it caved into the drilled hole to make further drilling impossible. Drillers ran casing, just as Drake had, attempting to combat the cave-in. The formation was so bad, however, that it crushed the casing. Discouraged, but still certain that oil lay below Spindletop, Higgins put out the word that he would lease the property to anyone willing to drill a 1,foot metre test well.

Ultimately, an Austrian mining engineer answered Higgins's call. Named Anthony Lucas, the engineer visited Spindletop and agreed with Higgins that the hill was a salt dome surrounded by geologic formations that trapped oil and gas.

After another frustrating and costly failure, Lucas finally spudded began drilling a new well at Spindletop on October 27, He hired the Hamil brothers of Corsicana, Texas to drill the well. Aware that the running quicksand would cause trouble, the Hamils paid close attention to the mix of their drilling fluid. Drilling fluid is a liquid or a gas concoction that, when employed on the type of rig the Hamils used, goes down the hole, picks up the rock cuttings made by the bit, and carries the cuttings up to the surface for disposal.

The type of rigs Drake and the early California drillers used did not require drilling fluid, which, as you will learn soon, all but doomed such rigs to extinction. At Spindletop, the Hamils used water as a drilling fluid.

They hand dug a pit in the ground next to the rig, fille d it with water, and pumped the water into the well as they drilled it. The Hamils knew from their earlier drilling experiences, however, that clear water alone wouldn't do the job: They were aware that the tiny solid particles of clay in the muddy water would stick to the sides of the hole. The particles formed a thin, but strong sheath— a wall cake—on the sides of the hole, much like plaster on the walls of room.

The wall cake stabilized the sand and kept it from caving in fig. Legend has it that the Hamils ran cattle through the earthen pit to stir up the clay and muddy the water. Whatever they did to make mud, it worked and they successfully drilled through the troublesome sand. Figure p. So it was that by January the new well reached about 1, feet metres.

On January 10, the drilling crew began lowering a new bit to the bottom of the hole. Suddenly, drilling mud spewed out of the well. A geyser of oil soon followed it. It gushed feet 60 metres above the foot- high metre-high derrick fig. As Lucas watched the gusher from a safe distance, he estimated that it flowed at least 2 million gallons nearly 8, cubic metres of oil per day. In oilfield terms, that's about 50, barrels of oil per day. One barrel of oil equals 42 U. That's a lot of oil.

Thus, Spindletop's first claim to fame was that it flowed absolutely unheard of amounts of oil. Before Spindletop, a big producer flowed 2, barrels cubic metres per day.

The Lucas well produced 2 5 times that amount. Spindletop's second claim to fame was that it showed the effectiveness of a type of rig, which, before Spindletop, drillers had not used much. The Hamil's equipment was a rotary drilling rig; most drillers used cable-tool rigs. Unlike cable-tool rigs, rotary rigs require drilling fluid to operate, and particles in the drilling fluid prevent formations from caving. The Lucas well showed that rotary rigs could drill wells that cable-tool rigs could not.

Consequently, oilwell drillers began using rotary rigs more than cable-tool rigs.

Today, almost all wells are drilled with rotary rigs. Because rotary rigs are so dominant, and because cable-tool rigs drilled a lot of wells before being supplanted by rotaries, let's find out more about them. Both methods originated a long time ago. Over 2, years ago, for instance, the Chinese drilled wells with primitive yet efficient cable-tool rigs.

They were still using similar rigs as late as the s. To quarry rocks for the pyramids, the ancient Egyptians drilled holes using hand-powered rotating bits. They drilled several holes in a line and stuck dry wooden pegs in the holes. They then saturated the pegs with water. The swelling wood split the stone along the line made by the holes. Early drillers in California and other parts of the world also used cable-tool rigs.

To understand the principle of cable-tool drilling, picture a child's seesaw. Put a child on each end of it and let them rock it up and down. This rocking motion demonstrates the principle of cable-tool drilling. To explore it further, take the kids off the seesaw and go to one end of it. Tie a cable to the end and let the cable dangle straight down to the ground.

Next, attach a heavy chisel with a sharp point to the dangling end of the cable. Adjust the cable's length so that when you hold the end of the seesaw all the way up, the chisel point hangs a short distance above the ground.

Finally, let go of the seesaw. Releasing the seesaw lets the heavy chisel hit hard enough to punch a hole in the ground. Pickup the seesaw and repeat the process. Repeated rocking of the seesaw makes the chisel drill a hole. The process is quite effective.

A heavy, sharp-pointed chisel can force its way through a great deal of rock with every blow. A cable-tool rig A cable-tool rig fig. Of course, cable-tool rigs had more parts and, instead of a seesaw, a cable tool had a powered walking beam mounted in a derrick. At Drake's rig, a 6-horsepower 4. The walking beam was a wooden bar that rocked up and down on a central pivot, much like a seesaw.

The derrick provided a space to raise the cable and pull the long drilling tools out of the hole. As the beam rocked up it raised the cable and attached chisel, or bit. Then, when the walking beam rocked down, heavy weights, sinker bars, above the bit provided weight to ram it into the ground. The bit punched its way into the rock. Repeated lifting and dropping made the bit drill. Special equipment played out the cable as the hole deepened. Figure Cable-Tool and Rotary Drilling Cable-tool drilling worked very well in the hard-rock formations such as those in eastern U.

Indeed, a few cable-tool rigs are probably drilling wells somewhere in the world even now, although their use peaked in the s and faded thereafter. Figure 13 pictures a 's cable-tool rig that drilled wells in Ohio and Pennsyl- vania until the s.

In spite of cable-tool drilling's widespread use in the early days, the system had a couple of drawbacks. One was that cable-tool drillers had to periodically stop drilling and pull the bit from the hole.

They then had to run a special basket, a bailer, into the hole to retrieve and remove the pieces of rock, or cuttings, the bit made.

After bailing the cuttings, they then ran the bit back to bottom to resume drilling. If the crew failed to bail out the cuttings, the cuttings obstructed the bit's progress. Bailing cuttings was not a big hindrance, however, because the cable-tool system allowed the crew to do it quickly.

Since the cable was wound onto a winch, or windlass, called the "bullwheel" see fig. Reeling cable was a fast operation. A far bigger problem than bailing, and the one that led to cable-tool drilling's demise, was that the cable-tool technique didn't work in soft formations like clay or loose sand.

Clay and sand closed around the bit and wedged it in the hole. This limitation led to the increased use of rotary rigs because more wells were being drilled in places like Spindletop where cable- tool bits got stuck. The wall cake created by circulating drilling fluid prevented formations from collapsing. A 1p20 's California standard cable-tool rig; it is located on the grounds of Drake Well State Park in northwestern Pennsylvania.

For one thing, a rotary rig uses a bit that isn't anything like a cable- tool's chisel bit. Instead of a chisel, a rotary bit has rows of teeth or other types of cutting devices that penetrate the formation and then scrape or gouge out pieces of it as the rig system rotates the bit fig. Further, a rotary rig doesn't use cable to suspend the bit in the hole.

Rotary crew members attach the bit to the end of a long string of hollow pipe. By screwing together several joints of pipe, they put the bit on the bottom of the hole fig. As the hole deepens, they add joints of pipe fig. Rotating Systems With the bit on bottom, the rig can rotate it in one of three ways. Many rigs use a machine called a "rotary table," a sort of heavy- duty turntable fig. Others rotate the bit with a top drive, a device with a powerful built-in electric motor that turns die pipe and bit fig.

A downhole motor placed near the bit rotates the hit. A long metal housing with a diameter a little less than the hole's holds the motor. The bit screws onto the end of it. Generally, the latest rotary rigs use a top drive to rotate the pipe and bit. However, rigs using rotary tables have been around a long time and many drilling companies still own and use them.

Moreover, rotary tables are simple, rugged, and easy to maintain. Rotary rig owners often use downhole motors where they have to rotate the bit without rotating the entire string of pipe.

Such situations occur when the rig is drilling a slant, or directional hole, a hole that is intentionally diverted from vertical to better exploit a reservoir. A later chapter in this book covers directional drilling in more detail. Regardless of the system used to rotate the bit, the driller, the person operating the rig, allows some of the weight of the pipe to press down on the bit. The weight causes the bit's cutters to bite into the formation rock. Then, as the bit rotates, the cutters roll over the rock and scrape or gouge it out.

Fluid Circulation By itself, rotating a bit on pipe does not get the job done. The cuttings the bit makes must be moved out of the way. Other- wise, they collect under the bit cutters and impede drilling.

Recall that the crew on a cable-tool rig had to stop drilling and bail the cuttings. A rotary rig crew does not have to bail cuttings, because the rig circulates fluid while the bit drills and the fluid carries the cuttings up to the surface. As mentioned earlier, crew members attach a rotary bit to hollow pipe, instead of to braided cable. The pipe is thus a conduit: This fluid picks up the cuttings as the bit makes them and carries them to the surface where they are disposed of.

The pump then moves the clean mud back down the hole. If more volume is needed, however, the other pump can also be put into service.

Some very large rigs have three or four pumps. Figure 2i. Drilling mud The fluid is usually a special liquid called "drilling mud" fig.

Don't be misled by the name, however. Although the earliest drilling muds were not much more than a plain, watery mud recall that the Hamil brothers supposedly filled a pit with water and ran cattle through it to make it muddy , drilling mud can be a complex blend of materials. What's more, sometimes it isn't a liquid, which is why a better name for drilling mud is "drilling fluid. As you now know, one advantage of a rotary rig is that workers do not have to worry about soft formations caving in on the bit and sticking it.

Just as the Hamils prepared the mud to stabilize the hole at Spindletop, today's drillers also pre- pare, or condition, the drilling mud to control formations. Besides keeping boreholes from caving in, circulating mud performs several other important functions.

For example, it moves the cuttings away from the bit and cools and lubricates it. It also keeps formation fluids from entering the hole and blowing out to the surface.

Indeed, circulating drilling fluid has so many advantages that cable-tool drilling is virtually obsolete. Although companies may use a cable-tool rig in a few special cases, more often they use rotary rigs. Several kinds of rotary rig are available for drilling on land and offshore. Let's look at the major types.

Two broad categories of rig are those that work on land fig. Some experts like to create a third category: Inland rigs usually drill in lakes, marshes, and estuaries, places that are neither land nor offshore, places where, as one wit put it, "it's too wet to plow and too muddy to drink. Rotary Rig Types Figure An offshore rig Figure A land rig Figure An inland barge rig M A major difference is their size, and size determines how deep the rig can drill.

Well depths range from a few hundred or thousand feet metres to tens of thousands of feet metres. The depth of the formation that contains, or is believed to contain, oil and gas controls well depth. Classified by size, land rigs are light duty, medium duty, heavy duty, and very heavy duty.

Table 1 arranges them according to this scheme and shows the depths to which they can drill. Keep in mind, though, that a rig can drill holes shallower than its maximum rated depth.

For example, a medium-duty rig could drill a 2,foot metre hole, although a light- duty rig could also drill it. On the other hand, a rig cannot drill too much beyond its rated maximum depth, because it cannot handle the heavier weight of the drilling equipment required for deeper holes. Another feature land rigs share is portability.

A rig can drill a hole at one site, be disassembled if required, moved to another site fig. Indeed, land rigs are so mobile that one definition terms them "portable hole factories. Another is a platform. Although drilling occurs from platforms, com- panies mainly employ them on the producing side of the oil and gas business.

This book concentrates on drilling, so it does not cover platforms. MODUs are portable; they drill a well at one offshore site and then move to drill another. MODUs are eitherfloaters or bottom-supported. When drilling, floaters work on top of, or slightly below, the water's surface.

Floaters include semisub- mersibles and drill ships. They are capable of drilling in waters thousands of feet metres deep. MODUs that contact the ocean bottom and are supported by it are bottom-supported.

Bottom-supported units include submersibles and jackups. Submersibles are further divided into posted barges, bottle types, inland barges, and arctic.

Generally, bottom-supported rigs drill in waters shallower than floaters. Table 2 lists MODUs. The lower part of a submersible's structure rests on the sea- floor. In the case of jackups, only the legs contact the seafloor.

Submersibles A submersible MODU floats on the water's surface when moved from one drilling site to another. When it reaches the site, crew members flood compartments that submerge the lower part of the rig to the seafloor. With the base of the rig in contact with the ocean bottom, wind, waves, and currents have little effect on it. It drilled its initial well in off the Gulf Coast of Louisiana in 18 feet 5. It was a posted-barge submersible—a barge hull and steel posts columns supported a deck and drilling equipment fig.

It proved that mobile rigs could drill offshore. Posted barges are now virtually obsolete, however, because newer and better designs have replaced them. Bottle-Type Submersibles About , drilling moved into water depths beyond the posted barge's capabilities, which was about 30 feet 9 metres.

Rotary Rig Types 23 So, naval architects designed bottle-type submersibles. A bottle-type rig has four tall steel cylinders bottles at each corner of the structure.

The main deck lies across several steel supports and the bottles. The rig and other equipment are placed on the main deck. When flooded, the bottles cause the rig to submerge to the seafloor fig.

In their heyday in the early s, the biggest bottle-type submersibles drilled in foot metre water depths. To- day, jackups have largely replaced them; jackups are less expen- sive to build than bottle-types and can drill in deeper water. Rather than completely scrap their bottle types, however, rig owners modified some of them to drill as semisubmersibles, which are still in use. Semisubmersibles are covered shortly.

Arctic Submersibles A special type of submersible rig is an arctic submersible. In the arctic, where petroleum deposits lie under shallow oceans such as the Beaufort Sea, oil companies knew that jackups and conventional barge rigs would not be suitable.

During the arctic winter, massive chunks of ice form and then move with currents on the water's surface. Called "floes," these moving ice blocks exert tremendous force on any object they contact.

The force is great enough to destroy the legs of a jackup or the hull of a conventional ship or a barge. Arctic submersibles therefore have a reinforced hull, a caisson. One type of caisson has a reinforced concrete base on which the drilling rig is installed fig. When the sea is Figure When flooded, the bottles cause a bottle-type submersible to submerge to the seafloor. There, workers submerge the caisson to the sea bottom and start drilling.

Shortly, when ice floes form and begin to move, the arctic submersible's strong caisson hull deflects the floes, enabling operations to continue. Inland Barge Rigs A fourth submersible is an inland barge rig.

It has a barge hull—a flat-bottomed, flat-sided, rectangular steel box. The rig builder places a drilling rig and other equipment on the barge deck fig. Inland barge rigs normally drill in marshes, bays, swamps, or other shallow inland waters. By definition, barges are not self-propelled; they have no built-in power to move them from one site to another.

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Therefore, boats tow them to the drilling location. When being moved, the barge floats on the water's surface; then, when positioned at the drilling site, the barge is flooded so that it rests on the bottom ooze. Since they often drill in swampy shallow waters, drilling people often call inland barges "swamp barges. Rotary Rig Types Jackups A j ackup rig is a widely used mobile offshore drilling unit. It floats on a barge hull when towed to the drilling location fig. Most modern jackups have three legs with a triangular-shaped barge hull; others have four or more legs with rectangular hulls.

A jackup's legs can be cylindrical columns, somewhat like pillars fig. Four boats tow this j ackup to its drilling location. A j ackup rig with four columnar legs Figure Thisjackup has open-truss legs. The hull ofthis jackup is raised to clear the highest anticipated waves.

Whether it has columnar or open-truss legs, when a jackup's barge hull is positioned on the drilling site, the crew jacks down the legs until they contact the seafloor.

They then raise, or jack up, the hull above the height of the highest anticipated waves fig. The drilling equipment is on top of the hull. Rotary Rig Types 2 7 Floating Units Floating offshore drilling rigs include semisubmersibles and drill ships.

Semisubmersibles, because of their design, are more stable than drill ships.

On the other hand, drill ships can carry more drilling equipment and supplies, which often make them the choice in remote waters. Semisubmersibles Most semisubmersible rigs have two or more pontoons on which the rig floats. A pontoon is a long, relatively narrow, and hollow steel float with a rectangular or round cross section fig.

When a semisubmersible is moved, the pontoons contain mostly air so that the rig floats on the water's surface.

Ron Barker. A Primer for Oilwell Drilling. Sixth edition. 2001

In most cases, towboats then tie onto the rig and move it to the drill site. However, some semisubmersible rigs are self-propelled—they have built-in power units that drive the rig from one site to another. Figure 3 7.

The main deck of a semisub- mersible is big. Semisubmersibles get their name from the fact that in the drilling mode the rig is not submerged to the point where its pontoons contact the sea bottom. Instead, rig personnel care- fully flood the pontoons to make them submerge only a few feet metres below the water's surface fig. Thus, the rig is "semisubmerged. A semisubmersible rig therefore offers a more stable drilling platform than a drill ship that drills while floating on the water's surface.

Large cylindrical or square columns extend upward from the pontoons. The main deck rests on top of the columns. The main deck of a semi is big fig.

Semis short for semi- submersibles often use anchors to keep them on the drilling station. Workers release several large anchors from the deck of the rig. An anchor-handling boat crew sets the anchors on the seafloor. Besides being good rough-water rigs, semis are also capable of drilling in water thousands of feet metres deep.

While many semis work in water depths ranging from 1, to 3, feet to 1, metres , the latest are capable of drilling in water depths of 8, feet 2, metres. Semis can drill holes up to 30, feet 10, metres deep.

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Indeed, semisub- mersibles are among the largest floating structures ever made. Rotary Rig Types 29 The biggest ones soar to over feet 30 metres tall and their main decks can be almost as big as a football field—that's 3, square yards 2, square metres.

Drill Ships A drill ship is also a floater fig. Drill ships are very mobile because they are self-propelled and have a streamlined hull, much like a regular ocean-going ship. A company may there- fore choose a drill ship to make hole in remote waters, far from land.

A drill ship is a good choice for drilling remote locations. For one thing, it can move at reasonable speeds under its own power. Secondly, its ship-shaped hull can carry a large amount of the equipment and material required for drilling. Frequent resupplying from a shore base is therefore not necessary. While many drill ships operate in water depths ranging from 1, to 3, feet to 1, metres , the latest can drill in water depths approaching 10, feet 3, metres , or nearly 2 miles 3.

They can drill holes over 30, feet 10, metres deep. These big drill ships are more than feet metres long, which is almost as long as three football fields laid end to end.

They measure some feet 30 metres wide, or a little wider than a football field. A drill ship Anchors keep some drill ships on station while drilling, but those drilling in deep water require dynamic positioning. Dynamically positioned drill ships use computer-controlled thrusters and sophisticated electronic sensors.

Thrusters are power units with propellers that the builder mounts fore and aft on the drill ship's hull below the waterline. Once the dynamic positioning operator tells a computer exactly where it should keep the rig positioned, the computer, using infor- mation transmitted by the sensors, automatically controls the thrusters. The thrusters offset wind, wave, and current forces that would move the rig away from the desired position. Whether on land or offshore, and whether large, me- dium, or small, all rigs require personnel to operate them.

The people who drill wells usually work for a company whose business involves drilling, either directly or indirectly. So, let's look next at companies involved in drilling and the personnel who do the work. They drill wells on land and ice, in swamps, and on waters as small as lakes or as large as the Pacific Ocean. Drilling is demanding; it goes on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in all types of weather.

Moreover, drilling is complex; so complex that no single company is diverse enough to perform all the required work. Consequently, many companies and individuals are involved. Companies include operating companies, drilling contractors, and ser- vice and supply companies. An operating company may be an indepen- dent or a major.

An independent company may be one or two individuals or it may have hundreds of employees. Besides size, another difference between an independent and a major is that, in general, an independent only produces and sells crude oil and natural gas. A major, on the other hand, produces crude oil and natural gas, transports them from the field to a refinery or a plant, refines or processes the oil and gas, and sells the products to consumers. Whether independent or major, an operator must acquire the right to drill for and produce petroleum at a particular site.

An operating company does not usually own the land or the minerals oil and gas are minerals lying under the land. It therefore has to download or lease the rights to drill for and produce oil and gas from the landowner and the mineral holder.

Individuals, partnerships, corporations, or a federal, state, or local government can own land and mineral rights. The operator not only pays the landowner a fee for leasing, it also pays the mineral holder a royalty, which is a share of the money made from the sale of oil or gas. Most operating companies therefore find it more cost effective to hire expertise and equip- ment from drilling companies than to keep the personnel and equipment under their own roof.

So, almost everywhere in the world, drilling contractors do the drilling. A drilling contractor is an individual or a company that owns from one to dozens of drilling rigs. The contractor hires out a rig and the personnel needed to run it to any operator who wishes to pay to have a well drilled.

Some contractors are land contractors—they operate only land rigs. Others are offshore contractors—they operate only offshore rigs.

A few contractors operate rigs that drill both on land and offshore. The contractor may have different sizes of rigs that can drill to various depths. A drilling contracting company may be small or large; it may own rigs that drill mainly in a local area or it may have rigs working all over the world.

Regardless of its size, a drilling company's job is to drill holes. It must drill holes to the depth and specifications set by the operating company, who is also the well owner.

An operating company usually invites several contractors to bid on a job. Often, the operator awards the contract to the lowest bidder, but not always. Sometimes a good work record may override a low bid. The proposal describes the drilling project and requests a bid. The contractor then fills out the proposal, signs it, and sends it back to the operator. If the operating company accepts the bid, it becomes a contract between the operator and the drilling company.

This signed agreement clearly states the services and supplies the contractor and the operator are to provide for a particular project. IADC is an organization whose membership is made up of drilling con- tractors, oil companies, and service and supply companies with an interest in drilling.

Its mission is "to promote a commit- ment to safety, to preservation of the environment, and to advances in drilling technology. An IADC drilling bid form; when signed by all parties, it becomes a contract.

Operators can pay contractors based on the daily costs of operating the rig, the number of feet or metres drilled, or on a turnkey basis. If the contractor is paid accord- ing to the daily costs of operating the rig, it's a daywork contract.

If the contract calls for the contractor to be paid by the number of feet or metres drilled, it's a footage or metreage contract. And, as you can guess, if it's a turnkey job, then the operator and contractor sign a turnkey contract, in which the drilling contractor is responsible for the entire drilling opera- tion.

Daywork contracts are the most common. But to successfully drill a well, the operator and the contractor need equipment, supplies, and services that neither company normally keeps on hand. So, service and supply companies provide the required tools and services to expedite the drilling of the well. Supply companies sell expendable and nonexpendable equipment and material to the operator and the drilling contractor.

Expend- able items include drill bits, fuel, lubricants, and drilling mud—items that are used up or worn out as the well is drilled. Nonexpendable items include drill pipe, fire extinguishers, and equipment that may eventually wear out and have to be replaced but normally last a long time.

Likewise, supply companies market safety equipment, rig components, tools, computers, paint, grease, rags, and solvents. Think of any part or commodity that a rig needs to drill a well, and you'll find a supply company on hand to provide it.

Service companies offer special support to the drilling operation. For example, a mud logging company monitors and records, or logs, the content of the drilling mud as it returns from the well.

The returning mud carries cuttings and any formation fluids, such as gas or oil, to the surface. The operator can gain knowledge about the formations being drilled by analyzing the returning drilling fluid. People and Companies 35 In many instances, when a well reaches a formation of interest usually, a formation that may contain oil or gas , the operator hires a well logging company. A logging crew runs sophisticated instruments into the hole.

These instruments sense and record formation properties. Computers in the field generate special graphs, called "well logs," for the operator to examine fig.

Well logs help the operating company determine whether the well will produce oil or gas. The red fitting is a casing coupling used to connect the joints. Another service company provides casing crews. A casing crew runs special pipe, casing, into the well to line, or case, it fig. Casing protects formations from contamination and stabilizes the well. After the casing crew runs the casing, another service company—a cementing company—cements the casing in the well.

Cement bonds the casing to the hole. Most offshore rigs, and land rigs in very remote fields, require cooking and housekeeping services, since personnel live as well as work offshore or in isolated regions for long periods fig.

The drilling contractor or operating com- pany often hires an oilfield caterer to furnish these services. Personnel on this ojfshore rig enjoy good food in the galley; a catering company usually provides the food and cooking. People and Companies 3 7 PEOPLE While it is true that you can't drill a well without a drilling rig and several companies to backup the rig, it is equally true that you can't drill a well without skilled people.

Personnel run the rig and keep it running until the well reaches its objective. Many people are involved in drilling. Let's cover the drilling crew first—the group whose job it is to make the rig drill. Drilling Crews The contractor requires trained and skilled personnel to operate and maintain a drilling rig. Keep in mind that a rig, when on site and drilling, operates virtually all the time, night and day, days a year.

Personnel directly responsible for making the rig drill are collectively known as the "drilling crew. Besides the rig manager, or superintendent, each rig has drillers, derrickmen, and rotary helpers also called "floorhands," or "roughnecks".

What's more, large land rigs and offshore rigs often have assistant rig supervisors, assistant drillers, as well as additional personnel who perform special functions par- ticular to the rig.

Rig Superintendent and Assistant Rig Superintendent The rig superintendent rig manager or toolpusher oversees the drilling crews that work on the rig floor, supervises drilling operations, and coordinates operating company and contractor affairs. On land rigs, the rig superintendent is usually headquartered in a mobile home or a portable build- ing at the rig site and is on call at all times. Offshore, the rig superintendent has an office and sleeping quarters on the rig, and is also on call at all times.

Because offshore drilling and large land drilling operations can be very critical, the contrac- tor may hire an assistant rig superintendent. The assistant rig superintendent often relieves the superintendent during night- time hours and is thus sometimes nicknamed the "night toolpusher. Driller and Assistant Driller The rig superintendent supervises the driller, who, in turn, supervises the derrickman and the rotary helpers. From a control console or an operating cabin on the rig floor, the driller manipulates the controls that keep the drilling opera- tion under way fig.

This person is directly responsible for drilling the hole. Most offshore rigs and large land rigs, especially those working outside the U.

The assistant driller aids the driller on the rig floor and helps the driller supervise the derrickman and the rotary helpers. People and Companies 39 Derrickman A few of the latest rigs feature automated pipe-handling equipment that takes over the duties of the derrickman. Most rigs, however, require a derrickman when crew members run drill pipe into the hole when they trip in , or when they pull pipe out of the hole when they trip out. The derrickman handles the upper end of the pipe from the monkeyboard fig.

The monkeyboard is a small platform in the mast or derrick on which the derrickman stands to handle the upper end of the pipe. The contractor mounts the monkeyboard in the mast or derrick at a height ranging from about 50 to feet 15 to 34 metres , depending on the length of the joints of pipe crew members pull from the hole.

The derrickman uses special safety equipment to prevent falls. Drill pipe is racked to the left. Drilling line runs from, top to the traveling block below.

Note that this rig has eight lines strung. Geronimo was a Chiricahua Apache who eluded the Army for many years in the American southwest in the late s. For some reason, World War II paratroopers sometimes yelled his name when they jumped out of airplanes. Tinkerbell is a fictitious flying character from the children's novel Peter Pan In any case, if the derrickman has to get out of the derrick or mast quickly, he or she grasps a handle on the Geronimo and rides it down on a special cable, or line, to the ground.

The derrickman controls the rate of descent by moving the handle to increase or decrease braking action on the line. When the bit is drilling and the pipe is in the hole, the derrickman, using a built-in ladder in the derrick or mast for normal descent, climbs down from the monkeyboard and works at ground level. When not in the derrick or mast, derrickmen monitor the condition of the drilling mud fig. They make sure it meets the specifications for drilling a particu- lar part of the hole.

Rotary Helpers Floorhands Depending on the size of the rig, its equipment, and other factors, a contractor usually hires two or three rotary helpers, or floorhands, for each work shift.

On small rigs drilling shallow wells, for example, two rotary helpers on a shift can safely and efficiently perform the required duties. On large People and Companies 41 Figure In either case, on conventional rigs, rotary helpers handle the lower end of the drill pipe when they are tripping it in or out of the hole. Some tongs are power tongs fig.

Besides handling pipe, rotary helpers also maintain the drilling equipment, help repair it, and keep it clean and painted. Rotary helpers get their name from the fact that much of their work occurs on the rig floor, near the rotary table—the traditional device that turns the drill pipe and bit. Originally, they were also called "roughnecks," probably because those who worked on early rigs prided themselves in being rough and tough. Later, they became rotary helpers, which added a little dignity to the title.

They are also called floorhands because they perform most of their duties on the rig floor. Regardless of the length of their workday, drilling crews call their shirts "tours. However, "too-ur" or whatever the pronunciation was must have been difficult to say, for rig crews everywhere began pronouncing it "tower," and it stuck. In other areas, such as offshore, along the Gulf Coast, in countries outside the U. If the crews work 8-hour tours, then the contrac- tor usually hires four drilling crews and two toolpushers, or rig superintendents, for each rig.

The crews consist of four drilling crews—four drillers and derrickmen, and eight or 12 rotary helpers. Three drilling crews split three 8-hour tours per day. The fourth crew is off. Later, they relieve one of the working crews. One rig superintendent, or toolpusher, is on the site all the time. He or she may work 7 days, for example, and then be relieved by the other superintendent for 7 days. If the crews work 12 -hour tours on 1 and, then the contrac- tor may hire two drilling crews and two superintendents for each rig.

One superintendent, two drillers, two assistant drillers if the rig requires them , two derrickmen, and four or six rotary helpers—two full drilling crews—split two tours per hour day. Offshore, crews also usually work hour tours, but the contractor hires four drilling crews. Two crews may work 14 days and then take off 14 days when the second crews come on board to relieve them. Some contractors based in the U.

In such cases, the contractor often employs a 2 8-and-2 8 schedule. Two crews are home for 28 days while the other two work hour tours for 28 days. People and Companies Other Rig Workers Besides the drilling crew, many other persons work at the rig site.

They may be there during the entire time the well is being drilled, or they may come out only when their expertise or equipment is needed. The Company Representative The operating company customarily has an employee on the drill site to supervise its interests.

The company representative, or company man, on a land rig, like the rig superintendent, usually lives on the rig site in a mobile home or portable building. Offshore, the company man has an office and designated quarters. In either case, the company representative is in charge of all the operator's activities on the location.

This person helps plan the strategy for drilling the well, orders the needed supplies and services, and makes on-site decisions that affect the well's progress.

The company representative and the rig superintendent usually work closely together. Area Drilling Superintendent Large land drilling contractors, who may operate rigs all over the world and who often have several rigs working in a particular area, often employ an area drilling superintendent.

This person's job is to manage and coordinate the activities of the many rigs the drilling company has working in a particular area or region. An area superintendent's duties include dis- seminating important information to each rig in the region, ensuring that all rigs are operating well and safely, and assisting each rig's superintendent when required.

Area drill- ing superintendents frequently travel from rig to rig, so they usually have an office in a town or city in the area. The contractor therefore requires more person- nel than on land. For example, in many areas, regulations require that offshore rigs have an offshore installation manager OIM. The OIM is in charge of the entire rig and has the final say in any decision that affects the operation. In some cases, the rig superintendent is also the OIM; in other cases, the rig has an OIM as well as a rig superintendent.

Offshore contractors also hire several roustabouts. Roust- abouts are general workers on the rig whose duties include unloading supplies from boats to the rig fig.

They also keep the offshore facility in good repair. A crane operator runs the rig's cranes and supervises the roustabouts fig. Cranes transfer supplies to and from boats.

Radio operators install, maintain, and repair complex radio gear that keeps the rig in constant contact with shore facilities.

Medics provide first aid and are often certified emergency medical technicians EMTs , who can stabilize injured personnel and prepare them for evacuation to shore.

On floating rigs, such as drill ships and semisubmersibles, more personnel are required because in some ways floating rigs are like ships. Not only do floating rigs drill, but also they move Figure Two rig roustabouts help move casing from, a supply boat to the rig. People and Companies 45 Figure Consequently, floaters require marine crews, individuals whose primary responsi- bilities have to do with the sea-going aspects of the rig.

As mentioned before, some floating offshore rigs use anchors to hold them in place on the water's surface while drilling. Other floaters employ dynamic positioning, which involves advanced computer-assisted equipment and special propellers thrusters to hold them in position on the water's surface. Such rigs require a dynamic positioning operator. Dy- namic positioning operators maintain, repair, and monitor the equipment. Floating rigs also require subsea equipment.

Crew mem- bers place the equipment on the seafloor and operate it from the rig on the water's surface. Such equipment includes subsea blowout preventers. When closed, these large valves keep high- pressure fluids from escaping to the surface should the well encounter them.

Accordingly, floating rigs employ subsea equipment supervisors also called "subsea engineers" , whose primary job is to keep the equipment in good working order and supervise its installation on the seafloor.

Often, floaters also have an assistant subsea equipment supervisor. A barge engineer monitors a semisubmersible's stability from, a work station on board the rig. Also associated with floating offshore rigs are barge engi- neers, who are also called "barge masters" or "barge control operators. Office Personnel Vital to any drilling project are those who work in or near company offices.

Operating companies, drilling contractors, and service and supply companies hire geologists, accountants, bookkeepers, sales personnel, and trainers. They also hire personnel specialists, planners, drilling engineers, environ- mental specialists, warehouse personnel, and safety special- ists. In addition, they employ truck drivers, storage yard personnel, lawyers, drafting technicians, and a clerical staff to back up those in the field. Without a competent office staff, no company or contractor could keep a drilling operation going.

Now let's take a closer look at the stuff they're drilling for: Two elements, hydrogen and carbon, make up a hydrocar- bon. Hydrogen and carbon have a strong attraction for each other. Therefore, they form many compounds. The oil in- dustry processes and refines natural and crude hydrocarbons recovered from the earth to obtain hydrocarbon products.

Products include natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas LPG, or hydrogas , gasoline, kerosene, and diesel fuel, to name only afew. Crude oil and natural gas occur in tiny openings in buried layers of rock. Occasionally, as at Oil Creek, nothing prevents the crude hydrocarbons from oozing to the surface in the form of a seep, or spring. Published October 1st by University of Texas Press. More Details Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

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Mar 24, Bader rated it it was amazing Shelves: It has very sufficient amount of representative photos. It doesn't take that much of time, too. Erafael rated it it was amazing Apr 21, Dillon rated it really liked it Dec 24, Mary Guinan rated it it was amazing Apr 16, Tabratas Tharom rated it it was amazing Jul 27, Aug 20, Jun Wang added it.

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Excellent introduction to the basics of Oil and Gas. Huu rated it it was amazing Oct 01, Chad Mashburn rated it it was amazing Jun 26, Ayman rated it it was ok Mar 07, Agatha rated it it was ok Nov 19, David Freeman rated it it was amazing Sep 19, Fady rated it it was amazing Apr 19, Rajeev rated it liked it Dec 18, Kaushik marked it as to-read May 10, Nizam Uddin is currently reading it Sep 28, Sammie added it Nov 30, Bagar0 added it Dec 25, Shoaib added it Jan 25, Ty added it Sep 26, Kaka marked it as to-read Apr 25, Freddy Cabrera added it Apr 26, Jesus marked it as to-read May 01, Ana added it Jun 27, Rosendo marked it as to-read Aug 18, The thrusters offset wind, wave, and current forces that would move the rig away from the desired position.

Another issue facing the fledgling oil company was the need to hire someone to oversee the drilling project in Titusville. Oil and Gas: Because it flowed out of the rocky terrain in and near the creek, people called it "rock oil.

Radio operators install, maintain, and repair complex radio gear that keeps the rig in constant contact with shore facilities. Types of MODU 21 3. You can change your ad preferences anytime. Rig Superintendent and Assistant Rig Superintendent The rig superintendent rig manager or toolpusher oversees the drilling crews that work on the rig floor, supervises drilling operations, and coordinates operating company and contractor affairs.

Toolpusher is the traditional term for the rig boss.

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