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Adrilling rig is a structure housing equipment used to drill for water, oil, natural gas from underground reservoirs or to obtain mineral core samples. The term can refer to a land-based rig, a marine-based structure commonly called an 'offshore rig' or a structure that drills oil wells called an 'oil rig'. The term correctly refers to the equipment that drills oil wells or extracts mineral samples, including the rig derrick (which looks like a metal frame tower). Sometimes a drilling rig is also used to complete (prepare for production) an oil well. However, the rig itself is not involved with the extraction of the oil, its primary function is to make a hole in the ground so that the oil can be produced. Laypeople may refer to the structure which sits on top offshore wells as a 'rig', but this is not correct. The correct name for the structure in a marine environment is platform. A structure upon which wells produce is a production platform. A floating vessel upon which a drilling rig sits is a floating rig or semi-submersible rig because the whole purpose of the structure is for drilling. Drilling rigs can be small and portable such as those used in mineral exploration drilling, or huge, capable of drilling through thousands ofmetres of the Earth's crust; large "mud pumps" are used to circulate drilling mud (slurry) through the drill bit and the casing, for cooling and removing the "cuttings" whilst a well is drilled; hoists in the rig can lift thousands of tons of pipe; other equipment can force acid or sand into reservoirs to facilitate extraction of the oil or mineral sample; and permanent living accommodation and catering for
and are now only used in certain situations where rocks preclude other methods. roller bits utilising mud circulation were replaced by the first efficient pneumatic reciprocating piston RC drills. In the 1970s. utilising a cam to rapidly raise and drop what. more durable bits. the primary method for drilling rock involved muscle power be it human or animal. Diamond drilling has remained essentially unchanged since its inception. . was a steel cable. The rope and drop method invented in China utilized a steel rod or piston raised and dropped vertically via a rope. by then.crews which may be greater than a hundred people in number. Marine rigs may operate many hundreds of miles or kilometres offshore with infrequent crew rotation. using clamps attached to the rod. Mechanised versions of this persisted until about 1970. and became essentially obsolete for the majority of shallow drilling. RC drilling proved much faster and efficient. History Until the advent of internal combustion engines in the late 19th century. Rods were turned by hand. outside of the oil and gas industry. and continues to improve with better metallurgy deriving harder. enabling deeper and faster penetration. and compressors delivering higher air pressures at higher volumes.
The drilling mechanisms outlined below differ mechanically in terms of the machinery used. etc. In more recent times drilling rigs are expensive custom built machines that are capable of being moved from well to well. These rigs use the same technology and equipment as the oil drilling rigs. Larger land rigs must be broken apart into multiple sections and loads in order to move to a new location. many drilling rigs are capable of switching or combining different drilling technologies. Small mobile drilling rigs are also used to drill or bore piles. Drilling rig classification There are many types and designs of drilling rigs. . drilling rigs were semipermanent in nature often being built on site and left in place after the completion of the well. Rigs can range from 100 ton continuous flight auger (CFA) rigs to small air powered rigs used to drill holes in quarries.Mobile drilling rigs In early oil exploration. Some light duty drilling rigs are similar in nature to a mobile crane though these are more usually used to drill water wells. just on a smaller scale. a process which can often take weeks. but also in terms of the method by which drill cuttings are removed from the cutting face of the drill and returned to surface. depending on their purpose and improvements.
can store double pipe stands in the pipe rack • triple .rig is connected to a power grid usually produced by its own generators • mechanic .uses drill pipes • coil tubing .rotation is achieved by turning a square pipe (the kelly) at drill floor level.can store stands composed of four pipes in the pipe rack • by method of rotation no rotation (most service rigs) • rotary table .most movements are done with hydraulic power • pneumatic .pressured air is used to generate small scale movements • by pipe used cable . has no vertical pipe racks (most small drilling rigs) • double .can drill only single drill pipes.uses a giant coil of tube and a downhole drilling motor • by height single . • .rig produces power with its own (diesel) engines • hydraulic .by power used electric .can store stands composed of three pipes in the pipe rack (most large drilling rigs) • quad .a cable is used to slam the bit on the rock (used for small geotechnical wells) • conventional .
mine shafts are dug with auger drills.derrick is vertical • slant . In some cases. . with large augers used for sinking piles for bridge foundations. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. There are two basic types of drills—ones which produce rock chips or ones which produce Core sample. soil engineering and geochemistry reconnaissance work in exploration for mineral deposits. fence construction.derrick is at an angle (this is used to achieve deviation without an expensive downhole motor) • Drill types There are a variety of drill mechanisms which can be used to sink a borehole into the ground.top-drive . the costs involved and penetration rates achieved. the earth is lifted up the borehole by the blade of the screw. in terms of the depth to which it can drill. the type of sample returned. • by position of derrick conventional . on a motor that moves along the derrick. Auger drilling Auger drilling is achieved by means of a helical screw which is driven into the ground with rotation.rotation and circulation is done at the top of the drillstring. Auger drilling is used for well drilling. Small augers can be mounted on the back of a utility truck.
It is cheap and fast. Drilling continues with the addition of rods to the top of the drill string. The rods are hollow and contain an inner tube which sits inside the hollow outer rod barrel. Air core drilling can achieve depths approaching 200 metres in good conditions as the cuttings are removed inside the rods and are less likely to clog. However. The drill bit has three blades arranged around the bit head. or discarded. as the drill rig and steel or tungsten blades cannot penetrate fresh rock. unconsolidated material or weak. Air core drilling Air core drilling and related methods use hardened steel or tungsten blades to bore a hole into rock.Auger drilling is restricted to generally soft. air core drilling is preferred over RAB drilling as it provides a more representative sample. which cut the rock. where possible. weathered rock. This method of drilling is used to drill the weathered regolith. The cuttings are then blown back to surface via the outer space inside the barrel where they are collected if needed. Air core drilling can occasionally produce small chunks of cored rock. The drill cuttings are removed by injection of compressed air into the hole via the hollow inner rod. this method is more costly and slower than RAB. Cable tool drilling Cable tool rigs are a traditional way of drilling small bore water wells in rural areas of the USA. Commonly called "spudders" these rigs raise and drop the bit to finely crush the rock surface. Then .
but much slower and not capable of deep depths.the bit is raised and a bail is lowered. lubrication. from brass to high-grade steel. which are very expensive. water is added. The diamonds used are fine to microfine industrial grade diamonds. The bit is again lowered until contact is made with the rock surface. The bail receives the water and rock fragments. Cable tool rigs are simpler (thus cheaper) than similarly sized rotary rigs. since the tools have to be raised and lowered so often. This provides three essential functions. cooling. and removal of drill cuttings from the hole. allowing them to be raised and removed. diamond size and dosing can be varied according to the rock which must be cut. They are set within a matrix of varying hardness. upon which it is again raised and dropped until additional bailing is possible. if the borehole is dry. ground is mainly hard rock. Core samples are retrieved via the use of a lifter tube. Matrix hardness. Holes within the bit allow water to be delivered to the cutting face. Diamond drilling is much slower than reverse circulation (RC) drilling due to the hardness of the ground being drilled. a hollow tube lowered inside the rod string by . Diamond rigs need to drill slowly to lengthen the life of drill bits and rods. then closes. Drilling of 1200 to 1800 metres is common and at these depths. Diamond core drilling Damond core drilling utilises an annular diamondimpregnated drill bit attached to the end of hollow drill rods to cut a cylindrical core of solid rock.
The winch is retracted. the core lifter slides over the core as it is cut. fixed-cutter diamond. located on the top end of the lifter tube. pulling the lifter tube to the surface. This is a common scenario where exploration drilling is being performed in a very isolated location. enabling depths of several kilometres to be penetrated. The rig is first setup to drill as an RC rig and once the desired metres are drilled. Another form . This is preferred because there is no need to return samples to surface for assay as the objective is to strike a formation containing oil or natural gas. Diamond rigs can also be part of a multicombination rig. As the core is drilled. Sizable machinery is used. the process is known as mud logging. the rig is setup for diamond drilling. or diamond-impregnated drill bits to wear away at the cutting face.a winch cable until it stops inside the core barrel. Multi-combination rigs are a dual setup rig capable of operating in either a reverse circulation (RC) and diamond drilling role (and not at the same time). Rock chips are carried to surface in bentonite and barite impregnated muds and logged. The core does not drop out the inside of the lifter tube when lifted because a lifter ring located at the bottom of the tube allows the core to move inside the tube but not fall out. This way the deeper metres of the hole can be drilled without moving the rig and waiting for a diamond rig to setup on the pad Oil well drilling Oil well drilling utilises three-cone roller. An overshot attached to the end of the winch cable is lowered inside the rod string and locks on to the backend.
The tungsten buttons are the cutting face of the bit. etc. RAB drilling is used primarily for mineral exploration. Air or a combination of air and foam are used to lift the cuttings. Percussion rotary air blast drilling (RAB) RAB drilling is used most frequently in the mineral exploration industry. The drill uses a pneumatic reciprocating piston to energetically drive a heavy drill bit into the rock. The cuttings are blown up the outside of the rods and collected at surface. For these reasons. precluding removal of drill cuttings from the hole. .employed to evaluate the existence of possible oil and gas deposits in the well hole. RAB drilling rarely achieves more than 150 metres depth as encountering water rapidly clogs the outside of the hole with debris. as well as for other applications such as engineering. redundant safety systems and highly trained personnel are required by law in all countries with significant production. The drill bit is hollow. solid steel and has ~20 mm thick tungsten rods protruding from the steel matrix as 'buttons'. land and groundwater. water bore drilling and blasthole drilling in mines. The drilling and production of oil and gas pose a safety risk and a hazard to the environment from the ignition of the entrained gas causing dangerous fires and also from the risk of oil leakage polluting water. RAB produces lower quality samples because the cuttings are blown up the outside of the rods and can be contaminated from contact with other rocks.
in that the drill cuttings are returned to surface inside the rods. often . then moves through a sample hose which is attached to the top of thecyclone. As the buttons wear down. RC drilling ideally produces dry rock chips. The most commonly used RC drill bits are 5-8 inches in diameter and have round metal 'buttons' that protrude from the bit. Reverse circulation is achieved by blowing air down the rods. RC drilling utilises much larger rigs and machinery and depths of up to 500 metres are routinely achieved. which are required to drill through rock and shale. This is a problem as trying to recover the rods may take hours and in extreme cases weeks. the differential pressure creating air lift of the water and cuttings up the inner tube which is inside each rod. as large air compressors are used to dry the rock out ahead of the advancing drill bit. It reaches the bell at the top of the hole. drilling becomes slower and the rod string can potentially become bogged in the hole.Reverse circulation (RC) drilling RC drilling is similar to air core drilling. RC drilling is slower and costlier but achieves better penetration than RAB or air core drilling. The drill cuttings travel around the inside of the cyclone until they fall through an opening at the bottom and are collected in a sample bag. The drilling mechanism is a pneumaticreciprocating piston known as a hammer driving a tungsten-steel drill bit. The rods and drill bits themselves are very expensive. it is cheaper than diamond coring and is thus preferred for most mineral exploration work.
normally a truck. the engines are mounted on the auxiliary vehicle. This helps to bring up the sample to the surface by making the sand stick together. extra power is needed which usually isn't supplied by the rig due to lack of space for these large engines. . Reverse circulation rig setups usually consist of a support vehicle. These engines are connected to the rig by high pressure air hoses. A mud called super foam is mixed with water and pumped into the rod string. Although RC rigs have their own booster and compressor to generate air pressure. The auxiliary is a vehicle. The support vehicle. carrying an auxiliary engine and a booster engine. an auxiliary vehicle.resulting in great cost to drilling companies when equipment is lost down the hole. Instead. down the hole. water is also used. When the drill reaches hard rock. Although RC drilling is air-powered. Compressors on an RC rig have an output of around 1000cfm/500psi. mainly to reduce dust but also when collaring a new hole. It also holds other supplies needed for maintenance on the rig. Collars may be up to 60 metres deep. Occasionally the collar may be made from metal casing. as well as the rig itself. Collaring a hole is needed to stop the walls from caving in and bogging the rod string at the top of the hole. although if drilling through hard rock a collar may not be necessary. depending on the ground. a collar is put down the hole around the rods which is normally PVC piping. holds diesel and water tanks for resupplying the rig.
until finally the hole becomes too thin. The air inside the rod string must be pressurised enough to overcome this water pressure at the bit face. there are several basic limiting factors which will determine the depth to which a bore hole can be sunk. requiring larger compressors to achieve operational pressures. Alternatively. the diameter of the hole must remain wider than the diameter of the rods or the rods cannot turn in the hole and progress cannot continue. thinner rods put down inside casing to continue. and increases inpressure with depth in the ground. Friction caused by rotation will tend to reduce the outside diameter of the drill bit. Secondly. volume is added to the in-rod string. This applies to all drilling methods. However. and is often made of metal or PVC. All holes must maintain outer diameter. Often diamond holes will start off at a large diameter and when outside diameter is lost. With depth. the main limitation is air pressure. the air must be able to carry the rock . groundwater is ubiquitous. For percussion techniques. Casing is simply a hollow sheath which protects the hole against collapse during drilling. Air must be delivered to the piston at sufficient pressure to activate the reciprocating action. and in turn drive the head into the rock with sufficient strength to fracture and pulverise it. the hole can be reamed. except that in diamond core drilling and oil well drilling the use of thinner rods and casing may permit the hole to continue.Limits of the technology Drill technology has advanced steadily since the 19th century. Then.
However. This is because of the torque of the turning bit working against the cutting face because of the flexibility of the steel rods and especially the screw joints. Diamond drilling can routinely achieve depths in excess of 1. Without sufficient lubrication and cooling. and more importantly to maintain cooling and lubrication of the cutting surface. the force exerted on the cutting face of the bit by the drill rods in the hole above the bit.fragments to surface. extreme depths have been achieved because there is no requirement to overcome water pressure. because of reaction to foliation and structure within the rock. While diamond is the hardest substance known to man at 10 on the Mohs hardness scale.200 m. Causes of deviation All drill holes deviate from their plan. This is why depths in excess of 500 m for reverse circulation drilling are rarely achieved. Weight on bit. must also be monitored. the matrix of the drill bit will soften. and because of refraction as the bit moves . In cases where money is no issue. it must remain firmly in the matrix to achieve cutting. because the cost is prohibitive and approaches the threshold at which diamond core drilling is more economic. One final phenomenon limiting drilling only became apparent during deep drilling of an attempted Mohole. circulation must be maintained to return the drill cuttings to surface.
etc). type of rig. . extended reach. and the type of well being drilled (directional vs straight. Rig personnel Personnel on a drilling rig vary greatly depending on the size of the rig. inclined holes will deviate upwards usually because the drill rods will lie against the bottom of the bore.from different rock units of varying rheology. Additionally. causing the drill bit to be slightly inclined from true. It is because of deviation that drill holes must be surveyed if deviation will impact on the usefulness of the information returned. Often oil companies will use a process of controlled deviation called directional drilling.