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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 Of Oilwell Drilling Pdf

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, kindle, ppt, and pdf file. a primer of oilwell drilling - extended campus a primer of oilwell drilling a crane.

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A joint of drill pipe rests in this rig's mousehole. A rathole rig drills the first part of the hole. The conductor hole 65 VI 6. The large diameter pipe to the right is the top of the conductor pipe. A special ship carries a semisubmersible to a new drilling location. A box-on-box substructure 70 A slingshot substructure in folded position prior to being raised. The slingshot substructure near its full height 71 This drawworks will be installed on the rig floor.

Drilling line is spooled onto the drawworks drum. A mast being raised to vertical position 73 This rig with a standard derrick was photographed in the s at work in West Texas. The doghouse is usually located at rig-floor level. In the foreground is a coal-fired boiler that made steam to power the cable-tool rig in the background. A mechanical rig drilling in West Texas in the s. Three diesel engines power this rig. Three engines drive a chain-and-sprocket compound to power equipment.

The diesel engine at right drives the electric generator attached directly to the engine. The central control cabinet of a diesel-electric rig 82 Two powerful electric motors drive the drawworks on this rig. The hoisting system 83 The drawworks 84 Removing the drawworks housing reveals the main brake bands to the left and right on hubs of the drawworks drum. The electromagnetic brake is mounted on the end of the drawworks. In this photo taken in the s, a floorhand has fiber rope a catline wrapped around a friction cathead to lift an object on the rig floor.

This floorhand is using an air hoist, or tugger, to lift an object. This makeup cathead has a chain coming out of it that is connected to the tongs. Wire rope drilling line coming off the drawworks drum 88 Drilling line is stored on this supply reel at the rig.

Drilling line is firmly clamped to this deadline anchor. The sheaves pulleys of this crown block are near the bottom of the photo. Ten lines are strung between the traveling block and the crown block. Several wraps of drilling line on the drawworks drum 91 Traveling block, shock absorber, hook, and other equipment are suspended by wire rope drilling line.

The mast supports the blocks and other drilling tools. The turntable is housed in a steel case. The master bushing fits inside the turntable. Crew members are installing one of two halves that make up the tapered bowl.

Crew members set slips around the drill pipe and inside the master bushing's tapered bowl to suspend the pipe. This master bushing has four drive holes into which steel pins on the kelly drive bushing fit. This master bushing has a square bottom that fits into a square opening in the master bushing.

A square kelly 98 B. A hexagonal kelly 98 This hexagonal kelly fits inside a matching opening in top of the kelly drive bushing.

The hook on the bottom of the traveling block is about to be latched onto the bail of the swivel. Drilling fluid goes through the rotary hose and enters the swivel through the gooseneck. A top drive, or power swivel, hangs from the traveling block and hook. Mud pressure pumped through the drill stem above the down- hole motor, forces the motor's spiral shaft to turn inside the housing.

Horizontal hole These drill collars are laid out on a rack prior to being run into the well. Drill collars put weight on the bit, which forces the bit cutters into the formation to drill it. Several joints of drill pipe are laid on the rack prior to being run into the hole. A floorhand stabs the pin of a joint of drill pipe into the box of another joint.

Two drill collars on a pipe rack. Drill collars stacked in front of drill pipe on the rig floor A roller cone bit has teeth cutters that roll, or turn, as the bit rotates. Tungsten carbide inserts are tightly pressed into holes drilled into the bit cones.

Drilling fluid salt water in this case is ejected out of the nozzles of a roller cone bit. Several types of diamond bit are available. Several diamond coated tungsten carbide disks form the cutters on this polycrystalline diamond compact bit. Drilling mud swirls in one of several steel tanks on this rig.

This derrickman is measuring the density weight of a sample of drilling mud in a balance that is calibrated in pounds per gallon. Components of a rig circulating system VIII 8. Mud pumps most rigs have at least two are powerful machines that move drilling mud through the circulating system. The standpipe runs up one leg of the derrick or mast and conducts mud from the pump to the rotary hose. Mud and cuttings fall onto the shale shaker, which removes the cuttings.

Desanders remove fine particles, or solids, from drilling mud. Desilters, like desanders, also remove fine solids from the mud. Mud cleaners, like desanders and desilters, also remove small solid particles from the mud. A mud centrifuge removes tiny solids from the mud.

A degasser removes relatively small volumes of gas that enter the mud from a downhole formation and are circulated to the surface in the annulus. A derrickman, wearing personal protective equipment, adds dry components to the mud through a hopper. Large quantities of dry mud components are stored in P-tanks. This derrickman stands next to a small, red-colored, steel container through which he can add caustic materials to the mud that is in the tanks below the grating.

A bit being lowered into the hole on a drill collar The kelly and related equipment in the rathole. Red-painted slips with three handgrips suspend the drill string in the hole. The kelly drive bushing is about to engage the master bushing on the rotary table. The motor in the top drive turns the drill stem and bit. The red pointer on the weight indicator shows weight on the bit. The kelly is drilled down is very close to the kelly drive bushing , so it is time to make a connection.

Here, the driller has raised the kelly with the traveling block so that the first joint of drill pipe is exposed in the opening of the rotary table. Crew members latch tongs on the kelly and on the drill pipe.

The kelly spinner rapidly rotates spins the kelly in or out of the drill pipe joint. Crew members stab the kelly into the joint of pipe in the mousehole. Crew members use tongs to buck up tighten one drill pipe joint to another. Crew members remove the slips. The kelly drive bushing is about to engage the master bushing.

Making a connection using a top drive IX 9. Crew members latch elevators to the drill pipe tool joint suspended in the rotary table. The derrickman has just placed the upper end of a stand of drill pipe between the fingers of the fingerboard. The floorhands set the lower end of the stand of pipe off to one side of the rig floor. A top view of an automatic pipe-handling device manipulating a stand of drill pipe A casing crew member cleans and inspects the casing as it lies on the rack next to the rig.

Casing threads must be clean, dry, and undamaged before they are run into the hole. A joint of casing being lifted onto the rig floor A joint of casing suspended in the mast. Casing elevators suspend the casing joint as the driller lowers the joint into the casing slips, or spider. Working from a platform called the "stabbing board," a casing crew member guides the casing elevators near the top of the casing joint.

Crew members install scratchers and centralizers at various points in the casing string. Top view of casing not centered in the borehole; a cement void exists where the casing contacts the side of the hole. Crew members lift the heavy steel-and-concrete guide shoe.

The guide shoe is made up on the bottom of the first joint of casing to go into the hole. Cementing the casing; A the job in progress; B the finished job Crew members install a float collar into the casing string. A cementing head plug container rests on the rig floor, ready to be made up on the last joint of casing to go into the hole. To trip in, crew members stab a stand of drill pipe into another.

After stabbing the joint, crew members use a spinning wrench to thread the joints together. After spin up, crew members use tongs to buck up the joint to final tightness. Intermediate casing is run and cemented in the intermediate hole. Intermediate liner is hung in the surface casing. A handful of cuttings made by the bit Logging personnel run and control logging tools by means of wireline from this laboratory on an offshore rig.

A well-site log is interpreted to give information about the formations drilled. This small rig is a well servicing and workover unit. Perforations holes Shaped charges in a perforating gun make perforations. A coiled-tubing unit runs tubing into the well from a large reel. This collection of valves and fittings is a Christmas tree. Several directional wells tap an offshore reservoir.

A downhole motor laid on the rack prior to being run into the hole. A bent sub deflects the bit a few degrees off-vertical to start the directional hole. An overshot A spear goes inside the fish in a released position; B. Fluids erupting from underground caught fire and melted this rig. A stack of blowout preventers BOPs installed on top of the well A subsea stack of BOPs being lowered to the seafloor from a floating rig Several valves and fittings make up a typical choke manifold.

A remote-controlled choke installed in the choke manifold This control panel allows an operator to adjust the size of the choke opening. Tables 1. Land rigs classified by drilling depth 20 2. Types of MODU 21 3. Roller cone and fixed-head bit cutters XII The book's section on cable-tool drilling was almost as large as the part devoted to rotary drilling, and it spent as much ink on steam power as it did on internal combustion engines.

Later editions, of course, evolved with the industry; thus, the third edition released in the early s did not so much as mention cable tools and steam power. PETEX generally releases new editions of the Primer when changes in drilling techniques and equipment are significant enough to warrant new versions.

In two cases, however, changes to the manual were relatively minor. Consequently, this sixth edition of the Primer is, in reality, the eighth new version of the book since its initial release in the s. To say that the drilling industry has changed since then is, of course, an understatement.

This new edition reflects those changes; however, it also acknowledges old techniques and philoso- phy and their influence on the modern drilling industry. Regardless of how the industry has changed, the book's purpose has not: The Primer is just that—a first reader of the oilwell drilling business.

Although it is written primarily for adults, junior and senior high school students should also find it informative. It is important to acknowledge the contributions the drilling industry has made to this manual. Enduring numerous interruptions, he gave many hours of his time and expertise to answering questions and providing sources of information. He and his company also provided encouragement and access to offshore locations without which this book could not have been rewritten.

Crews on every Nabors rig visited were courteous, helpful, and patient. Nabors' help in providing photos is inestimable. Special thanks also go to Ken Fischer of IADC, who read the manuscript and gave many valuable suggestions for improving it. Making a good-looking book out of typed manuscript and a collection of photos and sketches is a hard job. Their superlative work in editing, rewriting, drawing, photographing, lay- ing out, and proofreading must be recognized, for without such efforts, this book could not exist in its present form.

Keep in mind, too, that while every effort was made to ensure accuracy, this manual is intended only as a training aid, and nothing in it should be considered approval or disapproval of any specific product or practice. Today, the United States is almost the only country that employs the English system. The English system uses the pound as the unit of weight, the foot as the unit of length, and the gallon as the unit of capacity.

In the English system, for example, i foot equals 12 inches, 1 yard equals 36 inches, and 1 mile equals 5, feet or 1, yards. The metric system uses the gram as the unit of weight, the metre as the unit of length, and the litre as the unit of capacity.

In the metric system, for example, 1 metre equals 10 decimetres, centimetres, or 1, millimetres. A kilometre equals 1, metres. The metric system, unlike the English system, uses a base of 10; thus, it is easy to convert from one unit to another.

To convert from one unit to another in the English system, you must memorize or look up the values. Conference participants based the SI system on the metric system and designed it as an international standard of measurement.

And because the SI system employs the British spelling of many of the terms, the book follows those spelling rules as well. The unit of length, for example, is metre, not meter. XV Units of Measurement T A first-time visit can be educational as well as confusing. Most drilling rigs are large and noisy and, at times, the people who work on them perform actions that don't make much sense to an uninitiated observer.

A drilling rig has many pieces of equipment and most of it is huge fig. But a rig has only one purpose: The skinny hole it drills, however, can be deep: The hole's purpose is to tap an oil and gas reservoir, which more often than not lies buried deeply in the earth. Introduction Figure 1. Although rigs operate both on land and sea—"offshore" is the oilfield term—a land rig is best for a first visit.

In most cases, land rigs are easier to get to because you can drive to them. Getting to offshore rigs is more complicated, because they often work many miles kilometres from land and you need a boat or a helicopter to reach them. When driving to a land rig, you'll probably see part of it long before you actually arrive at the site, especially if the terrain is not too hilly or wooded fig.

One of the most distinctive parts of a drilling rig is its tall, strong structural tower called a "mast" or a "derrick" fig. Masts and derricks are tall and strong. They are strong because they have to support the great weight of the drilling tools, which can weigh many tons tonnes. Figure 3. Introduction Rig masts and derricks are tall because they have to accommo- date long lengths of pipe the rig crew raises into it during the drilling process. A mast or derrick can be as high as a story building—about feet 60 metres tall.

Most, however, are closer to feet 43 metres high. Even so, in flat country, a structure as lofty as a story building is conspicuous. Upon arriving at the rig, the first step is to check in with the boss. He or she is probably in a mobile home or a portable building on the site that serves as an office and living quarters.

The rig boss may have the intriguing title of "toolpusher"; or, rig workers may call him or her the "rig superintendent," or the "rig manager. Toolpusher is the traditional term for the rig boss. It probably originated from the fondness rig workers have of calling practically every inanimate thing on a rig a tool.

Thus, one who bossed the personnel using the tools also pushed the tools, in a symbolic, if not actual, sense. Nowadays, the drilling industry leans towards the term rig superintendent or rig manager for the person in charge, but you'll still hear rig hands call him or her the toolpusher or, in Canada, the "toolpush". Now don your hard hat, which is a very tough plastic cap with a brim to protect your head.

Also, put on your steel- capped boots, which keep your toes from being crushed, and your safety glasses to safeguard your eyes. This style of dress is de rigueur for everyone. Whether working on a rig or merely visiting it, everyone must wear personal protective equip- ment, or PPE for short fig. Rig workers also wear gloves to protect their hands and you may want to wear a pair, too.

Figure 4. With protective gear on and the rig superintendent's permission, let's go up to the rig floor. The floor is the main work area of the rig and it usually rests on a strong foundation, a substructure, which raises it above ground level. Accordingly, we have to walk up a set of steel stairs fig. Keep a hand on the handrail as you walk up and don't hurry. It could be a foot metre climb. Once on the floor, stop for a minute to catch your breath and take a good look around the floor.

You may see the crew handling several lengths, or joints, of drill pipe, the steel tubes that put the bit the hole-boring device on the bottom of the hole.

On the other hand, the rig may be drilling, or "making hole," as they sometimes say. If it's drilling, from time to time you may hear the distinctive and loud squawk or squeal of the drawworks brake as it slacks off the drilling line to allow the bit to drill ahead. The drawworks is a large, powerful hoist that, among other things, regulates the weight the drill string puts on the bit fig.

A loud screech comes every time the friction brake bands ease their grip on the steel hubs of the drawworks drum to apply weight. It's loud, but it's music to the ears of the rig owner because it usually means the bit is drilling ahead without problems. Regardless of what's occurring on the rig floor, take time to observe, for you're standing in a place that is vital to the oil and gas industry.

Certainly, many operations besides drilling are involved in getting crude oil and natural gas out of the ground and into forms we can use, such as gasoline and heating fuel.

However, without a drilled well—a hole in the ground—oil companies could not obtain oil and gas, or petroleum, at all. At this point, you may not know what the equipment is for or what the personnel are doing, but don't be troubled. This bookwill identify most of the people and tools it takes to drill, and will give you a better appreciation of oilwell drilling. Before launching into equipment and processes, however, let's cover a little drilling history.

Figure 6. It was a time when people were beginning to need something better than candles to work and read by. Responding to the demand for reliable lighting, companies began making oil lamps that were brighter than candles, lasted longer, and were not easily blown out by an errant breeze. One of the best oils to burn in these lamps was sperm- whale oil. Sperm oil was clear, nearly odorless, light in weight, and burned with little smoke. Virtually everyone preferred whale oil, but by the midoos, it was so scarce that only the wealthy could afford it.

The New England whalers had all but hunted their quarry to extinction. Thus, the time was ripe for an inexpensive lamp oil to replace whale oil. At the same time, steam-powered machines that required good-quality lubri- cants were becoming common. About this time——a New York attorney named George Bissell received a sample of an unusual liquid from a professor at Dartmouth College.

Bissell and the professor had met previously and had discovered a mutual interest in finding a whale-oil substitute. The professor wanted Bissell's opinion of the liquid's value as a lamp oil and lubricant. The sample had been collected near a creek that flowed through the woods of Crawford and Venango counties in northwestern Pennsylvania. Besides water, the creek also carried an odor- ous, dark-colored substance that burned and, when applied to machinery, was a good lubricant.

The substance was, of course, oil. Because it flowed out of the rocky terrain in and near the creek, people called it "rock oil.

History Figure 7. Oil Creek as it looks today T He also believed that it would be a good lubricant. Bissell thus began raising money to collect the oil from the Titusville spring and to market it for illumination and lubrication.

It was a difficult proposition; after a false start or two and much wheeling and dealing, Bissell, a Connecticut banker named James M. One problem the company faced was how best to produce the oil from the land. The company directors knew that it was not efficient to simply let the oil flow out of the rock and scoop it from the ground. Others who had collected oil in this manner obtained merely a gallon a few litres or two a day.

Seneca Oil's purpose was to produce large amounts of oil and market it in the populous northeastern U. Somebody in the company—no one knows who—came up with the idea of drilling a well to tap the oil.

Drilling was not a new concept, for people had been drilling saltwater wells in the Titusville area foryears. Interestingly, many of these saltwater wells also produced oil, which the salt drillers considered a nuisance because it contaminated the salt.

Another issue facing the fledgling oil company was the need to hire someone to oversee the drilling project in Titusville. Eventually, board member Townsend met and hired Edwin L. Drake to represent Seneca's interests at the Oil Creek site.

At the time, Drake was an unemployed rail- road conductor, but he had two things going for him. First, because he was out of work, he had plenty of time to devote to the project. Second, Drake had a railroad pass, which allowed him free travel to Pennsylvania.

As a final touch, Townsend gave Drake the rank of honorary colonel, which sounded considerably more prestigious than just plain mister.

With that, Colonel Drake went to Titusville. History By the spring of , Drake employed William A. Smith to be his well driller. Smith, a blacksmith and an experienced brine-well driller, was known to most everyone as Uncle Billy.

He showed up at the well site in Titusville with his sons as helpers and his daughter as camp cook. One of the first things Drake and Uncle Billy did was drive a length of hollow steel pipe through the soft surface soil until it reached bed- rock. If they had not used this pipe, this steel casing, the loose topsoil would have caved into any hole they tried to drill. To this day, drillers still begin oilwells by casing the top of the hole. Drake and Smith then built the drilling rig fig. By Saturday, August 26, , Drake and Smith had drilled the hole to a depth of about 69 feet 21 metres.

Near the end of the day, Smith noted that the bit suddenly dropped 6 inches 15 centimetres.

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It was near quitting time, so he shut the operation down, figuring he and the boys would continue drilling the following Monday. On Sunday, which in those days was a well driller's holiday, Smith decided to check on the well. He looked into the top of the casing and found the hole full of oil. The well's being full of oil signaled success. No one knows for sure how much oil it produced, but it was probably around to 1, gallons about 3, to 4, litres per day, which far outstripped the gallon or two that could be collected off the ground.


Regard- less of how much oil the well actually produced, it demon- strated that a drilled well could yield ample amounts of oil. As far as we know, Drake's was the first well in the United States drilled for the sole purpose of finding and producing oil. News of the accomplishment spread rapidly and, because a ready market existed for refined rock oil, dozens of new rigs sprang up in the area to take advantage of the demand for it. Saltwater drillers formerly reluctant to drill oilwells changed their bias, and the first oil boom in the U.

Refined rock oil soon became the primary lamp oil. And, as machines became more common, refined rock oil became a much sought after lubricant. Colonel Drake's well in Titus- ville marked the beginning of the petroleum era in the United States. Figure 8. The area is now a state park. Interest in oilwell drilling was particularly high in California, where the popu- lation was rapidly growing. After prospectors found gold at Sutter's Mill in , immigrants flooded into California.

PDF A Primer of Oilwell Drilling: A Basic Text of Oil and Gas Drilling Read Online

Unlike the northeastern U. Luckily, many oil and gas seeps, similar to those in Pennsylvania, occurred in California. Therefore, as word of Drake's successful drilling venture spread, enterprising Cali- fornians applied the technology to their fields.

The first successful well was drilled in 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.

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. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other: Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. This new expanded and colorful edition features enhanced content and graphics.

With a new engineering perspective supplied by author and industy expert Dr. Paul M. Bommer, Senior Lecturer of Petroleum Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin, this Primer remains the comprehensive first reader of the oilwell drilling industry.

It contains over vibrant photos and This new expanded and colorful edition features enhanced content and graphics. It contains over vibrant photos and illustrations, covering driling processes both on land and offshore, from exploration to well completion.

Includes a glossary of drillling terms. Also includes 20"x24" full-color rotary rig poster. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. 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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