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DRILLING METHOD AND EQUIPMENT LEARNING OUTCOME When you complete this module you will be able to...


Discuss drilling methods, identify the equipment components for each method and possess a basic knowledge of drilling safety and techniques. Learning Objec i!e" Here is what you will be able to do when you complete each objective. 1. Describe the arrangements that must be made prior to moving drilling equipment onto a lease. 2. Describe the tools and components used in cable tool drilling. 3. Describe the tools and components used in rotary drilling. 4. Describe the safety measures to be followed and discuss the techniques used in properly drilling a well. INTRODUCTION well is drilled with the ob!ect of tapping underground reservoirs of oil or gas. "t is an e#pensive and risky procedure that may or may not make a profitable return. $he discovery of the %educ field in lberta, for e#ample, was made on well &o. 134' the previous 133 wells were dry holes. "t is to be e#pected that such an undertaking would develop considerable technical skill in order to reduce the risk and to overcome the many difficulties encountered. $his module describes some of these techniques very briefly. $he drilling methods used for oil and gas wells are classified under two headings( 1. )able tool drilling *churn drilling+ 2. ,otary drilling O#$ECTI%E ONE When you complete this objective you will be able to... Describe the arrangements that must be made prior to moving drilling equipment onto a lease. Learning Ma eria& LEA'E ARRANGEMENT' -ne of the first steps in e#ploring for oil or gas is drilling on the recommended site to determine whether hydrocarbons are present in commercial quantities. .owever, before drilling commences, certain other arrangements and decisions have to be made. $hese may include( 1. %easing of the land. 2. /uilding of roads. 3. 0oving the equipment in. 4. Drilling method. 1. Depth and si2e of well.

mineral lease is a contract between the 3#ploration )ompany and landowner. "t allows the operator the rights to drill for and produce oil, gas or condensate in e#change for certain royalties paid by the operator. $he payment of royalties commences with the beginning of production and it is commonly around 145 of the production, but may run as high as 141 of the production. 6hen two or more companies have rights to a given field, a uniti2ed operation is generally formed. "n such a practice, the groups involved agree upon an operating formula and a single operator is generally designated to process all gas from the field. $he depth of a hole is dictated by the e#ploration ob!ectives and the depth of the target formation, which can range from less than 377 to more than 8777 meters. $he si2e of the borehole depends on the depth, the type of completion and to a lesser e#tent, on the geology and the capacity of the available drilling equipment. /orehole si2es range from 59 to more than ::7 mm.

O#$ECTI%E T(O When you complete this objective you will be able to... Describe the tools and components used in cable tool drilling. Learning Ma eria& CA#LE TOOL DRILLING )able drilling is a pioneer method and the first oil wells in the ;nited <tates were drilled with cable tools to a depth of 27 meters. $he basic operation of cable tool drilling consists of punching a hole in the subsurface by repeatedly lifting and dropping a heavy cutting tool suspended from the end of a cable. 3very 37 to 17 cm, the bit is pulled up and the loosened material is removed from the borehole using a bailing apparatus suspended from a wire rope. )able tool drilling is an outmoded method of =digging= a wetland therefore' a discussion of the parts and operation of the rig will be brief. >igures 1 and 2 should be studied carefully while reading the following description of the cable tool rig. 1. Un)ergro*n) Too&" $he standard tools *string of tools+ used under the ground consist of a bit, drill stem, several !ars and the rope socket to which the cable is attached. >igure 1 illustrates these tools. #i ? the bit is the actual cutting tool and is usually 1.5 to 2.4 meters long, chisel shaped and attached to the lower end of the string. Dri&& ' e+ ? is a steel bar, which supplies weight necessary for the operation and serves as a guide. $ar" ? or bar link, imparts a !arring impact to the tool and is included as a safety feature to loosen stuck cutting tools. #ai&er ? is a bucket with a non?return valve in the bottom used to remove cuttings from the well bore.

,ig*re 1 Cab&e Dri&&ing Too&"

-. '*r.ace E/*i0+en $he essential surface parts of a cable rig are( the prime mover, the derrick, the walking beam, the band wheel, sand reel, calf wheel, bull wheel and various other au#iliaries as pulleys and sheaves ? all shown in >igure 2.

,ig*re Cab&e Too& Dri&&ing Rig

Pri+e Mo!er ? internal combustion engines or steam engines used to provide power. Ce&&ar ? an e#cavation under the rig floor, dug before drilling to provide space for equipment at the top of the well bore. $he cellar serves to collect drainage water and other fluids, which are !etted at intervals. (a&1ing #ea+ ? raises and drops the string of tools providing the motivating force to dig a new hole. #*&& (2ee& ? is a drum or reel to which the drilling line is affi#ed, and is used to pull the tools from the hole or lower them into the hole. Ca&. (2ee& ? is a drum or reel used to lower casing into the borehole. 'an) Line ? the line, which raises and lowers the bailer. $he sand line is affi#ed to the sand reel. Cro3n #&oc1 ? the sheaves at the head of the derrick for the drilling cable, casing line and sand line. Ca"ing ? a large diameter steel pipe run in the borehole to protect the hole from caving and seepage. )asing is cemented in place.

Con ro& Hea) ? this is bolted to the top of the casing and is equipped with valves to control fluids rising to the surface from the well bore. $he drive to the walking beam, in the rig illustrated, is transmitted from an engine to the band wheel, crank and pitman. Downward motion of the walking beam is limited in the event of failure of any of these parts by the headache post *an emergency stop+. s the hole deepens, the driller lowers the tools so as to maintain precisely the right amount of impact. $oo slow a rate of lowering will reduce drilling speed' too fast a rate will make the drilling line slack, reduce the lift and impact and introduce a risk of the well being drilled away from the vertical. "f water keeps seeping into the well, interfering with the operation, a second casing of smaller si2e is lowered into the well and cemented in place. cable tool installation is simple and requires little power. $wo men per shift can operate the rig and daily costs are low. 4. A)!an age" an) Di"a)!an age" $his method has the advantages of requiring less initial capital outlay and giving a continuous record of the formations being drilled. "t is a slower method than rotary and often requires more casing. 0oreover, it is limited to shallower depths than the rotary. "t finds application in small drilling programs or possible wildcat wells. '0*))ing in $his is a common term in the petroleum industry and simply means to commence actual drilling operations on the well. $he term is handed down from cable tool operations in the early days of the oil industry. "n order to drill a hole with a cable tool rig, it is necessary to have sufficient clearance beneath the walking beam to hang the string of drilling tools. >ifteen to thirty meters may be required and it is therefore necessary to make this depth of hole by some other means before commencing the cable rig drilling. $he procedure is termed =spudding= in and is carried out using a short, heavy spudding bit with its own cable run through the crown block. $oday portable?spudding rigs may be used to drill the conductor hole, run the conductor pipe and have all preparatory work completed for the big rig to move in and immediately commence drilling. Depending on the si2e, these may be truck, trailer or skid mounted and driven by diesel or gasoline engines. @enerally, all are fitted with telescoping masts.

O#$ECTI%E THREE When you complete this objective you will be able to... Describe the tools and components used in rotary drilling. Learning Ma eria& ROTAR5 DRILLING -il and gas drilling today is done almost e#clusively with the rotary rig. $he portability and operational characteristics of the rotary rig make it superior for petroleum e#ploration. $he normal rig operating in 6estern )anada requires the services of si#teen full?time employees. $hree, five?men crews are made up from the si#teen employees and each crew marks an 5 hour tour. crew consists of a driller, derrickman, motorman and two floor hands. $he three crews are supervised by the toolpusher who is in charge and responsible for the safe, efficient operation of the rig. ,igs are owned by individuals or companies known as drilling contractors, whereas the wells are owned by oil and gas e#plorers, often referred to as operators. $he -il )ompany or operator hires or contracts the drilling contractor to drill the well at a given location to a specified depth. rig may be contracted by the meter drilled, by the day or on a turnkey basis. 1. Dri&&ing Rig Co+0onen " $ypes of drilling bits are shown in >igure 3 from left to right are( a three?cone hard formation rock bit, soft formation drag bit, hard formation core head and a worn rock bit. ,ig*re 4 T60e" o. Dri&&ing #i "

$he ma!or components of a rotary rig are shown in >igure 4. $he rotary rig performs three main functions( hoisting, circulating and rotating.

,ig*re 7 Diagra++a ic %ie3 o. Ro ar6 Dri&&ing Rig ' an)ar) Derric1

>igures 1, :and 8 illustrate the !ackknife rig with mast laid down, the mast partially erected and the mast fully erected.

,ig*re 8 $ac11ni.e Rig 9 Ma" Do3n

,ig*re 6 $ac11ni.e Rig 9 Ma" Par ia&&6 Erec e)

,ig*re : $ac11ni.e Rig 9 Ma" Par ia&&6 Erec e)

a. Derric1 or Ma" $he mast *or derrick+ rises 29 to 17 meters above the rig floor and is the most obvious component of a drilling rig. Derrick and mast are used interchangeably even though technically there is a fundamental difference between the two terms. $o be moved, the derrick *also called the standard derrick+ has to be dismantled piece by piece and erected piece by piece at the new location. "n contrast, the mast can be moved without disassembling and as a consequence, it replaces the derrick in most drilling operations. $oday, use of the standard derrick is limited to offshore drilling rigs and some e#tremely deep *on land+ wells. $he mast or derrick is erected on a substructure, which serves to( 1. <upport the rig floor and rotary and to provide working space. 2. Arovide space under the floor for blowout preventer *valves for controlling an overpressured well+. $he substructure supports the rotary table, the mast and the full weight of the drill stem, whether suspended from the crown block or rotary table. Drill pipe is pulled and racked in stands when it is necessary to change the bit or to come out of the hole for other evaluations. stand normally consists of 3 !oints of pipe, called a thribble and has a length of about 28.4 meters. $he mast is an integral part of the hoisting system. /y means of the traveling block, wire line, crown block and drawworks, it supports the hook and elevators. $he drill stem is raised and lowered by the drawworks, which is powered by up to four engines.

b. Dra33or1" Drawworks is the hoisting mechanism on a drilling rig that consists of a large winch that spouts off or takes up the drilling line to lower or raise the drill stem and bit. 0ost drawworks are equipped with at least a two?brake system. -ne brake is hydraulic or electric and is used to control the speed of descent of the loaded traveling block. $his brake is not capable of bringing the loaded traveling block to a complete halt, but the other brake, a mechanical brake, can bring the load to a complete stop. .oisting speeds of the drawworks can be varied over a wide range through the use of a multirange transmission system. "t is necessary, when pulling pipe, to control the speed at which pipe is hoisted to avoid swabbing the well in. @enerally, the drawworks has a drive sprocket to drive the rotary table through a heavy duty chain. -n some rigs, the rotary is driven by an independent engine or electric motor. )atheads are an e#tension of a shaft of the drawworks that is used to lift heavy equipment around the rig and to tighten and loosen drill pipe !oints. $he make?up or spinning cathead is on the drillerBs side of the drawworks and the breakout cathead is on the opposite side.

,ig*re ; %ie3 o. Ro ar6 Dra33or1" .or Me)i*+ De0 2 Dri&&ing U0 o 4100 +e er"


,ig*re < Co+0onen " o. a Hea!6 Rig Ca0ab&e o. Dri&&ing o 6-00 Me er" A""e+b&e) in 2e ,ac or6

c. #&oc1" an) (ire Line $he blocks and wire line, like the derrick and drawworks, are components of the hoisting system. .eavy loads of pipe and drill stem can be controlled and easily handled by means of the mechanical advantage provided by the crown block, traveling block and wire line. During drilling operations, the load consists of drill pipe and drill collars, with the bit attached to the bottom drill collar. $his is collectively referred to as the scroll string. t other times, the load may be a string of casing, which is often heavier than the drill string. )asing is lowered and cemented in the hole for protection. "n most casing operations, the load on the hoisting system is appro#imately the weight of the casing string. .owever, where problems occur in running casing and the casing has to be worked in tight spots, the load on the hoisting system can substantially e#ceed the deadweight of the casing string. $he traveling block carries the hook and elevators and each is designed for a specific !ob. 3levators are clamps or latches, which secure the drill pipe when hoisting or lowering the pipe in the well, bore. $he hook latches into the swivel bails at the top end of the kelly and carries the drill string load *less the weight on the bit+ during the drilling operation. ). Ro ar6 '6" e+ 0ain components of the rotating system include( the bit, drill collars, drill pipe, kelly and kelly bushing, rotary table and engines. e. Ro ar6 Dri&&ing #i " $he bit is the only part of the rig equipment that actually makes a hole. Carious types of bits are available for the different types of formations encountered where the principle of operation is the crushing or grinding of the resisting surface. >ishtail bits are useful in soft formations *sandstone or shale+, while a brag or rock bit may be ideal in limestone or rocky formations. *$he latter is also called a roller cone type+. $he fish?shaped bit


cuts like the carpenterBs auger with its two hardened cutting edges. $he rock bit grinds the rocky subsurface with its three?toothed rollers. ll bits have passages to allow the flow of drilling mud to assist in the operation. $he drill bit is connected to a pipe 9 to 12 meters long called a drill collar. Drill collars are heavier and much sturdier than drill pipe, and their function is to supply weight on the bit as well as keep the bit from wandering. <everal drill collars may be used on the drilling operation depending on the weight desired. .. Dri&& ' e+ $he drill stem consists of the drill collars *mentioned previously+, drill pipe and a kelly. Drill collars are heavy, thick?walled, hollow steel tubes, drill pipe is a hollow steel or aluminum tube much lighter than the drill collar and a kelly is a square or he#agonal steel tube. $hese three components are collectively referred to as the drill stem. $he drill stem performs both as a drive shaft and a pipeline. Arincipal functions of the drill stem are( 1. $o raise and lower the bit from or into the hole. 2. $ransfer the rotation from the rotary to the bit downhole. 3. )onduct the drilling fluid from the surface down the hole to the bit to cool, lubricate and flush drill cuttings back to surface. 4. pply weight to the bit through the mass of the drill collar*s+.

g. =e&&6 an) '3i!e& kelly is a square or octagonal?shaped steel tube and is the upper terminus of the drill stem. Dellys are equipped with a kelly bushing *a drive bushing+, which during drilling operations is engaged in the rotary and transfers power from the rotary to the drill stem. $he kelly is permitted to move vertically in the bushing, which allows continuous drilling of 9 to 17 meters ? the length of a single !oint of drill pipe. $he swivel supports the load of the drill stem during drilling, it allows rotation of the drill stem, but it does not rotate and finally, it provides a passageway for the drilling fluid to enter the drill stem. 2. Circ*&a ing '6" e+ $he circulating system is the third ma!or component of a drilling rig. >or the drilling system to function on a rotary rig, fluid must circulate downward through the drill stem, around the bit, up the annulus *space between the drill stem and the wall of the hole+, over the shaker and into the pits to be recirculated. $he circulating fluidsB main functions are( 1. )lean the bottom of the hole. 2. )ool the bit. 3. >lush cuttings from the hole. 4. Arevent entry of the formation fluidBs into the hole. 1. <upport the walls of the well to prevent a cave in. $he normal drilling fluids are muds, which have special chemical and other additives to give them specific desired properties.


Drilling fluid may also be air or gas, in which case the mud pump is replaced with air compressors. $he art of mud control has developed rapidly and it is one of the most comple# sub!ects the drilling crew deals with. <pecial clays are used to give substance to the mud and heavy minerals, such as barite, are added to increase the mudBs weight. )hemicals control the thickness or viscosity and the ability to form a mud cake on the borehole wall. $he flow of the mud system can be traced through on >igure 4 and >igure 17. ,otary drilling needs less casing in the hole since the plastering of walls with mud also seals off any flow of water. -n the other hand, the mud may shut off any oil or gas producing formation. >or this reason, in e#ploratory wells, the drilling is performed with more consideration given to making sure that oil and gas producing formations are not bypassed. 6hen it is necessary to insert casing into a rotary?drilled hole, it is done in a similar way as in cable tool drilling. ,ig*re 10 Diagra++a ic 'ec ion '2o3ing E/*i0+en #e&o3 2e Derric1 ,&oor> 2e #ore2o&e an) Dri&&ing ' ring


-. A)!an age" an) Di"a)!an age" -ne of the advantages of rotary type drilling is that this method is a faster operation and therefore more economical. lso, it is a method adaptable to wells reaching 9777 meters or more. "n rotary drilling, it is possible to control the gas pressure and the si2e of the hole is quite uniform along the entire depth. $he drawbacks of this method, however, are the e#pensive equipment needed and the increase of crewmembers required per shift. 0odern rotary rigs are mobile with a type of derrick which folds to a hori2ontal position. $hey can be moved to a new location and brought into service with minimum delay.

O#$ECTI%E ,OUR When you complete this objective you will be able to... Describe the safety measures to be followed and discuss the techniques used in properly drilling a well. Learning Ma eria& 'A,ET5 MEA'URE' Carious safety devices are used at the wellhead to cope with dangerous situations that may occur during a drilling operation. ,eservoirs penetrated by the drill may contain pressures higher than the mud weight can control and the well may show a tendency to erupt and blowout. 6hen a blowout occurs, the entire operation may be ruined and therefore, means must be provided to prevent it. >igure 17 shows the installation of two large bore valves, called blowout preventers, which are hydraulically operated. $heir purpose is to shut the hole off with a device called an accumulator, which is set apart from the rig. $he top preventer is of different construction from the bottom one and is operated when the drill pipe is in the hole. $he bottom one may be shut off when no drill pipe is in the hole. dangerous situation is most likely to arise in new areas where a reservoir is penetrated containing gas or oil under a higher pressure than had been estimated. $he first symptom of a blowout may include the sudden increase in the drilling fluid returning to the mud pits. "n such a case, the operator should close the blowout preventer, add weighting material to the drilling fluid and apply back? pressure to the fluid returning to the surface through the annular space.

PROPER DRILLING TECHNIQUE' Drilling operations require trained crews, thoroughly e#perienced in all methods and techniques used in the field, to maintain a straight hole and to avoid wasting time and effort in fishing out broken or twisted pieces of equipment. $he techniques used may be summari2ed as( 1. @ood spudding in work. 2. @ood condition of drilling equipment. 3. @ood quality drilling fluid. 4. )onstant surveying of the well.


s was mentioned earlier, spudding in is the preparatory work when drilling a wetland unless it is properly performed, it may cause deviation from the vertical. $he drill bit should be sharp enough and the proper type of bit should be used for the type of formation drilled. "f a bit breaks, the pieces must be fished out of the hole using equipment available for this purpose. >igures 11 and 12 illustrate some of the fishing tools used by the industry. ,ig*re 11 T60ica& ,i"2ing Too&"


,ig*re 1T60ica& ,i"2ing Too&"

$he success of rotary type drilling may depend, to a large e#tent, on the control of the mud weight and quality, as well as on the proper functioning of the mud circulating equipment. $he fluid should be dense enough and should be capable of adhering to the hole walls to prevent caving. $he hydrostatic pressure maintained by the mud should be in e#cess of the gas pressure of the formation to prevent blowouts. .oles have a tendency to deviate, particularly when being drilled through inclined strata. $here are several instruments to detect crooked holes and control the operating procedures. ,ecording instruments are available to measure the angle of deviation during the operation by either dropping them into the drill stem or running them into the pipe on a wire line. Deviations can be corrected by using special equipment called whipstocks, which maintain the lower end of the stem rigid until the hole is established in the desired direction. >igure 13 shows the equipment and procedure used. "n >igure 13*a+, the whipstock is placed in position. "n >igure 13*b+, a short length of deviated hole is drilled. "n >igure 13*c+, the whipstock is pulled. "n >igure 13*d+, the deviated hole is reamed, and drilling is eventually continued.


,ig*re 14 Direc iona& Dri&&ing


Learning Mo)*&e? 0-:9419<890; PTDR 6001 'e&.9Te" @ Prin 'e&.9Te" A Direc ion"? 1. 2. nswer the following questions. )ompare your answers to the enclosed answer key. "f you disagree with any of the answers, review learning activities and4or check with your instructor. "f no problems arise, continue on to the ne#t ob!ective or ne#t e#amination. contract, which allows a well to be drilled, is called a EEEEEEEEEEEEE. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE operation is formed when more than one company has rights to a given field.

3. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE drilling is a pounding or percussion method of making a well bore. 4. /orehole casing is EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE in place. 1. .oisting, circulating and rotating are functions, which are performed by a EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. :. 8. drilling rig that can lay down the mast in one piece is called a EEEEEEEEEEEEEE. standard derrick must be EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE before moving the rig.

5. $he main hoisting mechanism on a drilling rig is called the EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. 9. EEEEEEEEEEE bits are used for drilling in soft formations such as sandstone or shale. 17. $he EEEEEEEEEEE component of a drilling rig consists of drill collars, drill pipe and a kelly. 11. $he sturdy, heavy pipe connected to the drill bit is called a EEEEEEEEEEEEEE. 12. $he circulating fluid used on a rotary drilling rig is called EEEEEEEEEEE, occasionally EEEEEE or EEEEEEE may be substituted. 13. $wo large bore valves called EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE are used to stop the drilling fluid from being forced out of the well bore if over pressuring accidentally occurs.


Learning Mo)*&e? 0-:9419<890; PTDR 6001 An"3er G*i)e 1. mineral lease 2. uniti2ed 3. )able tool 4. cemented 1. rotary drilling rig :. !ackknife rig 8. dismantled 5. drawworks 9. >ish?tail 17. drill stem 11. drill collar 12. drilling mud, air, gas 13. blowout preventers

Learning Mo)*&e? 0-:9419<890; PTDR 6001 A""ign+en @ Prin A""ign+en A 1. 6hat information must be known by the engineer before he commences drilling for oil or gasF 2. 3#plain the cable method of drilling. 3. &ame the string of tools, as used in the above method, in their proper sequence. 4. Define in your own words( a. rig b. casing c. control head

d. spudding in 1. 6ould you consider the rotary type of drilling more efficient and reliable than the cable methodF Discuss the main points of difference between the two methods. :. 3#plain the reasons for using drilling fluid in rotary drilling operations. 8. -utline the safety equipment in rotary drilling and measures taken to safeguard property and life.