A Beginner’s Guide to Oil Drilling Equipment

Oil is easily among the most essential raw materials as it is a major energy source throughout the world. Many of the things we use in our everyday life are made from oil or gas, and the oil and gas industry provides jobs for millions of people. This makes the oil and gas industry an important one. 

Whether you are thinking of taking an oil and gas course or just curious about this important industry, you should know about the driving force of the industry – the drilling equipment. The extraction of oil from the earth is possible thanks to drilling equipment.

Drill rigs are highly-complex machinery made of several components. This article provides an overview of the most important drilling equipment used in the oil and gas industry.

  1. Mast

The mast is one of the most important parts of a drilling setup that supports the drilling equipment and allows it to be lifted into and out of the oil well. Masts are very similar to derricks except that they are pre-assembled and mounted on a frame. Derricks, on the other hand, are designed to be anchored to the corners of a substructure. 

There are four different types of masts, namely cantilevered masts, bootstrap masts, telescopic masts, and folding masts. Cantilevered masts are the most popular type of mast due to their ease of transport and rigging. Folding masts are ideal for export and long-distance travel, while bootstrap masts are utilized when space is limited. 

  1. Drilling Generators

Oil wells are typically dug in difficult locations far away from civilization. As a result, there is a need for a power source to operate the drilling rig, and this is where drilling generators come in. Drilling generators typically use liquid fuel or natural gas as fuel.

You’ll be blown away by the number of drilling generators available, many of which are compatible with several drilling rigs. Even industry experts sometimes have a hard time choosing a combination of a generator and a rig. But many tend to prioritize adaptability, reliability, and the ability of a generator to use more than one type of fuel.

  1. Water Pump

All oil wells eventually produce water along with oil. This is not desirable as the water can cause corrosion, salt deposition, hydrocarbon (such as waxes) deposition, and gas hydrate formation. There is also the problem of having to dispose of the water. 

To deal with the inevitable coproduction of water, there is a need to use an artificial lift for oil and gas wells. Artificial lift is also used to bring oil to the surface by increasing the pressure within the reservoir, although some wells are capable of doing so without assistance. 

However, almost all oil wells in the United States require artificial lift, which is often used at the beginning of the oil extraction process. The two main ways of achieving artificial lift are gas lifts and pumping systems. 

  1. Shale Shakers

A Shale shaker is an important piece of drilling equipment that is used to separate cuttings (large solids) from the drilling fluids (also called the mud). This equipment can simply be referred to as a vibrating sieve that allows the liquid portion of the drilling fluid to pass through while large particles are retained. 

In the past, drilling rigs used to have only one of two shakers. However, that has changed in recent times as it’s now become commonplace to see four or more shakers in modern high-efficiency rigs. 

  1. Degassers

Some natural gas is produced with petroleum in an oil well and needs to be separated from the drilling fluid. This is achieved by degassers that remove hydrogen sulfide, methane, carbon dioxide, and other gases produced during the drilling process. 

Removing gases also increases on-site safety as the possibility of gas explosions is significantly reduced. Two main types of degassers are used in oil wells, and they include vacuum degassers and atmospheric degassers. Vacuum degassers directly remove gases from the mud, while atmospheric degassers spread the fluids across a surface to release trapped gasses. 

  1. Sand Pump

Different types of pumps are used during the oil drilling process. Sand pumps are one such pump, and they help to move deposits away from the drilling site. Usually, the drilling personnel put sand pumps in oil tanks that contain sand. By using a grooved surface, the pump is able to sand, and with the right modifications, the pumps can be used to move other materials. 

Thanks to sand pumps, the process of removing sand from oil sites is fast and efficient. Without them, we would need to remove sand through manual labor.

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