Drilling tools and techniques have constantly evolved in the past fifty years. Today, most oil and gas production and exploration companies use advanced and modern drilling tools and techniques to extract oil and gas from the harshest and most inaccessible regions. This blog post will cover them in detail.
Here are some drilling tools you should know:
Rotary drilling is one of the most common forms of drilling globally. It’s suitable for wells over 3000 feet deep. You’ll need to build a 40-meter tall tower to support the equipment configuration for rotary drilling, which involves a motor, rotary table, and a drill bit. This tower is responsible for ensuring drilling occurs properly. Rotary drilling requires fluid-controlling equipment to raise gravel to the surface and ensure pressure differential within the equilibrium. The fluid-controlling equipment is also connected to the system to prevent blowouts and can send fluid pressure to control the formation’s pressure.
Rotary drillings are renowned for their versatility, making them popular with oil and gas exploration companies. They can drill in any rock formation with a few adjustments and operate at speeds of 40 to 250 rpm.
Percussion drilling is primarily used for unconsolidated formations. Oil and gas exploration companies will use percussion drilling to build wells that aren’t deeper than 30 meters. Percussion drilling is one of the oldest known drilling methods and involves using a hard and heavy bar with a drill bit tip to dig into the soil. The drill bit tip collides against the soil, causing the gravel to shrink with assistance from a bailer. The percussion drilling structure is a tripod, making it capable of supporting its weight. The drilling process is performed using cables. Maintaining the borehole’s stability is often a concern. As a result, oil and gas exploration companies will use an OCTG casing to ensure it doesn’t collapse. The casing also isolates the procedure.
Drilling rigs became a reality to ensure offshore drilling could happen. Numerous geological studies in the early 20th century showed significant oil and gas reserves offshore, prompting oil and gas extraction companies to ponder how to access them. Eventually, in 1947, the world’s first offshore oil rig was developed in the Gulf of Mexico by Kerr-McGee.
Drilling rigs often use boats to maneuver. However, some are anchored to the ocean bed to ensure stability during drilling activities. Most offshore drilling rigs use a rotary table, but many others have also been developed, including self-elevating and fixed platforms, semi-submersible platforms, and drillships.
Directional drilling rigs stem from rotary table rigs but have different configurations. For instance, directional drilling rigs use a bottom motor to control the drill bit’s direction. In addition, they use a manual or digital control system to determine the drill bit’s positioning and inclination.
Directional drilling rigs were created to build oriented wells. As a result, they can create several wellbores from a single location, resulting in a lower environmental impact. Directional drilling rigs also lower costs for oil and gas exploration and production companies. They also thrive at exploiting reservoirs, making them ideal for marine stations.
Electro drilling is similar to rotary drilling, except it uses electric motors instead of combustion engines. This distinction causes a change in the type of control of the drilling.
Electro drilling is primarily used in Nordic and Asian nations because it provides several benefits like hydraulic drilling rigs and applies to high-pressure, high-temperature conditions. However, it’s important to note that these drilling rigs need significant maintenance.
Drilling techniques vary depending on the location and challenge. Selecting the right drilling rig is easier said than done. The correct choice of the drilling rig, bit, location, and other factors is the starting point for oil and gas exploration and production techniques. Understanding the conditions of different formations is also crucial and informs drilling techniques.
Drilling Over Balance
Drilling over balance is the most common technique. It involves using drilling fluids with optimal features to enhance the hydrostatic pressure. Doing so prompts liquid columns in the sidewalls to overcome by over 15 percent. It ensures that fluids found in the formations don’t enter the well.
This drilling technique also prevents bursts in places where pressure forms in formation. This technique also helps develop whitewash on the sidewalls, which helps ensure concurrency when doing area cleaning do-overs.
Drilling over balance is used for all sorts of formations, ranging from soft to extra hard.
Drilling Under Balance
Drilling under balance is primarily used for consolidated formations. This technique employs a hydrostatic pressure similar to the formation. You’ll have to use the least amount of pressure where there’s functional balance. Doing so allows the sidewalls to maintain their balance and prevents the formation of fluids from entering the wellbore.
Using this technique requires expert knowledge about the formation, including the behavior of the shale. Once you’ve achieved functional balance, you’ll reap the benefits of using this technique, as densifying material expenses will decrease. This technique will also prevent operational problems, like pipe pegs, area cleaning do-overs, and cave creations.
Drilling under balance isn’t generally used for oil wells construction because it’s dangerous. However, it’s used to drill the target area.
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