This article is about the onshore oil rig. For offshore oil rig, see Oil platform. A drilling rig is a machine that creates holes in the earth’s subsurface. Drilling rigs can be massive structures housing equipment used to drill water wells, oil wells, or dating oil rig workers gas extraction wells, or they can be small enough to be moved manually by one person and such are called augers.
Small to medium-sized drilling rigs are mobile, such as those used in mineral exploration drilling, blast-hole, water wells and environmental investigations. Antique drilling rig now on display at Western History Museum in Lingle, Wyoming. It was used to drill many water wells in that area—many of those wells are still in use. Until internal combustion engines were developed in the late 19th century, the main method for drilling rock was muscle power of man or animal.
Oil and natural gas drilling rigs are used not only to identify geologic reservoirs but also to create holes that allow the extraction of oil or natural gas from those reservoirs. Mining drilling rigs are used for two main purposes, exploration drilling which aims to identify the location and quality of a mineral, and production drilling, used in the production-cycle for mining. In early oil exploration, drilling rigs were semi-permanent in nature and the derricks were often built on site and left in place after the completion of the well. In more recent times drilling rigs are expensive custom-built machines that can be moved from well to well. Some light duty drilling rigs are like a mobile crane and are more usually used to drill water wells. Larger land rigs must be broken apart into sections and loads to move to a new place, a process which can often take weeks.
Small mobile drilling rigs are also used to drill or bore piles. These rigs use the same technology and equipment as the oil drilling rigs, just on a smaller scale. The drilling mechanisms outlined below differ mechanically in terms of the machinery used, but also in terms of the method by which drill cuttings are removed from the cutting face of the drill and returned to surface. There are many types and designs of drilling rigs, with many drilling rigs capable of switching or combining different drilling technologies as needed. Rigs are differentiated by height based on how many connected pipe they are able to “stand” in the derrick when needing to temporarily remove the drill pipe from the hole.
Typically this is done when changing a drill bit or when “logging” the well. Single — can pull only single drill pipes. The presence or absence of vertical pipe racking “fingers” varies from rig to rig. Double — can hold a stand of pipe in the derrick consisting of two connected drill pipes, called a “double stand”. Triple — can hold a stand of pipe in the derrick consisting of three connected drill pipes, called a “triple stand”. Quadri — can store stand of pipe in the derrick composed of four connected drill pipes, called a “quadri stand” very rare. Top drive — rotation and circulation is done at the top of the drill string, on a motor that moves in a track along the derrick this is the most common in modern rigs.
The direction is controlled by wireless controller to drill the hole in any way that the driller requires. This is the future of drilling. There are a variety of drilling techniques which can be used to drill a borehole into the ground. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, in terms of the depth to what it can drill, the type of sample returned, the costs involved and penetration rates achieved. Some types included are Rotary cut, Rotary Abrasive, Rotary Reverse, Cable Tooling, and Sonic Drilling. Auger drilling is restricted to generally soft unconsolidated material or weak weathered rock. RAB drilling is used most frequently in the mineral exploration industry.
This tool is also known as a Down-the-hole drill. The drill uses a pneumatic reciprocating piston-driven “hammer” to energetically drive a heavy drill bit into the rock. 20 mm thick tungsten rods protruding from the steel matrix as “buttons”. The tungsten buttons are the cutting face of the bit.