Semiautomatic Power-Operated Drilling Machinery
- Martin E. True (Humble Oil & Refining Co.) | Bert L. Stone (Consulting Engineer)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- February 1949
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 27 - 32
- 1949. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 2 Well Completion, 1.10 Drilling Equipment, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 1.6 Drilling Operations
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To cope with the problems encountered when drilling at greater depths and toreduce the amount of physical effort required on the part of drilling crews inmaking round trips, a new type of semiautomatic power-operated drillingmachinery has been developed which permits round trips to be made without thedrill pipe being touched by hand. This equipment consists of hydraulicallyoperated tongs which perform the stabbing, spinning, and tonging operations,and two power-operated racking units mounted in the derrick for carrying thepipe to and from the center of the hole and positioning it on the mat and inthe rack. With this equipment all of the operations of the various units arecontrolled remotely by manipulation of hydraulic valve levers and electricswitches.
As horsepower rises to meet the demand for deeper drilling, it is necessaryto increase the weight of surface drilling equipment. Also, the duration ofrepetitive operations in making round trips to change bits is greatly increasedwith depth. Harder formations encountered at greater depths reduce bit liferapidly, resulting in more frequent round trips and in some instances more timeis consumed in changing bits than in drilling.
Since the introduction of the first rotary employed to drill for oil in 1895there has been relatively little change in the general procedure for making up,breaking out, stabbing, and racking drill pipe in making round trips to changebits. The conventional method of making round trips with the drill piperequires that drilling crews lend strenuous physical assistance to manuallyoperated tools.
Although many new devices have been developed to improve efficiency,increase speed of making round trips, improve safety, and reduce the amount ofphysical effort required in handling drill pipe, it is considered a vitalnecessity to substitute automatic or semiautomatic power-operated machinery formany of our more or less manual operations if extremely deep drilling is to becarried out successfully on a production basis in the same manner as ourshallower drilling of today.
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