Drilling advances ///

Last month, I was privileged to attend a course on materials and corrosion provided by a major oil company. In this course, we were taught about processes by which corrosion occurs and how to combat each by the proper selection of materials in all areas of a well. Probably the most interesting aspect of the study involved long-term use of the wellbore. Most of us design for current conditions of pressure, temperature, fluid and gas analysis and production. However, when a well is designed, one must consider the complete lifecycle of the well. It became apparent that the same questions could be asked of a drilling rig design. Will this rig always be drilling shallow Spraberry wells in West Texas? Is there a reason to build it with a taller substructure, so a rotating head can be installed under the rotary beams? Are the pumps and mud tanks good enough to handle oil-based mud? Some drilling rigs are designed properly with engines sturdy and powerful enough to deal with a variety of conditions demanded by current and future use.

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