Spotlight on technology: Rigs that can really move

Trinidad Rig 58 being built in Nisku, Alta.
Trinidad Rig 58 being built in Nisku, Alta.

Our “Spotlight on technology” blog series is all about innovations that are improving the way we drill oil and gas wells, but this post isn’t so much about what happens while drilling as what happens in-between wells. We’re talking about rig moving systems.

“Moving systems are continually increasing in functionality, ease of use and scope of application,” said Darren Self, a Design Engineer with Trinidad Design & Manufacturing.

Self walked us through some of what’s new with moving systems built for multi-well pad drilling.

Rig mobility and the benefits of pad drilling 

Advancements in technology and drilling methods have helped pad drilling become extremely popular in the oil and gas industry. What’s pad drilling? Basically, it’s when multiple horizontal wells are drilled from one pad location.

Integrated moving systems on rigs help make pad drilling more efficient because rigs can be moved between wells in hours rather than days and without the use of trucks. Before this advancement, a rig would have to be disassembled and reassembled each time it moved between wells.

Rigs are getting even more mobile

Just like most technologies, rig moving systems are continuously improving.

Trinidad uses a jack-and-roll moving system under the rig centerpiece of its current rig products. With this system, the centerpiece can move front to back, side to side and rotate in place.

Self explained that on two of the newest rigs in our Canadian fleet, Rig 57 and Rig 58, integrated moving systems were added to their “backyards,” so they can be moved with the centerpiece. How does this work? The backyard (drilling speak for the equipment used for operations such as power generation, control, mud storage and pumping) was built as a stacked arrangement of skids and tanks on top of a base structure housing the moving system.

“Having the backyard move with the centerpiece improves efficiency because it allows a longer string of wells to be drilled without needing to reconfigure the equipment that supplies fluid and electrical to the rig,” said Self, who added that smaller, standalone systems have been created to move individual buildings and equipment.

So, what’s the advantage of all this technology?

“On any multi-well pad, integrated moving systems offer significant benefits in terms of time, safety, labour and reduced opportunity for handling damage (to the rig),” Self stated.

Trinidad Drilling and technology

At Trinidad, we’re always looking for ways to make drilling more efficient for our customers. That’s why 84 per cent of Trinidad’s fleet is made up of high performance, high-mobility rigs with advanced drilling controls.

Learn more about the technology we’re using on our rigs.

Check out other posts in our “Spotlight on technology” series.

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