What is an AC rig?

AC rig

If you’ve followed along on our blog and social media channels, you’re probably familiar with AC rigs by now – after all, we’re pretty proud of our fleet. But what exactly are they?

Wayne Kuzio, Canadian Senior Field Superintendent here at Trinidad, and the Canadian rig managers worked together to provide us with the details.

Craig Barker, a Relief Rig Manager from rig 56, put it very clearly: “Control…it is all about control.” So what does that mean to the rest of us?

The “AC” in AC rig stands for “alternating current” – meaning that the electric current that powers the rig frequently reverses direction. The programmability of AC rigs gives more control and accuracy than direct current (DC) or mechanical drives. If you need to make ultra-fine adjustments to optimize drilling operations, AC rigs are the way to go.

Keep reading to discover four surprising benefits of AC rigs:

  1. They’re safer. Wells are pushed to new limits every day. The electric operating systems of an AC rig allows for better accuracy and more control. This is obviously ideal from a performance standpoint, but it also results in a safer work environment. Less rotating equipment plus smoother operation equals less safety incidents.
  1. They save time. Along with being safer, AC rigs are also more time effective than conventional rigs. When it comes to drilling, AC rigs, combined with the right crew, can get the job done in a fraction of the time it takes older rigs. The programming options available to AC rigs can minimize human error, reducing unnecessary damage to equipment and wells – which means less downtime, too.
  1. They’re easier on the environment. Thanks to their updated technology, AC rigs consume less fuel than conventional rigs. Plus, better controls allow drillers to drill longer production sections. This results in fewer wells for the same production, improving customers’ economics and further lessening the environmental impact.
  1. They’re the “Cadillac of rigs”. Across the board, AC rigs are preferred by drillers. They’re especially useful in deep, high-pressure and high-temperature wells – any situation where performance and control are of the upmost importance. While some rig managers prefer older-style rigs in jarring situations, there’s basically no well to which AC rigs can’t adapt.

If you are interested in learning more about Trinidad’s AC rigs, check out some of our other blog posts!

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