Trinidad Drilling

Rig speak 101: It’s all about the mud

On a rig, mud does a lot more than land on your coveralls. The mud that circulates through a well bore is instrumental to oil and gas drilling.

In last week’s blog post, we gave you a look at a day in the life of a Derrickhand. The Derrickhand’s responsibilities include maintaining the rig’s mud systems and mud properties. This week, we want to give newcomers to the drilling business a guide to the sophisticated world of mud!

What role does mud play in the drilling process?

When a hole is being drilled, drilling fluids or “mud” is circulated through the well bore. This mud performs many functions including:

  • Bringing “cuttings” to the surface (cuttings are fragments of rock dislodged by the bit)
  • Cooling and lubricating the drill bit
  • Controlling pressure
  • Stabilizing the hole

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A day in the life of a Derrickhand with Trinidad Drilling

Trinidad DrillingOf all the crew members on a rig, the Derrickhand position is probably the most well known because the Derrickhand climbs the rig’s derrick to work on a platform usually 25 metres above the rig floor.

“I’m the guy who has to put the belt on. Anytime there is something (to be done) up high, I put the belt on and go up the derrick,” said Larince Yewchuk, a Derrickhand on Trinidad Rig 2, referring to the safety harness Trinidad’s hands must wear while working at a height over three metres.

Yewchuk, whose rig operates mostly in southern Alberta, talked to us about what it is like to be a Derrickhand. Continue reading