A couple of weeks ago, we wrote a blog post about the rig upgrades we have underway to tackle west Texas’ long lateral wells. In addition to increasing mud pump capabilities, adding generators, and expanding racking capacities, we’re also modifying our rigs to drill more efficiently in response to low commodity prices.
We’re sure you’ve heard the phrases “faster than the speed of light” or “as swift as an eagle”. But, in our opinion, these figures of speech don’t even begin to describe the speed at which the crew, full of heart and hustle on Rig 137, drilled their last three wells in the Eagle Ford Shale in Texas.
A Derrickhand stands on a rig 90 feet up into the sky. From there, he aligns pipes and directs them from the racking board fingers to the top drive, and vice versa.
The work is intensely physical, and there are always safety concerns, as well.
That’s why Trinidad Drilling is moving to an automated pipe-handling system on the derrick. It’s an exciting new development, both for safety and efficiency, and Trinidad has been testing it for about a year.
With the new system, the Derrickhand is comfortably inside the doghouse, instead of up on the monkeyboard. Instead of manually handling the pipes, he’s controlling them with a machine that carries out multiple functions automatically.
When people think of engineering marvels, they usually think of bridges and dams. Drilling rigs may not be as visible to the public, but achievements in the design and manufacturing of these machines deserve some of the accolades, too.
“As we go forward, drilling processes are getting more complicated – there is more equipment and bigger equipment involved,” explained Darren Self, one of Trinidad’s Mechanical Design Engineers. “As you start adding more equipment to existing rig designs, space becomes an issue.” Continue reading →
And for McVey, drilling controls are located on a cyber chair that looks like it would be at home on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise.
“Trinidad has given me the training and opportunities to work with the kind of advanced technology that most rig hands don’t get to work with their entire career,” said McVey, who started with Trinidad three years ago on Rig 57, a sophisticated machine in its own right.
We published other blog posts about Rig 58 while it was being built, but it’s been a few months since the nearly 60-metre-tall rig hit the field to drill natural gas in the Liard Basin in northern B.C., so now we want to give you a look at what it’s like to be at the helm of one of the largest rigs in North America. Continue reading →
Trinidad’s rigs stand out. Literally. Trinidad Rig 58, pictured here, is nearly 60-metres high and is one of the largest rigs in North America. But our strength as a drilling contractor is not just about size. It’s about the performance of our rigs in the field.