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 →
Erika Rocha, Trinidad Drilling’s Canadian HSE Compliance Manager, started working in the oil and gas industry almost 12 years ago because she was living in Fort St. John, B.C., and there weren’t a lot of other career choices. But Rocha has stayed because, it turns out, she loves the work.
“I’ve been able to understand and learn so many things within the industry, including manufacturing and drilling. I love the challenge. I love how you can learn something new every day and have the opportunity to be creative within the job,” said Rocha, who works out of our Canadian drilling offices in Nisku, Alta., and has been part of Trinidad’s safety team for six years.
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.
“It’s overwhelming to see the effort of so many produce a rig of this magnitude, with all of its bells and whistles.” – John Glunz, Rig Manager.
“I am honoured to be a part of a project of such technical focus,” said John Glunz, one of the Rig Managers who’ll be in charge of Rig 58. “It’s overwhelming to see the effort of so many produce a rig of this magnitude, with all of its bells and whistles.”
Rig 58, one of Trinidad’s newest rigs, is being built to reach depths over 8,000 metres and will drill natural gas in the Liard Basin, an area being developed to supply proposed LNG (liquefied natural gas) plants on the west coast of British Columbia.
“This rig will attract some elite work in the drilling field. Its size and capabilities are second to none,” said Glunz, who has been in the drilling business for 26 years, 16 of those as a Rig Manager. “I don’t foresee a big turnover in rig workers, as the rig design and long term steady work are a huge attraction.” Continue reading →