Following the oil price collapse in the 1980’s the rotary rig count plummeted
from a high of nearly 4,000 rigs in 1981 to a low of about 600 rigs in 1999.
Over 500,000 oilfield personnel lost their jobs during the 1980’s.
The big rigs were cut up first because
there was no market for rigs capable
of drilling to great depths.
The experienced hands were forced
to try to build new lives- most
swore never to return.
2005: It is the survivors who the burden falls upon.
Floyd, Toolpusher, 71 Bob, Geologist, 75
Who will take their place?
Rig 22 survived the cutting torch
but lay in the grass for
Most rigs that are capable of
drilling are active now.
There is essentially no more
rigs to be had.
There’s no stopping for weather. Kelly up, stay on bottom drilling.
Time is money at $21 per minute rig time. Drilling is a 24 hour operation.
Mother Nature dishes it out below the surface too. Turning a $30,000 Bit...
Multiwell pads was one of the original applications for directional drilling. Now it is used
to reduce the “footprint” of oil and gas development. Otherwise four times the surface
disturbance would be required for the above example.
The Business End
Mud motors use the pumped drilling fluid to turn a shaft and in turn the
bit that is screwed into the end of the motor.
The only thing rotating during directional steering is the bit.
Gamma Probe with
Sodium Iodide Sensor
Measurement While Drilling (MWD)
provides surveys of the well bore location,
along with measuring the relative gamma
radiation of the rock formations being drilled.
Before MWD, tools were lowered by wireline-
very time consuming and impractical for
Positive pressure pulses generated by the MWD Tool is interpreted by surface
computers into 1’s and 0’s - binary code. It is further translated into Tool Face
Inclination, Azimuth, and Gamma radiation counts.
Our future is an energy world of complementing technology.
We must use this time and oil resources wisely.
There will be no second chance.
Vintage oilfield photography: Human Interest Library, Books Inc. 1928
Rig Count, Baker Hughes Inc.
Positive Pulse Detection, Sperry Drilling Services/ Halliburton Energy Services
Mudlog, Location Sample Service, Jackson, Ms
Pore Pressure Prediction, Quad Mudlogging, Lafayette, LA
Landing, Tooke Rockies, Inc., Dickinson, North Dakota
Horizontal Profile, Lon Willer Consulting, Sidney, Montana
“The Rod” courtesy of Bridgid Nelson. Thank you Bridgid.
Solar Rig, Vulcan Solar Systems, Lafayette, LA
This presentation is dedicated in memory of Darryl Richard.