Archive for November 2012
Sorry I haven’t posted for a while, you see this guy has been keeping me busy, some of you may be aware that my wife is in NZ as part of her birthday, seeing family and friends.
Well the other day Archie decided to rip up the floor in our kitchen, this was laid only a month ago so I wasn’t too happy, now I thought I better get this sorted before my wife gets home because she will think it was me having raging parties, now I can’t tell you what I have done because I think my wife might look at this blog every now and then, but it has been a lot of hard work and i’m only half way through, but I think she will be pleased.
I’m now finished for today, it’s friday night, party time. Have a great weekend.
While up at Cholmondeley Castle earlier this year and exploring the castle I found my way to the roof, I couldn’t resist checking it out and grabbing a few shots.
Even way up here the attention to detail is amazing.
A row of chimneys gives you an idea how they kept the castle warm though out the winter months, before central heating.
A closer look reveals each chimney is numbered so as to aid in diagnostics if one or more become blocked.
Have a great weekend.
The Top Drive is used to rotate the drill string during the drilling process, the Top Drive is a large motor that is suspended from the derrick of the rig. They can boast at least 1,000 horsepower that turn a shaft to which the drill string is screwed. Replacing the traditional rotary table, the Top Drive lessens the manual labor involved in drilling, as well as many associated risks.
The Top Drive is suspended from a hook below the traveling block, the Top Drive is able to move up and down the derrick.
Chosen both for increased safety and efficiency.
A Top Drive is capable of drilling with three joints stands, instead of just one pipe at a time. Here you can see the 3 joints of drill pipe already connected together on the right of the photo. The large yellow tool to the right of the Top Drive will grab the section of drill pipe top and bottom, the Top Drive will then be lifted to the top of the derrick, this tool will then swivel the drill pipe 180 degrees, the Top Drive will then connect to the top of the drill pipe and screw it into the section of pipe being held at the drill floor, then it all will be lowered to the seabed.
Reducing risk and increasing safety during the drilling process, Top Drives remove much of the manual labor that was previously required to drill wells. On some rigs Top Drives are completely automated, offering rotational control and maximum torque, as well as control over the weight on the bit.
On an offshore rig,(as opposed to a land based rig) the Top Drive travels up and down the vertical rails to avoid the mechanism from swaying with the waves of the ocean.
I thought I would try a bit of show and tell, when on a rig I don’t spend time with the drilling crew as I’m more on the marine side of it, so I have had to pick up snippets of information when and where, i’ll try my best, but bits of information may be wrong, but you should get the general idea.
A drill string on a drilling rig is a column, or string, of drill pipe that transmits drilling fluid (via the mud pumps) and torque (via the top drive) to the drill bit. The term is loosely applied as the assembled collection of the drill pipe, drill collars, tools and drill bit. The drill string is hollow so that drilling fluid can be pumped down through it and circulated back up the annulus (the void between the drill string and the casing/open hole).
Here is some 30 foot lengths of drill pipe laying down on the deck of the rig, the black plastic caps on the end of each pipe are there to protect the thread, these are unscrewed and used again when the pipe is removed from the hole.
The pipe is laid down for transit as we don’t want the rig to be top heavy whilst under tow, once on location and all Anchors are deployed the drill pipe can be lifted up to the derrick and screwed together, normally 3 lengths in one stand as seen below, the drill pipe is on the left side of the derrick in stacks of 3 ready to be deployed by the Top Drive. (be warned I’ll be talking about that tomorrow)
On the business end of the drill pipe is the drill bit, this is rotated by the top drive, also each cutting head is rotated by high pressure mud being pumped down the hollow centre of the drill string.
Yes i know its not friday, I was traveling all day yesterday and sort of lost track of time/days.
We got off the rig Thursday lunch time, after landing at Haifa we got our ride to Tel Aviv, checked into the hotel, had a meeting in the foyer to decided if we should good to the gym and then a swim, or head up town to a bar we know on the beach front.
The taxi pulled up out side and the 85 year old driver asked where we wanted to go, after a three way conversation with us/driver and a member of the public I think we had it sorted, I don’t think the driver could see very well as he thought he was the only car on the road and the 30MPH signs said 70MPH. He spoke in Hebrew all the way, showing us markets and bus stations and other places of interest. (I think)
After watching the sunset (see pic) we found Mikes Place, located right next door to the American Embassy, after a nice greeting from the barman, three pints were ordered and we took a seat outside. A few more pints later we ordered dinner and just as it was arriving the air raid siren started, I wasn’t sure what it was at first until people off the street started to run inside, then it all seemed to go quiet, and then we heard the explosion, it was huge and you could feel it right through your body. Not long after the siren stopped and all was quiet and still.
That was one of the quickest dinner’s I’ve eaten in a long time, we decided to get the bill and leave, we weren’t sure being next to the American Embassy was a good thing or bad.
Things seemed to go back to normal very quickly, I suppose they have to when you live is this sort of environment, otherwise you would spend all your time in a bunker.
We found another bar and sheltered in there for the rest of the night. We found out later that the missile had landed near our hotel, so I think we made the right decision.
This is coming into land on a rig to drop off a passenger on our way to Haifa.
Just heading out of Haifa you pass a Martine Museum, I haven’t ben yet but it’s on my list, this is a German U-Boat.
Sunset over Tel Aviv
A nice bit of Art-Deco. (I think).
The weather in the Med this time of year never fails to amaze me, lunch time today I was walking around the helideck with my shirt off (not a pretty sight) listening to music, I had to keep an eye on the time because I didn’t want to get my slap head burnt, now eight hours later we are WOW (Waiting On Weather).
This is the storm front on the radar.
So again I venture outside to try and get a shot of lightning before the rain hits us.
This is the result, again shot hand held, with ISO set to 500.
When offshore we need supplies, and lots of them, from spare parts to food, fuel and water.
All of this stuff is brought out by boat, during rig move operations we can’t get supply boats in because the rig may suddenly move if an anchor is lifted, or a AHV puts on a bit to much power, so we can get short of stuff, like ice cream, and that is not good. So as soon as the move is finished in they come, sometimes one on either side of the rig and both cranes working overtime, anything to get that ‘double chocolate ripple’ onboard.
Here is an small anchor handler being used as a supply boat, in the North Sea we use purpose built very large supply boats.
Zoom in a bit closer and you can see some of the gear that needs to be lifted off.
Zoom in even closer and check out the guy chilling under the sun umbrella, cool…………hang on he’s eating our bloody ice cream!
Well I managed to get off one rig, had a night in Tel Aviv and then straight back out to another, at least this one has slightly better wifi.
Short flight out, this is us leaving, it’s from an active military base so no photography allowed, so of course I had to take a snap.
Then I saw our escort and wished I hadn’t.
On the way we flew over another rig, this is a DP (dynamic positioning) rig, meaning it does not use anchors to stay on location, instead it uses large thrusters and satellite positioning (GPS), no good for us, our job is to put down anchors, luckily there is not a lot of them as they are expensive to run, about half a million dollars a day.