Archive for the ‘Drill string’ Tag

Top Drive   18 comments

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.

Posted November 21, 2012 by rigmover in My Work

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Drill String   14 comments

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.

Posted November 20, 2012 by rigmover in My Work

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