You may be the type who loves big machinery and of all the equipment that comes with it. If you look at the heavy industries out there and think about which ones are the most impressive – oil drilling rigs must spring to mind! They are used to access minerals deep within the earth's crust. But they also have many other important uses that you may not have been aware of. Here is a quick guide to everything that you need to know about drilling rigs.
What Are They?
Essentially, a drilling rig is a man operated machine that is used to create large holes in the ground. They are used in the oil industry but also are employed for drilling water wells, extracting natural gases and for many other activities. They come in all sizes and can be operated by a single person or by over one thousand. Some rigs are mobile; they are transported by everyday vehicles such as trucks or trailers. The massive marine-based oil rigs are usually based offshore as a permanent structure.
The Oil Drilling Rigs
These are used to gain access to the earth's core and are capable of drilling thousands of meters into the seemingly inaccessible surface. Usually when the oil source has been accessed and positively identified, the drilling rig will be relocated elsewhere. This is when the smaller 'service-rig' is brought into play and it is used to pump the oil up to the surface. The huge drilling rig will be used again and again in a similar 'search and identify' project.
The drilling rigs that are used to drill water are much smaller than their oily cousins. They are portable and can be moved around easily using specialized trailers. Anybody can commission a water well drilling rig and often they are used by farmers trying to find a new source for their crops. Another use for these diminutive rigs is in developing countries which are in dire need of water. Missionaries are amongst the workforces who are eager to assist the local people with their water shortage issues. Despite the small size of the drill pipe, about 3 meters, the drills are able to access nearly two hundred and fifty meters under the surface. Another handy aspect of these drills is the fact that they can be packed up and sent overseas easily.
Drill Rig History
Before the drills came into existence, people used to turn the drills manually or use mules for powering the action. The Chinese developed the rope and drop method and this was support by a bamboo drilling platform. They could access depths of nearly five thousand feet and were still in use until the nineteen sixties. Eventually the technology improved and by the nineteen seventies we had a pneumatic power option. This enabled the drills to access much deeper areas and enabled them to get to the oil much faster than before. Reverse Circulation drills were the way ahead and since their development, drilling has not really evolved whatsoever. As they say in the movies – 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it!'
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