There are many different types of drilling rigs. Which rig selected depends on the specific requirements of each drill site. Roll your mouse over each picture to see what kind of rig it is.
Land Based Drilling Rigs - The land-based drilling rig is the most common type used for exploration. This site is using a conventional, land-based drilling rig that is smaller and more efficient than those used in the past.
Slim Hole Drilling Rig - A conventional drill bore might be 18 inches in diameter; a slimhole bore can be as little as 6 inches. A slimhole well drilled to 14,760 feet may produce one-third the amount of rock cuttings generated by a standard well. The size of the drill site can be as much as 75 percent smaller, since slimhole equipment requires less space than conventional equipment. However, slimhole drilling is not technically feasible in all environments.
Coiled Tubing Drill Rig - Conventional wells are drilled using sections of rigid pipe to form the drill string. In some cases, coiled tubing technology can replace the typical drill string with a continuous length of pipe stored on a large spool. This approach has many benefits, including reduced drilling waste and minimized equipment footprints, so it is especially useful in environmentally sensitive areas. This technology is best suited to re-entering existing wells, and when multiple casing wells are unnecessary.
Jackup Drill Rigs – These rigs may be used in relatively shallow water -- less than 300 feet deep. A jackup rig is a floating barge containing the drilling structure that is outfitted with long support legs that can be raised or lowered independently of each other. The jackup, as it is known informally, is towed onto location with its legs up and the barge section floating on the water. Once at the drilling location, the legs are jacked down onto the seafloor, and then all three legs are jacked further down. Since the legs will not penetrate the seafloor, continued jacking down of the legs raises the jacking mechanism attached to the barge and drilling package, and slowly lifts the entire barge and drilling structure to a predetermined height above the water. These rigs are extremely strong, since they have to withstand ocean storms and high waves. These rigs are moved by simply by moving the legs up and down, which makes them cost-effective and easily shifted out of harm's way during storms.
Semi-Submersible Rigs – Drilling in water deeper than 300 feet demands some kind of floating platform to hold the rig. Semi-submersible rigs are floating vessels supported on large pontoon-like structures that are submerged below the sea surface. As with jackup rigs, the operating decks are elevated as much as 100 or more feet above the pontoons on large steel columns. This design has the advantage of submerging most of the area of components in contact with the sea and minimizing loading from waves and wind. Semisubmersibles can operate in a wide range of water depths, including deep water. Semi-submersibles can either be attached to the ocean bottom using strong chains and wire cables or may utilize dynamic positioning to remain stationary during drilling without anchors.
Drill Ship - For exploration targets farther offshore, specially designed rigs mounted on ships can drill a well in water depths up to 10,000 feet. These rigs float and can be attached to the ocean bottom using traditional mooring and anchoring systems, or utilize dynamic positioning to remain stationary during drilling without anchors.»next