Classifications of Drilling Rigs

Classifications of Drilling Rigs

Drilling rigs are large structures that house the equipment for drilling an oil well. Drilling rigs can be offshore or land based. Offshore rigs handle drilling on the ocean floor while land based handle drilling that is done on land.

These structures can also be used in the construction industry where strong foundations are required. Examples of these include roadbed, building foundation, bridges and airports constructions. Mining and water drilling can also make use of drilling rigs.

You’ll find several different types of drilling rigs, and you choose according to the work to be accomplished. Understanding how these structures work can help you make a sound choice. Here are the classifications of drilling rigs according to various factors and attributes.

According to Power

You can determine the type of a drilling rig by the kind of power it uses. Mechanical drilling rigs have diesel engines that provide power to its clutches, transmissions, and torque converters. There are also electrical rigs that are propelled using electric motors. These machineries can generate power on site through internal combustion engines. Steam rigs use engines and pumps that are powered by steam. Other types include hydraulic rigs that use hydraulic power, and the ones powered by pressurized air are called pneumatic rigs.

According to Drilling Method

Drilling rigs can be non-rotational and direct push rigs. Non-rotational rigs are most common among service rigs. Rotary table rigs rotate by turning a square pipe or sometimes hexagonal at the floor level of the drill. Top drive rigs, on the other hand, have the rotation done at the top part of the drill. Another type of rig that use rotation force are the hammer rigs.

According to Pipe

Some rigs use cables to raise and drop drill bits while conventional rigs use plastic or metal drill pipes. Other rigs use giant tube coils and down hole-drilling motors.

According to Derrick Position

The positioning of the derrick on the equipment is also used to categorized drilling rigs. Conventional rigs have the derrick in a vertical position while slant rigs have the derrick in a slanted position at a 25-degree angle.

According to Height

Drilling rigs can also be classified according to height in instances when temporarily removing drill pipes from the hole. It will be based on how many connected pipes are in the derrick.


Whatever you need drilling rigs for, always make sure you select the best for the workload. Take your time to understand the ins and outs of these structures and equipment, so you can be familiar with the different options out there. Knowing the classifications of drilling rigs helps you choose the best drilling rig.

If you need more help about drilling and all the necessary equipment needed, we can help you. Contact us today and get on with your drilling in no time!

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