Oil Rigs and How They Work

Oil Rigs and How They Work

Have you ever wondered how oil is being pumped out from the ground? Or, how oil companies locate these oils in the first place? You may have seen in the movies black crude oil spurting out of the ground, pumping out freely from the ground to the top. However, oil production in the modern day that we live in today, is very different from what you can see in the films.

How is oil formed?

Oil can be found in many areas around the world, and Australia is one of the countries that is abundant with oil. Drilling rigs Australia is a huge and significant industry for many years now. Oil is a fossil fuel that is formed from the remains of plants and animals. Many of these fossils were organisms called plankton that died some 10 million to 600 million years ago in the ancient seas. These dead organisms then sank down into the seabed and the mud that is located at the bottom of the sea. With little to no oxygen present, they decay in layers over the decades.

The remains become carbon-rich compounds, forming an organic layer later on, which is a mixture of sediments made out of fine-grained rock and shale. Over the years, heat and pressure helped in the distillation of this compound into its current form today, which is a natural gas and crude oil.

This oil then flows and further accumulated into a more porous and thicker substance in a form of sandstone and limestone sipping deep within the earth’s crust. This is called the reservoir rock. Natural movements within the earth aided in trapping this natural oil within the rocks in between the layers of the earth’s crust called cap rock, which is comprised of marble or granite.

Oil Drilling

An oil company selects a certain area for drilling. Geologists then survey the area to determine the quantity and quality of the oil in the reservoir. Environmental studies will be conducted if necessary. Trees or shrubs in the area will be cleared off and the land will be leveled. Roads will also be built for accessibility. Water is essential in drilling, so there must be a source of water nearby. If the area does not have a natural source of water, then a water well will have to be made. A reserve pit will also be dug to be used as an area where heavy rocks and drilling mug will be disposed. All throughout the process of drilling, this pot will be used. The hole will be lined with plastic for environmental safety.

An oil drilling rig system comprises of many distinct components that together can make oil drilling possible. The power system of the drill rig system is made up of huge diesel engines, mechanical structures, electrical generators, hoisting systems, a turntable, and a rotating equipment. The diesel fuel oil are burnt by the diesel engines, which provides the main source of power. Powered by the diesel engine, the generators provide electrical power to the workers. The drilling process will continue as long as there is abundance of oil.

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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!