Energy Excursions

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Rig Equipment and Drilling Fluids

Now we will take a look at the drilling interactive to learn more about the drilling/drill rig technologies associated with drilling mud/drilling fluids. Open the Drilling Interactive and follow the instructions below.

Locate the mud tank/pit. 

What is the purpose of the mud tank/pit?

A tank/pit where mud is pumped out of the wellbore

Incorrect. 

A tank/pit that collects clay to mix into mud

Incorrect. 

A tank/pit where drilling mud is stored, mixed, and recycled to be reused

Correct. 

Locate the mud mixer. This is where it all begins.

What two components does drilling mud commonly consist of?

Bentonite clay and rock fragments

Incorrect.

Bentonite clay and water

Correct. 

Bentonite clay and oil

Incorrect.

Now that we have reviewed mud tanks, locate the mud pump and watch the short clip.

What is the typical number of mud pumps on a drilling rig and what are the purpose of the cylinders that each mud pump accompanies?

The typical number of mud pumps on a drilling rig is two. The cylinders take low-pressurized mud and pressurizes it so the mud can circulate through the well and back to the surface

Correct. 

The typical number of mud pumps on a drilling rig is three. The cylinders take low-pressurized mud and pressurizes it so the mud can circulate through the well and back to the surface

Incorrect. 

The typical number of mud pumps on a drilling rig is two. The cylinders act as additional mud storage tanks

Incorrect. 

Next locate the shale shaker, which encompasses several vibrating screens. Once the shale shakers remove large rock fragments, mud cleaners are used to remove any other large objects within the mud.

Where are rock cuttings displaced/stored if they are too large to protrude through the shale shaker? 

Vibrated out into the mud pit

Incorrect. 

Vibrated out into a waste pit or waste container

Correct. 

Trapped in the shaker until the fragments break up with increasing pressure

Incorrect.

Often hydrocarbons flow upwards into the wellbore and mix with the drilling mud. In order for the drilling mud to be separated from the formation fluid crew members on the rig use a mud-gas separator. Locate the mud-gas separator and watch the short clip.

Where is the gas sent that is separated through a series of baffles? 

The gas is collected and sent through a pipe that runs along the derrick

Incorrect. 

The gas is collected and stored in a tank

Incorrect. 

The gas is collected and sent through a line to a gas flare

Correct.

Next locate mud guns. Mud guns ensure the mud does not settle and dry within the tank.

What is the purpose of a particular type of mud gun known as a spinner/pivot mud gun? 

A spinner/pivot mud gun rotates at high speed, spraying mud across the entire tank

Correct. 

A spinner/pivot mud gun rotates at a high speed, spraying water across the entire tank

Incorrect. 

A spinner/pivot mud gun rotates at a high speed, shooting mud through a pipeline towards the mud tank where it is then stored until use

Incorrect. 

Lastly, locate the rotary hose. The hose carries mud from the standpipe to the kelly/topdrive. To better understand this process be sure to locate the kelly and the stand on the interactive as well. Watch the short clip for the rotary hose and answer the following question.

Why does the rotary hose need to be both longer than the needed distance and flexible? 

In case the derrick is larger than expected

Incorrect. 

To accommodate for up and down movement of the kelly and the top drive

Correct. 

It is not required to be longer for any special purpose, just recommended

Incorrect. 

TEKS Standards
College Board Units and Topics