Video: Patriot Energy Rig Site Drilling Process

View exclusive footage from one of Patriot Energy’s drilling rigs in the Permian Basin of West Texas, and learn about the drilling process from start to finish.

For more information on investing in upcoming oil and gas wells with Patriot Energy, fill out our contact form or call (469) 269-5414 and ask to speak to one of our consultants.

Video Transcript

This is a Patriot Energy drilling rig site in the Permian Basin in West Texas.  This well will be drilled to a total depth of about 8,900 feet, then it will be logged and eventually fracked.

Here, you’ll see what the drilling and logging looks like, then in a separate video, we’ll go through the entire fracking process at another well.

This well had been drilling for a couple weeks when our camera showed up to capture the well hitting total depth.  Here’s how it works…

There are 3 crew shifts, working around the clock until drilling is complete.  They drill rain or shine, and in fact the rig itself is triple grounded, so even lightning is not a threat.

The main position on the platform is the driller.  He runs the controls, maintains the written logs and basically directs the show.  He’s the guy in charge as far as the drilling is concerned.  But really, rig crews work so cohesively, that there is very little discussion, often just occasional sign language to guide a pipe or a chain into place.

There are many moving parts on the rig, once it’s set up.  Here, for example, they’re mixing drilling mud.  You could have all the latest technology in the world, but without drilling mud, the whole operation would come to a halt.  Mud serves several purposes besides lubrication.  Mud engineers constantly monitor the drilling mud as it circulates out of the well and they can tell what’s going on down the hole from what comes up out of the hole.

This tank is where the water is circulated and flows out of the well, and is where it is filtered and is pumped back into the hole.

Large generators power the rig’s electrical needs and a massive diesel engine drives the motor that powers the bit.

This is where all the action happens, the drilling platform.  If you visited a rig site anywhere in the world, most of the time it would look about like this:  Pipe spinning at about 45 – 50 RPM and not much else going on.

That weight above the pipe keeps enough pressure on the bit and keeps the drilling process moving methodically.

Each section of drilling pipe is about 35 feet long, and takes anywhere from about – say – 20 minutes…up to an hour and a half to drill the length of one pipe.  The difference is obviously what they’re drilling through at any given time.  Sandstone goes fast.  Shale grinds down to a trickle.

Once a section of pipe is getting close to the end, the driller suspends the weight and the bit stops its progress.  That’s when the action begins.

The driller and roughnecks man the rig floor and go to work.

First, the Kelly Drive is moved over and lifted up to where it connected to the last pipe.  Large tongs are used to break the seal, then the driller uses back pressure to unscrew the pipe.

Then the Kelly drive is moved over and connected to the next section of pipe – which is sitting off to the side in a mouse hole, which is just a shallow queue-up hole that gets poked into the ground when the rig is set up.

Then that section of pipe is raised up into the rig tower and lowered to match the previous section that is just sticking up out of the rotary drive area.

The Tongs are once again used to seal this tightly, then the string is in position for the next section of pipe.  The master bushing is lowered into position, traveling block and swivel are engaged, the RPMs are dialed in to proper speed.  Now, the next section of pipe begins making its way down the hole.

If you figure 8,00 feet depth for this hole, at 35-feet per pipe, this process will take place around 230 times – day and night – before finally the graph that shows exactly where the drill bit is beneath the surface – reaches it’s destination.

At that point, things really begin to shift.  First, the hole is flushed out with circulating water for a period of several hours.

At that point, all the pipe is pulled….or tripped….out of the hole.

Then, a logging crew arrives and they begin a multi-hour process of connecting probes and wires that will begin the computerized logging analysis of the well.

Once all the parts are connected and the computer is programmed and ready, a logging probe is lowered into the well and released all the way to the bottom.  At 8,100 feet, this obviously takes a while.  Then, engineers raise and lower the probe through the various oil-producing zones which start to show up on their screens, and on a print-out.  The data from this logging process will eventually be analyzed overnight by a geologist, but information gleaned here will be used to determine if the well should go on to completion.  Fortunately, this well had good logging shows and will move on to completion.

Now the wellbore is ready for a whole new set of pipe – the production casing – which will be cemented in place for safety.  This is a repetitious process where the crew moves one section of pipe after another.

It takes a long time to pull 230 sections of pipe and replace it.  It’s tough, dirty work….but these guys and their families are thankful for every day they have on the rig.

After 8,100 feet of pipe is pulled out, and 8,100 feet of new pipe is put in place, the cement trucks roll in.  As you can see, this process runs day and night, and everything is coordinated down to almost the minute to keep things flowing as efficiently as possible.

The cement team takes many hours to connect their hoses and pipes and once things are ready, this is about the biggest pumping operation you’ve ever seen.   The diesel engines roar, and a mix of cement and water is pumped down the hole, encasing that production pipe securely in place.

From here, the rig moves off and the well is prepared for the fracking process, which we’ll show in the next video.

For more information on investing in upcoming oil and gas wells with Patriot Energy, visit us online at www.patriotenergy.com or call 469-269-5414 and ask to speak to one of our consultants.

This is American Oil from American Soil – from Patriot Energy.

For more information on investing in upcoming oil and gas wells with Patriot Energy, fill out our contact form or call (469) 269-5414 and ask to speak to one of our consultants.