Dreco-Self-contained Mobile Drilling Rigs
The mobile drilling rig that became one of the
hallmarks of Dreco Energys international success has a prosaic enough
name, according to its American patent. It is described in the title as
a cantilever drilling structure. The full description of the drilling
rig, which was developed by Ron Sorokan, Frederick Pheasey and others at
Dreco, paints a detailed picture of a rig which can be quickly assembled
and moved into place with a minimum of production disruption.
A shortfall of many drilling rigs, according to the
patent application, was the difficulty in setting them up in an area
where there were many well heads. The wells would be lined up in a row,
with flow lines running perpendicular to the row of wells, making it
difficult to put up a rig that was designed to straddle a line of wells.
The options were costly or difficult to achieve in confined drilling
areas: "remove the flow lines, or disassemble and reassemble the rig, or
move the rig so that it is positioned in a direction perpendicular to
the row from the opposite direction of the flow line extensions."
The patent objects included "
a novel drilling
structure or rig and a method for moving it relative to the well head"
and a "
novel drilling structure which is easily and quickly
maneuverable in a small area, as on a small lease or on an artificial
offshore island." The drilling rig is mounted on a wheeled platform, and
a cantilever support projected from one side of the platform. During
transport, the rigs mast and drill mechanism are moved on a skid plate
to the platforms centre of gravity. When it is ready to be set up near
an existing well row and flow lines, the telescoping support leg
attached to the cantilever part of the platform is lowered into place,
and the platform is established "on opposite sides of a well head." When
drilling is ready to start, the mechanism and mast are moved on the skid
plate to the platforms centre, and operations commence.
Moving to another drilling site is done by extracting
the drill mechanism, moving the mast and mechanism to the centre of the
platform, lifting the telescoping support leg, and slowly rumbling over
to the new site, "quickly and without the need for disassembling and
reassembling either the drilling rig structure on the flow lines."
The mobile drilling rigs have been built in Drecos
Edmonton fabrication plant and moved by truck, train and boat to
Alaskas North Slope oil production area.
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