Drilling for Black Gold

Most of the world relies on fossil fuels to some extent. The process of extracting those fuels from the earth is fairly straightforward: you drill down until you reach the fossil fuel and then pump it up into a container. The reality of drilling for petroleum, though, is a bit more challenging. A non-renewable resource, fossil fuels have become increasingly difficult to locate which in turn adds to the challenge of removing them from their location to be used by consumers up here on the surface. This has presented some unique opportunities for enterprising drilling companies.

Offshore Platforms

The size of small cities with human populations frequently over one hundred, the offshore oil rig has specific needs in order to function properly. One of these is well intervention services. Not sure what that is? In a nutshell, it’s the ability to enter a well to perform tasks other than drilling. That may include routine maintenance and cleaning or it may be troubleshooting and repair. There are electrical systems to maintain, some general and some proprietary to the drilling industry. While the platforms are populated by people, most of the space is taken up by various machines that aid in the extractions. These machines have to be kept up as well. Two of the big services oil rigs like those of PRT Offshore require are based on the valves and the HVAC units. Valves control the flow of the petroleum being pumped up from the ground. HVAC is used to help the workers stay in good health.

On Shore Processes

Most drilling done on land has been done by huge pumps that look like birds pecking at the ground. Other people have described them as nodding donkeys. Whatever you think they look like, these drills have been very successful in the past at bringing up petroleum from its hiding places among the layers of the Earth’s crust. These are still widely used today across the globe in many oil-producing nations. A newer drilling concept is called directional drilling. Rather than construct multiple rigs on top of a field of fossil fuels, directional drilling calls for a rig to drill down vertically into a known pocket of petroleum and then altering the direction of the drill towards the rest of the reserves. This saves money because it reduces the cost of moving or constructing rigs. It also increases the access the oil company has to an oil reservoir as well as augments hydrocarbon recovery.

While the amount of available fossil fuels is finite, the technologies for extracting it continue to evolve.