Fact & Fiction Corner

The Truths and Myths of the HDD Industry

Facts n Fictions


Short story about searching for a location ...

Maybe it's backwards?

Can a bit be put on backwards? What could go wrong ...

What am I drilling through?!

It's destroying all our bits so fast ...

Oil Field Drilling on Air?

Surprisingly easy and saves time ...

Well Blow Out!

A tornado of mud and oil raining down ...

 Ronnie (Cotton) Nail has been a long time truck driver for Adtech. His wife Wilma goes along to keep him company and to take care of his paper work. On a trip, she picked up the delivery tickets and driving instructions from the dispatcher.

 The driving instructions told her to take certain roads until she came to the “Bear Cave” and to turn there. Thinking this was a bar joint or something of the sort, she continued to look for a building with that name on it. Finally just by hunt and peck, found the location to drop off the drilling equipment.

 They were sent down a second time, same instructions, and she kept a watch out all the way down. Again, nothing marked "Bear Cave", not a bar, nor a park.

 Upon returning to the office, Wilma told the dispatcher that she couldn't find the "Bear Cave". One of the coworkers, upon hearing this, asked how she found the location.

 Wilma said they back tracked until they came up on some saw horses with flashing lights, turned there, and went right to the location.

 The employee asked "Do you think they meant to turn at the 'BARRICADE'"?

Maybe it's backwards?

 Buck Milsap, top notch salesman for Adtech, received a phone call from one of Adtech’s new customers.

 The new customer had never ran a drilling motor before. Of course, Buck had been trying to help him get all of his connections correct, sonde housing hookup, and any crossover subs lined out.

 After getting everything to the field, lined out, and all hooked up on the surface, the customer turned on his mud pump. This is when he called Buck with this question:   “Help Buck, I have everything hooked up, kicked on they pump, and the drilling motor is spinning big wide circles and shooting water everywhere. Why is this happening?!”

 Buck confusingly responded:   “Ah, maybe you have the motor attached upside down?”.

Question: Can the drilling motor actually be attached upside down and if so would it rotate?

Answer 1: Yes. With enough crossover subs you can attach anything together.

Answer 2: Yes. Regardless if the motor is upside down, the drilling fluid would go through the bearing pack and activate the rotor and stator thereby turning the outside of the motor to the left. The drilling motor can turn to the right and to the left.

What am I drilling through?!

 Several years ago, one of Adtech’s customers called in because he was having trouble downhole and was using an Adtech drilling motor. He had good pressure and pump, everything was running correctly. When he tripped the drilling equipment out of the hole, all of the cones were wore off but he was only rotating for a short time. The customer asked Adtech Sales to get them a very expensive button tri cone drilling bit to use. The same problem happened and after just a short time pulled back out of the hole, with no cones left intact.

 The customer then started to do some investigating and found out that he was trying to drill through motors, frames, and the chassis of trucks buried in a truck graveyard!

Oil Field Drilling on Air?

 Bob Rankin, one of the owners of Adtech Drilling Motors, was originally an oilfield directional driller. He was one of the best in the country at that time (late 1970’s - 1990’s) and he admits to this fact. One well that he drilled was located in Arkansas and he was tasked to drill under Lake Dardanelle. Arkansas is known as hard rock country and usually drilled using air and an air hammer. The air/air hammer method is used when drilling a straight bore. However, if it was to be a directional bore, they would have to use mud because most directional drillers would have to use a steering tool. The steering tool would not hold up to the heavy vibration of air and air hammers. However, Bob learned how to keep orienting the motor using just single shot equipment that is dropped in the pipe and monel collar after the drilling is stopped. A picture is taken (on a small disc), pulled out of the hole, and developed in a small container on locations. This will give you the direction and angle of the bore.

 On this particular well, Bob displaced the bottom hole location over a mile from the surface using only air. The total depth of the well was around 8000 ft.

Question: How much faster is it to drill a well in Arkansas if you can use air versus drilling mud.

3:1 Air drilling is three times faster than drilling with mud!

Question: Do you think Bob Rankin is one of the best oil field directional drillers ever??

YES! – Answered by Marie Rankin, wife of 52 years.

Well Blow Out!

 David (Buck) Millsap, salesman and drilling motor consulatant at Adtech Drilling Motors, was actually working as a roughneck in the oilfield when a well blew out on January 15th, 1980. Buck was 18 years old working with the drilling contractor, Jernigan Drilling Company for American Questar Oil. Buck was hired out by his uncle, who was the driller on this particular well, and Buck was fresh out of high school. This was Buck's first “real” job and he classifies himself as a genuine “Worm” at that time. He had been on the job for less than seven months, and the drilling crew (daylights) was fixing to trip out of the hole. They had set the Kelly back when they noticed the drill mud starting to bubble out of the top of the drill pipe. A little concern was when it was bubbling out at 6 inches above the pipe. At two feet above the pipe, the crew grabbed the TIW valve to screw into the drill pipe, but the pressure was too high and they could not shove it down. When the drilling mud shot up to the derrick, Buck and the crew abandoned ship and ran the the edge of the drilling location.

 By this time the mud was shooting 12 to 15 feet above the derrick and was now drilling mud and gas. Buck estimates the sub structure at 30 ft, rig floor to board at 100 feet and the 25 ft above the derrick board to the crown for a total of 150 to 155 feet of mud and gas mixture. Buck said when the mud got to the top of the derrick, it sounded like a tornado or a big freight train headed their way. The company man also ran with them and then sent the poor driller back to the rig to close off the “blind ram” on the blow out preventor. This slices off the pipe going through the blow out preventor and blank it off. Thereby shutting in the well and stopping the mud flow. The now famous Red Adiar Company was called to take care of the blowout.

 They started bleeding the gas through the manifold to a bowie line where it was flared off of the well. Once that part was under control, the Otis Company was brought in with a snubbing unit and the pipe was removed one piece at a time. At one point, the drill pipe became plugged with LMS material. Otis brought in a smaller snubbing line that went up into the derrick and was lowered into the drill pipe to remove the debri. When the well was under control, the oil company removed the blow out preventor, ran a Christmas Tree to check if they wanted to produce the well at this point. But as Buck remembers, they decided to continue drilling and TD the well at 22,500 feet. Buck claims that after the blow out and until they got back to drilling, he was paid to show up, furnished a nice set of overalls, and to not go near the rig floor. Quite an experience for an 18 year old greenhorn!

Question: Did Red Adair actually show up to the well site?

 Buck does not remember as he did not know much about Red Adair at that time.

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