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.

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