Drilling – Its Harder Than You Think

Drilling started over two thousand years ago in ancient China with a pulley system that had a rate of penetration of approximately 2 feet per day. Creating a wellbore could take as long as 3 years. They used oxen to rotate bamboos underground to make their own version of coil tubing.

Currently, drills can have a penetration rate of up to 50 feet an hour. What we can do in 1 hour with a drilling rig took our ancestor’s nearly a full month. The technological advancements in drilling really have come a long way. We’re now able to get large quantities of oil to power vehicles and many machines needed for the daily industrial and civilian life.

Basically, drilling is not getting a giant sharp drill like object and powering it through the ground. When seen at basic level, yes, drilling is more or less a simple concept to understand. But to actually drill? Not really. Effective and safe drilling requires an extraordinary amount of knowledge and data. The corrosion rate of pipes & other possible inevitable defects must be prepared and calculated for. How much will a pipe buckle at what point and how it will buckle are just two of the many issues that must be appropriately dealt with through a great deal of calculation.

With all these issues to look at, it can be assumed that there’s is no room for error. However, there’s room for error, but only to a certain point. Once the pipes break or if the drilling rig malfunctions, it costs a lot to replace the parts and materials & resume the operation. It may seem simple, but drilling requires a lot more than it seems so think twice before you pass off drilling as mundane.