How Does a Drilling Rig Pump Work?


Quick Answer

Drilling rigs use pumps in several ways, depending on the stage of the drilling process, with the first use of the pump sucking mud up from the drill reservoir until it reaches the oil. When the rig locates oil, the rig crew attached a pump to the well that creates a suction effect to draw the oil out of the ground.

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Full Answer

Before a rig team begins drilling, they survey different areas to determine the presence of an oil deposit under the ground, which involves sonar scans and taking ground samples to test for specific chemical signatures. Once the team finds a valid site, it constructs the drilling rig to penetrate the ground and create a direct access line to the oil, known as a well. The rig includes a drill mechanisms that has a suction pump component. This pump removes mud and other debris the drill creates as it passes through the ground, allowing the drill to continue moving forward.

After the rig reaches the oil and constructs the appropriate piping to secure the well, it places a second pump mechanism into the hole. This pump has a motor that pushes a polishing rod up and down to create a vacuum in the well, causing the oil to move upwards. If the oil is too thick, the team may form a second hole to feed steam or acid into the well, which thins the oil and allows for its removal.

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