Surface Drilling Rig

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Definition - What does Surface Drilling Rig mean?

A surface drill rig is a machine used to create boreholes in the earth’s crust. This machine is so called since the rig itself is located, and remains stationary, at the ground level while the drill itself penetrates the earth’s surface. Surface drilling rigs can be used in a multitude of applications including drilling of water, oil, and natural gas extraction wells, extraction of mineral deposits, geological testing, and installation of subsurface utilities. A surface drill rig is also simply referred to as a drilling rig.

Trenchlesspedia explains Surface Drilling Rig

Surface drilling rigs are essential in horizontal directional drilling operations. They are typically used to drill pilot holes, perform back-reaming, and install subsurface pipes, conduits, and ducts. The rig itself consists of a structural frame, an engine, hydraulic systems, and a pumping system. In directional drilling, these rigs are mobile and are usually mounted on trucks, tracks, or trailers.

The type of surface drilling rig required depends on several factors including the maximum length of the bore and the bore diameter. As such, these rigs typically come in two classifications:

  • Light rigs capable of creating bores up to 3000 ft. in length and 36 inches in diameter.
  • Heavy rigs capable of creating bores up to approximately 10,000 ft. in length and 60 inches in diameter.
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