While touring the Jonah Field in Pinedale, Wyo. with Encana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc., we had the opportunity to tour a working drilling rig. You can read more about my trip to the Jonah Field in my first post.
Above is Rig 129 on the Jonah Field. Each drilling rig in the United States has a unique, assigned number. I was interested to learn that the rig runs directly off of the natural gas from a nearby producing well. The use of natural gas reduces air emissions by a whopping 50% when compared to using diesel fuel.
Here we all are, dressed to the nine’s in our FRCs and PPEs (fire retardant clothing and personal protection equipment). Robert Samples, the drilling supervisor, spoke to us about the particulars, science and safety behind drilling for oil and gas.
It takes approximately 15 days or less to drill each well. Encana and other energy companies often employ directional drilling, which allows one rig to access multiple gas reservoirs from one drilling location. This greatly reduces the environmental footprint. Oil and gas companies such as Encana are constantly discovering and implementing new and better technologies that reduce environmental impact and increase worker safety. What’s better for the environment and for energy workers, is better for the companies’ sustainability.
Now we’re headed into the control room on the oil and gas drilling rig.
The control room looks a lot like how I imagine the inside of a space shuttle would appear. The rigs are automated with Iron Roughnecks and Iron Derrickmen, which reduces manual handling of pipe and increases safety for Encana workers.
This system carefully monitors many variables while the drill operates. It shows depth, drilling speed, pressure and more. The control room operator has a lot to monitor!
Typical drilling locations impact only five acres of land and support multiple wells from the same site. The tour guides also reported that a rig in Colorado was able to serve 52 wells from the same pad. Now that’s progress!
From RealPartner Liz Lauck – Wyoming Stock Growers Association