DRILLING Drilling Equipment

Mud Circulation Equipment

Kelly hose


A large-diameter (3- to 5-in. inside diameter), high-pressure flexible line used to connect the standpipe to the swivel. This flexible piping arrangement permits the kelly (and, in turn, the drillstring and bit) to be raised or lowered while drilling fluid is pumped through the drillstring. The simultaneous lowering of the drillstring while pumping fluid is critical to the drilling operation.




Mud Pump

mud pump

A large, reciprocating pump used to circulate the mud on a drilling rig. A typical mud pump is a double- or triple-acting, two- or three-cylinder piston pump whose pistons travel in replaceable liners and are driven by a crankshaft actuated by an engine. A mud pump also is called a slush pump.





Bulk Mud Components in Storage

Hopper type tanks for storage of drilling fluid components.



A hydrocyclone device that removes large drill solids from the whole mud system. The desander should be located downstream of the shale shakers and degassers, but before the desilters or mud cleaners.Various size desander and
desilter cones are functionally identical, with the size of the cone determining the size of particles the device removes from the mud system




Shale shaker


shale-shakerThe primary and probably most important device on the rig for removing drilled solids from the mud. A wire-cloth screen vibrates while the drilling fluid flows on top of it. The liquid phase of the mud and solids smaller than the wire mesh pass through the screen, while larger solids are retained on the screen and eventually fall off the back of the device and are discarded.

Where it was once common for drilling rigs to have only one or two shale shakers, modern high-efficiency rigs are often fitted with four or more shakers.

Mud pit

mud pit
A large tank that holds drilling fluid on the rig or at a mud-mixing plant. For land rigs, most mud pits are rectangular steel construction, with partitions that hold about 200 barrels each. They are set in series for the active mud system. On most offshore rigs, pits are constructed into the drilling vessel and are larger, holding up to 1000

barrels. Circular pits are used at mixing plants and on some drilling rigs to improve mixing efficiency and reduce dead spots that allow settling. Earthen mud pits were

the earliest type of mud pit, but environmental protection concern has led to less frequent use of open pits in the ground. Today, earthen pits are used only to store used or aste mud and cuttings prior to disposal and remediation of the site of the pit.


Mud House

The place where mud additives are kept at the rig, also known as the sack room.


Reserve Pits


A mud pit in which a supply of drilling fluid has been stored. Also, a waste pit, usually an excavated, earthen-walled pit. It may be lined with plastic to prevent soil contamination.





Mud Gas Separator

mud gas seperatorA device that removes gas from the mud coming out of a well when a kick is being circulated out.








DesilterA hydrocyclone much like a desander except that its design incorporates a greater number of smaller cones. As with the desander, its purpose is to remove unwanted solids from the mud system. The smaller cones allow the desilter to efficiently remove smaller diameter drill solids than a desander does. For that reason, the desilter is located downstream from the desander in the surface mud system.






Flowline (mud return line)

mud return lineThe large-diameter metal pipe that connects the bell nipple under the rotary table to the possum belly at the mud tanks. The flowline is simply an inclined, gravity-flow conduit to direct mud coming out the top of the wellbore to the mud surface-treating equipment. When drilling certain highly reactive clays, called “gumbo,” the flowline may become plugged and require considerable effort by the rig crew to keep it open and flowing. In addition, the flowline is usually fitted with a crude paddle-type flow-measuring device commonly called a “flow show” that may give the driller the first indication that the well is flowing.


Stand pipe

standpipe A rigid metal conduit that provides the high-pressure pathway for drilling mud to travel approximately one-third of the way up the derrick, where it connects to a flexible high-pressure hose (kelly hose). Many large rigs are fitted with dual standpipes so that downtime is kept to a minimum if one standpipe requires repair. 





annulusThe space around a pipe in a well bore, the outer wall of which may be the wall of either the bore hole or the casing; sometimes termed the annular space.