How does Oil Drilling Work?

Oil is one of the most important resource today, with nearly every industry worldwide relying on a very significant part on oil products to operate. To supply this nearly-unlimited demand, petroleum companies turn to drilling oil from deep within the earth’s crust, and they do this in large part by installing oil rigs complete with parts like drawworks and drills in the middle of the world’s seas.

Locating Oil

The first part in this equation of course is to look for oil, and petroleum companies do this with the help of oil geologists who examine surface rocks and terrain. There are other techniques used as well, such as measuring tiny changes in the earth’s gravitational field that just might indicate the presence of flowing oil.

Preparing the Rig

Next the oil company prepares to set up shop. They consider potential environmental hazards, obtain licenses, and right-of way access. They will clear the area, dig a reserve pit to dispose of waste materials and by-products, and line the work area with plastic to protect the environment.


The crew will set up the rig and then begin operations. They dig a starter hole and position the drill bit, collar, and pipe down into the hole, attach the kelley and turntable. With everything ready, drilling can begin. As the process progresses, mud and other waste are removed and transported into the reserve pit.


Working on Common Drawworks Problems

Drawworks manufacturers aim to create the best units that help pull the heaviest amount of load within tolerable limits on the wire line. However, even the well-engineered systems out on the market are prone to hindrances in operation, requiring utmost care when conducting maintenance sorties. There are a number of common problems to look for when drawworks act up.

Improper wire spooling

It is possible that the wire line will not spool off the hoist drum or auxiliary drum without hassle. You must check first if either drum and their associated brakes have been released. When this is done, test the drum control and brake levers at the same time to verify if the wire is moving. Extra care is needed due to the danger of the suspended load free-falling if both levers are not pulled at the same time.

Not Hoisted Up

The hoist drum itself can run the possibility of not being able to move the wire line with the suspended load on. You will need to see if the drawworks power system is on or the brakes are too tight. Activate the power, then engage the control and brake levers simultaneously.

Suspended Load Not Quite Holding Up

The hoist and auxiliary drums may not be handling the load too well. As such, you must hold on to the hoist brake lever and press the ratchet release before moving the lever.

A drawworks will be the center of the drilling rig, but great caution must still be exercised.