Frac drilling makes use of frac fluid made up of hazardous chemicals. This special fluid is pumped down to the ground to fracture the ground so that companies can get and sell natural gas. Approximately 40% of the fluid remains and mixes with the groundwater.
The Drilling Process
- Set up – Prior to the drilling job, many preparations must be carefully done. Both scientists and geologists should examine the location to detect the presence of oil. In many countries, the drilling process involves environmental studies. When the location is appropriate, equipment will be set up. Once drilling rig is prepared, including the laborers and the equipment, frac drilling process can begin.
- Creating Hole – The drill bit is assembled and put to the floor under the derrick. Drill pipe is also joined to the apparatus. The drill operator will run the drill motor, aggressive pushing it to the ground. The operator can manage the pressure and monitor the spinning, speed, and other variables while he supervises the roughnecks on the drill floor.
- Roughnecking – When the bit reaches a particular deepness, another drill pipe stand will be added. The roughnecks will disconnect the drill motor from the drill pipe and pull additional pipe stand up towards the drill floor. This new stand will be attached to the drill motor. The other end will be attached to the previous stand in the hole. The drill operator can start balancing again the drill.
- Mud – Drilling mud or drilling fluid is pumped using the drill pipe. It gives lubrication to the drill bit while it is being used. Mud is formulated in every hole with various conditions in each hole. A formula must meet the requirements specified in the job and it’s done by a Mud Engineer. Scientists and geologists can study the clippings from the mud to detect the well’s condition while drilling is going on.
- Casing – At certain point in drilling procedure, casing is significantly added to the well. Casing is a heavy lining intended to give support to the wall of the well. It supports the well so it won’t have breakdown on the tool and the drill pipe. Initially, footing cement is put beneath the well. A cement Engineer forms the cement mixture that can tolerate the pressures to be put on it. Casing is positioned in the hole and once casing is in place, drilling will start again. Drilling begins at the middle of the footing cement.
- Repeat – The same procedure is done repeatedly until the desired depth is reached by the rig. As long as everything goes well with it, this process just goes on. These kinds of wells are known as the “exploratory wells,” and they may or may not strike oil. The same drilling process is used for a production well. Once the target depth is touched, then it can extract oil through the pump that will be in place.
Operating drill equipment needs fundamental knowledge. The process also involves sophisticated knowledge in engineering and enough experience to search for oil. Frac drilling involves funding, time, and extensive training.