HOUSTON, Texas – Puckerup Drilling Company of Houston announced today that it is ready to place in service a new class of land drilling rig that can pull 10 joints of drill pipe as a single stand. The rig was conceived as a way to speed up the drilling of long-lateral horizontal wells and ultra-deep vertical wells by reducing the time to trip the pipe.
Industry sources hint that Puckerup also wanted bragging rights for having the biggest unit, a common occurrence in the oil and gas business.
However, the timing of bringing in such a rig is regrettably bad. Mr. Holden M. Close, Puckerup Vice-president for Rig Construction, said,
“We were more than halfway through building the rig when the bottom dropped out of oil prices, but it was cheaper just to finish it rather than to pay the cancellation penalties. Much of the equipment for the rig was special ordered due to its extraordinary size and manufacturers insisted on financial safeguards.” – Mr. Holden M. Close, VP
According to the web-based press conference the company held this morning, there are many unique features incorporated into the rig, including, but not limited to the following:
- In addition to stairs, an escalator quickly whisks rig hands from the ground to the drilling floor.
- In lieu of an escape line, the derrickman will have a hang glider available.
- Taking a lesson from the thrusters that keep a drill ship on location, guy wires for the mast have been replaced with electrically driven propellers that compensate for wind and keep the mast perfectly vertical.
- With such a large substructure, room was found to include a sno-cone stand, a feature most welcome in West Texas during the summer.
The mast stands some 120 meters high when erected and in many areas will require an aircraft beacon at the top. An unforeseen consequence of the height is the unwillingness of rig hands to do that much climbing.
Cletus Creosote, an experienced derrickman from Muleskinner, Texas, said,
“Ain’t nobody getting’ me up there. Hell, I betcha cain’t even see the stabbin’ board from that high. An’ ten joints? A stand’s gonna be wobblin’ like my gal Sugar Jean after she’s had a coupla six packs.” – Cletus Creosote, Senior Staff Righand
As of this writing, no drilling contracts for the rig have been forthcoming. No information is available regarding day rates and the company typically does not do flat fee jobs. However, Puckerup has received inquiries from a Russian drilling company and Chinese hackers have already stolen the blueprints.