Driving through the Bakken play in North Dakota can be monotonous. A seemingly endless parade of rigs and wells flashes past the windows of your truck, each one nearly identical to the others. But if you know where to look, there's one rig that stands out, even from a distance. What first catches your eye is the absence of cables anchoring it to the ground. Because of its unique design and engineering, the cables aren't needed.
You're looking at RT Energy Services' hydraulic completion rig. It's unlike any other rig on the planet.
Design and development started in 2008 and it began its first completion job in February of 2012. It uses patented technology that could change the future of how completion rigs are built.
It has six legs instead of four, with the middle two legs serving as guides for the top drive and it can "walk" from one well to the next on a pad in as little as an hour.
Troy Rodgers, who founded Arnegard-based RT Energy Services, says it cuts completion time in half and uses a six man crew instead of 15. The hydraulic rig does well in bad weather and the rig operator, mudpump operator and downhole motor operator are all located in a control room behind the derrick. 50 mph winds don't mean a halt in operations.
The patented design eliminates the need for cables, winches, brakes, bands or clutches and that makes a big impact on safety. According to Rodgers, the rig has never had an injury or even a "write-up"!
It's no lightweight performer either. It can drill down to 10,000 feet with 150,000 lb snub capacity (push-down) and 300,000 lb pull with 48 feet of travel and even has built in slips so that tubing can’t blow out.
This new rig design could have a huge impact on the engineering of completion rigs of the future. Faster, cheaper to operate, and safer. Now THAT'S a game-changer!