The complexities of the oil and gas industry can make keeping up with all the terms and definitions related to drilling difficult. To simplify things, we’ve compiled a glossary of the most important terms related to drilling and to the oil and gas industry.
Oilfield Glossary of Terms
A steel bar that supports the swivel and connects it to the hook; resembles the handle of a bucket.
A steel bar that supports the swivel and connects it to the hook. Resembles the handle of a bucket.
As a noun, a bore is the inside diameter of a pipe or drilled hole. As a verb, bore means to penetrate a surface with a rotary tool.
A rope, wire or braid of strong fibers.
A well that has the casing already inserted. The opposite of a cased hole is an open hole.
A steel pipe that’s placed in an oil or gas well after drilling is completed to prevent the well hole from caving in. Casing also prevents fluids from moving from one formation (like groundwater) to another and helps in well control.
Drill Rig: The machinery that’s used to drill oil and gas wells. There are two types of drill rigs: rotary and cable tools, with rotary drill rigs being more efficient.
A large wrench used for turning casing tubulurs when making up or breaking out casing.
An engine that is used to increase natural gas pressure so that it can more easily flow through the pipeline.
Oil’s form as it comes directly from the ground; it’s a mixture including naturally occurring liquid hydrocarbons.
A removable, steel, serrated piece that fits into the jaws of tongs. Die inserts grip drill pipes, drill collars and casing while the tongs are making up or breaking out pipe.
A tool used to shape, form, or finish other tools or pieces of metal.
An internal-combustion engine frequently used for powering drilling rigs. A diesel engine is a high-compression engine that draws air into its cylinders and compresses the air to very high pressures; ignition then occurs as fuel is injected into the compressed, hot air. Combustion takes place in the cylinder above the piston; the combustion then powers the piston.
Drilling in the opposite direction of a wellbore from the vertical. Directional drilling uses rotary steerable tools to move around rocks or other obstructions to continue drilling.
A heavy steel tube that’s placed between the drill pipe and the bit in the drill stem. Drill collars are used to add weight to the bit to make drilling easier.
A piece of seamless tubing used to rotate the bit and circulate the drilling fluid. The pipe joints are usually about 30 feet long and are joined together by tool joints.
The machinery that’s used to drill oil and gas wells. There are two types of drill rigs: rotary and cable tools, with rotary drill rigs being more efficient.
Hinged steel devices with manual operating handles that are attached to rotary and top drive rigs. Crew members latch elevators onto tool joints to operate them.
The process of a fluid (usually crude oil, diesel or water) being pumped into the reservoir to break the reservoir rock open.
A well that primarily produces gas.
A drilling technique that consists of vertical drilling down to a particular depth, and then involves turning at a right angle to drill horizontally within a specified reservoir.
Operated, moved, or effected by water or liquid.
A single section of drill pipe, casing or tubing that’s usually about 30 feet long.
A long hollow steel bar that’s used to connect the upper end of a drill string. Kelly bushing is a sleeve in the rotary table that allows the Kelly to freely move up and down during drilling. Kelly bushing also plays a part in the measurement of well depth, as well depth is measured from the Kelly bushing, down to the bottom of the well.
A mixture of hydrocarbons and non-hydrocarbons (like Hydrogen Sulfide or Nitrogen) in the same gaseous space or in a mixture of crude oil in underground preserves
The surface area, reservoir, wells and production equipment overlying oil reservoirs.
The part of the sucker rod pump that pulls well fluids into the pump.
Processing plant where crude oil is turned into a variety of more useful oils like gasoline and diesel.
The amount of oil and gas in a reservoir that can be extracted. Measured in terms of barrels of oil or million cubic feet (MCF)
The machine used to drive rotational power to the drill stem while still allowing vertical movement of the pipe for rotary drilling. Most moden rotary machines have a rotary or master brushing used to turn the kelly bushing, which then allows vertical movement of the kelly while the stem is turning.
A pipe with a small diameter or a tube threaded at both ends. Tubing is lowered into a completed well so that oil and gas can be produced through the string of tubing.