What are Slips and Elevators in the Drilling Industry?
For those new to the drilling industry, or those looking in from the outside, the tools and processes used to extract resources can be confusing. There are oil field tools and equipment that are essential to a drilling rig, while others are optional. If you’re interested in getting into the drilling industry, it’s imperative that you are familiar with all of these tools, including the essentials like slips and elevators.
Learn more about these slips and elevators below!
Slips and Their Importance
Slips fit around the body of a drill pipe and are used to suspend the drill string in the drilling hole. When installed, they are wedged in the taper of the rotary table’s opening and because they have serrated insets, they are able to grip the outside of the tubular when it is set on the rotary table.
Slips are typically installed by the drilling rig team. To set them, the slips are placed around the drill pipe, which is then lowered until the serrated insets take hold of the drill pipe. When it is time to disassemble the slips and drill pipe, the rig team will work backwards. One crew member will lift the drill pipe up, while another will take the slip by the handles and remove them from the rotary table.
One thing to note when using slips is if the drill collar does not have an elevator shoulder, a safety clamp will need to be used above the slips. This safety clamp will ensure that if the serrated insets of the slips fail, the slips won’t fall into the drilling hole, rather, they will be “caught” by the safety clamp.
Elevators and Their Importance
An elevator is used to raise and lower the drilling pipe in and out of the drilling hole by latching around the top of the drill string pipe joints. Most elevators are hinged and the drilling rig team can open and close them by using the latch with handles on either side of the elevator.
When installing the elevator, it should be attached to the hook or the Top Drive with either links or bails and because a drilling elevator is tapered, it can tightly latch to the drilling pipe without damaging it. Beckets and bails can then be added to an elevator to give extra room for your crew to maneuver the elevator and complete their work efficiently.
In important to mention that in special circumstances a drill string won’t have a shoulder, so a lifting sub will be added to the end of a joint to help lift the drill string. The elevator will then be attached to the lifting sub to lower and raise the drill collars from the drilling hole.
As you can see slips and elevators are essential to a drilling rig. If you’re ready to purchase your slips and elevators, give us a call today! Our experts will be able to answer any questions you may have about your specific drilling sites.