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More oilfield carnage – this time in Texas

3 Feb

What happens when the drivers moving your SCR sets don’t pay attention to big light up electronic low bridge signs?

You end up with two Cat 3512 drill rig power modules strewn across the highway and a third hanging off the trailer.

For anyone familiar with the DFW area this is northbound hwy 360 in Arlington and they hit the railroad bridge at Division St. 360 is now closed in both directions… for at least 6 hours according to TxDOT.

Looks like the first jackass didn’t see the low bridge signs and smashed the SCR set into it then off the trailer, and the second jackass followed suit. Jackass #3 didn’t quite make it, but he made sure to crash into the second genset that landed on the road.

One rig’s worth of powergen (ie. these three gensets) is about $1MM. Suuuuuuuuucks!



After looking at the pics again and pulling up a datasheet on that unit they probalby alllllllmost made it. With a genset height of ~116″ (base skid + radiator), plus the drop deck trailer height (42″ avg ?) and a bit for the roof on the genset they were actually probably very close to the 13’6″ height of the bridge (bridge height from TxDOT).

It looks like the first unit made it under but had the roof torn off… the second, judging by the marks on the pavement, got thrown off the trailer as he tried to slam it to a stop before going under and never actually touched the bridge.


EDIT #2:

pics from a TxDOT employe on-scene


“equipment has no brain you must use your own”



Video from TxDOT on site:


Fracking is not the problem

27 Jan

A reblog from SciAm


Guest Post: Water Contamination – Fracking is not the problem

By Scott McNally | January 25, 2012 | 


With the current negative attention and controversy surrounding shale gas drilling, the words ‘hydraulic fracturing’ or ‘fracking’ have become synonymous with something else: water contamination. But according to recent research out of MIT, the contamination of drinking water near natural gas wells is caused by something totally different. In fact, fracking has nothing to do with it.

Shale gas was long considered inaccessible and unprofitable because of the low permeability of shale formations, but recent developments in horizontal drilling and multi-stage hydraulic fracturing have made shale gas production economically viable. As a result, shale gas drilling has increased dramatically and sparked debates on the safety and environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing.

You may have seen the commercials supporting fracking that say, ‘clean burning natural gas is the gateway to our low carbon future.’ You may have also seen the Academy Award Nominated documentary Gasland, which highlights some of the environmental risks and discusses contaminated aquifers. Some have even called for a ban on fracking. Unfortunately, in this debate, some of the facts have been clouded by misinformation, anecdotal evidence, and back and forth attempts to discredit those on both side of the argument.

So what is the truth?

Can drilling for natural gas contaminate drinking water? Yes.

Is hydraulic fracturing to blame? No.

Bottom line: water contamination does happen, but not because of hydraulic fracturing. The MIT Future of Natural Gas Study, released in June 2011, examines the causes of 43 reported environmental incidents and finds that, “no incidents of direct invasion of shallow water zones by fracture fluids during the fracturing process have been recorded.”

So what causes the contamination? According to the study, “almost 50% [of the incidents were] the result of drilling operations… most frequently related to inadequate cementing of casing into wellbores.” The table below is from the Future of Natural Gas Study and highlights the frequency and causes of incidents.

While the most common incident is groundwater contamination resulting from drilling operations, the study also states that, “Properly implemented cementing procedures should prevent this from occurring.”

But, to be absolutely clear, hydraulic fracturing is not part of the drilling process. It is part of well completions, and is typically done several weeks after drilling has stopped. This is where much of the confusion sets in. You may have heard something like this before: ‘There has never been a documented case of the fractures in a shale gas production zone migrating upward to the water bearing zones. There are thousands of feet of impermeable rock separating the two, and the rock mechanics make it a physical impossibility.’

That is true. However, that does not mean fracking fluid cannot get into the aquifer. So how does this happen? If fractures never reach the aquifers, then how does the fracking fluid get there?

It goes like this:

Sometimes, drillers have to drill through an aquifer to access a natural gas zone that is farther below. (by the way, an aquifer is an underground layer of water-bearing permeable rock. It is not an underground lake or cavern that is filled with water, like many people imagine.) If the act of drilling through the aquifer and cementing the walls of the hole is not done carefully, there is a higher chance that the cement casing can crack, leaking hydrocarbons and other fluids into the aquifer. If there is a casing leak near the water table, whatever is traveling up or down the well can leak into the aquifer. Since the fracking fluids have to travel through this pipe twice (once on the way down, once on the way back up), it can contaminate the water through the casing leak. In fact, whatever travels through that pipe can leak into the aquifer. Sometimes it is fracking fluid, but more commonly, it is methane, drilling mud or produced formation water.

Aquifer contamination can happen whether you frac a well or not, and bad cementing and casing leaks are possible in any well – vertical, horizontal, fracked or unfracked.

Now, there are significant environmental concerns related to gas drilling, but we should put them into context. Of the 20,000 fracked wells covered by the Future of Natural Gas Study, only 43 environmental incidents were reported, and not a single one was caused by fracking. Regardless of the frequency of incidents, any spill or leak is unacceptable, and the pressure should be on the drillers and operators to minimize the environmental impacts of natural gas production. But, the data show the vast majority of natural gas development projects are safe, and the existing environmental concerns are largely preventable.



Interoil – 705 mmcf per day picture

15 Dec

Old pic, but still incredible:

Jan 22, 2010

InterOil 705MMCF per day well

This is a photo of a well test last month in Papua New Guinea.

The well is making 705 MMCF/d and 11,200 BBL/d of condensate while*flowing at 1258 psi through a 4-3/8″ choke -*This is a new world record.

Notice the water curtain to keep the rig cool


** Five of these wells could beat the output of all of the wells in the hottest gas play on the onshore United States, Barnett Shale.

** Encana produced 1.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in 2008 – 6 of these wells would best Encana’s annual gas production.

Canadian oilfield equipment carnage… eh.

4 Jul

Pics from western Canada that floated around the office a while ago.









Drill rig (Cactus 117) hit by tornado this week

26 May

Forwarded from one of our service techs:

This happened yesterday, 5/24/2011, close to Calumet, OK-
Pictures were taken by an SLB employee who was there –
An F5 tornado that was 1/2mile wide with winds up to 210mph caused this-
Everyone survived and no, there is no oil spill (or natural gas)-

“The rig was originally rigged up with the V-Door to the south. They had just TD’d a horizontal shale well and were circulating and preparring to lay down drill pipe. The sub and derrick were picked up and moved approx. 60′ north and rotated 90 degrees. Estimated weight of the sub, derrick, drawworks and drill pipe is well over 1,000,000 pounds.”

Rig specs:



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