Tuesday, July 30, 2013

[Sweetwater Series] Drill it!

This one isn't all in Sweetwater County, but neighboring Sublette County. Oil and gas is a major industry and source of income for both counties. It is very important to the local economy and in my opinion, quite interesting.

This is the one where I get to go to an oil rig...like a real one, and not just beside it, but ON it....in the Jonah Field. Job perk, I guess you could say. According to some, its the next big demise of Wyoming (probably right after the downsizing of wild horse herds), but I think its cool! Plus I learned a whole bunch about the oil/gas field, both the Jonah and the new NPL field that is coming soon (hopefully to make my house worth 1 miiiilllllliiiiooonnnnn dollars)!

I'll be the first to admit, I've probably forgotten more of the information that they shared with us on this day long tour than I remember, but I'll do my best.

First off, my awesome PPE (personal protection equipment)

Drill bit have some diamond insets in them. These things are huge and can cost over $40,000 apiece. They weigh somewhere between 75 and 200+ lbs. Most of the time a drill bit is only good for one well.

The view inside the driller's room. He can pick up pipe and put it in to drill all from here. The room was pretty small, but usually only has 2-3 people inside at a time.


The new Normally Pressurized Lance (NPL) project is south and west of the existing Jonah field. As drilling winds down in the Jonah, Encana will shift its operations and resources to the NPL. The NPL will utilize directional drilling rather than vertical drilling, which should decrease the surface footprint left behind. Encana anticipates a maximum of 3,500 wells in the NPL. Directional drilling is where there is only one surface pad and then several wells are drilled off sideways underground from the one hole in the surface.

Check out the professional story from the Pinedale newspaper here. They did a slightly better job of pictures than me and wrote their story while they still remembered the details of the tour. Hey, they get paid to write.

1 comment:

  1. This is cool! Can I steal one of those pictures for my work blog? I've got some oil and gas ones coming up. :)