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The Language of Drilling!

Drillers have developed a language all of their own so we present a list below of commonly used words, terms and

Word/Term/Phrase Explanation
The treatment of formations with hydrochloric or other type acids in
order to increase production or injection
Abbreviation for American Petroleum Institute, with headquarters in
Washington, DC. This is the trade association for the petroleum
industry. The Institute's Production Department is Located at 221 N.
Ervay, Suite 1700,Dallas, TX 75201.
The standard adopted by API for measuring the
density of a liquid, expressed in degrees. It can
be converted from specific gravity by the
API Gravity following equation:
Degrees API
________________ -131.5
specific gravity
To unscrew one threaded piece ( such as a section of pipe ) from
Back Pressure The pressure resulting from restriction of full natural flow of oil or gas.
Bottom-hole-assembly: The combination of tools or equipment that is at
the bottom (lower) end of the drillpipe. The actual combination will
depend on the operation being performed - ie for drilling it could
comprise the bit, stabilisers, MWD, drill collars, jar, drillpipe.
The item that actually does the drilling. Oilfield rock bits are categorised
by IADC as: Rolling Cone or Fixed Cutter.
To drain off liquid or gas, generally slowly, through a valve called a
Bleed bleeder. To BLEED DOWN, or BLEED OFF, means to slowly release
the pressure of the well or of pressurised equipment.
( Also a BLANK FLANGE ) - A solid disc used to dead end a
Blind Flange
companion flange.
Blowout An uncontrolled flow of gas, oil, or other fluids from a well.
The equipment installed at the wellhead for the purpose of controlling
Blowout Preventer (BOP) pressures in the annular space between the casing and drill pipe ( or
tubing ) during drilling, completion and certain workover operations.
Bottom-Hole the lowest or deepest part of a well.
Break Out To unscrew one section of pipe from another section.
Cased Hole A wellbore in which casing has been run.
Casing Pressure Pressure measured at a wellhead casing outlet.
The pipe run in a well, for example: surface string, intermediate string,
Casing String
production string, etc.
A spool-shaped attachment on a winch around which rope is wound for
hoisting and pulling.
A hole dug, usually before a deep well, to allow working space for the
casing head equipment.
Cheater A length of pipe used to increase the leverage of a wrench.
A type of orifice installed for the purpose of restricting and controlling
An assembly of valves, pipes, and fittings used to control flow of oil and
Christmas Tree
gas from the well.
Connection The joining of two lengths of pipe.
Dead Oil Crude oil containing essentially no dissolved gas when it is produced.
A chemical used to "breakdown" crude/water emulsions so the water
may be removed from the oil.
The weight of a substance per unit of volume. For instance, the density
Density of a drilling mud may be described as "10lb per gallon" or "75lb per
cubic foot."
A type of sedimentary rock similar to limestone but rich in magnesium
Dolomite carbonate. Sometimes dolomite is found as the reservoir rock for
Dope A viscous material used on casing or tubing threads as a lubricant, and
to prevent corrosion.
The difference between the static and the flowing bottom-hole
Drawdown pressures. The distance between the static level and the pumping level
of the fluid in the annulus of a pumping well.
Drilling The process of making a hole in the ground !
All the equipment that is in the wellbore for drilling. This would typically
comprise the BHA and Drillpipe.
Any exploratory or development well that does not produce oil or gas in
Dry Hole
commercial quantities.
The discharge valve through which oil and water are discharged from
Dump Valve
separators, treaters, etc.
As applied to sucker-rod pumping, the dynamometer records the
variation in load on the polished rod as the string reciprocates.
The permeability of a rock to a fluid when the rock is not 100 percent
Effective Permeability
saturated with fluid. See PERMEABILITY.
The percentage of the bulk volume of a rock sample that is composed
Effective Porosity of interconnected pore spaces, allowing the passage of fluids through
the sample.
Said of equipment or a system so constructed that, in the event of
failure or malfunction of any part of the system, devices are
Fail Safe
automatically activated to stabilise or secure the safety of the
A dike built around oil tanks, oil pumps and other oil handling
equipment to contain any oil which may be accidentally discharged
Fire Wall
from the equipment. It also serves to block the spread of a fire or give
protection for a period of time while emergency action is taken.
Flange Up To finish a job.
Flowing Pressure The pressure at the wellhead of a flowing well.
Injection of gases or liquids into a reservoir to force oil toward and into
Fluid Injection
producing wells.
Natural gas injected under high pressure into a producing reservoir
Gas Injection through an INPUT or INJECTION WELL as part of an enhanced
recovery operation.
The number of cubic feet of gas produced with a barrel of oil. Gas-
Gas-Oil Ratio ( GOR ) Liquid Ratio ( GLR ) The number of cubic feet of gas produced with a
barrel of liquid. ( Usually water and oil.)
A facility designed (1) to achieve the recovery of natural gas liquids
Gas Processing Plant ( Gas Plant from the stream of natural gas which may or may not have been
) processed through lease separators and field facilities, and (2) to
control the quality of the natural gas to be marketed.
Gas Sand A porous sandstone reservoir which contains natural gas.
Describes a well in which oil production has decreased and water
Gone To Water
production has greatly increased.
Oil production in violation of state regulations or transported interstate
Hot Oil
in violation of federation regulations.
A treatment using heated oil to melt and remove accumulated paraffin
Hot-Oil Treatment (To Hot Oil)
from the tubing, annulus, flow lines or production equipment.
Initial Potential (IP) The Initial capacity of a well to produce.
A pump that (1) injects chemicals into a flow-line system for the
Injection Pump purpose of treating emulsions or corrosion and (2) injects liquids
underground for disposal or to enhance recovery.
Metal debris lost in a hole. Junk may be a lost bit, milled pieces of pipe,
wrenches, or any relatively small parts or lost tools.
A kind of tank or vessel used to separate water from oil. A FREE
Lean Gas Natural gas containing little or no liquefiable hydrocarbons.
The movement of oil from the area in which it has been formed to a
reservoir rock where it can accumulate
Natural gas which is in reservoirs that do not contain significant
Non-Associated Gas
quantities of crude oil.
Offset Well Well drilled near another one.
A well that is not capable of flowing and is produced by means of a
On The Pump
Orifice Meter An instrument commonly used to measure more than allowable.
Pulling-Out-Of-Hole: When drillstring, tubulars or other assembly is
being withdrawn from the wellbore.
Run A Ticket To transfer oil from a stock tank into a pipeline.
Run-In-Hole: When drillstring, tubulars or some other assembly is
lowered into the wellbore
A record of oil transferred from the producer's storage tank to the
Run Ticket pipeline. This is the basic legal instrument by which the lease operator
is paid for oil produced and sold.
The method and system for the disposal of salt water produced with
crude oil. A typical system is composed of a collection centre and
Saltwater Disposal
disposal wells in which treated salt water is injected into a suitable
Scraper A device used to clean deposits of paraffin from tubing or flow lines.
To spin a sample of oil at high speed to determine its BS&W content.
Shake Out
Also called a GRIND OUT.
An oil containing free sulphur or other sulphur compounds whose total
Sour Crude Oil (Sour Crude)
sulphur content is in excess of one percent.
Sour Gas Natural gas containing hydrogen sulphide.
A safety device installed in the well's tubing below the surface to
Subsurface Safety Valve automatically shut the well in when predetermined flow rate, pressure,
or other conditions are reached.
Tail Gas (Residue Gas) Gas from a processing unit after extraction of liquids.
Wet Gas Natural gas containing significant amounts of liquefiable hydro-carbons
The term "Zone", as applied to reservoirs, is used to describe a unique
Zone interval which has one or more distinguishing characteristics, such as
lithology, porosity, saturation, etc.