Drilling Technology and the "Smart" Rigs

As I sit here in this dark house looking at old pictures of wooden drilling rigs and comparing those monsters with the iron we have now days,  I just can't believe on how far we have come. Now if you're new to drilling or to the oilfield for that matter, you can't possibly imagine the stuff they have come up with.

 When I first broke out on a drilling rig, we had spinning chain and tongs and slips we had to throw every connection. This past summer I was on a rig that had an ST-80 with top drive  and power slips and I was just in awe the first day on that rig and just didn't feel like a roughneck anymore.

 Now the whole point of this blog is because I wanted to get others thoughts on how much the rigs have improved and if it is a good or bad thing. Now don't get me wrong, there is always some room for improvement but when you have a rig that does all the work and the only reason you're there is to roll pipe on the rack and to do rig moves, then how much longer are they going to need the "Roughneck"?

 I have even seen a couple rigs that can skid over to where you need them with just a push of a couple buttons. Now I'm sure the men that came before us on the drilling rigs would be impressed with the technology that has come out, I'm just hoping that in the next 10 years they have a spot for the man who comes out on that rig to bust his butt to take care of his family and not a spot just to stand around and do nothing for 12 hrs.

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