Lubrication is a part of any drilling operation. Diesel oil was once the lubricant of choice. However, much has changed, especially in the world of environmental drilling. Lubricants must meet certain guidelines to prevent contaminating the borehole, surrounding subsoil and groundwater. It also prevent contamination of the surface during the drilling process.
Here are some common lubricants used in drilling:
Compressor Oils: Compressor oils are critical for keeping the drilling equipment running. While the compressor oils do not go down into the borehole, there is a potential for contamination above ground, if the system springs a leak. Acceptable compressor oil offers superior lubrication properties without the use of hydrocarbon based ingredients.
Pipe Dope: Pipe dope blends lubricating grease with fine metallic particles to prevent thread galling and to seal any gaps between pipe connections. Galling happens when two metal surfaces fuse together due to being under tremendous heat and pressure. Drilling requires threading multiple pieces of drilling pipe together in a long string. Each connection is under a lot of heat and pressure during the drilling process. Without protection, that can cause galling on the pipe threads, fusing two pieces of pipe together.
Pipe dope provides a protective barrier between the threads to prevent galling. It is critical to use greases that don't contain hydrocarbon ingredients to prevent potential contamination in the borehole.
Hammer Bit Lubricants: Hammer drilling involves pounding the drill stem into the formation surface while rotating the bit on to its surface. This causes a lot of heat and friction between the piston and the wear sleeve as well as on the hammer bit itself. Specially formulated lubricant keeps both parts working smoothly. This lubricant has high viscosity and will not break down under pressure. The lubricant will be in the bore hole hammer drill bit, so it is critical that it not contain ingredients that contaminate soil or groundwater.
Top Head Drive Head Lubricants: Today's drilling equipment uses top head drive instead of the more traditional rotary table design. Top head design uses a motor to drive the drilling pipe into the borehole with enough torque to remove the underlying formation. This torque causes a lot of pressure and heat to build-up. Top head drive lubricants keep the motor running efficiently and the drilling on the project moving smoothly.
The drilling experts at Talon/LPE use lubricants specifically designed for optimal performance and environmental safety in all of their drilling projects. If you need environmental drilling services in Texas, New Mexico, Kansas or Oklahoma, contact Talon/LPE today.