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What Are the Different Types of Derrick Equipment?

Jordan Weagly
Jordan Weagly

Many types of derrick equipment are used for drilling and harvesting fossil fuels. Equipment used can include the structural elements, drill floor tools, drilling equipment, cleaning equipment, motors, and assorted, often heavy equipment. Derrick parts are often interchangeable, a precaution taken in case of breakages or errors during the service life of a derrick. Maintenance and regular operation of many derricks will usually require a variety of equipment, depending on the derrick's location and the materials being harvested.

Structural equipment is often similar among various types of drilling and harvesting. The derrick is the metal frame to which most of the working parts are attached. Derrick equipment will often include stabilizing designs based on the environment and other safety measures. Structure can change dramatically, for instance, between marine drilling platforms and terrestrial ones. Other important types of derrick equipment related to structure are the nuts, bolts and connectors used to hold everything together.

An offshore oil platform. The derrick is the vertical tower.
An offshore oil platform. The derrick is the vertical tower.

Drill floor equipment can include anything used to perform drilling and harvesting operations. This may be power tools such as compressed-air guns or power sprayers for routine cleaning. Depending on the location, facilities for the workforce also may be necessary. Derrick equipment on the drill floor also is closely related to the drilling equipment.

A red and white oil derrick.
A red and white oil derrick.

Bits, cutters and blowout prevention mechanisms are especially important during the early stages in the service life of a derrick. Many other systems are designed to support drilling operations in both the early stages and later in the derrick’s service life. Additional derrick equipment can include the fluid systems used to lubricate and facilitate drilling. This fluid is usually pumped to the cutting surface of a drill bit and then pumped out along with the drilled material.

Cleaning equipment is often necessary throughout the life of a derrick, because materials such as crude oil, mud and water can all leak onto the derrick equipment and make a mess. Power washers and other tools are often required, as a result. In addition, a storage area can be included on or near a derrick for materials other than what is being harvested. On-site separation of materials is common, and storage is often necessary. A mud tank, for example, is usually meant to hold contaminated or otherwise unusable deposits separate from the main resource.

Other derrick equipment might include the pumps and motors used to harvest materials and operate all other necessary equipment. Electricity is often required to maintain operations such as pumping and cleaning, and derrick equipment often include related elements. Vehicles and heavy equipment also may be necessary for the operation and maintenance of a derrick.

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    • An offshore oil platform. The derrick is the vertical tower.
      By: eyeidea
      An offshore oil platform. The derrick is the vertical tower.
    • A red and white oil derrick.
      By: lightmoon
      A red and white oil derrick.