Working in the oil and gas industry requires a working knowledge of many different industry-specific terms. Gaining this knowledge can take some time if you are not regularly interacting with a specific piece of equipment, location, or product. To help get around the learning curve, Specialist Services RedGuard has put together a list of 35 oil and gas terms that you should know. This is in follow-up to our previous post, specifically covering offshore oil and gas terminology.
1. BBL (Barrel) – The abbreviation BBL stands for a barrel of crude oil. One barrel is equal to 42 gallons. This term is often used when speaking of production numbers, such as how many barrels per day a particular location can produce.
2. Bump Office – A bump office is additional office space associated with skid house accommodation units. They are typically designed to sit next to or bump up against a skid house unit, providing additional office space. They can also be used as stand-alone units if full accommodations are not required.
3. Casing – Casings are a series of connected steel pipes placed within the well as it is being drilled. A casing is typically 40 feet long with a male threaded end on each side. As the casings are lowered into the well, they are connected using a casing collar, or coupling, that uses female threads on each of its ends to connect the two casings. The casings provide stability and protection to the well by keeping the newly drilled walls from collapsing. They also provide containment by keeping groundwater and other materials from mixing with the oil and vice versa.
4. Command Center – The term command center is often used to describe accommodation units that provide officing space for multiple personnel.
5. Company Man – The company man is the representative of the exploration company that is stationed onsite to oversee the operations. When drilling, an exploration company will rent or lease the drilling rig from a drilling contractor. That contractor then uses their personnel to drill the well. The company man is onsite to manage these contractors and ensure the project is operating correctly.
6. Completions – After a well has been drilled, it must either be plugged and abandoned, or completed. Completions, or well completions, is the term used to describe the process and equipment required to enable a well to begin producing oil or gas.
7. Control House – A technical building is used to house control equipment in a central location to operate equipment or processes. These buildings can be expanded to accommodate people if necessary for the control equipment to be monitored and manned. They are commonly found in refineries.
8. Directional Drilling – Drilling for oil and gas directionally means that the drilling is not being done in the traditional manner, which is vertically into the ground. By drilling horizontally, multiple reservoirs of oil or gas can be exploited from a single well, saving time and money. Onsite, the person in charge of the horizontal drilling is referred to as the directional driller.
9. Downstream – In the oil and gas industry, downstream refers to the refining of the oil and gas as well as the distribution of the products derived from the refining process.
10. Drill Bit – A drill bit is used to drill a wellbore through various layers of rock formations to access oil or natural gas resources; there are many different types and variations of drill bits designed to work with specific types of rock formations.
11. Drilling Rig – A drilling rig is the combination of equipment that is used to drill a wellbore. This includes mud tanks, mud pumps, the derrick, drawworks, top drive, drill string, power generation, and other auxiliary equipment.
12. Dry Hole – A dry hole is a well that, after being drilled, cannot produce the necessary amount of oil or gas to move to completion.
13. Electrical House (E-House, E-Rooms) – In refineries, these technical buildings accommodate power assemblies. Individual E-Houses can be purpose-built to meet specific requirements from power backup systems to switch gears to transformers.
14. Exploratory Well – An exploratory well is a drilled well that is used to identify if there is oil and gas in that location.
15. Field – Field, shorthand for oilfield, is the area of land used for extracting oil and gas.
16. Heavy Oil – Heavy oil is high-viscosity oil that does not flow as easily through the wells during production.
17. Hydrocarbons – Hydrocarbons are chemicals compounds made up of hydrogen and carbon atoms. Hydrocarbons are the chemical basis for oil and gas.
18. Hydraulic Fracturing (Fracking) – Hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, is a technique used in the development of wells to stimulate oil and gas flow. It injects water, sand, and chemicals under high pressure into the bedrock from the well. This increases existing fractures and creates new ones allowing oil and gas to flow more freely to the well.
19. LNG – LNG stands for liquified natural gas. LNG is created by cooling the gas till it reaches a liquid form so that it can be transported more safely and efficiently.
20. Local Equipment Room (LER) – LERs provide storage and workspace for mechanical or electrical equipment. They are often utilized in offshore locations and thus built to meet the required maritime certifications and standards.
21. Modular Data Center (MDC) – MDCs are technical buildings that accommodate servers and the other electrical equipment (IT racks, HVAC, switchgear, etc.) necessary to run them. They are used to get a site up and running quickly or to expand an existing data center within a facility.
22. Motor Control Center Building (MCC Building / Module) – This building accommodates equipment that controls multiple electrical motors in a central location. They are typically used in industrial applications, such as refineries, where many electrical motors are in use.
23. Power Control Center (PCC) – These buildings accommodate electrical distribution equipment. They are designed to protect critical electrical and control equipment in a controlled environment and help to extend the equipment’s life span.
24. Refinery – A Refinery is a facility that takes crude oil and refines it into gasoline, kerosene, and other petroleum-based products.
25. Remote Instrument Building (RIB) – RIBs are used to house and protect instruments, analyzers, and drivers from the harsh conditions of the worksite.
26. Remote Instrument Enclosures (RIE) – RIEs are built to house and protect instruments, analyzers, and drivers from the harsh conditions of the worksite. They are often constructed to meet strict blast and fire ratings to ensure that critical equipment and personnel are safe.
27. Reserves – Reserves, or oil reserves, are an estimate of the quantities of petroleum that can be recovered from known sources from a given date forward.
28. Roughneck – Roughneck is a slang term used for drilling crew members who make or break connections in drill pipe as it is tripped in or out of the hole.
29. Skid House – Skid houses are accommodation units that house the drilling or completion crews operating in remote areas. They are typically used in cold weather climates.
30. Spudding – Spudding refers to the start of the well-drilling process.
31. Tight Gas – Tight gas refers to natural gas that is particularly tough to access. This gas is found in hard rock formations such as sandstone or limestone.
32. Tool Pusher – Tool pushers are senior-level members of the drilling crew. They oversee the materials and personnel and also act as an advisor to the company man.
33. Trailer House – Trailer houses are accommodation units that are used to house the drilling crew in remote locations.
34. Upstream – In the oil and gas industry, upstream refers to the exploration and production side of the process.
35. Wellbore – A wellbore is a hole drilled by the drilling rig to explore and extract oil or gas.
The oil and gas industry has many industry-specific terms. We hope this list of 35 terms will give newcomers to the industry a head start and serve as a helpful refresher for those with more experience.
Specialist Services RedGuard supports the oil and gas industry for onshore and offshore modular buildings, technical buildings, and accommodation modules, as well as service, maintenance, and parts. Contact us today if we can be of assistance on your next project.