Trent Latshaw, the founder and head of Latshaw Drilling in Tulsa, can verify that the demand for 1,000-2,000 horsepower rigs is high.
says the company's fleet, which includes 15 rigs within that range, has 100 percent utilization.
In fact, Latshaw reports that the only unused rig his
company has on the books is a new, 1,700-horsepower diesel electric that is still under construction.
Many of today's high-spec rigs have closed-loop mud systems, Latshaw notes.
"Closed-loop mud systems do away with the need for a reserve pit," he
"The systems also processes drilling fluid more efficiently.
They are able to take more solids from the drilling fluid, which enables more fluid to be reused and makes the solids dryer and easier to dispose of.
That becomes very important when dealing with oil-based mud, which often is used in horizontal wells."
encourages operators to consider using high-horsepower rigs when the class they want is difficult to obtain.
"We consider our 2,000-horsepower rig to be identical to our 1,500-horsepower rigs, except for the drawworks size and the mast/substructure capacity," he
"The 2,000-horsepower rigs have the same footprint and move as fast as the 1,500-horsepower units, and for all practical purposes, the day rates are the same."
also says diesel-electric SCR rigs are comparable to AC rigs.
"They have the same top drives, the same mud pumps, the same mud systems, the same engines, and the same blowout preventers," he
"From the customers' perspective, they drill wells as fast as AC rigs."
In reference to safety, Latshaw
says people matter more than technology.
"You can try to design a piece of equipment that is accident proof, but safety comes down to the people on the rig floor and what their mindsets are," he
"We are putting more money into training, beefing up our safety department, and having more safety coaches go around the rigs to work with the hands."
points out that many rigs, including several of Latshaw Drilling
's units, use automated iron roughnecks to improve safety.
"Those are expensive, high-maintenance pieces of equipment," he