sonic drill

What About the Use of Asbestos by Drill Rig Companies?

In the last 20 years, almost everyone in the country has encountered or heard something unpleasant about “asbestos”. Asbestos is an important component used in a wide spectrum of products which includes roofing materials, insulation, and a host of other commercial and residential building items. 

Asbestos was also taken advantage of by drill rig companies for use in offshore oil rigs and land rigs. If you happen to have worked in an oil field before, whether, on land or offshore, the odds are high that you had asbestos exposure. The reason why asbestos is so controversial is due to the fact that it is detrimental to human health. For this reason, it is crucial that you learn something about this now. 

What is Asbestos? 

Asbestos is the collective term that refers to a couple of naturally occurring minerals. While they have their geological names, as a group they are known as asbestos-type minerals. They share one thing in common; all of them can produce tiny fibers. 

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These microscopic fibers disintegrate so easily that when it does happen, they can get disbursed into the surrounding air. It is these airborne fibers that run the risk of getting inhaled by drill rig workers and into their lungs and get lodged in there that will eventually cause serious repercussions. 

The human body, in no way, would be able to process or eliminate asbestos fibers from its system. Thus, once they get into the human lungs, they are bound to remain in the body of the person forever. It literally stays with him, inside his system. Perhaps, until he breathed his last. 

But since it is considered as a foreign matter lodged inside the lungs, it will cause the person to suffer from a lung-related illness. 

Drill rig companies began utilizing asbestos for their land and offshore rigs during the 1960s and became a prevalent practice through the latter part of the 1980s. Asbestos products were used then as additives, they are mixed into drilling mud for their land and offshore drilling operations. 

Asbestos provided drill rig companies with the heat-resistant and cohesive properties they were looking for. It rendered the drilling mud even more suitable for their drilling operations. In fact, some of these asbestos-based products are 100% pure asbestos material.  

What is the Downside of Asbestos Use in the Drill Rig Industry?

drillingExposure to asbestos fibers for a considerable amount of time will eventually cause serious health issues. Topping the list for this is a well-known type of cancer called mesothelioma, which is an asbestos-type of cancer that occurs mostly in the abdomen area, lungs, heart area, and sometimes in the testicle as well. 

Asbestosis is a condition wherein the actual asbestos fibers are lodged into the linings of the lungs themselves. Lung cancer can also occur as an indirect effect of long-time exposure to asbestos. 

Research supports the claim of medical doctors that asbestos fibers within a person’s lungs will increase his risk of acquiring lung cancer. This holds true most especially in the case of chain smokers. If a person is exposed to asbestos and does smoke a lot, it will exacerbate the ill-effects of smoking in his system. It will make all the more prone to lung-related issues like cancer. 

But here is a bit of good news for people who used to work and might have been exposed to asbestos in the oil and gas industry. We now have a federal and maritime law, referred to as the Jones Act. This law aims to offer these workers relief if they used to work on drilling barges on the water or even offshore. 

The Jones Act in Relation to Asbestos-Related Health Issue

Under the Jones Act, you can file a claim against your past employer for your asbestos-related exposure. An important clause of this act that must be satisfied first for you to qualify for a claim is that your asbestos exposure took place during your stint with that drill rig company.

Many of the past workers of drill rig companies in the Gulf of Mexico, whose active operations began in the 1960s up until the late part of the 1980s, are now suffering from lung cancer. Note that a lot of asbestos-related health issues will sometimes manifest only after some time, which explains the prevalence of health issues among them. It would take about 2 decades for any health concern to manifest. 

Previous workers of the drill rig industry who were likely exposed to asbestos during their stint in a drilling rig company will need to fully explore their legal remedies and take advantage of a possible claim from them. 

Sonic Drilling Techniques for Geotechnical and Environmental Drilling

drill techniquesOver the last two decades, we have seen the increasing, growing trend and public interest in the use of sonic drill methods. We can see two key elements that significantly helped spawn this level of growth now. The first is the development of skilled drill workers whose area of specialization is centered in sonic drilling and the second catalyst is the advancement of drilling technology. 

If a sonic drilling crew operator is highly skilled, there is a good chance that he will reach an impressively high rate of production. Thereby, allowing him to obtain high-grade samples from a wide spectrum of subsurface conditions. The sonic rigs are likely to reach greater depths while trying to keep staying close to 100% of its site core samples.  

Sonic drilling techniques are frequently used in geotechnical, environmental, water drilling, and geo-construction projects, but the industry has also seen further potential when it comes to exploration drilling. Sonic drilling comes with a handful of distinct advantages that are way and above the traditional drill systems that we have come to know. It is because the drill string in this method is not at all obstructed when advancing via unconsolidated overburden formations.  

The Best Time for Using Sonic Drilling Techniques

Knowing the best and the most practical time to use the sonic method of drilling over other traditional systems spells a world of difference when it comes to delivering nothing less but cost-effective results to a client.  

We offer you 3 major points that’ll tell you why you need to take advantage of this type of drilling method. They are as follows:  

Drilling projects where you need to collect a continuous site sample – this is completely contrasting to reverse drilling circulation. This system collects chips, instead. 

In situations that necessitate you to avoid air and fluid while drilling work remains an on-going process. Sonic drilling system eliminates the need for fluid and air. This explains the reason why it is ideal for environmental applications as well as geo-construction and geotechnical drilling projects. 

Drilling projects that primarily involve the environment can enjoy a big amount of savings if it is going to utilize a sonic method of drilling. Projects on drilling of such caliber usually require good funding and work to dispose of investigation-derived waste or the so-called drill cuttings. Dry drilling lowers the amount of liquid waste produced as opposed to rotary systems. 

As for auger drilling, this method can bring about 4 times solid IDW against the sonic system. Leach pad mining projects, the addition of air or water is considered as just a disturbance and will likely induce erosion, paving the way for failure to occur in the form of a partial landslide.

For drilling works that are highlighted by unconsolidated ground formations, the sonic method of drilling is indeed a good and practical drilling option since it can easily handle and manage pebbles and boulders while ensuring borehole integrity remains intact via a continuous and steady casing process.  

Sonic Rig and Tooling Maintenance

See to it that sonic rigs and tooling remain in their optimal operating condition because they are crucial to the long-term productivity of the sonic method of drilling. By observing preventive maintenance, one can easily identify and rectify issues right even before equipment failure starts. When this kind of scenario happens, it will lead to costly downtime. See to it that you have in place a regular maintenance service on your sonic rig. 

Keep Safety in Mind

One of the most crucial aspects of any drill site is safety. We must work in incorporating and promoting a culture of safety inside project/work sites. Drill crews should get used to immersing themselves into critical analysis first before they take action on anything, at least a minimum of 5 minutes before taking any kind of action. By this measure, the crews and staff of drill sites will be able to focus their attention on the current task they have.