A top drive is capable of drilling with three joints stands, instead of just one pipe at a time.
Top drives typically decrease the frequency of stuck pipe, which contributes to cost savings.
A top drive allows drillers to more quickly engage and disengage pumps or the rotary while removing or restringing the pipe.
Top drives are also preferable for challenging extended-reach and directional wells.
Reducing risk and increasing safety during the drilling process, top drives remove much of the manual labor that was previously required to drill wells. Many times, top drives are completely automated, offering rotational control and maximum torque, as well as control over the weight on the bit.
Top drives can be used in all environments and on all types of rigs, from truck-mounted units to the largest offshore rig. Although top drives can be used on both onshore and offshore rigs, there are some differences between the two. For example, on an offshore rig, the top drive travels up and down the vertical rails to avoid the mechanism from swaying with the waves of the ocean.
some components of a top drive:
- Bail or Link
- IBOP (both manual and pneumatic operated)
- Rotating Head
- Top drive motor
- Dolly Track
- Travelling Block