A small, portable top-drive system, which can be installed in as little as 4 hr with little or no derrick modification, can help land rigs drill difficult or extended reach wells, according to Tesco Drilling Technology in Calgary. The portable top drive is typically installed during rig up before the well is spudded or while waiting for cement after the surface hole is drilled. Some of the obstacles to installing top drives on land rigs have been the type of equipment available, the need for major derrick modifications, and the capital cost. As an alternative to buying a top drive, drilling contractors and oil companies ...

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