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Unit Corp. unveils new drilling rig

Tulsa-based Unit Corp. on Wednesday unveiled a new drilling rig, a high-tech drilling platform designed to take advantage of technological advancements and meet the needs of a drilling industry that has evolved to a focus on mile-long horizontal wells through shale and other dense rock.
by Adam Wilmoth Modified: February 27, 2014 at 6:00 pm •  Published: February 26, 2014

“There are only a few pumps like that in the United States, although they’ve been used offshore for years,” Pinkston said. “It used to be that a 1,600 horsepower mud pump was huge. We didn’t have very many 1,300 horsepower pumps just 15 years ago.”

The BOSS rig also includes a command center equipped with two joysticks and four attached monitors, giving the driller visual and real-time information on every part of the process from the top of the rig to the bottom of the well.

“This will give him better control of his rig, a better overlook of all the equipment without expecting his hands to watch over everything,” Unit rig manager Dustin Williams said.

“That is going to benefit with long-term use and maintenance.”

The base rig costs about $18 million, with winterizing equipment for cold areas pushing the price to $20 million.

After Wednesday’s demonstration, the first BOSS rig was scheduled to move to the Texas Panhandle, where it will be used by Unit’s exploration and production company.

Unit plans to build five more by September. Those rigs will be used in North Dakota, Colorado and the Gulf Coast.

“We want to demonstrate them in the field spread out in different operating areas,” Pinkston said. “That will give all of our operating areas a rig where customers can go out and look at them.”

by Adam Wilmoth
Energy Editor
Adam Wilmoth returned to The Oklahoman as energy editor in 2012 after working for four years in public relations. He previously spent seven years as a business reporter at The Oklahoman, including five years covering the state's energy sector....
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