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How a Mud Pump System Works on an Oil Rig

A mud pump is used when drilling oil wells to circulate drilling fluid through the drilling rig, which lubricates and cools the drilling bit. The mud pump also helps plaster the sides of a well to prevent it from caving in and removes rock cuttings to the surface.

A mud pump is used when drilling oil wells to circulate drilling fluid through the drilling rig, which lubricates and cools the drilling bit. The mud pump also helps plaster the sides of a well to prevent it from caving in and removes rock cuttings to the surface.

Rotary Drilling

In rotary drilling for oil wells, a hole is drilled by means of a drill bit that moves in a circular motion, breaking rock at the bottom of the hole. A typical rotary drill includes a drilling rig, mug pump, a string of drill rods and a drilling tool to grind rock.

Types

There are two major types of mud pumps: two-cylinder, double-acting and three-cylinder, single-acting. Its replaceable pistons travel through liners and are driven by a crankshaft (a device that transmits rotary motion) powered by an engine.

Function

The mud pump is a reciprocal pump, which means a piston moves up and down in a cylinder to force out fluid. Using a system of valves, pistons and liners, the mud pump circulates fluid down into the hole to cool the drilling parts.

About the Author

Erik Arvidson has 12 years of professional writing experience, including six years as a senior reporter at the Massachusetts Statehouse for several suburban dailies, and most recently as PR Manager of a telecommunications company near Boston. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English/communications from North Adams State College.