New drilling rigs making US more productive in shale plays

Fuel Fix:
On a drilling rig towering above quiet cattle farms in Southeast Texas, Eric Williams perched inside the cabin of the 16-story machine, twisting a pair of joysticks to guide a gigantic wrench roaring into action, drowning out every sound as it reached for a 1,500-pound pipe emerging from the earth.

Soon, that pipe will feed oil into a second shale boom.
The job of the old roughneck is being replaced by a guy sitting in front of six computer monitors and operating a joystick.  It is one of several changes that have made US producers more competitive and in some cases giving them a price advantage over OPEC.

This link above also links to a longer story in the Houston Chronicle that explains the new technology.


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