When IDM was first developing AC drive technology for the oilfield, we received a large contract for an experimental rig on Pico street in Hollywood California.

The rig is surrounded by 20+ foot tall brown brick walls and from the street the Derrick appears to be a clock tower. Due to its location it has to be for all intents silent. The draw works is basically a roller coaster on Teflon slides powered by 6 parallel Siemens motors driven by Yaskawa modular drives. The mud pump is two long bi-directional pistons driven in a coordinated fashion so that there is always a consistent flow again driven by Yaskawa modular drives.
The startup took months and we stayed in Santa Monica. (Btw The Big Blue bus is a great way to get to the beach/pier.) Richard Lewis our lead engineer on the project got his “Hollywood” nickname on this project.

After working 12-hr days for months on the project the roughnecks and our crew became quit close knit (they would climb onto the draw works and ride it to the top of the derrick). The last day I was on site I was sitting on the steps of the SCR house looking down at the driller when he looked up at me and asked if I would like to come down and do a little rough necking to which I yelled back “I would love to but I’d hate to put 2 of y’all out of work” … I then had to dive into the SCR house to avoid the hail of wrenches, nuts, rocks, etc…it appears rig hands don’t like to be bested by a mere technician.

— Dale Frisk

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