A yellow and gray drilling rig stretched high in the sky at Scandrill's Tyler facility. The shiny new steel structure known now as "Scan Titan" is Scandrill's 16th drilling rig to enter operation. The company christened the rig in its traditional fashion at a ceremony on Monday.
Scandrill Inc. President Paul Mosvold said the christening ceremony is a tradition in the company and is something he learned from his family's work in the shipping industry.
The new rig and its crew will begin work for KJ Energy in East Texas in what is being called the modern oil field.
James and Lois Archer of KJ Energy praised the work of Scandrill during the ceremony at the bottom of the rig, wishing them well in their future endeavors on the rig.
Lois Archer got the honor of swinging a bottle of champagne wrapped in a red bow at the rig, breaking it against the steel. The crowd of about 200 cheered and clapped when the bottle broke.
The ceremony began with the national anthem, the Pledge of Allegiance, a prayer and a speech from Mosvold and his brother and Senior Vice President Torrey Mosvold.
People in the oil industry and community members toured the rig, seeing the drillers cabin, the rig floor, the hydraulic catwalk, pumps and generators that power the rig.
The 165-foot tall structure took about four months to build on the Tyler yard. The rig is joystick controlled, operates on electricity powered by three diesel engines that can be converted to natural gas.
It has a walking system that allows the rig to be moved without tearing it down, making it possible to drill six to eight wells on a pad without having to wait days for the rig to be moved and put back up.
Mosvold said the rig is more economical and cuts the cost of oil drilling.
"The rig is capable of drilling down about 20,000 feet and then in four to six hours it can be moved over 5 to 10 feet where another well can be drilled," Mosvold said. "We can start drilling in hours instead of spending days to take the rig down and move it. This disrupts less nature. It's cleaner and there is less traffic going into and out of the drilling site."
Mosvold said the company has been in Tyler for 28 years and has about 420 employees. Scandrill also has offices in Houston and Odessa.
He said the oil industry has a huge impact on the local economy due to most of the employees living in East Texas and spending their income in the area when they are on their two weeks on and two weeks off rotation.
"The rig will go wherever a company asks us to drill," he said. "Many times we don't even know if the rig struck oil. We are hired to drill and we'll get paid if there is oil or not."
"Scan Titan" will be taken down and transported to a site using about 60 semitrucks and put back together in about four days to begin its work for KJ Energy in East Texas.