posted on Oct, 5 2012 @ 10:10 PM
I'd hate to be working on that drilling rig. The deepest wells I've been a part of drilling have been 22,000' of pipe, some of which was
horizontal, so we only went about 16-17,000' true vertical depth. That is ALOT of drillpipe to pull out and trip in everytime the bit wears out.
One resource I looked at says the thinnest places in the crust are around 16 miles thick, which is 84,480'. If they use drillpipe which has an
outside diameter of 5", which weighs 19.5 lbs/ft, that gives us a string weight (weight of the entire drill pipe assembly) of 1.6 million pounds. A
lot, but not out of reason. Some offshore rigs could handle that.
The biggest hurdle in drilling that deep is is mud pump horsepower. Drilling rigs have large pumps that pump drilling fluid ("mud") down the drill
pipe, out through the bit, and back up the hole between the wall and the outside of the pipe. This mud cools the bit and brings the cuttings to the
surface. The horsepower necessary to have the surface pressure required to move mud that far is mind-blowing. Then the mud engineers would have to
figure out what the mud would need to weigh to provide sufficient hydrostatic pressure at the bottom of the hole to keep it under control, lest the
bottom hole pressure not balance out the pressure coming into the well from the formation (blowout, deepwater horizon).
I'll believe it when I see it.