The Derrickhand or Derrickman position varies greatly from one drilling rig
Drilling rig
A drilling rig is a machine which creates holes or shafts in the ground. Drilling rigs can be massive structures housing equipment used to drill water wells, oil wells, or natural gas extraction wells, or they can be small enough to be moved manually by one person...

 to another. He almost always reports directly to the driller
Driller (oil)
The driller is a team leader in charge during the process of well drilling. The term is commonly used in the context of an oil well drilling rig....

. The name derrickman comes from the position that he normally occupies, which is at the top of the derrick. From this position he guides the stands of drill pipe, typically 90 ft (27 meters) long, into the fingers at the top of the derrick while tripping (removing the drill string) out of the hole. When tripping into the hole (aka Running In) he will pull the pipe out of the fingers and guide it into the elevators suspended from the top drive. Traditionally the derrickman also works closely with the mud engineer (see drilling fluid
Drilling fluid
In geotechnical engineering, drilling fluid is a fluid used to aid the drilling of boreholes into the earth. Often used while drilling oil and natural gas wells and on exploration drilling rigs, drilling fluids are also used for much simpler boreholes, such as water wells. Liquid drilling fluid...

) when not tripping pipe since he is not needed in the derrick. In this capacity it is his responsibility for monitoring the viscosity and the mud weight (density
The mass density or density of a material is defined as its mass per unit volume. The symbol most often used for density is ρ . In some cases , density is also defined as its weight per unit volume; although, this quantity is more properly called specific weight...

), adding sacks of chemicals (25-100 lb each) to the mud to maintain properties, and monitor the mud level in the mud pits to aid in the well control
Well control
Well control is the technique used in oil and gas operations such as drilling, well workover, and well completions to maintaining the fluid column hydrostatic pressure and formation pressure to prevent influx of formation fluids into the wellbore.This technique involves the estimation of formation...

. He may also be responsible for the shale shakers
Shale shakers
Shale shakers are devices that remove drill cuttings from the drilling fluid that is used for boring holes into the earth. Controlling the solids in drilling fluid is an important component of the cost of drilling, so research into improved shaker design is ongoing.-Shale shaker design:Shale...

and the mud pumps. The derrickman is also responsible for the transfer of chemicals (eg: Barite or Bentonite or oil-based fluids) from bulk silos or tanks to the mud system.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.