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Oil Field Lingo

From 1899 to 1939, Oklahoma was one of greatest petroleum producing areas in the world. Much of the prosperity and quality of life we have in Oklahoma is owed to the wealth produced during this golden era of petroleum and to subsequent discoveries of oil and natural gas in the state. The early oil fields also founded a language or lingo of their own. Below is the first of a three-part series of oil field terms and definitions. This information was taken from the teachers' guide materials in our Petroleum Education Trunk. Air Jammers: Know it all types Biscuit Cutter: A drill bit Bleed: To drain off water at bottom of oil storage tank Boll Weevil: inexperienced worker on drilling rig or in roust about gangs Boomtown: A town experiencing phenomenal growth due to oil discovery. Bulldog Spear: A fishing tool. Bull Scout: person who directs information-seeking activities in an area.

Bull Wheel: On cable tool rigs, was used for lowering casing, bits, and tools.

Casing: Heavy steel pipe that comes in joints or sections. Cathead: A pulley winch used in drilling (a cat driver is the person who operates a caterpillar tractor) Coffeepot: A steam drilling rig. Crowfoot: a removable pronged plate on the outside of the boiler. Darb: derived from the name of boomtown blues singer Ruby Darby, it grew to mean something special, as in "it's a real darb." Dead in a hurry: hauler of nitroglycerine. Devil's Pitchfork: name for fishing tools, also cherry picker, junk basket, alligator grab. Digger: a driller (on an evening or graveyard tour, he is a night digger). Dog House: a toolhouse or primitive office on or adjacent to the rig floor. Dogleg: applies to almost anything that is crooked, i.e. a piece of equipment or a hole.

Don't let that pig iron eat you: old safety warning.

Duck's nest: a firebox in a boiler.

Fishing: trying to recover tools lost in the drill hole.

Fishtail: a bit used for shale and other soft formations in rotary drilling.

Grief Stem: a heavy, square pipe that works through the square hole in the rotary table that drives the drill stem, also a kelly.

Ground stomper: person in seismograph crew who places the spread of the geophone detectors.