This Oil Exploration Was ‘Rigged’

And, that rig was Patterson drill rig 329 on a Utica Shale drilling site operated by Chesapeake Energy in Carroll County.

This drill rig can move forward, backward and side-to-side, but it can’t go put itself together or take itself apart. That’s when Local 18 members and Capital City Crane go to work to erect the drill rig, one of the largest currently operating in Ohio – and take it apart.

Because the rigs move approximately every 30 days depending on how well the drilling goes, the work has been keeping Operating Engineers busy for many months.

In the site pictured, Capital City Crane used a 218 Link-Belt Crawler Crane and an LTM-1250/1. Operating the Link-Belt is Dale Carpenter and the oiler is Nick Campbell, both of District 6. Jeff Robertson is the operator on the LTM-1250/1 and Jeff Miller is the oiler. Both are from District 3.

Working together, the four Local 18 Operating Engineers complete dismantling the rig in 350 man-hours, including loading 75 truckloads of equipment with picks ranging from several thousand pounds to a two-crane pick of 160,000 pounds (80 tons).

(For more information on the drill rig itself, go to

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