FASTLINE - the end of the drilling line that is affixed to the drum or reel of the drawworks, so called because it travels with greater velocity than any other portion of the line. Compare deadline.
FIELD - A geographical area in which one or more oil or gas wells produce. A field may refer to surface area only or to underground productive formation. A single field may include several reservoirs separated either horizontally or vertically.
FIELD BUTANES - A raw mix of natural gas liquids; the product of gas processing plants in the field. Raw mix streams are sent to fractionating plants where the various components - butane, propane, hexane, and others - are separated. Some refineries are capable of using field butanes at 10 to 15 percent of charge stock.
FINGERBOARD - a rack that supports the stands of pipe being stacked in the derrick or mast. It has several steel fingerlike projections that form a series of slots into which the derrickman can place a stand of drill pipe or collars after it is pulled out of the hole and removed from the drill string.
FIRE FLOODING - a thermal recovery method in which the oil in the reservoir is ignited, the heat vaporizes lighter hydrocarbons and water pushes the warmed oil toward a producing well. Also called in situ combustion. See thermal recovery.
FISH - an object that is left in the wellbore during drilling or workover operations and that must be recovered before work can proceed. It can be anything from a piece of scrap metal to a part of the drill stem.
FISHING - the procedure of recovering lost or stuck equipment in the wellbore.
FISHING MAGNET - a powerful magnet designed to recover metallic objects lost in a well.
FISHING TOOL - a tool designed to recover equipment lost in a well.
FISHING-TOOL OPERATOR - the person (usually a service company employee) in charge of directing fishing operations.
FITTING - a small, often standardized, part (such as a coupling, valve, or gauge) installed in a larger apparatus.
FLARE - (1) To burn unwanted gas through a pipe or stack (Under conservation laws, the flaring of natural gas is illegal.) (2) The flame from a flare; the pipe or the stack itself.
FLOAT COLLAR - a special coupling device inserted one or two joints above the bottom of the casing string that contains a check valve to permit fluid to pass downward but not upward through the casing. The float collar prevents drilling mud from entering the casing while it is being lowered, allowing the casing to float during its descent and thus decreasing the load on the derrick or mast.
FLOAT SHOE - a short, heavy, cylindrical steel section with a rounded bottom that is attached to the bottom of the casing string. It contains a check valve and functions similarly to the float collar but also serves as a guide shoe for the casing.
FLOOD - 1. to drive oil from a reservoir into a well by injecting water under pressure into the reservoir formation. See waterflooding. 2. to drown out a well with water.
FLOW - a current or stream of fluid or gas.
FLOOR CREW - those workers on a drilling or workover rig who work primarily on the rig floor. See rotary helper.
FLOWING WELL -A well capable of producing oil or gas by its own energy without the aid of a mechanical pump. Normally a pump is put on the well after the pressure reduction inhibits the rate of production. FRACING - The process of pumping fluids into a productive formation at high rates of injection to hydraulically break the rock. The "fractures" which are created in the rock act as flow channels for the oil and gas to the well.
FLOW LINE - the surface pipe through which oil or gas travels from a well to processing equipment or to storage.
FLOW RATE - the speed, or velocity, of fluid or gas flow through a pipe or vessel.
FLUID INJECTION - injection of gases or liquids into a reservoir to force oil toward and into producing wells.
FLUID LOSS - the unwanted migration of the liquid part of the drilling mud or cement slurry into a formation, often minimized or prevented by the blending of additives with the mud or cement.
FORMATION FLUID - fluid (such as gas, oil, or water) that exists in a subsurface formation.
FORMATION GAS - gas initially produced from an underground reservoir.
FORMATION PRESSURE - the force exerted by fluids or gas in a formation, recorded in the hole at the level of the formation with the well shut in. Also called reservoir pressure or shut-in bottomhole pressure.
FORMATION TESTING - the gathering of pressure data and fluid samples from a formation to determine its production potential before choosing a completion method.
FORMATION WATER - 1. the water originally in place in a formation. 2. any water that resides in the pore spaces of a formation.
FOSSIL ENERGY - Energy derived from crude oil, natural gas, or coal.
FRAC FLUID - a fluid used in the fracturing process (for example, a method of stimulating production by opening new flow channels in the formation surrounding a production well). Under extremely high hydraulic pressure, frac fluids (such as distillate, diesel fuel, crude oil, dilute hydrochloric acid, water, or kerosene) are pumped downward through production tubing or drill pipe and forced out below a packer or between two packers. The pressure causes cracks to open in the formation, and the fluid penetrates the formation through the cracks. Sand grains, aluminum pellets, walnut shells, or similar materials (propping agents) are carried in suspension by the fluid into the cracks. When the pressure is released at the surface, the fracturing fluid returns to the well but leaves behind the propping agents to hold open the formation cracks.
FUEL TANKS - fuel storage tanks for the power generating system.
FRACTURE - a crack or crevice in a formation, either natural or induced. See hydraulic fracturing.
FRACTURE ACIDIZING - a procedure by which acid is forced into a formation under pressure high enough to cause the formation to crack. The acid acts on certain kinds of formations, usually carbonates, to increase the permeability of the formation. Also called acid fracturing.
FRACTURE PRESSURE - the pressure at which a formation will break down, or fracture.
FRACTURING FLUID - a fluid, such as water, oil, or acid, used in hydraulic fracturing. The fluid carries propping agents that hold open the formation cracks after hydraulic pressure dissipates. See acid fracturing, hydraulic fracturing, propping agents.
FREE-POINT INDICATOR - a device run on wireline into the wellbore and inside the fishing string and fish to locate the area where a fish is stuck. When the drill string is pulled and turned, the electromagnetic fields of free pipe and stuck pipe differ. The free-point indicator is able to distinguish these differences, which are registered on a metering device at the surface.
FRICTION - resistance to movement created when two surfaces are in contact. When friction is present, movement between the surfaces produces heat.
FULL-GAUGE BIT - a bit that has maintained its original diameter.
FULL-GAUGE HOLE - a wellbore drilled with a full-gauge bit. Also called a true-to-gauge hole.