A drilling rig is a machine which creates holes (usually called boreholes) and/or shafts in the ground.

How big[]

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.

What they do[]

They sample sub-surface mineral deposits, test rock, soil and groundwater physical properties, and to install sub-surface fabrications, such as underground utilities, instrumentation, tunnels or wells.


Drilling rigs can be mobile equipment mounted on trucks, tracks or trailers, or more permanent land or marine-based structures (such as oil platforms, commonly called 'offshore oil rigs').

The term "rig" therefore generally refers to the complex of equipment that is used to penetrate the surface of the earth's crust.

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