Oil reserves are found deep under the earth or at remote locations in the sea. Oil companies need large structures that can be suspended above water to drill into the seabed and extract oil. Such machines are called oil rigs, and there are 1,470 of them around the globe.

They can drill for miles into the bottom of the sea to access the reserves and then process the raw material into refined oil on the rig. Oil producers require oilfield equipment, such as drilling mud pumps, clipper weight indicators, and other tools, to assist the offshore oil rigs’ drilling process.

Let’s look at some of the most notable types of oil rigs.


These are pontoon-like floating structures that can ballast and de-ballast to anchor, re-float, and re-position. The submersible structure allows such oil rigs to reach into deep oil sites, and that’s why they’re a famous choice in the oil drilling industry. The ability to drill in the deep sea and maintain stability during turbulent weather makes it a reliable option for offshore oil companies.


These are mobile offshore drilling units—MODU—that are used for offshore drilling in remote, ultra-deep sites at sea. This allows this offshore structure to reach into rich oil and gas reserves hidden deep into the waters. This drilling system gets its name because the platform is partially submerged in water while the drilling operation is underway. Once done, they’re held in position by anchors that sustain 10+ tons of weight.

Fixed Platforms

This structure is built with massive steel or concrete support legs launched onto the seabed and firmly fitted. A steel tubular framework known as the jacket is attached to the platform to assist production plants, drilling equipment, and living quarters for the miners. There’s also a movable substructure that contains multiple directional wells drilled from the platform with the rig’s support. Fixed platform oil rigs are a permanent solution for long-term industrial uses, owing to their stability.  

Jackups Rigs

Such offshore oil rigs are used for shallow wells that don’t require deep drilling. Jackup rigs come with a platform that’s temporarily fixed over the seafloor. Since it comes without support pillars, it’s towed to the drilling point and rested on the sea bottom. The platform stays above the surface of the water, unlike a floating barge. The system is more stable than the floating oil rigs and can drill as deep as 100 meters.  

Drill Ships

They’re the most widely demanded drilling rigs in the oil extraction industry. They consist of a maritime vessel with drilling equipment attached to it. The drilling apparatus is mounted in the vessel’s center above a reinforced hole through which the drilling string is lowered.

Since drillships are a complete oil rig with a marine structure fitted with drilling apparatus, they minimize supply trips and operate in remote areas. They offer increased depth and mobility, which allows oil companies to extract more in a day. However, this type of offshore rig may be less durable than regular semi-submersible ones.

If you need reliable, premium-grade drilling equipment, check out our full range of oilfield instrumentation, including mud pressure gauges, custom cables, or clipper weight indicators.

Contact Instruments is a leading manufacturer of OEM drilling instrumentation in Canada and has a production facility in Leduc, Alberta. We’re manufacturers and suppliers of drilling equipment for Canadian and American oil companies and are a one-stop solution for high-quality equipment.

Check out our variety or call us at 780-955-8998 for more information.