Prospective authors looking to submit their work to National Driller may find the following style guide helpful. This list includes stylistic preferences, the preferred spelling of certain industry terms, guidelines for cutlines and more.
air drilling, as distinct from mud drilling. A type of drilling where air compressors push air through the drill stem to blow cuttings back to the surface for treatment or disposal.
ASTM International, formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials. A global body that sets standards for materials, products, systems and services used in construction, manufacturing and transportation.
BGS, below ground surface on first reference.
back-reamer, a tool pulled back through a horizontal bore in order to widen the hole diameter.
cfm, cubic feet per minute, a designation for air compressors.
cutlines, for photos in print and online, avoid directly lifting material from the story or simply describing what the picture shows.
CWD/PI, certified well driller/pump installer. Acronym acceptable on all references.
cutline credits, use format Source: John Smith for single photos on a page; use Source: John Smith photos with largest photo only when multiple photos appear on a page.
cuttings, the excess material produced during rotary drilling. Can be solid or semi-solid (slurry) material. Often must be disposed of off-site in approved facilities.
daNm, a deca Newton-meter, a unit measure of torque for rotary rigs. Wikipedia: One Newton-metre is equal to the torque resulting from a force of one Newton applied perpendicularly to a moment arm which is one meter long.
D.GE, stands for diplomate of geotechnical engineering.
direct push, and alternative to rotary drilling, where tools are "pushed" or driven into the ground. Direct push leaves no debris on the surface and is often used in environmental applications and for soil sampling at depth.
DTH, down-the-hole on first reference, a type of hammer used in HDD, mining and other drilling applications.
drill collar, a weight that attaches to drill pipe to help a bit reach a drilling formations.
E&P, shorthand for exploration and production, a phrase used to describe a category of companies in the oil and gas sector. Spell out on first reference: exploration and production.
em dashes, take a space on either side in copy — and should be used sparingly.
etc., short for the Latin phrase et cetera, so like e.g. and i.e., it should be italic.
fines, finings, see cuttings.
foot-pounds, a measure of work. Defined as the work done by one pound of force acting through a distance of one foot. Foot-pounds in reference to rigs measure pullback and thrust.
fracking, preferred term is hydraulic fracturing. Fracking acceptable on second reference.
frack-out, for both the noun and verb. To rupture of a horizontal drilling bore resulting in drilling fluids leaking into formation or onto the ground surface above the bore. The more technical cause: annular pressure within the borehole exceeds what the formation can withstand. Sometimes called inadvertent returns.
geotechnical investigation, an assessment of the subsurface conditions. This is often done with compact rigs at construction sites prior to the start of a building project. The results of a geotechnical investigation might recommend ground strengthening methods to ensure support for a large structure like a dam or skyscraper.
gpm, gallons per minute.
ground source heat pump, the integral operating unit for geothermal systems. It moves the liquid, whether water or a type of diluted antifreeze, through the system.
groundwater, one word. Exceptions made for group names like National Ground Water Association (NGWA).
hard hat, two words for the protective head gear.
head, or hydrostatic head is pressure created by fluid or slurry in a borehole. Hydrostatic head is pressure against a filter cake or polymer gel membrane that helps the borehole remain stable.
HDD, horizontal directional drilling on first reference.
HDPE, high-density polyethylene, a material for pipes.
HVAC, acceptable on all references for heating, ventilation and air conditioning.
ID, interior diameter, as of a casing or pipe. Spell out on first reference.
in situ, a latin phrase that means "in position" or "on site". Often used in drilling contexts.
IT4-compliant, not interim Tier 4, an emissions standard for non-road diesel engines.
jobsite, one word.
Kelly drive, a type of mechanical well drilling drive typically found on oil and gas rigs. A Kelly pipe with three, four, six or eight sides is run through a matching bushing and rotary table. The table is rotated, which in turn rotates the Kelly pipe, which is attached to the drill string. The Kelly pipe, bushing and rotating table are collectively the Kelly drive. Also, Kelly-drive rig.
kN, kilonewton, a unit of force.
limited-access drilling, drilling where overhead may be a problem, for instance in a basement, parking garage or other interior space. This is often done with compact rigs, some of which are cart or track mounted.
MGWC, master ground water contractor. Acronym acceptable on all references.
mud drilling, as distinct from air drilling. Mud drilling, where a liquid slurry made of water, clays or, sometimes, synthetic materials carries drill cuttings to the surface for treatment or disposal. National Ground Water Association, NGWA on second reference.
non-reactive soils, formations like sand. Also called course soils.
OD, outside diameter, as of a casing or pipe. Spell out on first reference.
PAC, stands for poly anionic cellulose, a kind of polymer.
PDC, polycrystalline diamond compact, a type of bit (Bit Brokers is a major supplier).
PE, principle engineer, no periods.
pipe tongs, a method of handling pipe typically used on oil and gas rigs. Note that pipe tongs are kind of being replaced by automatic pipe handlers.
pound-foot, a measure of torque. This is rotational force associated with drill rigs. Different than a foot-pound. Also, pounds-feet.
psi, pounds per square inch.
psig, pounds per square inch gauge, a measure of pressure.
pullback, one word. Measured in foot-pounds.
reactive soils, fine formations such as clay.
REDA pump, an acronym for "Russian Electrical Dynamo of Arutunoff," so named after inventor Armais Sergeevich Arutunoff, who developed the submersible electric pump for oil and gas and water wells while working for the Phillips Petroleum in the late 1920s. The device was manufactured beginning in the 1930s by Bart Manufacturing, which later changed its name to REDA Pump.
RPG, registered professional geologist. Spell out on first reference in regular text, but acronym is fine following a person's name as a title.
soda ash, a substance added to the water base of drilling fluids to raise the pH. Ideal pH for falls in a range of 8.5-9. A good pH neutralizes the calcium in the water, helping the bentonite added to it to work more effectively and not clump.
spoils, see cuttings.
standard penetration test, SPT on second reference.
Superfund, note the capital S.
top drive, a type of well drilling drive typically found on oil and gas rigs. A top-drive rig is generally controlled by computers from a cabin onsite, and requires less hands-on work than a mechanical Kelly-drive rig.
torque, rotational force, measured in pound-feet.
unconsolidated, a term applied to loose soil conditions, such as gravel or sand.
VFD, variable frequency drive, which is a type of high-tech well pump motor that uses electronic controls to vary the water supply, attempting to better match peaks and troughs of demand. Spell out on first reference. Plural is VFDs.
wireline, as in wireline company, a firm that logs a borehole.