What’s a drill stem test?

Print anything with Printful

A drill shank test determines the geological composition of the area surrounding a drill pipe used for natural gas or oil extraction. The test helps determine if drilling in the area is viable and can take up to 24 hours. Safety precautions are necessary due to volatile materials.

Sometimes known as a DST, a drill shank test is a type of structured assessment that helps determine the composition of the geological formation that is adjacent to drill pipe inserted into the ground during the extraction of natural gas or oil. In many cases, this type of testing can help determine whether drilling in the area is likely to produce the desired results or whether searching for another site would be more fruitful. You can also use a drill rod test to determine if a site is suitable for drilling for water, oil or natural gas.

First developed in the latter part of the 1920s, the actual equipment used in a drill stem test has evolved over time. Previous methods involved using a small charge to create a perforation in a plastic casing which was lowered through the drill shank. When the charge ignited, this created a small hole in the casing which allowed samples of the surrounding fluids or earth to be collected. The sample was then retrieved and examined. In more recent years, drill pipe testing has used technology that allows small robots to pass through the drill pipe, collect a sample, and provide immediate feedback on the composition of the sample.

The results of a drill rod test help determine which sites can produce enough product to make the excavation commercially viable. By examining the sample taken from the test, it is possible to calculate the concentration of reasonably extractable natural gas or oil. If the test results indicate that the amount of available product falls below a certain range, the site is abandoned and other areas are tested. This same general principle applies when using a drill shank test to look for water. If the sample does not indicate the presence of a fair amount of water within a certain distance from the surface, the site is abandoned in favor of another that can provide a larger water supply.

Depending on the type of equipment used to conduct the drill stem test, the process can take up to 24 hours before the results are considered definitive. This is especially true when readings also need to be taken that indicate the level of pressure at the site along with the availability of the desired product for extraction and eventual sale. Because testing of this type often involves working with volatile materials, safety precautions that help minimize danger to personnel working on the drill are common, with many nations establishing specific regulations on the types of precautions that must be used during the test.

Protect your devices with Threat Protection by NordVPN

Skip to content