roughneck | Energy Glossary

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1. n. [Drilling]

A floor hand, or member of the drilling crew who works under the direction of the driller to make or break connections as drillpipe is tripped in or out of the hole. On most drilling rigs, roughnecks are also responsible for maintaining and repairing much of the equipment found on the drill floor and derrick. The roughneck typically ranks above a roustabout and beneath a derrickman, and reports to the driller.

See: drilling crew

2. n. [Drilling]

Generically, any member of the drilling crew. In conversational use, one might claim to have "roughnecked" in one's youth. This might actually refer to roughneck duties, or to one of the other crew positions, such as lead tong operator, motorman, derrickman, assistant driller or even driller.

Photograph of drilling crew.
Photograph of drilling crew.