Oilfield Glossary
Oilfield Glossary
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Tools

rotary table

1. n. [Drilling]
The revolving or spinning section of the drillfloor that provides power to turn the drillstring in a clockwise direction (as viewed from above). The rotary motion and power are transmitted through the kelly bushing and the kelly to the drillstring. When the drillstring is rotating, the drilling crew commonly describes the operation as simply, "rotating to the right," "turning to the right," or, "rotating on bottom." Almost all rigs today have a rotary table, either as primary or backup system for rotating the drillstring. Topdrive technology, which allows continuous rotation of the drillstring, has replaced the rotary table in certain operations. A few rigs are being built today with topdrive systems only, and lack the traditional kelly system.