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1. n. [Drilling]

An opening in the rig floor near the rotary table, but between the rotary table and the vee-door, that enables rapid connections while drilling. The mousehole is usually fitted underneath with a length of casing, usually with a bottom. A joint of drillpipe that will be used next in the drilling operation is placed in the mousehole, box end up, by the rig crew at a convenient time (immediately after the previous connection is made). When the bit drills down and the kelly is near the rotary table, another piece of drillpipe must be added for drilling to continue. This next piece of pipe is standing in the mousehole when the kelly is screwed onto it. Then the kelly and the joint of pipe in the mousehole are raised to remove the pipe from the mousehole, the mousehole pipe screwed onto the rest of the drillstring, and the drillstring lowered, rotated, and pumped through to continue drilling. Another piece of pipe is put in the mousehole to await the next connection.

See: boxkellymake a connectionratholerotary tablevee-door

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