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1. n. [Drilling]

A pulley. In oilfield usage, the term usually refers to either the pulleys permanently mounted on the top of the rig (the crown blocks), or the pulleys used for running wireline tools into the wellbore. In the case of the crown blocks, the drilling line, a heavy wire rope, is threaded between the crown blocks and the traveling blocks in a block and tackle arrangement to gain mechanical advantage. A relatively weak drilling line, with a breaking strength of perhaps 100,000 pounds [45,400 kg], may be used to lift much larger loads, perhaps in excess of one million pounds [454,000 kg]. During wireline operations, two sheaves are temporarily hung in the derrick, and the wireline is run from the logging truck through the sheaves and then down to the logging tool in the wellbore.

See: blockcrown blockderrickslip and cuttraveling block

Photograph of sheave.

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