fiberglass pipes

Fiberglass Drill Pipe Damage: Seven Common Causes

Oil and gas companies must deal with many trials and tribulations during exploration and drilling operations. Drill pipe damage is one of the most prevalent issues, among other setbacks.

Anticipating causes of pipe damage is the key to preventing them and ensuring all tubular goods remain in the best possible working condition to improve operational safety and efficiency. Here are some common causes of fiberglass drill pipe damage in offshore and onshore operations.

#1- Drill Pipe Failure

Excessive external and internal pressure, like high mud rate, can lead to collapsed or burst drill pipes. Twist-off is another failure that occurs when the drill string breaks or twists. High torques can occur due to the over-tightening of drill strings during directional drilling, which leads to twist-offs.

Sometimes excessive ductile stress caused by over-pulling to compensate for sticking pipes also leads to parting. Another major reason for drill pipe failure is pipe fatigue. Due to corrosion or cyclic stresses, macro-cracks, micro-cracks, and fractures in the piping or drill string often lead to drilling pipe fatigue.

The magnitude of these failures can be reduced by managing the drilling environment and reducing cyclic stresses or corrosive potential. Regular inspection and proper handling of the drill string also help prevent drill pipe failures to a certain extent.

#2- Corrosion

Various chemical components in the drilling mud can lead to pip corrosion when interacting with the metal or steel components in the drill pipes. Hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide, oxygen, organic acids, and dissolved salts are some of the most harmful chemicals that cause corrosive damage.

Mud pH levels can be controlled, and corrosive scavengers can be employed to reduce corrosion. Removing corrosive chemicals by changing the composition of chemicals is also another way to reduce the damage.

#3- Cyclic Stress

More common in directional wells, cyclic stress is caused when the drill string is simultaneously stretched and compressed. Typically, when bent along the well’s curvature, one side of the drill string experiences tension and the other compression. Structural stress is hazardous to the life expectancy of drill pipes.

By reducing the severity of doglegs to provide an upright path for drill strings, cyclic stress can be reduced. Structural stress can be further reduced by controlling vibrations in the drill strings.

Drilling equipment in an oilfield

#4- Pipe Sticking

This refers to situations where the pipe cannot be freed to be pulled out of the well without some degree of damage. Differential pipe sticking is when all or some of the drill string is embedded in the mud.

Gasifying or diluting the weight of the mud with nitrogen can help free the stuck pipe in this situation by reducing the mud-hydrostatic pressure in the annulus. Mechanical pipe sticking is the second type of sticking caused by instabilities in the borehole or when the drilled cutting from the annulus isn’t removed completely.

#5- Damaged Pipe Threads

Pipe threads often become damaged due to faulty manufacturing, improper storage, human error, and harsh drilling conditions. Proper use, inspection, and maintenance of the threads can help prevent such issues. Avoiding torque and ensuring proper rig alignment is also important.

#6- Over Torque

Over torque is when the drill pipes are under-torqued before running them down the boreholes. The pipe will tighten in these conditions, which can lead to over-tightening. Ensuring all the connections are properly tightened to the designated levels and determining the optimum torque minimizes the risk of damage.

#7- Lost Circulation

This refers to the uncontrolled drilling flow of mud and is caused due to the pressure against the formation exceeding the total formation pressure. The problem is more common in coarse, large, and porous formations that are easily or naturally depleted or fractured.

It can be problematic since it leads to increased chances of subsurface blowouts and elevates mud expense, too. Lost circulation can be prevented in most instances by minimizing annular fracture losses, maintaining proper mud weight, avoiding annular space restrictions, and using appropriate fracture gradients and formation pressure.

Reducing Drill Pipe Damage

The best way to resolve most of these issues is to trust only reliable companies that offer products and solutions to prevent issues like corrosion, pipe thread damage, lost circulation, and pipe failures.

CNPS offers a full range of fiberglass piping systems, GRE casing solutions, geology supplies, mud logging solutions for surface logging services, and other top-of-the-line products. All our solutions comply with the latest ISO and API standards.

You can find more information online or give us a call to find out more details. You can also request a free quote to get started.  

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