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Resin composites have been studied extensively, with the advent of carbon-fiber-based materials showing promise for significant increases in yield strength and reductions in required weight.
The term “resin” is used here to describe the family of composite materials that use a resin to bind a matrix of fibers, usually woven. Many such materials have been commercialized for coiled tubing applications, because composite resiliency to cyclic stress results in significantly longer life of the coiled tubing string than steel coiled tubing. In addition, composite coiled tubing is lighter than its steel counterpart, and communication cables can be embedded in the wall of the pipe. Currently available composite coiled tubing is typically <5 in. in diameter. Some interest has been expressed in developing larger-diameter composite pipe for increased rigidity in horizontal and extended-reach drilling.
The Department of Energy (DOE)-funded project with Advanced Composite Products and Technology (ACPT) and its joint industry project partners is focused on development of a 5.5-in.-diameter composite drillpipe with conventional steel connections that will be cost-competitive with steel drillpipe. Key benefits of the pipe are that it will be half the weight of steel drillpipe and will be essentially interchangeable with existing drillpipe.
Interestingly, during the development of the 5.5-in.-diameter pipe, a number of smaller-diameter test specimens were manufactured. On the basis of the results of testing the smaller-diameter drillpipe, interest was expressed in using it for developing the build section for short-radius boreholes. This interest culminated in a field test of the short-radius composite drillpipe (SR CDP). The following summary of that operation was provided from ACPT and is accompanied by photos in Fig. 1:
The field test was completed on November 6, 2002 by Grand Resources, Inc. at their Bird Creek site. Starting with an existing well that stopped producing in 1923, Grand Resources packed the bottom of the well and sealed it with concrete. Then they lowered the drill string 1208 feet and began directionally drilling a 70-ft-radius curvature through the well casing and into the strata. The SR CDP was furnished by ACPT, Inc. and DOE/NETL (National Energy Technology Laboratory) for the purpose of drilling the curve and lateral section that extends 1000 feet into the strata. The pipe worked flawlessly and Grand Resources was pleased with performance of the new product. Grand Resources estimates that this renewed well will produce 30 to 50 barrels of oil per day for quite some time. Grand Resources plans to renew 14 additional wells in the same area in the near future and will use the new composite drill pipe in these endeavors. The CDP was not used to drill the lateral portion of this well, because air hammer tools were used for this section. Grand Resources will test sections of CDP with air hammer tools in the next well. The air hammer beats at 2400 strokes per minute with a 4 to 6 inch stroke. This will be a good test of the strength and durability of the CDP. As they gain experience and confidence in the product, Grand Resources expects to extend the reach from 1000 to 2000 feet by using the CDP.
- Coats, E.A. and Farabee, M. 2002. The Hybrid Drilling System: Incorporating Composite Coiled Tubing and Hydraulic Workover Technologies into One Integrated Drilling System. Presented at the IADC/SPE Drilling Conference, Dallas, Texas, 26-28 February. SPE-74538-MS. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/74538-MS.
- Leslie, J.C., Jean, J., Truong, L. et al. 2001. Cost Effective Composite Drill Pipe: Increased ERD, Lower Cost Deepwater Drilling and Real-Time LWD/MWD Communication. Presented at the SPE/IADC Drilling Conference, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 27 February-1 March. SPE-67764-MS. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/67764-MS.