Alcoa’s Innovative Drill Pipe Helps Shell Offshore Brunei

Alcoa's Innovative Drill Pipe Helps Shell Offshore Brunei

Alcoa announced that its Alcoa Oil & Gas business has successfully deployed 1800 meters (5,905 feet) of Aluminum Alloy Drill Pipe (AADP®) in the Iron Duke Well C offshore Seria, Brunei.

Alcoa partnered with Brunei Shell Petroleum Co. Sdn. Bhd. (BSP), the largest oil and gas producer in Brunei, and AMRTUR Corp., Alcoa’s service partner, on the project.

The well is considered among the most complex and deviated in the BSP system, with three “S” curves and a long horizontal section of approximately 5,000 meters, or about 3 miles long. It was successfully drilled to a total depth of 7,485 meters (4.6 miles) in about 60 meters (197 feet) of water.

“The Alcoa Aluminum Alloy Drill Pipe, which is produced in 30-foot (9.1-meter) aluminum tube sections and joined together using standard steel connections, is about 40 percent lighter than all steel pipes and has the potential to significantly reduce drill string hook load and related drilling torque and drag,” said Jay Grissom, Alcoa Oil & Gas Marketing Director.

Alcoa’s innovative and proprietary drill pipe starts with a tapered, high strength, aluminum alloy tube. This tube is coupled with a steel tool joint using a proprietary thermal connection technology that allows steel tool joints to be attached to the aluminum pipe body. Alcoa produces the aluminum tubes at its Lafayette, Indiana, facility and assembles the finished drill pipe at its Oil & Gas facility in Houston, Texas.

“We are constantly challenged to push the drilling envelope further to maximize recovery and minimize cost,” said Shayne Dustin, BSP’s Senior Well Engineer. “Light alloy pipe was listed as a performance opportunity to help us tackle some of the challenges we face with reduced cantilever loading, high torque, high drag, high sideforce, and casing wear concerns. Without a light alloy alternative, the furthest reaches of the platform would require a modification to well design.”

Brunei Shell plans to use AADP® on additional wells in Brunei. Shell is also planning a drilling project using AADP® in New Zealand.

AMRTUR led the staging, inspection, maintenance, and deployment of the aluminum drill string.

“The rapid deployment of the Alcoa Alloy Aluminum Drill Pipe with BSP is an excellent example of the technology and service advantage AMRTUR can bring to its clients. I look forward to working with Alcoa and BSP to expand the use of the drill pipe in Southeast Asia and the Pacific region,” said Lieutenant Colonel (ret.) Mahmod “Max” Yakop, Managing Director of AMRTUR.

Press Release, August 9, 2012

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