Oil field pipe recovery

Paul Boughton

Graeme Montgomery looks at the benefits of non-explosive, non-hazardous pipe cutting technology.

Over the past decade and beyond we have seen the demise within the industry of true pipe recovery technique skills. This loss has several factors causing the loss of a truly proficient and a major cost saving specialist skill set.

Firstly we have seen the loss of skilled individuals from the industry where frequency of skill requirement failed to justify the need to preserve and specialise in this area.

As we see activity in drilling (mainly) and work-over activity fluctuates we can then regionalise the skill requirements. Back in the 1980s, the North Sea region was a thriving arena for specialised skills with the economic drivers helping to justify focus and support in the field for producers. These skills are being lost, mainly through economic factors, where rather than provide true pipe recovery services there is a tendency to use 'cut and pull' techniques.

This is most likely borne through financial pressures (project-based budget) or because of the issues we now live with - lack of investment during the cyclic period and loss of potential skilled labour.

That said we live in a different world, in modern times we have additional pressures such as environmental pressure (what do we do with the relatively short shelflife products) and terrorism where, when we talk about traditional pipe recovery, this involves explosives where the large cost of storage, security and training is encountered. But the main concern is the security.

Security has been a major concern especially within the developing Eastern Hemisphere. This was a major factor in selecting a non-explosive solution technology with safe proven reliability and consistent results was a must.

JAZ-TEK supplier MCR Oil Tools' Planned Pipe Recovery strategy and pipe cutting technology brings predictability into the exploration equation.

The non-explosive, non-hazardous pipe cutting, punching and perforating tools, such as the XRT Radial Cutting Torch tool, Circulating Pyro Torch tool and Perforating Pyro Torch tool, are for use on tubing, casing, drill pipe and coiled tubing, in environments up to 25,000psi and 500°F.

E-line, slickline, or coil tubing conveyed, a tool design and proprietary mixture of various non-hazardous powdered metals, produce jets of highly energised plasma that will cut virtually any pipe in any well condition.

While many traditional pipe recovery technologies face increased regulatory requirements, this entire line of tools is safe for all modes of commercial transportation, allowing tools to be on location within hours, reducing down time and associated job costs.

For more information visit www.engineerlive.com/iog

Graeme Montgomery is Operations VP/Director with JAZ-TEK, Ellon, Aberdeenshire, UK. www.jaz-tek.com

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