Oilfield technology specialist Petroleum Technology Company (PTC) has launched the first single-piece, un-welded side pocket mandrel (SPM) for the upstream oil and gas industry – removing an integrity risk dating back more than 30 years.
The NexLift SPM is machined from one solid steel bar – replacing aged SPM technology traditionally comprised of four components and entirely removing the challenges created by welding and heat-treatment.
Until now, achieving consistently high-quality manufacturing of traditional SPM technology has left the industry susceptible to the complete failure of the mandrel, or issues associated with operations to replace valves in SPMs, the latter being a common problem.
The industry's lengthy experience of collapsed and parted mandrels prompted PTC to develop a solution which would be more robust, reducing the potential for non-productive time on assets caused by failed mandrels.
PTC's advanced in-house engineering and manufacturing design capabilities now allow for precision machining of internal geometries for single-piece mandrels which were previously impossible to create using conventional techniques.
Rolf Haaland, CEO at PTC, said: "Until today, SPMs have been the only welded, load-bearing component in a completion string – they have remained the weak link in a crucial area of upstream production integrity for decades.
"NexLift SPM enhances the robustness of the completion string and is the best choice for challenging well applications in which superior structural integrity and enhanced pressure capabilities are required.
"Eliminating the risk associated with a welded component brings the SPM to the same structural integrity level as the rest of the machined components in the string. It also brings the same standard of surface finish, vastly improving component alignment, and facilitates improved QA/QC control in completions."