Definition - What does Flowline mean?

Flowline is a large diameter pipe which is used to connect the bell nipples which are located under the rotary table of the drilling floor and extend to the possum belly in the mud tanks. Flowlines are generally considered to be a section of a casing. These pipes are usually used on drilling rigs.

Petropedia explains Flowline

Flowlines act as an inclined conduit that directs the mud to the mud surface treating equipment. This mud comes out of the top of the wellbore and flows to the mud tanks via gravitational pull. There are three flowline components:

  • Flow show – It shows the direction of the flow of the drilling fluid inside the flowline. Generally it helps in letting the operator know if the drilling fluid is flowing in a downward direction or not.
  • Possum Belly – It helps in slowing down the flow of the returning drilling fluid before it hits the shale shakers. This makes the shale shakers clean the cutting out of the drilling fluid before it gets returned for circulation in pits.
  • Sample Box – This is a heavy duty hose box made of rubber. It is located at the end of the flowline and collects the drill cutting samples for geological loggings.

Flowlines are also termed as the pipelines which connect a single wellhead or multiple wellheads to a manifold or process equipment. These lines can be metallic or rubber hose and connect to the gathering system which in turn connects with further processing units.

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