Titanium Drill Pipe

Definition - What does Titanium Drill Pipe mean?

Titanium Drill Pipe is seamless tube made up of titanium that is primarily used for drilling a short radius wellbore during horizontal drilling. Along with short radius horizontal drilling, this drill pipe is also used to drill multiple short radius lateral wells. Similar to steel or aluminum drill pipe, a titanium drill pipe is also equipped with special threaded couplings at both ends called tool joints.

Petropedia explains Titanium Drill Pipe

In the 21st century, one of the most promising developments in oil and gas exploration and production business is the use of flexible drill pipe to drill smaller hole diameters, also known as slimhole drilling technology in which very short radius wellbore is drilled using horizontal drilling technology. These short radius wellbores re-enters the existing vertical wells in the surroundings, using them as the base for add-on arc and horizontal sections. But, in a typical short-radius re-entry drilling program, drill pipe needs to have a curvature radius of less than 60 feet. This becomes a challenge to the drilling industry as the steel or aluminum drill pipes are not able to handle the added stress on the pipe because of small curvature radius of drill pipe and if used they tend to wear or break and halt the drilling program.

Thus, to overcome these challenges, Engineers used multiple number of technologies, various steel alloys, carbon fibre composites drill pipes out of which Titanium made drill pipe was able to solve this problem. Some of the advantages that Titanium has over steel or aluminum drill pipe which are useful in slimhole drilling technology are listed below.

  • Titanium does not experience any corrosion fatigue and is more corrosion and erosion resistant when compared to steel.
  • Titanium’s modulus of elasticity is 17mm Psi whereas steel’s modulus of elasticity is 30 mm Psi. This means that titanium is 57% stiffer than steel.
  • Titanium pipe has a yield strength of 120,000 psi which equals a strength to weight ratio of 1.54times that of S135 category steel.
  • Titanium is heavier and has low density as compared to steel.

All these factors contributed to Titanium Drill pipe superiority over steel made drill pipes for short radius horizontal drilling.

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