The typical iron roughneck (a machine for making up and breaking out drillpipe) was designed for conventional API rotary-shouldered connections long before today’s demanding well profiles, when a typical torque wrench rotation of 25 to 30° was sufficient for making up these standard drillstring connections after initial spin-in.

New drillstring connections, such as HT, XT, XT-M, DSTJ, GPDS, Omsco TM2, and WT, were designed to withstand the increased loads and bending forces experienced in highly deviated and extended-reach wells. Some of these connections also provide improved flow characteristics to better bring drill cuttings to surface in extended or slim well designs. A common operational factor for many of these connections is the early build-up of torque during spin-in, which demands extended wrenching rotation by the makeup tool (wrench) after spin-in to reach final makeup torque. Traditional iron roughnecks must, therefore, frequently do more than one wrenching cycle (up to five cycles with WT) to make up or break out many of these connections, reducing the tripping efficiency when hole conditions require the use of these drillstrings.

This paper describes the concepts of a new-generation tool that was developed to efficiently address the modern make/break requirements presented by the new drillpipe connections. Making up or breaking out these connections in a single stroke, using a patented rotational torque wrench and spinner combination, this tool offers a wrenching rotation of 140° at torque values up to 145,000 ft-lb.

As an added tong module to an existing modular tong carrier/tong positioning system, the tool also handles a variety of tongs for casing, tubing, production risers, and drillstrings. With integrated remotely controlled features like a mud bucket, a stabbing guide, and a cleaning and doping device, the tool and accessories form an efficient system for hands-off makeup of new drillstrings for extended-reach, deep, and highly deviated wells. This system can also be viewed as a multifunctional iron roughneck that handles not only drillstring connections but also all types of tubular goods.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.