In 2010, Chevron Thailand successfully conducted a unique comparative field test involving two strings of drill pipe, one featuring a new 3rd generation double shoulder connection (3rd Gen DSC) against another with the previous generation connection (2nd Gen DSC). Both strings were used to drill off the same offshore platform with all parameters being equal besides the drill pipe connection selection. This test was required to gauge a possible solution to the operator's need for higher drilling torque in the challenging fast rotary drilling of the slimhole production interval.

The evaluated 3rd Gen DSC was originally developed and introduced to allow drilling always more challenging wells. It was designed to achieve a set of performances, which exceed the capability of the successful 2nd Gen DSC for torque and hydraulics with an enhanced fatigue resistance. One of the particular design priorities was to allow for fast makeup and breakout through the use of a new feature to drill pipe; a double start thread.

Results of this field trial were gathered in a previous paper that shows actual time saving in running speed, which is of interest to Chevron, initial trend seen in the lower number of connection needing repairs and evaluation of the cost saving for adopting the new technology on all rigs drilling for the operator. Based on this initial set of data, Chevron decided to switch to the 3rd Gen DSC for the 4 in. drill pipe used in slimhole drilling.

This new paper will briefly summarize the result of previously presented material but will focus on the actual field experience with the new technology deployed on three drilling rigs for more than six months now. Special emphasis will be put on evaluating the connection ruggedness through results found in the inspection of the equipment, which was hard to evaluate on the initial short time trial.

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