Abstract

While drilling goes deeper and deeper in efforts to solve America's energy requirements, greater pressures are required of the tubular used. A pipe failure at today's drilling depths causes astronomical problems, not to mention the expense. Electronic inspection and hydrostatic testing remain in the lead as the methods to accurately check the serviceability of the tube and its connections. Until recently testing was a secondary method at best. Plugs were screwed onto the pipe connections by hand and the reliability of the test was constantly under question. Testing has been a very slow method of testing pipe, and the need for manpower and manual labor was phenomenal. phenomenal. In October 1978, Gator Hawk, a Houston based testing company introduced a new patented automatic internal hydrostatic testing unit that automatically handles and tested tubing 1" - 3 1/2" O.D.

This unit was displayed at the SPE Show held at the Albert Thomas Convention Center in October as well as the Permian Basin Show held in Odessa later in October.

A patented casing unit is now under development by Gator Hawk that allows automatic testing of sizes ranging from 4" to 13 3/8".

The Gator-log (TM) testing system incorporates the low torque make up system along with an automatic handling system and strip chart for maintaining a permanent record of the test. This system completely eliminates the need for massive manpower and extra manual handling. Tubing is tested at an average rate of one joint every sixty seconds. With this innovative use of hydrostatic testing to prove the integrity of the tube and its connections becomes an asset to the customer in preventing pipe failure and providing a reliable service to his product. providing a reliable service to his product.

THE NEED FOR QUALITY CONTROL IN TUBULARS TODAY

The reason for this is two fold, first of all, companies are having to go deeper than ever before in an effort to solve America's energy crisis. Pressures are greater than at any other time Pressures are greater than at any other time in the history of the industry. Future drilling programs indicate that even greater depths may be programs indicate that even greater depths may be the rule rather than the exception. The second reason is that a tremendous influx of pipe from practically every corner of the earth is coming practically every corner of the earth is coming into this country and other countries as well. Reject rates per string range from a low of 1% to, and in excess of, 20% in many cases. One firm operating in South America reported that rejects on new casing ran as high as 40% of a 300 joint string. In 1978 records show an overall average of 26% reject rate of all new tubular inspected with an additional 6 - 10% reject rate on pressure test behind the inspection process. Once customers used electronic inspection services only in special cases, today it is used for practically every joint of pipe that goes into a practically every joint of pipe that goes into a hole. Many operators are now calling on third party consultants to go out and witness party consultants to go out and witness inspection services in their behalf to insure the performance and quality of inspection that is performance and quality of inspection that is desired.

The inspection industry utilizing the electronic inspection equipment has certainly responded well to the needs of its customers. Today's inspection industry affords to its customers a more sophisticated, reliable, and accurate service than at any other time in the history of our industry.

Today's equipment will inspect new or used pipe automatically and electronically from sizes pipe automatically and electronically from sizes ranging from 1.666 to 14" plain end. The inspection units offer a full four way inspection package that includes: (a) rotating heads for package that includes:

  • rotating heads for detecting longitudinal seams, laps, and all other longitudinal oriented defects internally and externally.

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