"Dope", an inorganic compound, has been used routinely during well construction for both casing and tubing to lubricate, seal and protect against corrosion of segment-connecting threads. During the well tubular assembly a portion of the thread compound is exuded inside and outside the connection and gets access to the well fluids through the tubing and annular space. Studies presented here show that the dope forms a suspension which penetrates and damages the formation. The studies used standard fluid circulation velocities during typical completion operations. The formation damage is severe (more than 99 percent) and has been confirmed with a number of core-test experiments, presented in this work.
If the well is put on injection service and in the case of workovers such as matrix stimulation treatments, the formation damage caused by pipe dope will almost guarantee operational failure. For production the issue is different and will depend on the reservoir permeability and the ability or lack thereof of the dope compound to penetrate the rock matrix or whether it will form a removable filter cake.
Recent innovative technologies have allowed the introduction of dope-free connectivity by engineering the connections at the end of pipe sections. Avoiding the use of dope compounds has apparent benefits, one of which is the prevention of well damage. Another is the efficiency and reliability of the operation itself, removing a cumbersome, albeit routine job, a major advantage in the hectic time of a drilling rig's operation. An important side benefit are improvements in the Health & Safety indicators of the casing & tubing installation- as the number of operations to install these is significantly reduced and also on the Environmental side, as the dope-free connections produce zero effluents, the connections being "ready-to-run" from the factory.
We present here the clear benefits of using dope-free pipe connections by quantifying the negative effects of the alternative. Production equations using a dope-induced skin effect are presented, showing the detrimental impact on well performance.