Oilfield equipment has seen a rise in demand following the unprecedented growth witnessed by the OCTG (Oil Country Tubular Goods) suppliers (globally) in recent times. Surging demand for oil and natural gas has resulted in a tremendous rise in prices, from $30 per barrel in April 1983 to $108 per barrel in 2011, according to the US Energy Information Administration. This has led to increased investment in energy exploration and production.
Thread protectors are used to protect the pipes during the process of oil exploration and transportation. Their main task is to protect the threaded parts of the pipe from damage, such as corrosion, impact and contact with contaminants. These pipes are made from two type of materials:
Oilfield Equipment: Types of Thread Protectors
Protective coverings for oilfield equipment can be applied to the pipes, manually or by machines. The main advantage of metal (steel) protectors is that they can be cleaned and re-used, whereas the plastic thread protectors have to be collected and then re-used or recycled.
The main types of thread protectors used in Oilfield Equipment are:
Plastic Protectors: All-plastic composite protectors can withstand rough handling conditions during the transportation process, protecting the threads in case of impact and corrosion. The main advantage of using these protectors is they are lightweight, incur lower transportation costs, easily re-usable and recyclable, hence more cost effective in the long run.
All Metal Protectors: These are designed to cover the entire thread of the pipe and seal the internal and external threads of the pipe. The main benefits these protectors offer are ultimate protection from damage caused by impact and corrosion. They perform exceptionally well in extreme weather conditions.
Composite Metal Protectors: These protectors offer the benefits of both plastic and metal protectors:
1.The corrosion resistance of plastic thread protectors, and
2.The impact resistance of steel protectors.
Designed to cover the pipe in its entirety, their heavy duty protective covering ensures resistance to damages from impact.
Tubular Handling Systems: These protectors are used during the lifting and offshore transportation process of the oil exploration process. Their innovative packaging allows higher density packing for transport/storage and provides a higher quality of protection during these processes. The benefits they offer include eliminating risks associated with pipe bundles and slings. These protectors also help to eliminate metal-to-metal contact, which causes friction and results in wear and tear during the transportation process.
OCTG are critical oilfield equipment and are a part of the overall oil extraction and transportation process. Thread protection plays a major role in reducing the wear and tear from this process.