0 Comments | Dec 21, 2013

Field Note: What was I thinking!

Problems happen.  I have traveled to various locations to look at these problems.  I thought I would share some stories that might help others with similar incidences.

Years ago while working  for another company, we received a call that some drill pipe we had manufactured started have severe thread galling issues. These were 4 1/2″ x 25′ with 3 1/2 Reg connections running on a Driltech D40K rig in the Mountains near the California / Nevada border.

I met up with Bob Freeman the Driltech rep for that area & we headed out in the Cadillac he had rented. We took I80 & headed East.  We could actually see Lake Tahoe in the distance when we took an exit on a narrow roadway.  The rig was working on a well for a church camp.

Bob then turned off that road onto ..well. not a road at all.  We were off roading in this rented Cadillac sedan for a few hundred yards & finally came upon the rig.

I inspected a few of the threads & found a lot of galling evidence.  Mashed threads, missing chucks, and just a lot of rough spots.

I watched the rig operate. I watched the top sub rotate as well as the drill pipe.

Looking at the table, I noticed that the holding wrench strained well before the connections shouldered.  These threads should screw together easily except the last faint gap.  Either these threads were damaged already or there was an alignment problem.

I noticed that the split table was not completely closed.  It lacked about an inch.

I asked the driller why this was.

He said his centralizer bushing had a problem & he sent it out for repair.  Meanwhile he had this other bushing off another rig.  It was larger in diameter so the table would not close.

This offset meant that the alignment between the head & table opening was off & this put extra side pressure on the connections during make up.

I looked at that gap & then looked at the driller who then said “What was I thinking”.

The correct bushing was put on the rig & the problems ended.   All the drill pipe had be be inspected.  Damaged connections were either field repaired or sent out with the more worn rods scrapped.  A new top sub was installed.

We got back in that Cadillac, drive back thru the woods & back to Sacramento.

Bob had some great stories.  His best was visiting his son who was a missionary in Alaska. They went bull moose hunting by canoe.  They would find a spot, get out of the canoe & use a moose call.  If a bull moose came, they had to decide quickly if they wanted that one & if not they had to run back to the canoe to escape the charging animal.    I pictured them standing on a knoll, blowing the horn, seeing an approaching moose & running like hell for the canoe.

Leave a Reply

* Required
** Your Email is never shared