Drill pipe is made from steel piping and is hollow with thick walls. It is used both vertically on drilling rigs and horizontally in horizontal directional drilling applications. It is available in several sizes, weights, and strengths. The typical drill pipe is 30 to 33 feet long, and is hollow so that drilling fluid may be pumped through it into the bore hole. Although drill pipe is most commonly associated with the oil and gas industries, it is also used for underground construction where holes need to be bored horizontally. Drill pipe is sometimes used for drilling water wells too.
What Is Required of Drill Pipe?
Drill pipe must be manufactured to exacting specifications. It must be able to support its own weight in drilling strings that may go more than a mile deep into the earth's crust. As you might surmise, case-hardened drill pipes are expensive. For this reason, industries generally reuse them after the well is completed, replacing them with less expensive tubular casing during operation. The used drill pipe is inspected, sorted, and stored for use later on new drill sites. Special instruments are used by inspectors to look for defects in the drill pipe's metallurgy that could cause it to fracture in a future drilling operation.
The Various Parts of a Drill Pipe
Drill pipes are attached together to create a drill string. Drill pipe manufacturers have to make drill pipe that conforms to standards that allow it to withstand the extremely demanding conditions of a well bore. Drill pipe provides the fluid stream that is used for drilling and pumping out mud, and it undergoes rotating motion so that the drill bit can drill into the earth. Heavy weight drill pipe has a higher tensile strength than regular drill pipe and is placed near the top of the drill string for support.
Choosing Among Drill Pipe Manufacturers
Choosing a drill pipe manufacturer is obviously a very important task. The drill pipe matched to a particular task must be able to support the load placed on it, and hence yield strength of the pipe is a critical factor. If a drill pipe is unable to support the necessary load, it becomes deformed, and at that point cannot be recovered even if the load is removed from it. Deformation of drill pipe reduces its strength, and this could cause it to collapse altogether. Companies that manufacture drill pipe must have rigid inspection standards to ensure that it conforms to applicable international standards.
Drill Pipe Maintenance
To make drill pipe last as long as possible, it must be cleaned thoroughly between uses, and the threads, tube body, sealing shoulder, and joint dimensions must all be inspected after use. The internal coating of the drill pipe should be inspected and reapplied if necessary because drill pipes can succumb to environmental conditions without the proper protective coating. During use, rod threads must be kept clean with the use of thread protectors to keep them in good working order. Without proper maintenance and inspection, an operator may not get more than 65% or so of the life they could expect from their drill pipes.
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