№ 9 (September 2008)
TMK’s Premium Thread Connections Play Safe with the Environment
Russian pipe producer TMK has introduced to the domestic market a new line of extra tight, premium thread connections that prevent leakage of oil and gas tubulars.
By Materials Supplied by TMK
Russian pipe producer TMK has introduced to the domestic market a new line of extra tight, premium thread connections that prevent leakage of oil and gas tubulars. Moreover, the company is offering the product as part of a service package that includes design, fabrication, delivery, installation and maintenance.
TMK is the first to introduce such a product in the Russian market and to develop sales, the company has created a new business unit, TMK Premium Services. Moreover, TMK is the first domestic Russian manufacturer to challenge global manufacturers of premium-class thread connections – Tenaris, Vallourec and others. And TMK Premium Services says their line of premium class thread connections can compete in quality and service package.
The company has designed and put to production a series of connections: GF, PF, PF ET, FMC, FMT, TMK-1. These connections have extra corrosion resistance quality, better fastening, and can withstand more bending, tensile and compressive stresses than some other premium class connections.
In addition, TMK Premium Services offers a number of advantages over foreign manufacturers. The company not only produces and supplies first-rate thread connections, but also offers full maintenance. TMK Premium Services provides field supervision over joints and the integrity of the drill string while running casing.
In addition to that, they train personnel, provide support in maintenance of TMK Premium thread connections.
The company offers to test its products under real field conditions.
For example, in April of 2008 – for the first time in Russia – TMK Premium Services tested casing with premium class thread connection in a horizontal well, which is the most complicated type for production. The test was carried out at Novatek gas well at Sterhovo field in Yamal-Nenets region. The casing string was pressure-tested to about 190 bar. The pipes retained full integrity of the drill string because of the Premium thread connections.
To develop first-class connections, TMK Premium Services employs proven global techniques, using quality research from the premiere institutes in the country, such as VNIIBT, VNIIGAZ, VNIITneft. TMK connections are the company’s original patent-protected inventions.
TMK Premium Services now offers a completely new solution for the pipe making industry – an advanced Premium thread connection that has been called “an ecological innovation.”
“Ecological safety and ecological/technical risk management are crucial in field development. We offer a precise solution that minimizes both ecological risks and chances for ecological disasters. Our studies also reveal positive economic benefits with the use of TMK extra tight premium class thread connections,” said TMK Premium Services General Director Sergei Chetverikov.
TMK premium thread connections are high quality products which permit the development of the most complicated oil and gas fields during the most severe weather conditions. It is a well-known fact that production is falling at the old fields where recovery is comparatively easy. This makes petroleum companies seek to intensify development of offshore and deepwater areas, such as the Far North, to exploit the existing patches in a different way – by drilling the old wells for the second time or, drilling horizontal wells.
With such an intensive production, the key ecological aspect should be considered, i.e. its negative impact on the environment. Nowdays, more and more companies are conducting business with an eye for ecological safety. This is a new trend in Russia, but petroleum companies are already subject to stringent requirements during hydrocarbons production.
Proper thread connections are a key factor in maintaining production string integrity during recovery. Reliable connections also lessen the risk of a twist-off. TMK Premium Services solution provides tightness and extra strength at the point where tubing and casing are joined.
“This aspect of natural resources exploitation has been raised for the first time,” said Amirhan Amirhanov, Deputy Director, State Environmental Policy Department, Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation. “It is very important, that this has happened now when ecology-minding technologies are becoming highly relevant. For the first time, concrete solutions have been offered; they can guarantee obvious reduction of ecological risks and the environment protection against possible accidents, like oil spills. These TMK Premium Services solutions are a serious ecological breakthrough.”
The TMK initiative has found a positive response and support throughout the country. According to Minister of Energy and Natural Resources of Astrakhan Region Boris Belinsky, a zero-discharge technology – when neither soil nor water gets polluted with wastes of production and toxic materials – must become obligatory for petroleum companies.
The use of premium standard thread connections in Russia was first brought to the attention of the market by TMK Premium Service experts during the “Caspian Energy – Global Energy” Forum in Moscow this past July. Representatives of government authorities and petroleum companies pointed out the novelty of the approach.
“The Astrakhan area is a part of the Caspian region which is a big hydrocarbons production center,” said Belinsky. Our ecological safety is dependant on clean industry operations. The application of extra tight Premium thread connections can guarantee a perfect sealing of joints in a string, preventing any product leak. We are all for what TMK is doing in this respect.”
The biggest producer of hydrocarbons in Russia, Gazprom, is also interested in Premium thread connections that ensure an ecological safety. Gazprom is a longstanding partner of TMK. The latter has been working within the framework of a long-term scientific partnership program that, among other things, stipulates research and development where Premium thread connections are concerned. Such extra tight thread connections as TMK GF and TMK FMC – that allow Gazprom to develop difficult-type wells, e.g. deviated, horizontal, subhrizontal, – have been made as a result of this program.
“A perfect tightness of thread connections makes us feel confident that there won’t be any gas leaks during production string operation,” said Vladimir Chernukhin, Gazprom Production Manager and Chief Process Engineer in the gas drilling department. “During the most critical stage of a well construction, casing running and cementing, thread connection tightness gets crucial.”
Use of Premium type thread connections saves a considerable amount of money too, preventing financial losses. TMK Premium Services experts estimated that application of Premium thread connections on one string only can save over 4 mln rubles per year.
“Repairing casings that failed, because of bad thread connections, is a rather costly thing,” said Vladimir Chernukhin. “The expenditures grow if the casing is operated under harsh climate conditions. Financial losses derived from the well downtime are enormous. Premium thread connections that ensure casing tightness save you a colossal amount of capital. That is why we stand by TMK in their work in this direction and are ready for cooperation.”
The government is interested in the environmentally safe development of the strategic industry. State support is vital to domestic manufacturers in terms of promotion to the pipe market “Ensuring ecological safety and intensive economic activity is a strategically important task for the government. Domestic technologies and solutions in this area must have state support. Especially since they are better adapted for our conditions and suit our real economic conditions,” said Amirhan Amirhanov.
The demand for pipes with extra tight Premium thread connections is expected to grow with every year. And utilization of Premium tubulars that can guarantee environmental safety of hydrocarbons production will only become more worthwhile. With this focus, TMK intends to further intensify the development and manufacturing of Premium thread connections. The company is modifying its existing production lines and building new ones for making seamless pipes at its different facilities – Taganrog Metallurgic Works, Sinar Pipe Works, Seversk Pipe Works and Volzhsk Pipe Works.
TMK Premium Services, backed by a rock-solid position and the successful history of TMK in the pipe market, feels confident about its future and development.