Pipelines/flowlines/risers

Wellbore Tubulars

How we think about the future of the pipe industry must evolve. How must tubular design and manufacturing change as we transition to clean energy? Geothermal energy is an area that needs attention and, further, needs very specific attention on tubulars.

Wellbore Tubulars intro with abstract background

How we think about the future of the pipe industry must evolve. How must tubular design and manufacturing change as we transition to clean energy? Geothermal energy is an area that needs attention and, further, needs very specific attention on tubulars. Tubulars are an important component in the construction of geothermal wells, and we must align our requirements for geothermal energy.

Some of the main challenges encountered in geothermal wells are corrosion and scaling. Moreover, temperature becomes a major consideration for tubulars, even more so with the temperature excursion during geothermal production.

Perhaps the critical aspect in the design of the geothermal wells involves casing selection and design. Beyond manufacturing casing pipes to withstand these problems, considering the manufacturing of other components, such as connections, float collars, and float shoes, also is essential. Thermal expansion and thermal excursion of casings are well-integrity concerns; thus, casing design is important for long-term sustainability of geothermal wells.

Apart from thermal simulations, guidelines and software are needed to undergird the designs to withstand not only temperature excursions but also thermomechanical and thermochemical loadings. Engineered nonmetallic casings also provide an alternative solution because they provide the desired strength and corrosion resistance in addition to meeting the goals of sustainability. Undoubtedly, the future of the tubular industry is going to be revitalized. The question now is how we can retrofit existing abandoned wells for
this purpose.

This Month’s Technical Papers

Design and Safety Considerations for Coiled Tubing Operations in Geothermal Wells

Comparison of Stress Corrosion Cracking of High-Chromium Stainless Steels

Fiberglass-Lined Tubing Helps Prevent Asphaltene Deposition in Oil Wells

Recommended Additional Reading

SPE 199570 Special Considerations for Well-Tubular Design at Elevated Temperatures by Gang Tao, C-FER Technologies, et al.


Robello Samuel, SPE, is a technology fellow at Halliburton based in Houston. He has more than 36 years of multidisciplinary experience in domestic and international oil and gas drilling and, for the past 16 years, has held concurrent adjunct professor appointments at the University of Houston and the University of Southern California. Samuel has published more than 200 technical papers and 14 drilling-engineering books and holds 66 patents. In 2013, he received the SPE Gulf Coast Section Drilling Engineering Award, and, the following year, he was named an SPE Distinguished Lecturer. Samuel also has won the SPE International Drilling Engineering Award. He holds BS and MS degrees in mechanical engineering and MS and PhD degrees in petroleum engineering from The University of Tulsa and is a member of the JPT Editorial Review Committee.