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Completion string connections

What are completion string connections


A completion string connection is a threaded connection to connect completion string components. The connection must provide sufficient pressure- and structural integrity. Both pressure- and structural integrity are influenced by physical loads in the completion string like tension, compression, bending and torsion. Major environmental conditions having influence on the pressure - and structural integrity are pressure differential, tempera ture and the surrounding medium. Combinations of physical loads, environmental conditions, design details, materials and surface treatments have influence on the resistance to failure mechanisms like deformations, galling, corrosion and cracking.

Types
The two main connection types are:

y y

Integral Coupling

Detailed connection designs are described in API and ISO standards. Most vendors offer modified connection designs for improved performance including higher axial strength, reduced OD and improved pressure integrity. These modified connections are often called premium connections. In the North Sea, the premium c onnections are used for almost all casing and tubing applications.

Threads
Common thread types used for completion string connections are:

y y y y y

API standard 8 round thread API standard 10 round thread API buttress thread Reversed angle load flank thread (also c alled Hook well thread) Premium threads (vendor specific types)

Premium threads are often based on modified versions of the API buttress thread form or modified versions of the reversed ang le load flank thread. Contact the manufacturers of the premium thre ads for more details about their respective thread designs. The API standard 8- and 10-round threads are now rarely used for any completion string applications. The basic API buttress thread however might still b e used for downhole tubulars in some cases a round the world.

Seals
Common pressure seal principles are:

y y y

Thread seals Polymer seals Metal to metal seals

The thread seal is dependent on a thread compound to seal the clearance between the mating thread elements. The thread compou nd may dry out due to temperature, time and exposed medium, reducing its sealing properties and especially for gases. The polymer seals typically use a Teflon seal ring in a groove between the mating surfaces. Teflon rings will expand more tha n the metal upon heating. Combined with extrusion, this may cause deformed seal and thus leakage upon cooling. The seal may be acceptable at reduced pressure and temperature applications. The metal to metal seals are shoulder type, sliding type or a combination. The shoulder type makes a xial compression strain and stresses in the connection shoulder when the connection is preloaded. The sealing force is proportional to the preload. The torque during make up is thus of high importance. Too low preload will cause too low sealing stresses and too high preload will cause yield in the sealing surface. The sliding type makes radial compression strain and stresses in the interface between a curved surface at the pin a nd a conical surface on the mating part. The sliding type seal may be pressure energised (increased sealing stresses and thus sealability when exposed to pressure) or energised by a reverse angle torque shoulder. Premium connections use metal to metal seals which are the most reliable seals, especially at high pressure and temperatu re.

Vendor designs
Short introductions to selected premium connections from different vendors follow:

y y y y y y

Hunting JFE NKK TenarisHydril VAM Other

More details on the above connections can be found in the annual Casing & Tubing Reference Tables published in the November and January editions of 'World Oil'.

Note that special connections exist for the completion string and casing when these are parts of a so -called top tension riser system. Examples of applied connections for this application are Grant Prideco (HFR1, HFR1 EE, HFR2), Shell JDS and Mannesmann PRC.

Standards
Relevant standards for tubular threaded connections are:
Standard Title Latest edition ISO 10400 Formulae and Calculations for Casing, Tubing, Drill-Pipe and Line Pipe Properties ISO 10422 Threading, Gauging and Thread inspection of casing, tubing and line pipe threads ISO 11960 ISO 13678 Steel pipes for use as casing or tubing for wells Evaluation and testing of thread compounds for use with casing, tubing and line pipe ISO 13679 ISO 13680 Procedures for testing casing and tubing connections Corrosion resistant alloys seamless tubes for use as casing, tubing and coupling stock Technical delivery conditions ( + Corr. 1 2002, Corr. 2 2004) ISO 15464 Gauging and inspection of casing, tubing and line pipe threads recommended practice API 5L Specification for Line Pipe 2004 2007 Former ISO 10422 2002 2000 API RP 5C5 2004 2008 1993 API RP 5B1. Replaced by ISO 15464 in 2007 API Spec 5CTM API RP 5A3 2007 Related standards API Bull 5C3

Abbreviations
Common abbreviatios are: BTC EUE LTC NU STC Buttress Thread Coupled External Upset End Long Thread Coupled Non-Upset Short Thread Coupled

Coupling
What is a coupling connection type
The coupling connection type connects two completion string components by applying a separate coupling with internal threads (box) in between.

Equipment description
Both the upper and lower completion string components have external threads (pin) on the ends and are threaded into the coupling from each side. This means that the coupling maximum OD will be somewhat larger than the OD of the completion string components. A typical coupling connection is shown below:

Figure 1: Coupling connection with non-upset The coupling is made from the same material as th e completion string body. Different versions of the coupling design are:

y y

Non-upset External upset

Non-upset means that the OD and the ID of the completion string components are maintained through the connection. External upset means that the OD of the comp letion string component ends, where the threads are machined, is somewhat larger for increased strength of the connection. The main functional parts of the connection are:

y y
Threads

Threads Seals

A short introduction to each functional part follows: Use of helical threads is an old way of making a breakable connection between two parts. The threaded interface between the pin and box must be sufficient to prevent a shear fracture upon tension loads. The thread bodies must also have sufficient cross section to prevent tension fracture and radial disengagement (jump out). The details of the thread geometry also have an effect of the jump out resistance and strength in general. Applied torque during make -up will cause preload forces in the connection. Some parts will be elongated and other parts will be compressed due to the helical design of the threads. These effects are used for the metal -to-metal seal, but also for increased unscrewing resistance. Seals The connection must have dedicated seals to provide pres sure integrity. The most reliable seals today are metal -to-metal seals. The sealing effect is provided by high compression force between two metal parts. The compression stress between the parts must b e higher then the surrounding pressure to seal and have no scratches in the sealing surface. The sealing medium is also of high importance (e.g.

gas vs. fluid). The roughness of the sealing surface established during manufacturing is also of importance. Surfaces with a surface roughness less than Ra 0.8 (micro -millimeter) tends to permit channeling through the lubrication film between the surfaces. Surface roughness greater than Ra 3.2 (micro -inches) is not recommended.

System description
System description is a written step -by-step description of how the equipment works as a system during the operational phases. The major steps for connecting standard tubing joints offshore are described below: Step 1: Pipe preparations Preparations are typically performed at the pipe deck. Remove the connector protector with a specified wrench. Clean the pipe and the connector and make sure all storage dope in the connector is removed. Inspect the connector to make sure the connector is cle an and dry. Refit the protector. Step 2: Apply dope Dope is typically applied on the drill floor. Apply dope (thread compound) on the threads and the seal surface (type and amount) as specified by the vendor. Step 3: Make-up The completion string from the well is hung off in the slips. Align the new tubing joint to be connected. A stabbing guide is often used to guide the new tubing joint into the box and thus prevent damage of the connection in case of bad alignment. Start to rotate the new tubing joint by hand or with a strap wrench for at least two turns for smaller tubulars if possible. Pu t the power tongs in place and make up to specified torque and RPM by rotating the new tubing joint. The power tongs should always be operated by trained and qualified personnel. The torque graph on the monitor system is now checked. If the torque graph is outside the acceptance criteria (maximum torque, minimum torque, RPM, number of turns), the connection should be completely broken out for cleaning, inspection, doping and remake-up. Step 4: Break out Break out operation is required if pulling the completion string. The same equipment as used during make -up will be applied. The power tongs must be able to supply a torque typically 30% higher than maximum torque during make -up. Monitoring of the break out torque is normally not recommended. A stabbin g guide is also recommended when pulling out the pin from the box. A visual inspection of the connection should be carried out and damaged joints should be laid aside. Clean thread compound is applied and pin and box protectors are reinstalled. Downhole equipment vulnerable to offshore power tongs should be delivered with pup joints (minimum 3 feet long) on each side. The entire equipment assembly should be tested onshore.

Failure modes
Functions and related failure modes for the integral connection are: Connect the box and the pin with full pressure- and structural integrity

y y y y y

Not connected at all during make -up Partly connected during make -up Fully connected, but with increased preload during make -up Fully connected, but with reduced preload during make -up Fully connected with specified preload, but still leakage just after make -up

Keep pressure- and structural integrity while run in hole

Loss of pressure or structural integrity

No disturbance of the operation during run in hole

Surge/back flow

Keep pressure- and structural integrity during operational life cycle scenario

y
Break out

Loss of pressure or structural integrity

y y

Not able to break out at all Partly break out

Failure causes
Common failure modes and related failure causes are: Partly connected

Severe galling

Fully connected, but with reduced preload during make -up

y y

Increased friction (misalignment, dirt, wrong lubrication, too much lubrication) Light galling

Fully connected with specified preload, but still leakage just after make -up

y y

Scratches Galling (metal-to-metal seals)

Loss of pressure or structural integrity during run in hole

y y

Fatigue Adhesive and abrasive wear

Loss of pressure or structural integrity during operational life cycle scenario

y y y y y y y y y

Tension fracture Disengagement of the threads (jump out) Compression collapse Metal seal compression damage Erosion (internal upset) Corrosion Cracking Relaxation Thermal contraction of pin

Worst case scenario


Worst case scenarios are typical chain of events that may combine several operational conditions. The link below gives an introduction to completion string scenarios in general.

Integral
What is the integral connection type
The integral connection type is a connection of two completion string components by use of a pin and box configuration.

Equipment description
The upper completion string component normally has external threads (pin) on the lower end. The lower completion string component normally has internal threads (box) on the upper end. A typical integral connection is shown below:

Figure 1: Integral connection with external upset The configuration is similar in appearance to drillpipe connections. The material will normally be the same for both connection and the completion string body. Different versions of the integral design are:

y y y y

Non-upset External upset Internal upset External and internal upset

Non-upset means that the OD and the ID of the completion string components are maintained through the connection. External upset means that the OD of the completion string component end(s), where the threads are machined, is somewhat larger for increased strength of the connection. Similarly , internal upset means that the ID of the completion string component end(s), where the threads are machined, is somewhat smaller for increased strength of the connection. The main functional parts of the connection are:

y y
Threads

Threads Seals

A short introduction to each functional part follows: Use of helical threads is an old way of making a breakable connection between two parts. The threaded interface between the pin and box must be sufficient to prevent a shear fracture upon tension loads. The thread bodies must also have sufficient cross section to prevent tension fracture and radial disengagement (jump out). The details of the thread geometry also have an effect of the jump out resistance and strength in general. Applied torque during make -up will cause preload forces in the connection. Some parts will be elongated and other parts will be compressed due to the helical design of the threads. These effects are used for the metal -to-metal seal, but also for increased unscrewing resistance. Seals The connection must have dedicated seals to provide pressure integrity. The most reliable seals today are metal -to-metal seals. The sealing effect is provided by high compression force between two metal parts. The compression stress between the parts must be higher

then the surrounding pressure to seal and have no scratches in the sealing surface. The sealing medium is also of high import ance (e.g. gas vs. fluid). The roughness of the sealing surface established during manufacturing is also of importance. S urfaces with a surface roughness less than Ra 0.8 (micro -millimeter) tends to permit channeling through the lubrication film between the surfaces. Surface roughness greater than Ra 3.2 (micro -inches) will acts as channels like scratches.

System description
System description is a written step -by-step description of how the equipment works as a system during the operational phases. The major steps for connecting standard tubing joints offshore are described below: Step 1: Pipe preparations Preparations are typically performed at the pipe deck. Remove the connector protector with a specified wrench. Clean the pipe and the connector and make sure all storage dope in the connector is removed. Inspect the connector to make sure the connector is cle an and dry. Refit the protector. Step 2: Apply dope Dope is typically applied on the drill floor. Apply dope (thread compound) on the threads and the seal surface (type and amou nt) as specified by the vendor. Step 3: Make-up The completion string from the well is hung of f in the slips. Align the new tubing joint to be connected. A stabbing guide is often used to guide the new tubing joint into the box and thus prevent damage of the connection in case of bad alignment. Start to rotate the new tubing joint by hand or with a strap wrench for at least two turns for smaller tubulars if possible. Put the power tongs in place and make up to specified torque and RPM by rotating the new tubing joint. The power tongs should always be operated by trained and qualified personnel. The torque graph on the monitor system is now checked. If the torque graph is outside the acceptance criteria (maximum torque, minimum torque, RPM, number of turns), the connection should be completely broken out for cleaning, inspection, doping and remake-up. Step 4: Break out Break out operation is required if pulling the completion string. The same equipment as used during make -up will be applied. The power tongs must be able to supply a torque typically 30% higher than maximum torque during make -up. Monitoring of the break out torque is normally not recommended. A stabbing guide is also recommended when pulling out the pin from the box. A visual inspection of the connection should be carried out and damaged joints should be laid aside. Clean thread compound is applied and pin and box protectors are reinstalled. Downhole equipment vulnerable to offshore power tongs should be delivered with pup joints (minimum 3 feet long) on each side. The entire equipment assembly should be tested onshore.

Failure modes
Functions and related failure modes for the integral connection are: Connect the box and the pin with full pressure- and structural integrity

y y y y y

Not connected at all during make -up Partly connected during make -up Fully connected, but with increased preload during make-up Fully connected, but with reduced preload during make -up Fully connected with specified preload, but still leakage just after make -up

Keep pressure- and structural integrity while run in hole

Loss of pressure or structural integrity

No disturbance of the operation during run in hole

Surge/back flow

Keep pressure- and structural integrity during operational life cycle scenario

y
Break out

Loss of pressure or structural integrity

y y

Not able to break out at all Partly break out

Failure causes
Common failure modes and related failure causes are: Partly connected

Severe galling

Fully connected, but with reduced preload during make -up

y y

Increased friction (misalignment, dirt, wrong lubrication, too much lubrication) Light galling (misalignment, wrong lubrication, not enough lubrication)

Fully connected with specified preload, but still leakage just after make -up

y y

Scratches Galling (metal-to-metal seals)

Loss of pressure or structural integrity during run in hole

y y

Fatigue Adhesive and abrasive wear

Loss of pressure or structural integrity during operational life cycle scenario

y y y y y y y y y

Tension fracture Disengagement of the threads (jump out) Compression collapse Metal seal compression damage Erosion (internal upset) Corrosion Cracking Relaxation Thermal contraction of pin

Worst case scenario


Worst case scenarios are typical chain of events that may combine several operational conditions. The link below gives an int roduction to completion string scenarios in general.

OCTG - Tubing And Casing (API Casing)


Conversion Factors Details about materials and standards The API Casing are the standard API threaded and coupled connections for oil production.

The connections available are: Round short or long thread casing


4 1/2" - 20" round thread 8 tpi.

Buttress thread casing


4 1/2" - 20" buttress thread 5 tpi.

Extreme line casing


5" - 7 5/8" 8 5/8" - 10 3/4" buttress type thread buttress type thread 6 tpi. 5 tpi.

For special requirements, technical modification to the standard requirements are available. Usual options are: Resilient sea l (SR 13) with an extra teflon ring seal. Special clearance; for extra clearance applications Special bevel; with 20 bevel. Above mentioned pipe can be produced in range 1,2 or 3. We also produce pup-joints,X-overs, flow couplings and other accessories according to our customers special technical request. We carry the most popular sizes and grades on stock for immediate. delivery to our custo mers.

TPS CSG/LCSG - Casing Short/Long Thread Coupling Connection to API Spec. 5CT & 5B

TPS BCSG - Casing Buttress Thread Coupling Connection to API Spec. 5CT & 5B

TPS Extreme Line

Care & Use


Care and Use of Casing and Tubing should be in accordance with the newest API RECOMMENDED PRACTICE 5C1 for General. For Details on Care & Use please download following file