Developing the DualPipe technology 

Challenge

As a core component of the drill sting, the drill pipe has been used in drilling operations since the 1940s.

 

The vital piece of equipment is used daily, globally, yet it hasn’t evolved, despite the fact its design contributes to common issues that lower productivity and recovery:

  • Lost time due to damage to the BHA, or the formation, from the build-up of cuttings in the wellbore 

  • Pressure management issues which increases risk of downhole problems

  • Lost reservoirs as limitations in well design result in untapped reservoir pockets

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Reelwell has created DualPipe to overcome these challenges - one drill sting with two concentric pipes. 

This unique, dual channel configuration allows drilling fluid to be pumped down the outer pipe annulus pipe while taking the returns to surface up the central pipe.

 

By adapting the fundamental design of the drill string, DualPipe overcomes commonly recognised drilling challenges. Using DualPipe, it is possible to access reservoirs previously considered challenging or impossible to drill conventionally. 

Components

The DualPipe drilling technology use the following components: 

  • DualPipe: Drill pipe with a concentric pipe inside. Fluid is pumped down the annular channel inside the DualPipe and returns to surface through the concentric inner pipe.

  • Top-drive adapter: Adapter between rig’s top drive and the DualPipe. An inside swivel allows mud to be pumped into the DualPipe annulus, while simultaneously returning flow from the inner pipe to be directed back to the surface mud system. 

  • Inner pipe valve: Valve at the lower end of the DualPipe string that allows for a connection to a standard bottom hole assembly. The valve contains entrance ports for the return fluid and enables downhole isolation the well during pipe connections. 

  • Flow control unit: The unit contains sensors, chokes and valves which are remotely controlled from the driller’s cabin. The unit regulates the flow into and out of the well in order to keep a near-constant downhole pressure gradient during the drilling operations. 

  • Rotating control device: Standard pressure control unit located at the top of the BOP. 

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