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FuchsRohr AluDrill offers reliable lightweight solutions for demanding drilling surroundings

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Oilfield Technology,

The FuchsRohr® AluDrill™ pipe is a high strength to weight alloy pipe that allows greater transfer of weight to bit in complex and challenging wells.

Recent commercial drilling operations with FuchsRohr AluDrill in the Niobrara shale formation for multiple wells exceeding 17k ft show improvements up to 30% in sliding mode with similar gains possible in rotary mode.

The sliding mode gains shown by FuchsRohr AluDrill in the Niobrara formation drilling show potential to reduce costs, as sliding mode typically consumes up to 40% of drilling time.

OTTO FUCHS Drilling Solutions will be present at the OTC in Houston, Texas, in the German Pavilion (Hall B, Booth Number 3615-8, May 1 - 4, 2017).

The FuchsRohr AluDrill pipe is an alternative to standard steel pipes commonly used for drilling. Due to its comparatively high strength to weight, the aluminium pipe solution can be used across a wide range of subsea and downhole operations including demanding horizontal drilling.

Peter Kaufmann, President of OFDS, believes that FuchsRohr AluDrill's operational advantages can significantly improve drilling effectiveness: "As the downhole environment increasingly moves from vertical to directional and horizontal drilling, weight becomes a major concern. Our aluminium alloy pipes are up to 50% lighter than similarly-sized steel pipes and completely stable. Their strength-to-weight ratio sets them apart from pipes made from conventional materials.“

Kaufmann says that aluminium alloys have become more important in recent years, especially in the aerospace industry and in the construction of industrial compounds: "Aluminium alloys' outstanding qualities have allowed us to enlarge their scope to other applications. The light weight and high strength makes them ideal for oil and gas drilling.“

A series of commercially drilled shale wells in Colorado's Niobrara formation demonstrated the advantages of the FuchsRohr AluDrill. In Q4 2016, a Colorado based operator evaluated the FuchsRohr AluDrill in mono-bore wells exceeding 17 000 ft well, typically with a 7000 ft vertical and a 10 000 ft lateral sector. The results showed up to a 30% improvement in sliding mode with similar gains possible in rotary mode due to improved weight transfer to bit. With sliding mode typically consuming up to 40% of drilling time, the FuchsRohr AluDrill has demonstrated strong economic advantages for drillers and operators. In addition, due to the 30 - 50% reduced weight over steel, the FuchsRohr AluDrill pipes allow drillers and operators to efficiently cover lateral distances, reaching targets in residential areas that cannot be reached by vertical drilling. This is important for parts of the Niobrara formation that extend within the greater Denver metropolitan area.

The recent drilling projects showed that the pipes are stable and reliable due to shrink-fitted tool joints. The aluminium alloy's superior elasticity gives distinct advantages when drilling 'dog legs' and horizontally.

OFDS is currently working with the market to identify several drilling applications where FuchsRohr AluDrill can cut costs and reduce time. The FuchsRohr AluDrill is available in all standard sizes from 4 – 6? inch and features a proprietary internal upset design, which allows it to be used with standard pipe-handling equipment. While this pipe is typically provided with standard API connections, premium connections are also available.

OTTO FUCHS Drilling Solutions will be present at the OTC in Houston, Texas, in the German Pavilion (Hall B, Booth Number 3615-8, May 1 - 4). Additional OFDS trade fair exhibitions include the SPE Offshore Europe in Aberdeen, Scotland (September 5 - 8), the SPE ATCE in San Antonio (October 9 - 11) and the ADIPEC in Abu Dhabi (November 13 - 16).

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