Materion Corporation has introduced new ToughMet 3 Sucker Rod Couplings that maximize oilfield production output and significantly reduce the costs of well operations when used in place of sucker rod couplings made of conventional steel materials.
In oilfields, sucker rod couplings join individual 25-foot sucker rods into long strings that connect the pump jack on the ground and the pump in the well. Strings can reach 10,000 feet in length, so as many as 400 of these couplings can be required in one well. In areas where wells are curved, couplings rub against the inside of the tubing, causing damage and well failure. Costs to repair wells can run into the tens of thousands of dollars per well per year.
Materion's patent-pending ToughMet 3 couplings were tested by Hess in oilfields in North Dakota, where they significantly reduced the frequency of damage to sucker rod couplings and production tubing.
"We apply Lean manufacturing principles to our Bakken operations so we're continually looking for ways to improve reliability and decrease waste," said Seth Silverman, Hess Senior Engineering Advisor, who led the effort for Hess to support Materion in the development of the couplings. "We field tested this with the hope of finding a solution that could help improve our production operations and reduce mechanical failure."
Over 18 months, Hess field tested the couplings on the worst wear sections of tapered rod strings in 10 of its Bakken wells and found practically no measured wear in double the previous run time.
Made from a unique temper of copper-nickel-tin spinodal alloy engineered by Materion specifically for use in the oilfield, ToughMet 3 Sucker Rod Couplings resist mechanical wear, thread damage, corrosion and erosion. They are non-galling, so they do not damage production tubing, and they retain their strength even at elevated temperatures. This combination of attributes minimizes the frequency of workovers associated with couplings made of other materials.
"Materion is committed to developing and manufacturing advanced, high-performance products that solve our customers' toughest performance challenges," said W. Glenn Maxwell, President, Materion Performance Metals. "We introduced the ToughMet 3 couplings at an oil and gas trade show and demonstrated how their unique properties can double the interval between our customers' well-workovers, effectively reducing one of their major operating costs and increasing their earnings by eliminating costly production interruptions."
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