Trubodetal Acquires Capability for Permafrost Oil and Gas Development

The Trubodetal Facility (AO Trubodetal, Chelyabinsk, a United Metallurgical Company (AO OMK, Moscow) Subsidiary) manufactured its first lot of thermal casings for the development of the Novoportovskoye Oil and Gas Condensate Field that is located beyond the Polar Circle in the Yamal Peninsula. The technology developed by the facility’s engineers was patented by the Federal Intellectual Property Agency.

In the far north, wells need to be drilled through permafrost. Casing in a string is used to strengthen the wellhead. This is sunk to a depth of between 20 and 50 meters, and the hole is then concreted over. However, as the well is drilled further and operated, the perennial permafrost around the well starts to thaw causing the ground to slip and sag and funnels start to form which, in turn, causes equipment to break down threatening an environmental disaster. Therefore, the oil industry started using a special device known as thermal casing. Thermal casing is designed as two steel pipes, one larger and the other smaller, using the “pipe in pipe” technology with the smaller pipe being sealed in the larger one with polyurethane foam which helps maintain the area around a well that is being drilled at a uniformly low temperature.

The manufacture of this new product involved personnel from different areas in the thermal press and welding shop No. 1. Following cutting, assembly, and welding, the casings would be delivered to the insulation area of the bend, painting, and packaging shop No. 3 where the annular space between the pipes would be sealed with polyurethane foam and marked, and thermal interface components manufactured.

“Trubodetal in conjunction with Vyksa Steel Works is able to offer the oil and gas industry larger insulation pipes (up to 630 mm) than those currently on the market with the patent covering all existing interface assemblies that enable thermal casings to be assembled into a string.

“Currently, most oil production is concentrated in the far north, and an ever increasing number of wells are being drilled in permafrost; therefore, there is increasing demand for thermal casings from oil companies. We have successfully acquired the capability for this product and made it for the customer; therefore, we are ready to expand this business by making new sales”, noted Trubodetal Managing Director Evgeny Baranov.

BACKGROUND:

Novoportovskoye is one of the largest hydrocarbon fields currently being developed in the Yamal Peninsula. It is located 360 km northeast of Salekhard and 30 km from the coast of the Ob Bay. Hydrocarbons are being produced here under the harsh weather conditions of the polar regions. In winter, temperatures in the vicinity of the Novoportovskoye Field may drop as low as -55°С. The project is being developed by Gazpromneft Yamal, a Gazpromneft subsidiary.