Heavy Weight Drill Pipe
The need for a bottom hole assembly to prevent wall
sticking that would be flexible enough to be used in directionally drilled
holes was noted by a major oil company engineer at an API meeting in New
Orleans, circa 1962. The company had tried using two pieces of concentric
pipe with tar between the members.
Called “flex weight”, this configuration could not
withstand the environment in directional offshore wells. Glenn Chance, the
local Drilco district manager, attended that API meeting. It occurred to him
that welding tool joints on the ends of used drill collars might address the
problem and, if successful, would significantly reduce drilling costs. For a
second opinion, he consulted with Clifford Yancey of Rowan Drilling Co. in
New Orleans, who agreed with the theory and two pieces were made. These
proved to be too stiff. Drilco in Houston then turned the outside diameter
on 30 used drill collars, leaving one wear pad 3-ft. long and welded 5-in.
tool joints on each end. Unfortunately, the concept was not acceptable to
operators until Albert Crownover, Tenneco’s drilling manager, agreed to run
the pipe, which performed as expected. Drilco then modified 120 more
collars, but the concept remained a tough sell to operators until J. B. N.
Morris of Canal Rental, convinced Shell Oil Co. to test the idea and Bob
Turnbull of Turnbull Rentals did the same. Ultimately, the concept became a
standard for directional wells both on land and offshore, and was marketed
under the name Hevi-Wate Drill Pipe. Since used drill collars soon became in
short supply, Drilco engineer Sam Crews enlisted Timco Roller Bearings to
produce a one piece, 27-ft. long, 5 ½-in.OD x 3-in. ID joint, with the
specifications of Grade E drill pipe. Drilco built a machine which would
fast turn the OD
of the joints, leaving a 3-ft. wear pad in the middle.
In 1977, Glenn Chance organized Chance Collar Co. By then, spiral drill
collars had become a standard in directional drilling so Chance incorporated
the spiral concept in his heavy weight product. Sales grew to some 3,500
pieces per month with a total value of a billion dollars annually and
enabled worldwide development of offshore drilling.
Recognizing the pioneering efforts of the
following individuals and companies that developed this technology:
Glenn G. Chance, Sam T. Crews and Drilco (now Smith