What is Coil Tubing?

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What is coil tubing? Coiled tubing - McClain Oil Tools - Longview, TX

The oil and gas industry is one of the world’s most powerful, profitable and beneficial economic sectors. It provides us with many essential petroleum products that are used in our everyday lives. Before becoming products like plastics and cosmetics, however, the raw petroleum must be extracted from the ground. One such method of extraction is through coiled tubing operations.

What is coiled tubing and what is it used for?

Coiled tubing is a very long strand of metal pipe made from low carbon alloy steel. The tubing is spooled on a large reel and can be taken inside the borehole to the depth of 20,000+ feet. It is often chosen over conventional straight tubing because conventional tubing has to be screwed together. Coiled tubing is injected into the existing production string, unwound from the reel and inserted into the well. Also, coiled tubing does not require a workover rig.

Coiled tubing is recognized as a very effective solution for deep wells. It is used for interventions in oil and gas wells and sometimes as production tubing in depleted gas wells. Additionally, it is used for cleanouts and removing filler materials.

Coiled tubing is often used to carry out operations similar to wirelining. The main benefits over wireline are the ability to pump chemicals through the coil and the ability to push it into the hole, rather than relying on gravity. Pumping can be fairly self-contained, almost a closed system, since the tube is continuous instead of jointed pipe.

An additional advantage is that the coiled tubing enters the hole via a stripper, mounted on the injector, which provides a hydraulic seal around the coil.  This offers well control capabilities beyond those normally possible with drill pipe, and gives the ability to drill underbalanced.[1]

A coiled tubing operation is normally performed through the drilling derrick on the oil platform, which is used to support the surface equipment. Although, on platforms with no drilling facilities a self-supporting tower can be used instead.

There are numerous advantages to coil tubing: safe and high operating efficiency, fewer personnel needed at the site, easy to cooperate and save cost, smaller environmental footprint and constantly pumping fluids through when running and retrieving the coil. It is used as a less expensive version of work-over operations and to perform open hole drilling and milling operations. It can also be used to fracture the reservoir, a process where fluid is pressurized to thousands of PSI on a specific point in a well to break the rock apart and allow the flow of product. Coil tubing can perform practically any operation for oil well operations whenever utilized accurately.

Our role in coiled tubing operations

Due to the rigorous and often extreme conditions of drilling, various components along the coil tubing process wear out through use. These spares and expendables are designed to be replaced at various times throughout the operation. McClain Oil Tools proudly manufactures the highest quality coil tubing parts and expendables to make operations as efficient as possible. We always keep everything in stock and ready to be shipped at your need and will save you money.

With our in house machine shop and rubber molding facilities we are able to move quickly on products to always make sure you have what you need for the job. After 40 years of business, we are still committed to the skill and finesse it takes to compete in this global environment. Look to us for all of your coil tubing oilfield related parts!

References: 1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coiled_tubing#Coiled_Tubing_Drilling

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