In mid-2017, a Frank’s International crew aboard a drillship in the the Gulf of Mexico successfully debuted the 18-inch High Torque Tong (HTT) on a casing running operation.
The 18-inch HTT was first used to build and rack-back 33 stands of 10-inch carbon-steel pipe on the auxiliary rotary, followed by running the 33 triples into the main rotary, along with 16 singles of 10-inch chrome tubulars. The Frank’s crew was then able to deploy the 18-inch HTT to build, rack-back, and run-in-hole sets of 30 and 45 additional stands of 10-inch and 10 3/4-inch pipe, respectively. Lastly, adding to an already impressive performance, the 18-inch HTT managed to run 8,494 11 7/8-inch doubles by applying 97,000 foot-pounds of torque without interruption, incident, or increase in unit pressure.
One of the distinguishing features of the 18-inch HTT is the capacity to apply and sustain as much as 175,000 foot-pounds of torque while imparting minimal stress to tubulars. The tool’s exclusive gripping system entails three sliding jaws. Enabled by a dual-plane rotary gear and overlapping cam profiles, that unique configuration allows a wide range of tubular coverage with negligible penetration levels.