An international operator in Abu Dhabi, UAE sought an automated equipment solution to improve their tubular running operations. Several of their critical requirements included use of only one minimal footprint and weighted machine that fits within varied drill floor heights up to 42’ to prevent the need to modify a rig’s configuration. Additionally, the automated equipment must have capacity to handle all pipe sizes as well as allow for quicker rig-up and rig-down while maximizing operational efficiency and safety.



Rising to the challenge, Frank’s deployed the Hydraulic Catwalk THS 11, an automated tubular handling system with foldable pipe loaders and a smaller unit footprint and weight compared to its competitors. A Programmable Logic Controller system within the Hydraulic Catwalk controls the automation and functionality of the unit using sensors to reduce maintenance, replacement parts, and down-time. This system was the first-of-its-kind to be deployed in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Coupled with several of Frank’s proprietary solutions, such as Casing Running Tools (CRT), the Hydraulic Catwalk solved all the operator’s tubular running challenges.


Frank’s Hydraulic Catwalk THS 11 automated the operator’s tubular running operations, which reduced cost, increased efficiency, and mitigated safety risks on the jobsites. The System’s reduced footprint and weight allowed for quicker mobilization and ease of transport to site, resulting in lower transport cost. Once on the jobsite, the system’s size and weight made maneuvering around easier, allowing for faster rig-up and rig-down, which resulted in rig time savings. Further, the Hydraulic Catwalk’s foldable pipe loaders enabled the system to fit most rigs with an array of drill floor heights up to 42’. This capability prevented the need for rig modification, saving rig time and associated costs.

In addition to the benefits of its size and weight, the Hydraulic Catwalk was able to handle a larger overall pipe capacity up to 30” casings as well as handle delicate chrome tubulars, allowing it to be used across all conductor-casing-tubular running and drilling operations. The Hydraulic Catwalk’s automation function combined with Frank’s CRTs reduced the total number of personnel from the red zone, ultimately mitigating safety risks on the jobsite.

Over an 18-month period, a total of five (5) units were deployed and performed 346 jobs, worked 41 wells, and ran over 50 km pipe at approximately 18 joints per hour without significant operational issues or recorded downtime. The system’s design eased operations, which resulted in increased efficiency with approximately 48 hours rig time savings per well.

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