What is a Drill Pipe?

drill pipe

A drill pipe creates the necessary tunnels and wells in the ground to access oils and gasses found underneath the earth’s surface. Drill pipes can go horizontally or vertically into the ground. They are most commonly found on drilling rigs but can also be used for wells.

How Drill Pipes Work

Drill pipes are hollow, collecting natural resources up to the earth’s surface with pressure and torque provided by drill pumps. These pipes optimize efficiency allowing for drill fluids to be pumped through the pipes to carry out drill cuttings, keep the drill bit cool, clean, and prevent formation fluids from entering the wellbores themselves. 

Due to the nature of the job, drill pipes have to withstand heavy pressure from the inside and outside while bearing high-pressure torque created by drill pumps above ground. Drill pipes require the best materials to ensure efficiency and profit.

Material Used For Drill Pipes

Drill pipes are made out of aluminum or steel. The materials enable them to withstand the tremendous pressure they undergo as they create boreholes miles under the earth’s crust to access natural resources. 

While aluminum is becoming more popular with oil corporations, steel is still used frequently. Steel joints are used as a combination with aluminum drill pipes for added strength and stability. 

Consider a brief overview of the differences and similarities between the two materials below.

Steel Pipes

  • Tempered steel is commonly used for drill pipes that extend miles down into the ground. 
  • The weight and strength of steel make it ideal for the job but is challenging to handle and transfer.

Aluminum Pipes

  • Lightweight pipes provide ease of transport and access to more remote locations. 
  • Thick aluminum walls have a high strength-to-weight ratio, equipping them to withstand high loads of torque.

Routine Checkups

During this exchange of materials, a crack in the drill pipe could undermine the whole process. Regular testing is performed on the pipes to diagnose any metal fatigue or crack. This process is to ensure the best use of resources.

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