Pavel A. Kuleznev, Deputy Director for Development, PromTechService LLC, Tyumen, Russia.
I represent my company in all external activities, including meetings, contracting, pricing, logistics and supply. My main roles are providing our customers with PromTech’s service and detailing the benefits of that service to potential customers, depending on their needs. I also manage our supply chain.
How long have you been doing business in the region?
We have been working with our customer’s individual branches here, as well as their head offices in Russia and abroad, for almost two years.
Do you have specific target markets in the region? (ie Russia, Kazakstan, key regions or market sectors offshore, EOR etc?)
In the present day the Russian service market for hardbanding reapplication is in the early stages of growth. We’re aiming to work throughout Russia & Kazakhstan, onshore & offshore, to match every customer’s needs.
PromTechService LLC is providing business based on the principals of mobility in servicing, so we’re able to perform as much of our service as is possible on-site at the oilfield.
Logistic expenses are playing a key role in business, so we ensure our equipment is mobile, we will come to you. For example, we took the decision to buy a Hardbanding Unit assembled in one box with a power generator and accessories. As well as that, the equipment manufacturer, DJ Industrial Coating and Services Pte Ltd (Singapore) has adjusted this model in accordance with our order to adhere to the Russian road freight terms and conditions. As a result, we can choose from shipping the unit to the field or shipping the pipes to the yard. Once we have a choice we can offer the cheaper logistical option to our customer, which is especially important due to working at very remote oil fields.
What are your key products for the region and their benefits?
PromTechService LLC has developed two main services, which are Drill Pipe Inspection and Hardbanding. To be specific it’s drill pipe and drilling equipment inspection & initial hardbanding application and reapplication. In addition we are developing tool joint outside diameter build-up.
The main benefits of our inspection services are the mobility and complexity. I can tell you more: we’re not only performing all types of inspection, including VT, EMI, MPI, UT, RT, at the oilfield, but we are also performing high quality repairs – e.g. shoulder re-facing – at the same time. All of these arrangements are to reduce the large shipment costs of our customers which they would otherwise be faced with.
We have been certified by a few hardbanding wire manufacturers. As for now, using Duraband NC wire is very suitable to the Russian market because its high durability, while it stays casing friendly and non-cracking. Our Customers are impressed with the Duraband NC effectiveness in protecting the TJ OD to keep the pipe in Premium Class during and after drilling. In addition it’s the only wire at the moment which is approved for the re-application over other materials from different manufacturers.
Looking to the near future I would also highlight TJ OD build-up, a process which enables us to re-classify 2nd and even 3rd class drilling pipes back to Premium (under API Standards), to 1st (according to GOST R Standards) by VT inspection. This process can be performed at our machine shop only. This cost-saving operation is used as an alternative to replacing pipe. Using Hardbanding when the pipe is new means build up won’t be required.
What potential is there for your products in the market?
I think that good quality complete inspection will be in high demand very soon. It’s in straight compliance with the quality assurance of drilling operations.
Talking about hardbanding, I guess the latest developed technology, like Duraband NC, will be used widely. They have similar wear characteristics to the previous hardbanding technologies, based on Tungsten Carbide, but they are far more casing friendly. In fact they are more casing friendly than a bare tool joint with no hardbanding. They also have a solid, non-cracking structure after application, which keeps the cost of re-application down. Non cracking hardbanding is the latest technology available.
As for build-up potential, we already have a lot of 2nd & 3rd class drill pipe owned by oilfield operators and drilling companies. They may be used limitedly or replaced. It often happens that 40-50% up to 58% of the drill pipe will be downgraded after 1 or 2 years of use by TJ OD visual testing. Assuming the other conditions are OK, then the pipe may be built-up and sent back to operation. It would be far less cost-effective to scrap it.
How do you compare and compete with existing Russian Technology?
Visual Testing is a base for any inspection. After that the Russian Recommended Practices for inspection are based on Ultrasonic Testing, API Standards prefers magnetic testing. Each case has its own benefits. UT is more accurate, it is more visual and usable for any part of the pipe. However, in common practice for inspection on the field it is good enough to base inspection on the electro-magnetic inspection of the pipe’s body, the wall thickness test, plus the tool joints magnetic-particle inspection to classify the pipe, which is more cost effective.
Russian companies used Hardbanding a long time ago. Mostly they were developed using Tungsten Carbide. This is still used today, but only for drilling in open hole because it’s hazardous to the casing. As for the international market there has been a next generation of hardbanding materials developed with no Tungsten Carbide implements. As for the Russian market we did a step back returning to the bare tool joint. Of course it depends on the geography of the drilling. If you’re using vertical rotary drilling in low abrasive soft grounds (a typical researching rig or a first oil rig on the site somewhere in West Siberia) then there is not such a high need for hardbanding. If you’re using an offshore or a directional drilling from site, then the effectiveness of hardbanding will be much higher. Then simply add high-abrasive grounds, long horizontal or deeper drilling and you have no alternative but to use Hardbanding, otherwise the drill pipe will quickly be damaged by wear.
The technologies used in the 90’s are not enough for today, and one of the technologies that should now be used is Hardbanding.
As for now a few of the servicing companies use tool joint outside diameter build-up already in Russia. Everyone can only dispute about the necessity of the process or just place the order, which one will save your money? Taking the international experience in the mind, I would like to say the build-up technology is rather rare in the market abroad. That is because hardbanding is used extensively.
How do you see the market developing over the next 5 years in your industry sector?
Even at this moment the oilfield operating companies are looking for very special services. Every Customer has their own local problems and they are looking for solutions. Some are looking to increase drilling hours. Others are looking for increasing tripping operations. I guess we’ll see a few competitive technologies capable of covering a wide range of complex problems very soon.
This will include:
- High quality pipe inspection on the field, which allows safer drilling
- Hardbanding to make the pipe’s life longer
- Build-up as a budget solution for cost saving
Do you have any new products being launched?
At the moment we’re launching a couple of projects for a unique product – the wire 2892 by Postle Industries, especially developed as a build-up wire. Very often the build-up was performed using regular mild steel wire. This is too risky because the chemical of the wire applied does not match the base TJ metal. 2892 is a special product developed especially for this purpose.
Do you have any recent regional success stories?
Every oilfield operating or drilling company are very nervous about their equipment and the drilling tools they own, it’s normal. Every upgrade takes thought and they are costly. It’s just like the anti-corrosion protection for your car’s wheel arch – it’s an additional expense and you’re thinking about the effectiveness of the protection. Nevertheless, once even a car dealer offers you this kind of service, it means it should be good for you and your car. The problem for you is only in valuing this service, depending on the effectiveness or practicality.
Many words can be said for a long time, but I know one thing: once a company has tested Hardbanding, the benefits of the technology are shown. All of the management staff see the benefits and take the proper decision to extend the utilization of Hardbanding to all of their drill pipe. In our case a branch of a well-known oilfield company took a decision to try the Hardbanding and after that took a decision to not use their drilling pipes without the hardbanding anymore. I hope this experience will be used by the other branches of the company with our support.
Any further comments?
I think the specialized magazines like yours or other technical mass-media is a good field to sound the industry problems and solutions, consulting with specialists. I really value the ROGTEC’s initiative in taking the interview.