1 million and counting: why VAM® 21 is the connection of choice for oil companies worldwide Since it came on the market, VAM® 21 connection has fast established itself as an industry favorite for a wide range of applications.

07/07/2021 - VAM

Leveraging the technical prowess of VAM TOP® product, which set the industry standard for over 30 years, VAM® 21 is now the connection of choice for oil majors the world over. This month, it is celebrating a landmark: over 1 million VAM® 21 joints have now been run downhole worldwide.  

1 million and counting: why VAM® 21 is the connection of choice for oil companies worldwide

Applications unlimited

The latest generation of premium connections, VAM® 21 offers the highest proven technical performance with outstanding sealability and extreme compression resistance. VAM® 21 is available in a wide range of dimensions – from 3 1/2” to 16”. It also comes in a wide variety of grades, including carbon steel (API C5T), sour service, high collapse, corrosion, resistant alloys (API 5CRA), 13CR, Super 13CR, Duplex, Super Duplex and nickel-based alloys. The entire product line is fully validated against the most stringent testing protocols, including API RP 5C5:2017 / ISO 13679:2019 CAL-IV. 

Onshore and offshore, in conventional and unconventional wells, VAM® 21 is the most versatile, reliable and easy to use connection. It ensures fast and reliable running in the field, whatever the application, even the most critical. The variety of dimensions and grades available make VAM® 21 suitable for a wide range of configurations, and it is currently used by all the oil majors and a large number of national oil companies. It now sets the standard – for everything from challenging HP/HT wells in the North Sea and South-East Asia, deepwater wells in the Gulf of Mexico, the Pre-Salt wells of Brazil, and shale operations in North America to conventional fields in the Middle East. And with energy operators increasingly setting their sights on renewables, it can also be used in geothermal applications.   

Performing to the highest expectations

Building on the heritage and commercial success of VAM TOP®, VAM® presents a number of advantages compared to competing solutions.

These sturdy connections are as strong as the pipe body with 100% compression resistance. Their sealability has been validated up to 240°C (464°F), and their bending resistance up to 42°/100 ft. The VAM® 21 HT joint displays additional proven high torque performance for dedicated applications such as rotating liners, drilling with casing, ERD, multilateral wells and horizontal sections. 

The robustness of VAM® 21 qualification files with regards to API 5C5 CAL IV et ISO 13679:2017 CAL IV norms is particularly praised by key industry actors, especially when compared to poor or biased documentation sometimes received with alternative products. This is of even greater importance when looking into the validation of critical properties such as external pressure on high collapse grades or make-and-break on stainless steel.

VAM® 21 joints also offer faster running thanks to easy stabbing and alignment, even with rough handling. This also results in clear and repeatable make-up charts and fewer back-outs and rejects. That means a hassle-free connection that improves performance and reduces the cost of rig downtime, especially important during offshore operations. 

A winning combination

To further optimize the benefits of VAM® 21, the connection can be used in conjunction with CLEANWELL®, a VAM® developed dope-free technology. This environmental-friendly coating is applied in the mill to threaded connections, replacing both storage and running compounds. Using rig-ready joints reduces handling and pipe preparation operations as well as associated safety risks, both in the yard and on the rig. It also reduces back-out, rejects and overall running time thus improving rig operations. 

The combination of VAM® 21 with CLEANWELL® has been extensively tested, assuring sealability and anti-galling resistance according to the most stringent protocols, particularly for CRA and 13CR grades. Thanks to a controlled metal plating process, CLEANWELL® improves storage and corrosion resistance up to at least 36 months in different weather conditions, eliminating the need for regular inspections and storage dope replacement. The result is lower operating costs and increased efficiency throughout the whole supply chain.

Standardized or customized, with services to match

VAM® 21’s wide product range provides the added advantage of enabling the standardization of strings. A customer in Brazil, for example, successfully used VAM® 21 joints on all the casings of a string, despite varying compression and size requirements. By reducing the number of different products needed, end-users can reduce purchases, streamline their stock management, and simplify well design. The resulting cost and time savings are invaluable. At the same time, customers with very specific requirements need never settle for one-size-fits-all standard joints. VAM® 21 can be fully customized according to size and performance requirements. 

VAM® 21 is supported by a large worldwide network of VAM® licensees. Our partners vary in size and scope – from local repair shops closest to customer operations to major OEMs providing accessories fitted with VAM® connectors – suiting the needs of every type of client. Trained and supported by our VAM® Services teams, our licensees provide reliable service to customers meeting all VAM® standards. 

The connection of choice for demanding customers

Versatile and easy to use, VAM® 21 has truly come of age and is now setting the standard for advanced threaded and coupled connections. Suitable for the most standard and highest-tech applications alike, this latest generation connection has made its mark in an industry where performance, reliability and ease of use are of the essence.

More than one million joints are currently in use around the world– proof that VAM® 21’s applications are myriad and meet the needs of all types of customers, from independent operators to NOCs and oil majors.