High Collapse Reliability: Rising to the challenge On October 6, 2021, Vallourec and World Oil held a live webcast demonstrating Vallourec’s expertise and solutions with High Collapse grades for tubulars.

11/15/2021 - Webcast

Marketing and Development Manager Maria-Beatriz Ybarra presented our wide portfolio of cutting-edge solutions, which can be customized to meet customer needs. She also illustrated our proprietary methodology and the added value it offers. The webcast was a major success with 237 registered participants, 113 live attendees, and more than 25 questions asked throughout the presentation. This article recaps the key messages and valuable insights from the webinar.

VAM® 21, guaranteeing the highest performance thanks to extensive testing

For years, oil and gas operators have encountered increasingly high mechanical loads, resulting in external pressure that goes beyond standards. This is known as collapse pressure, and it necessitates heavier and more complex well designs. Collapse loads prove particularly challenging during drilling operations, especially in the most critical scenarios such as cementing and full evacuation loads. Annular pressure build-up, caused by thermal expansion during production, is another critical issue, especially in deepwater wells where mitigation methods are limited.

In this context, the collapse resistance offered by API grades no longer suffice, and dedicated High Collapse grades are essential. Following our meticulous and thorough methodology, Vallourec provides products for conventional, high-pressure/high-temperature (HPHT) and deepwater wells. These grades are also offered in combination with sour service and high strength properties to create truly comprehensive solutions.

Vallourec’s High Collapse methodology

Building on decades of experience producing and delivering High Collapse grades to operators around the world, Vallourec has developed a proprietary methodology that delivers the highest and safest performance available. The first step of Vallourec’s methodology takes place during the design process. Using our vast expertise and knowledge from years of designing and producing these products, we assign target values to the manufacturing variables that drive the collapse performance of tubular products. Attainment of these values is then verified during the second stage: production.

The third stage of our proprietary methodology is quality control. This involves individual pipe analysis performed on each and every single pipe in the production lot, using state-of-the-art inspection methods based on data collection and processing.

“Vallourec’s methodology guarantees the collapse performance of every pipe, as each one is inspected using automated systems for 100% surface coverage,” Maria-Beatriz Ybarra says. “We use high-resolution equipment for both external and wall thickness. This results in a much more comprehensive inspection then what the API requires.”

Showcasing Vallourec’s solutions

Vallourec now offers High Collapse grades with a collapse rate that is up to 40% higher than API grades. In addition, Vallourec has developed the eXtreme Collapse grades, designed to cover the most challenging well loads, with collapse resistance up to 15% higher than standard High Collapse products. The High Collapse offer ranges from 4½” to 26”, and other non-standard sizes can also be created upon customer request.

Furthermore, Vallourec has developed our Dual Performance Baskets methodology. This process consists of identifying and segregating the highest-performing pipes of the production lot into a premium basket with a higher collapse rating. They will then be placed by the operator in critical areas where the highest collapse loads are expected.

“Our solutions are always tailored to the project in question,” Maria-Beatriz says. “And we work closely with clients to identify and take into account their goals, from reducing costs to decreasing wall thickness and building for a sour environment.”

Four examples present a concise overview of Vallourec’s products and their applications.

  • For conventional onshore applications, Vallourec offers VAM® 21 and VM110HC. These were recently used by an African national oil company in order to reduce costs and lighten the string; the result was a 35% increase in operations.
  • Vallourec’s VM110HCSS solution, combining high collapse and sour service resistance, implemented in the salt dome of an HPHT offshore well in a sour environment in South America. This enabled the customer to increase the mechanical resistance of the string, offering a 40% increase in collapse resistance.
  • Used for deepwater wells in the Gulf of Mexico, Vallourec’s VAM® SLIJ-3 and VM 140 CYXC increased collapse resistance of the string and provided a higher safety margin.
  • Also in the Gulf of Mexico, Vallourec’s Dual Performance Baskets offer for HPHT deepwater wells provided a cost-effective option within a High Collapse grade. These products increased external pressure resistance by 11% for this project.

And we work closely with clients to identify and take into account their goals, from reducing costs to decreasing wall thickness and building for a sour environment.

Maria-Beatriz Ybarra Vallourec Marketing & Development Manager

Products plus people equals performance

“All Vallourec products are qualified through our proprietary methodology and using the latest and most rigorous standards,” Maria-Beatriz says. “Our multidisciplinary teams have the expertise and experience to help customers optimize well design and achieve best-in-class performance and safety levels. And with a worldwide network and mills across the globe, we can satisfy the needs of our clients wherever they happen to be and whatever their project parameters.”

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