CHICAGO — Alcoa Inc.’s oil and gas business will supply 17,400 feet of aluminum alloy drill pipe for two offshore drilling survey projects.
The Pittsburgh-based aluminum maker said Jan. 16 that the 5-inch-diameter drill pipe will be used by geophysics and seafloor mapping firms Furgo-McClelland Marine Geosciences Inc., Houston, and Furgo Singapore PTE Ltd. at depths up to 1.8 miles.
Surveys are a first step in determining whether a site might be suitable for offshore drilling platforms, said Alcoa, which makes aluminum tubes at its Lafayette, Ind., facility.
"We decided to use Alcoa aluminum drill pipe because it is approximately half the weight of steel, allowing us to double our offshore operating depth," Furgo-McClelland operations manager Ken Taylor said in a statement.
"Furgo’s decision to use Alcoa’s (aluminum drill pipe) for such a critical application is a testament to our core value proposition, which is to extend the drilling range of existing assets," Alcoa Oil & Gas marketing director Jay Grissom said in a statement.
Aluminum drill pipe can be used with steel tool joints thanks to proprietary thermal joining technology, Alcoa said.
Steel is traditionally used in most drill pipe applications, but aluminum is pushing to take some of steel’s market share in the oil and gas sector (amm.com, June 14, 2009).