API Drill Pipe Must Stand Up to Harsh Conditions

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Published: 06th November 2012
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A drill string, consisting of drill pipe and the drill stem closest to the bit assembly, is exposed to higher bending, tensile, and torque stress than standard pipe. API drill pipe must be flexible, and it is produced in longer segments than the drill stem, which has to be much more rigid. Because of the flexibility required of drill pipe, tool joints must have shoulders that provide some degree of stiffness to prevent too much bending or breakage. Drill strings can be run to depths of nearly 8,400 meters, and all elements have to have minimum internal diameters of 4 1/8 inches so that other tools can pass through.

Compatibility of Drill Pipe Across Industries

Drill pipe is most commonly used in the oil and gas industry. However, the underground construction, or horizontal directional drilling (HDD) industry uses drill pipe as well. The third major industry to use drill pipe is the water drilling industry. Drill pipe is compatible with several coring systems, temperature and pressure probes, and logging tools, and this cross-compatibility makes it easier for multiple industries to get the pipe they need quickly so they can get to work actually drilling or otherwise fulfilling project objectives.

What the API 5L Specification Covers

The API 5L specification includes seamless and welded line pipe made of steel. It may be standard weight or extra-strong threaded. Standard weight or regular weight plain end pipes are included, as are special and extra-strong plain end products. The standard was developed to provide standards for pipe suitable for use in the oil and natural gas industries for conveying oil, gas, and water.

Uses for API 5L Pipe

API 5L pipe may be seamless or welded. The API 5L specification is a comprehensive specification that was primarily developed for the line pipes used in the petroleum industry, and it covers a range of strength grades. With API 5L pipe, particular attention is paid to the toughness of the product for use in higher pressure and temperature classes and sour drilling conditions. "Sour" conditions refer to drilling for gases that are either acidic by themselves or that are acidic when exposed to water. Hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide are the two sour gases associated with oil and gas production. Though sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides are also considered "sour," they are not found in subsurface drilling conditions.

You and Your Drill Pipe Supplier

Whether you're in the petroleum industry, the HDD industry, or the water drilling industry, you have to be able to count on your drill pipe supplier to have the products your project requires and to be able to ship these products to you, even if you are in a remote corner of the world. Look for a drill pipe supplier with experienced engineers who are conversant in the technologies used in the oil and gas industries, HDD, or water drilling. In addition, you should expect your drill pipe supplier to have a logistics team and a worldwide network of mills that allows them to immediately locate the products your project requires and deliver them to you right on schedule.


If you’re working on a project that’s subject to harsh conditions, you’ll need a pipe supplier that can supply you with API 5L pipe. And if you work in the oil and gas industry, a drill pipe supplier that is on time, every time is the key to your success. Corpacsteel.com is known for having a world network that ensures your needs are met.

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