BJ Services is expanding its tubing and casing running operations in the Marcellus shale fields of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and New York. BJ has carried out casing and tubing running services on behalf of nearly every shale play operator on a variety of horizontal and lateral wells in difficult terrain under severe winter weather conditions. One benefit to customers of dedicated casing and tubing running services is the enhanced assurance that the casing will be properly torqued, minimizing chances of later concerns about joint-to-joint integrity. This improves customers' environmental stewardship as well as the longevity of the well.
BJ Services' tubular services group launched its Marcellus Shale expansion program in West Virginia in August 2008. Since that time, the group moved to a larger facility in Grafton, West Virginia. Since it commenced operations in the region, the group has completed nearly 230 casing and tubing running, and thread cleaning services. Most recently, a series of operations using BJ's special truck-mounted pickup and lay down (PULD) units were completed on behalf of several operators in heavy snowfall.
New Bases in West Virginia and Pennsylvania
The increased demand for casing and tubing running services in the region has led to the opening of new BJ Services bases to support tubular services operations. The base in Grafton, West Virginia, houses a full complement of state-of-the-art casing and tubing running equipment and a workshop. BJ recently opened a second base in Muncy, Pennsylvania, to support operations in Pennsylvania and New York. Heading up the tubular services team in Grafton and Muncy is Neil Kimbler, North East operations manager for BJ Services' tubular services group, who is responsible for all tubular services operations in the North East.
To provide services in such harsh conditions, personnel rely on a range of custom equipment. Special tong trucks were designed to provide 100 percent back-up for the purpose of running casing and tubing. The truck is built to carry a power unit as a primary power source, and the power take-off (PTO) as a backup power supply. It can carry the full range of standard equipment, including power tongs and torque-turn units, and the company's fill and circulate tool (FAC), which provides fast, effective fill-up of casing string while running. Customers also benefit from the PULDs, which can accommodate all standard tubular sizes used in the region.
Looking Ahead: Recruiting Staff a Top Priority
With the vast reserves of the Marcellus shale fields, BJ Services anticipates that demand for casing and tubing running services will continue to rise, particularly in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. To ensure that its tubular services customers in the region continue to receive quality service, BJ is recruiting staff, especially in the Grafton area.
"We have taken an extremely proactive approach in the Marcellus Shale play, with the long-term objective of becoming the largest provider of casing and tubing running services in the region," said Watt. "It's heartening to see that in just 18 months, our commitment to delivering quality services is already paying off. It is an outstanding opportunity to be able to contribute to these drilling initiatives that will supply gas for the next generation," he added.
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