Blackhawk Acquires Surge Reduction Line From Allamon

Houston-based Blackhawk Specialty Tools LLC announced Wednesday it will acquire the surge reduction business line of Allamon Tool Company and intellectual property associated with the line.

The business line includes Allamon’s industry-leading diverter systems and ancillary cementing tools, as well as a number of patents that will complement Blackhawk’s existing portfolio, Blackhawk said in a July 6 press release. It will be operated out of Blackhawk’s operations headquarters in Houma, La., and other select global markets.

The acquisition will reinforce Blackhawk’s leadership position in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico and completes the Blackhawk Surge Reduction System for tight-tolerance casing running, said Blackhawk President and CEO Billy Brown in the release.

The surge reduction system is a suite of tools designed to reduce the piston effect, Jim Martens, chief operating officer with Blackhawk, told Rigzone in an email statement. The system is designed to relieve the surge pressure by providing an exit path for the drilling mud from beneath the casing to the wide open area above the casing. The tools reroute the fluid flow path from the very tight annual space outside the casing to the interior of the casing, and then back to the annulus above the restriction.

“This greatly increases running speed and can eliminate mud losses,” Martens stated. “Sophisticated well modelling software is used by our engineering team to recommend to the operators the optimum running speed for their specific condition.”

Surge refers to the pressure that is generated beneath the casing while running in the hole. In a typical deepwater well profile, the weak pore pressure and fracture ingredients create a situation where the operators must run many casing strings to keep the well under control. The multiple casing strings must nest tighter inside one another. For example, in a conventional well, a 9 5/8-inch casing would be run inside a 13 3/8-inch casing. In deepwater, it is not uncommon to run an 11 3/4 –inch casing inside the 13 3/8-inchd and then a 9 5/8-inch inside the 11 ¾-inch. When the 11 ¾-inch case is being run into the hole, there is nowhere for the fluid beneath the casing to escape. The 11 ¾-inch casing becomes a piston, applying pressure to the fluid beneath it.  This surge effect can cause formations to break down. While the effect can be mitigated by running the casing very slowly, this slow activity comes at a higher cost.

Blackhawk previously had limited penetration in the Gulf of Mexico due to its licensing agreement with Allamon. The changing market dynamic created a situation in which Blackhawk had to provide increased value proposition for its customers, Martens stated. Blackhawk service professionals are typically present on the rig during casing running operations, Martens said. This acquisition will allow Blackhawk to provide its customers with a project manager that is trained and competent, with multiple services reducing overall cost of operation, Martens said.

Blackhawk didn’t release a dollar figure on the acquisition.


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