Aberdeen Firm Develops Coating Solution, Quadruples Tool Life

Aberdeen-based Advanced Coating Initiative (ACI) has secured a contract with Churchill Drilling Tools for the supply of its patented coating technology, InnerArmor®. ACI developed a bespoke coating solution for Churchill which has quadrupled tool life.

Aberdeen-based Churchill Drilling Tools, a leading supplier of downhole valve technology, has selected ACI to provide erosion protection for the internal surfaces of its Instant Bypass Tool (IBT). ACI has developed a bespoke coating solution for Churchill's innovative tool range which provides specialist patented technology for Drifting, Top-Filling & Circulation. The result has been increased operating life cycles, improved productivity, and decreased maintenance costs.

Jim Davidson, managing director, ACI, said, "We are delighted to work with Churchill and our technology is ideally suited to the harsher environments that the company is faced with. It was essential that the tools were protected from corrosion, wear and friction - InnerArmor® has met all requirements. The technology continues to attract wide interest from the oil and gas sector where companies have traditionally had to pay a premium for expensive alloys to extend component life. In terms of wear and protection, our coating process enables other metals to outperform these costly alloys which results in massive savings to our customers."

Churchill's Instant Bypass Tool (IBT) technology is used to control well fluid during drilling and completions. Churchill was founded in 1996 and has grown organically since its establishment, with 14 full time staff worldwide. To supply a growing number of international clients, the head office in Aberdeen now manages agents in Calgary, Lafayette, Italy, Stavanger, Thailand, Jakarta and New Plymouth.

Andy Churchill, managing director of Churchill Drilling Tools, said, "Previously we used other coatings to protect our tools' surfaces from erosion wear. However, InnerArmor® offers significantly more resistance which allows us to focus on our global business and development of new tools. The technology extends operational life far beyond what our customers require so we are delighted with the partnership that has been developed with ACI."

ACI was the first company in Europe to offer the InnerArmor technology to oil and gas industry customers and forecasts sales in its InnerArmor division will reach £3million a year by 2010. The technology could represent several hundred million pounds of savings to the global oil and gas industry on an annual basis.