What Does Pipe Heavy Mean?
Pipe heavy is a term describing a condition during exploration for oil and gas. Under these conditions, the weight of the pipe is greater than the back pressure exerted from the well. The gripping force on the drill string holds the pipe in position, preventing it from falling into the well due to the pressure difference.
Trenchlesspedia Explains Pipe Heavy
During drilling for oil and gas, kickbacks can occur which force the blow-out preventers (BOPs) to close and the drill string to be released from the well. When re-engaging the drill string to the well, pressure conditions must be carefully monitored. The weight of the drill string may be higher than the wellhead pressure, resulting in this pipe heavy condition. Drill strings can be kilometers long due to the drill depth.
Oil and gas exploration has high risks as was observed in the Deepwater Horizon incident. Maintaining safe operating conditions and high integrity of mechanical equipment like the grip on the drill pipe is important for safe operation.