Traditionally, dropping a plug for cementing, grouting, wedging or any one of several downhole applications has taken three rod trips: one for pulling the entire drill string out of the hole, two for installing a rod shoe and going back down, and three for pulling the rods after a plug was set. It’s a feat that’s taken many hours across multiple shifts to achieve, assuming no mistakes were made along the way (dropped rods, anyone?) – that is, until now.
Now, there’s a new company called Drillware. A company formed out of a desire to take the best-in-class solutions for every drilling challenge and make it real. Their first product? A new take on the classic downhole plug. Not exactly the “sexiest” of drilling solutions, but perhaps that was the point.
Drillware’s Piercepoint TTB Plug is unique. The “TTB” designation stands for “Through the Bit,” which reduces three rod trips down to just one. Gone are the days of tripping rods, just to install a rod shoe. Traveling through the bit, the plug was designed to deploy directly through the inner tube – seated through a loading chamber running just 10gpm of water, with a water bypass indicator telling you exactly when it’s loaded.
Implementation is simple. Their kit replaces the stock lower latch body on the back end with an adjustable tube adapter, allowing water to flow through to the inner tube while retaining the original length, landing shoulder and landing indicator ball. The core lifter case on the inner tube is replaced with a smooth lifter case to ensure that that the TTB plug is deployed correctly, and the plug itself is installed with a loading chamber connected to your water supply. Once loaded, you’re ready to run the inner tube back down the hole.
When the tube lands and water is applied, the pressure will build until the landing indicator ball is pushed through the indicator bushing. When this happens, the water pressure will momentarily drop. At this point, the water will be directed through the inside of the inner tube – pushing the TTB plug out through the bit.
Once the plug has been deployed, there will be a steady rise in water pressure. Turn off the pump at this point, but DO NOT release the pressure through the blow off. With the pump shut off, slowly pull back the rod string until it is clear of the plug, confirmed by a release of pressure on the water pressure gauge. And with that, the Piercepoint TTB Plug is set – ready for whatever you plan to throw at it.
Currently available through MBI’s global network, the Piercepoint TTB Plug comes as a kit that includes everything you need to prep, load, and deploy the plug. Ask for it by name, and eliminate the costs and time required to deploy your next downhole plug for good.
Hot on the heels of this innovation is Drillware’s Environ SRS Centrifuge, which reduces water consumption at the drill by up to 90%, with no water discharge whatsoever. Their solids removal system reduces tailings to the consistency of toothpaste, which can be easily bagged and transported off-site, instead of in a permitted sump. Stay tuned for that.