Pipe Sticking

Published: May 31, 2018 | Last updated: July 5, 2023

What Does Pipe Sticking Mean?

Pipe sticking is when a drill pipe is stuck in a borehole and cannot be recovered from the bore without damage to the drill pipe. It can occur because of a variety of reasons which are loosely classified as either differential pressure issues or mechanical issues.

Pipe sticking causes time-consuming and expensive disruption in drilling operations. There are warning signs which, if observed, tend to forewarn of pipe sticking. These indicators generally require immediate action from the drill crew to prevent a stuck pipe.


Trenchlesspedia Explains Pipe Sticking

Warning indicators for mechanical pipe sticking:

  • Drilling fluid circulation ceases while the drill is in operation
  • Cuttings load the drill excessively
  • Drilling fluid ceases to circulate while drilling

Warning signs of differential pressure pipe sticking

  • Increased in torque and drag in the drill string
  • An inability to shift the drill string into reverse and, in some cases, to turn it at all
  • Drilling fluid circulation continues in an uninterrupted manner

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