In different parts of the world, oil and gas operators employ and observe different levels of health, safety, and environmental practices. The practice of an effective health and safety culture has shown value in a few areas, namely: the retention of employees that are content with their company and the money saved from incidents that never occurred. The same can be said of creating a culture of environmental accountability within an organization. It is recommended that organizations create and maintain an environmental management system and a culture of environmental safety that ensures every individual analyzes the environmental impact on an action-by-action basis. Who or what is affected, and how may this action reflect on me and my organization? One of those actions regards choosing a means to lubricate, seal, and protect threads on casing and tubing.

The improper discharge of lead-based pipe dope can result in lead contamination in homes, marine environments, water, and soil, while also causing production and operational issues and health and safety risks to manufacturers and rig crews. Wherever possible, it is recommended that operators and rig crews employ alternative forms of thread protection.

Green dopes that are lead-free and metal-free offer a cleaner discharge into the environment, avoiding issues with lead contamination. When used, companies and rig crews must observe safety hazards associated with unsafe rig floors, because the green dopes also contribute to an unsafe working surface. While they are accepted for discharge in strictly regulated areas like the North Sea, green dopes may not protect threads as effectively as lead-based dopes, so continued development of these compounds is encouraged to substitute for lead-based dope when dope-free solutions are not applicable.

Dope-free casing and tubing is a zero-discharge technology, remediating HSE risks created by the use of leaded thread protection compounds and green dopes. The process for applying Tenaris’ Dopeless® coating protects workers at the mill and creates the necessary lubricant for effective make-up of casing during drilling operations. To reduce potentially harmful air emissions from the dope-free process, and to make the dope-free coating process a truly environmentally-friendly one, companies like Tenaris should include VOC and NOx capture and abatement systems. In addition, since Dopeless® is currently only applied to premium connections, EFD recommends development of a coating for API connections to increase the applicability of dope-free casing.


For more information contact:

     Andra Wilcox, awilcox@HARCResearch.org, 281-364-4052