As the drilling industry’s fast-evolving demands increase, Washington Rotating Control Heads Inc. continues to keep pace, and has recently custom-engineered and manufactured the three largest-diameter wellhead components the company has ever produced in its 40-year history.
Washington Rotating specializes in the manufacturing of rotating control diverters for the oil, gas and geothermal industries. The rotating control devices are designed to seal off the drill string components continuously and divert all cuttings and debris away from the rig.
“We built these new rotating devices from the ground up for a geothermal driller working in Indonesia,” said Rick McKinney, the company’s operations manager. “Even though the driller is halfway around the world, they keep coming back to us when they need reliable solutions to one-of-a-kind challenges.”
A custom rotating control diverter was required for this international driller’s needs. Washington Rotating’s team engineered and built a custom 30-in. flanged bowl, a 36-in. slip-on and a 40-in. slip-on. Each of the precision-engineered components is exceptionally massive, McKinney says. With its adapter assembly, the bowl weighs in at about 3,000 lbs. The 36-in. slip-on with adapter shipped at 2,975 lbs, and the 40-in. slip-on and adaptor weigh 1,200 lbs.
According to McKinney, special orders are making up an increasingly large share of Washington Rotating’s business.
“It’s the direction the industry is headed, and that’s where Washington is headed as well,” he continued. “We’re continually refining our processes and equipment, so we can tackle these oversized jobs more efficiently and cut down on lead times too.”
The components were fabricated for a geothermal application, but McKinney says their designs would work equally well in gas or oil drilling.
“The Marcellus and Utica natural gas industries have changed everything,” he said. “The whole industry has become more sophisticated and more demanding, and custom work is the new standard. That’s a perfect fit for Washington Rotating, because ‘custom’ is all in a days work. It’s what we do.”