Mechlok Swivels for 18 Hours Gaining 4,000ft of Sandface Production, Case Study Explained

11 June 2024

In March 2024, the successful deployment of excluder screens in an extended reach drilling (ERD) well in the UK sector of the North Sea showcased the efficiency and necessity of Deep Casing Tools innovative MechLOK drill pipe swivel tool. Here’s an in-depth look into this real-world operation:

The Challenge:

Drilling and deploying equipment in ERD wells present unique challenges due to the significant horizontal distances involved. In this specific case, the well had a total vertical depth (TVD) of less than 3,000 feet but extended horizontally over 7,000 feet. Deploying the 5 ½” excluder screens in such conditions required careful planning and execution.

Pre-Run Simulations

Torque and drag simulations conducted before the run indicated that conventional tripping methods would likely fail to get the screens to the desired depth. The friction factors in both the cased and open holes were considerably high, with the cased hole reaching 0.35. The simulations also showed that once the hole angle exceeded 80 degrees, the hookload weight would significantly drop due to drag experienced on the string, even before entering the open hole.

Overcoming Friction Challenges

Upon entering the open hole, the hookload continued to decrease, with open hole friction factors peaking at 0.45. Recognising the need for additional assistance, the MechLOK swivel was activated at 40 RPM. The results were immediate and significant, with a notable increase in hookload weight, allowing the screens to be pushed toward the target depth (TD).

The MechLOK Swivel’s Performance

In this operation, the MechLOK swivel was crucial. Over 18 hours of swivelling was required to achieve the final depth, exceeding 13,000 feet. The deployment gained an average hookload weight of 48,000 pounds, which facilitated the successful placement of the screens. This use of the MechLOK swivel enabled over 4,000 feet of sandface production, a testament to its efficiency in overcoming the significant friction challenges commonly found in ERD wells.


The deployment of the 5 ½” Excluder screens using the MechLOK swivel in the North Sea ERD well exemplifies the importance of innovative drilling tools in modern oil and gas operations. By addressing the high friction factors and ensuring the screens reached their target depth, the MechLOK swivel proved to be an invaluable asset in enhancing the efficiency and success of this operation.

The insights gained from this project underline the necessity of pre-run simulations and the strategic use of advanced tools in complex drilling environments, ensuring optimal performance and productivity.