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Pipe Sticking | Mechanisms, Preventive Actions & Freeing

In general, Pipe stuck or sticking in drilling means that Drill String is not able to rotate, move up or down as we all know that to drill a well you will need a Drill String (Drill Pipe and Drill Collar) to transmit the produced torsion force & load from surface to the Drilling Bit. The DD and the rig driller (Check also Driller Job Descriptions) direct the well by several parameters the torque, pulling, and rotating of the drill string.

Pipe Sticking

General Mechanisms

Pipe stuck may occur while drilling section, connection time, or any operation at which Drill String inside the hole. The stuck happens on Drill String when   



  • FBHA: The force exerted by the sticking mechanism on the Bottom Hole Assembly BHA
  • BF, background friction is the amount of friction force created by the side force in the well.
  • MOP (Maximum Overpull): is the max. pull that the derrick, hoisting system, or Drill Pipe can handle, it will be the lowest value of them. And always it is the value related to Drill Pipe.

In other meaning, Drill String got stuck because the force required to move it much bigger than the MOP (Maximum Overpull)you can reach.

What Is The Effects And Risks Of The Stuck Pipe or Pipe Sticking?

A stuck pipe can cause breaking or losing a part of the Drill String in the hole. Its result is very expensive. They include:

  • Drilling time lost (working on the stuck).
  • Cost (check also drilling cost per foot) & time spent on working on the fish (to retrieve the lost part of the Drill String or the  Bottom Hole Assembly BHA.
  • Leave the fish in the hole as it is difficult or costly to retrieve it.
  • Perform a sidetracking well which is also a waste of time and cost.

 A few concerns must be taken into consideration when working on a stuck: 

  • Formation pressure
  • Drilling fluid system
  • The Time (as you must understand that as time runs while working on stuck, the situation become difficult to free the stuck).

Differential Pipe Sticking

The objective of the Differential Pipe Sticking article is:

  1. To understand the differential stuck pipe force.
  2. To identify the factors affecting the its force.
  3. To identify its indicators
  4. To follow its preventive actions.
  5. To learn first action and freeing procedures for differential stuck pipe

Inadequate Hole Cleaning

The Objective of the Inadequate Hole Cleaning article is:

  1. To identify the effect of the hole cleaning on pipe sticking problem
  2. To understand the factors affecting hole cleaning
  3. To recognize warning signs for hole cleaning problems
  4. To have an idea about the preventive actions for hole cleaning problems

Pack-Off / Bridge

The Objective of the Drilling Pack Off / Bridge Stuck article is:

  1. Understand the definition and the difference between the hole Pack Off mechanism and the Bridge mechanism.
  2. Identify its mechanism.
  3. Apprehend the major reasons for suck sticking.
  4. Learn more about the Pack off / Bridge first actions guidelines
  5. Understand the effect of wellbore instability on pack off

Mechanical Stuck Pipe

The Objective of the Mechanical Stuck Pipe article is:

  1. To understand the causes of mechanical stuck (Keyseating, Undergauge hole, Ledges & Doglegs, Metal Junks, Collapsed Casing, Cement Blocks, Green Cement)
  2. To Identify the warning signs for each type of mechanical stuck.
  3. To learn how to proceed with freeing each type of mechanical stuck.