Tubing Tongs for Breakout and Makeup Operation Efficiency


Tubing Tongs for Breakout and Makeup Operation Efficiency

Pneumatic and hydraulic power tongs consist of casing tongs, drill pipe tongs, and tubing tongs.  With each tong type, your team needs efficient, reliable, safe performance with a decent toque-to-weight ratio.

Here is some more information on different rig tongs:

Casing Tongs: Their purpose is to make or break casing tubulars that were placed in the drill
hole to control the well opening. They can manage lightweight casing and have torques varying from 15,000 to 200,000 foot-pounds. Standard sizes are between 5.5 and 36 feet.

Drill Pipe Tongs: These tongs are used to screw industrial tubular together to create a drill string with its components, which allows the drill bit to turn at the bottom of the wellbore.
The drill string involves the bottom hole assembly, drill pipe, a kelly or top drive motor, as well
as other in-hole equipment used in drilling operations. These tongs are usually very efficient
when it comes to reducing cost and lowering drill time, and come in sizes 2.36 to 10 inches.
Tubing Tongs: Their purpose is to rotate and hold tubulars used for oil and gas extraction. They
are ruggedly arranged to function at higher torques necessary to break premium connections.

Keystone Energy Tools - K-30 Tubing Tong

Quality tongs increase the safety and efficiency of drill floor operations. These self-locking,
large-capacity wrenches administer torque where needed when breaking out or making up
tubing. Similar to a plumber using opposing pipe wrenches, rig tongs are continually used in
opposing pairs. One set of tongs is pulled with mechanical catheads, and the other is tied off to
the derrick with a chain or cable.

Makeup tongs are the tongs used during tightening (makeup) operations. Breakout tongs are the ones used during the process of unscrewing drill string components (breakout). Depending upon the particular application, there are also manual tongs, riser tongs, rotary tongs, and chisel tongs.

The “lead tongs” (pronounced “leed”) during makeup operations are the pipe tongs suspended in the mast or derrick. These tongs are controlled by a wire rope or chain that is connected to the breakout or makeup cathead. The tong pull line is a length of wire rope that is connected to the end of the tongs by one end, and the other is attached to the cathead on the drawworks. Once the driller activates the cathead, it draws in the tong line and applies force on the tong line to either break out or make up drill pipe.


The lead-tong hand is the crew member who operates the lead tongs when the drill collars and
drill pipe are being managed and pipe is going into the hole. In breakout operations, breakout
tongs are needed to start unscrewing sections of pipe from one another; primarily the drill pipe
coming out of the hole. Tong dies play an important role in helping manual tongs and power tongs grasp tool joints. Pulling out or running in tubular at oil rigs, the tool joints are manipulated with manual tongs or power tongs.

Dies are bits of jagged steel installed in the tongs that grasp the tool joint of drill pipe once the
tongs have locked onto the pipe. Tong dies are constructed of alloy steel, and their hardened
surfaces withstand wear. The inner ductile core greatly reduces the shock of torque and impact.

Computing Torque
How much force should be used on the tongs during makeup to get the torque needed? This is
the formula used to determine torque value when using the rig tong to make-up the connection:

Torque = The length of the tong x Force

Where:
 The length of the tong is perpendicular to force
 Torque is measured using feet/pounds
 Tong length is measured in feet
 Force is measured in pounds


Tubing tongs are very efficient when it comes to breakout and makeup operations. Used for
rotating and holding tubulars needed for oil and gas extraction, they perform at higher torques in order to break premium connections. Regardless of which type of tubing tongs you’re using for your operations, safety and reliability is always critical.

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02 Apr 2019


By Faith Munsell