Alcoa Oil & Gas was awarded a contract from Pennsylvania General Energy (PGE) to produce 3,500 feet of aluminum-alloy drill pipe for gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale formation of central Pennsylvania. Alcoa’s 4.5-inch drill pipe will extend the reach of the carrier-mounted drilling rig used on natural gas wells in the Marcellus Shale formation to a total depth of approximately 7,500 feet. This is 1,000 feet deeper than conventional steel drill pipe can penetrate without using larger, more costly rigs.

Alcoa’s innovative drill pipe is a tapered, high-strength, aluminum-alloy tube coupled with proprietary thermal-connection technology that allows steel tool joints to attach to the aluminum pipe’s body. This feature optimizes the pipe’s strength-to-weight ratio and gives it the capability to be used with steel pipe. Alcoa’s pipe design and unique aluminum construction make it up to 50% lighter than steel pipe, yet it maintains the durability and strength of steel. The Alcoa pipe significantly increases a rig’s operating efficiency while allowing for deeper drilling.