When the term “Christmas tree” comes into a conversation, perhaps the first thing that pops into mind is a tree filled with holiday cheer and presents at its bottom. However, it’s not the same when we’re looking at it in the oil and gas industry.
The Christmas Tree resembles that of the plant we use to decorate to spread holiday cheer. Another similar unit is the wellhead, and the two types of systems are often used interchangeably. Some people might even classify the parts as Well head christmas trees. However, there are key differences between these two units, especially regarding drilling operations.
What is a Christmas Tree?
Christmas trees are useful for a number of different operations. It can assist in producing wells, in the injection of alcohols, oils, or chemicals, and it can also aid in solving certain production problems. There are also some certain scenarios wherein a tree is useful for controlling the injection of water or gas on a producing or non-producing well. Using a tree to control the injection of water or gas can help in sustaining the cost-effective manufacturing volumes of gas from different wells in a particular area or field.
What’s the Difference Between a Christmas Tree and a Wellhead?
People who are new to the oil and gas sector may find Christmas trees and wellheads to be confusing. Bear in mind that both units aren’t the same as these are separate pieces of equipment. The wellhead is a part used in conjunction with a Christmas tree during drilling operations. However, there are times when a tree isn’t required because there’s no requirement of containing the pressure.
What are the Parts of a Christmas Tree?
Christmas trees are separated into different parts. First, let’s take a look at the two lower valves of the tree, and these elements are the upper and lower master valves. The lower master valve is generally manually-operated. On the other hand, the upper master valve is most often hydraulically-activated. Aside from the two master valves, another area of the Christmas tree holds the hydraulic tree wing valves, and these are usually found to have a failsafe closing mechanism. In other words, they require an active hydraulic pressure for them to remain open. There are also other parts of the Christmas tree worth mentioning, such as the flow wing valve, the kill wing valve, the swab valve, and the choke.
We hope that this short guide assisted you in learning and understanding the difference between the wellhead and the Christmas tree.