The Importance of the Christmas Tree
Posted: December 23, 2012
With the holiday season upon us, what better time to talk about the Christmas tree , the all important part of the wellhead.
The wellhead is the surface end of the wellbore that manages the production of the hydrocarbon extraction. It houses the upper casing and tubing hangers. It is also what the Christmas tree mounts to for flow control and to help prevent blowouts. The upper casing head provides a heavy seal between the casing and the surface, and it also provides support for the entire length of casing in the well. The tubing head, like the casing head, provides a heavy seal, but between the tubing running inside the casing and the surface.
The Christmas tree, the most conspicuous part of the wellhead, is often six feet tall. It contains tubes and valves that monitor the flow of the hydrocarbons and other well fluids into the pipeline. It gets its name from the many branches of piping that are similar to branches of a tree. The Christmas tree is the primary back-up control for gas production and for wellbore shut-in if needed.