Fracking equipment including goat heads from a wellhead casing manufacturer

What Are the Differences Between Casing Heads, Tubing Heads, and Goat Heads?

Casing heads, tubing heads, and goal heads are all types of equipment used for oil exploration and production. They each have a specific function and construction process to manufacture them.

Casing Head

A casing head (AKA casing bowl, a-section, Braden head, or starting head) interfaces with the surface’s pressure control equipment. This primary interface for well drilling is a blowout preventer and a Christmas tree for a production well.

The casing head is essentially an adapter between the first casing string and either the BOP stack (during drilling and exploration) or the wellhead (via the Christmas tree) during production. The connection this adapter uses might be threaded or welded onto the casing and may also have a flanged or clamped connection to connect to the BOP stack or wellhead. Because the casing head serves as the primary interface for the pressure control equipment, the casing head is tested rigorously to meet very strict pressure and leak-off standards to ensure it remains intact, even during blowout conditions, before installing any surface equipment.

Fracking equipment including goat heads from a wellhead casing manufacturer

To learn more about casing heads, check out our article What are the Qualities of a Wellhead Casing Head?

Tubing Head

The wellhead component known as a tubing head has a body with two forged flanges. It supports the tubing hanger and provides a means of attaching the Christmas tree to the wellhead. The tubing head seals off the pressure between the casing and tubing annulus while connecting with the tubing adapter on top.

Goat Head

A goat head (AKA frac head or buffalo head) is part of the equipment used in the hydraulic fracturing process—also known as fracking—to extract natural gas and oil. The fracking process injects chemical-laden fluid into existing cracks at high pressure which “fractures” them, allowing easier access to the oil or natural gas deposits.

Goat heads have a flow cross design that uses many studded or flanged connections to control the high-pressure flow of the fluid used in the fracking process. This flow cross is installed on top of a frac tree–a Christmas tree specially designed for the hydraulic fracking process. Because frac trees are designed to handle higher pressures than casing heads and tubing heads, the frac tree has larger boreholes, upper and lower master valves, wing valves, and a swab valve to support the fracking process.

Frac heads also use a heating iron—a collection of pipes, valves, and manifolds–designed to deliver the fluid treatment to the process from the pumping and mixing equipment. Goat heads typically feature 45-degree inlets to maximize the flow rate of the fracking fluid. Goat heads also come in many different sizes and configurations specifically designed for different fracking scenarios.

These are some of the significant differences between casing heads, tubing heads, and goat heads.

Forged Components Delivers Superior Quality Casing, Tubing, and Goat Heads

FCI is one of the world’s premier wellhead component manufacturers providing superior quality casing heads, tubing heads, and goat heads. For more information, please call us at (281) 441-4088 or contact us online to get in touch with one of our sales personnel today.