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Blowout Preventors

Blowout Preventors

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Published by Pundarik Kashyap

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Published by: Pundarik Kashyap on Mar 09, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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What is a kick?
An influx of formation fluid into the wellbore that can be controlled at surface.

What criteria are necessary for a kick to occur?
1. The formation pressure must exceed the wellbore or annular pressure. Fluids will always flow in the direction of decreasing or least pressure. 2. The formation must be permeable in order for the formation fluids to flow.

What is a blowout? A flow of formation fluids that cannot be controlled at surface. What is an underground blowout? An underground blowout occurs when there is an uncontrollable flow of fluids between two formations. In other words, one formation is kicking while, at the same time, another formation is loosing circulation.

What is a surface blowout?
A surface blowout occurs when the well cannot be shut in to prevent the flow of fluids at surface.

. the mud level in the hole will drop. leading to a reduction in the overall mud hydrostatic pressure. If not.Causes Of Kicks Not keeping the hole full when tripping out of hole • When pipe is pulled from the hole. mud must be pumped into the hole to replace the steel volume removed. Keeping the hole full is extremely critical when pulling drill collars owing to the large steel volume.

. This is most critical at the beginning of a trip when the well is balanced by mud hydrostatic and when swab pressures are greatest. reduce the annular pressure.• Reducing swabbing annular pressure through Frictional forces resulting from the mud movement caused by lifting pipe.

• Lost circulation If drilling fluid is being lost to a formation. it can lead to drop in mud level in the wellbore and reduced hydrostatic pressure. especially as it rises and starts expanding. . • Excessive ROP when drilling through gaseous sands If too much gas is allowed into the annulus. it will cause a reduction in the annular pressure.

if formation pressure exceeds the annular pressure. .Overpressured formations Naturally. then a kick may result.

The pressure drop will be most significant with gas and worsened as gas expansion takes place. the more “exponential” the drop in pressure. reducing the overall mud hydrostatic. . The drop in pump pressures as a direct result of lower density formation fluids entering the wellbore. Initial pressure drop may be slow and gradual. but the longer the kick goes undetected.Indications Of Kicks While Drilling • Gradually decreasing Pump Pressure There may also be an associated increase in the Pump Rate.

. This is in addition to the mud volume being circulated so that the mud flow rate will show an increase. followed by…. necessarily. . • An associated increase in mud pit levels As formation fluids enter the borehole. be displaced from the annulus at the surface.• Increased mud flow from annulus. an equivalent volume of mud will.

Variations in Hookload/WOB Although certainly not a primary indicator. Change in chloride content (typically increase). .As the influx continues……. these indications may be seen as the buoyancy effect on the string is modified. especially gas cut Reduced mud density. If the influx reaches surface…. Contaminated mud.

This may indicate that: A kick has been swabbed into the hole. or that… Mud is being lost to the formation .Indicators While Tripping Insufficient Hole Fill When tripping out of hole. the hole is not taking enough mud fill to compensate for the pipe volume that has been pulled from the hole.

. prevents mud from draining from the string as it is lifted. . beneath the string. Mud Flow • Similar. A “wet trip” • Where the influx and pressure.Pit Gain • A continual increase in trip tank level clearly shows that a kick is taking place. mud flowing at surface indicates an influx.

flow checks) is taken to avoid taking a kick during a trip: • The well cannot be shut in (pipe or annular rams) if drill collars are passing through the BOP’s. minimizing swabbing. monitoring the well before pulling out.e. .• Every precaution (i.

or sealing off the wellbore.The BOP Stack To prevent the occurrence of a blowout. valves and spools that is positioned on top of the wellhead . an arrangement of preventers. so that the flow of formation fluids remains under control. This is achieved by the Blow Out Prevention system (BOP). there needs to be a way of closing.

• Allow movement of the drillstring in or out of the well .Commonly referred to as the stack. it’s purpose is to: • Seal off the well so that the flow of formation fluids is under control. • Allow drilling fluid to be pumped into the well under controlled conditions to balance formation pressure and prevent further influx. under controlled conditions. • Prevent fluid from escaping to surface. from the well. • Allow the release of fluids.

• It must have a simple and rapid shut in procedure. with or without string in the hole. • It must have controllable lines through which to bleed off pressure.• The requirements for a BOP stack are as follows: • It must be able to close off and seal the well completely. .

bit and other drilling tools to be lowered through the BOP stack.CRITERIA FOR SELECTION OF BOP Selection of BOP determined by the following factors: • Maximum anticipated surface pressure. • Size of. . • Matching flange connection according to the size and pressure rating of wellhead flange. • Service conditions. • Space available between top of cellar pit and bottom of rotary table.

Blowout preventer are of two typesi) Annular BOP ii) Ram BOP .

Once closed they utilize the upward well pressure to maintain their closed position. It is operated hydraulically. it is designed to stop flow from the well using a steel-ribbed packing element that contracts around the drill pipe. The packer will conform to the shape of the pipe that is in the bore hole.Annular BOP Commonly referred to as a bag type or spherical preventer. . utilizing a piston acting on the packer.

• Once the packer is closed. One special feature of the annular preventer is that it will allow stripping operations to be carried out while maintaining pressure as the tool joints pass through the preventer. .• The normal hydraulic closure of an annular preventor is 1500 psi. the pressure should be reduced slightly to reduce damage to the rubber portion of the packer.

Rams are designed for a certain size of pipe and will only work on that type of pipe. Rubber packing elements again.Ram Preventers: Ram type preventers have two opposing packing elements that are closed by moving them together. form the seal. A major difference between these and the annular preventer is that they are designed for specific applications. .

A drillstring comprising different pipe sizes. would require two sets of pipe rams to accommodate both sizes of pipe. such as 3-inch and 5-inch drill pipe. .Pipe rams: These have semi-circular openings that match the diameter of the pipe being used.

they will flatten the pipe. If they are shut on drill pipe.Blind rams: These are designed to close off the hole when no pipe is in the hole. but not necessarily stem the flow. .

Shear rams are usually only used as a last resort when all other rams and the annular preventer have failed. This will result in the dropping of the drillstring below the BOP stack unless the stack is designed in such a way as to have a set of pipe rams below the shear rams on which a tool joint can be supported.Shear rams These are a form of blind rams that are designed to cut drill pipe when closed. They will stop the flow from the well. .


Lower blind rams • The well can be shut in to allow other rams to be repaired or changed i. • The string cannot be hung off on pipe rams.The positioning of the various rams. • Pipe rams can be closed with pipe in hole and blind rams replaced with pipe rams.e. is dependent on the expected operations. This will minimize • wear and also allow ram to ram stripping of the pipe. rams beneath. . or shear. The following summarizes the benefits/disadvantages of positioning the blind. and lines. backed off and then the well shut in by the blind ram. or above. Upper blind rams • The string can be hung from pipe rams. used as a master valve. the pipe rams.

• A hard shut-in is where the choke is closed prior to shut in.Choke Manifold Following a kick and shut in. by routing returns through adjustable chokes. back pressure is applied. . in order to minimize the shock exerted on the formation. The chokes are connected to the BOP stack through a series of lines and valves that provide a number of different flow routes and the ability to stop fluid flow completely. Release of fluids and pressure can therefore be controlled safely. in order to balance the well. • A soft shut-in is where the choke is open before the rams are closed. This arrangement is known as the choke manifold.

. • The choke line connecting the manifold to the stack should be as straight as possible and firmly anchored.Again. there are specific requirements for the choke manifold: • The manifold should have a pressure capability equal to the rated operation pressure of the BOP stack (equal to the weakest component). • Alternative flow and flare routes should be available downstream of the choke line in order to isolate equipment that may need repair.

• Choke lines are typically used to release fluids from the annulus. • Kill lines are typically used to pump mud into the wellbore if it is not possible through the drillstring. .

Closing the Preventers • There are three main system components to close the preventers: 1. Control manifold. . Accumulators 3. Pressure source 2.

Pressure source: • The hydraulic fluid must be supplied under sufficient pressure to close the rams. • In addition. . • Electric or pneumatic pumps are usually used to deliver the hydraulic fluid under said pressure. there should always be backup pumps and an alternative source of electricity or air to power them.

• The total volume of hydraulic fluid required to operate the entire stack must be known.Accumulators: Accumulator bottles are a series of pre-charged nitrogen bottles that store and supply the hydraulic fluid.1000 psi). under pressure. • The bottles are pre-charged with nitrogen (typically 750 . • Different preventers have different operating pressures and require different volumes of hydraulic fluid in order to function. compressing the nitrogen and increasing the pressure Control manifold. necessary to close the preventers. • Hydraulic fluid is pumped into the bottles. . • Accumulator bottles are linked together in order to store the necessary volume.

or they may be automatic check valves actually located inside the drillstring downhole. They may be manual shut off valves that can be inserted into the string at the surface.Inside Blowout Preventors This refers to equipment that can be used to close off the drillstring in order to provide additional control. .

in order to isolate drilling fluid in the drillstring. • • Lower kelly valve or cock This is installed at the base of the kelly and will most likely be used if the upper kelly valve is damaged or inaccessible. .• Upper kelly valve or cock This valve is positioned between the kelly and the swivel.

Safety valve This is actually identical to the lower kelly valve. Rather than being installed as part of the string. . it is kept on the rig floor in order to be quickly “stabbed” into the top of the drillpipe should a kick occur during a trip when the kelly is racked.



.Maximum Allowable Annular Surface Pressure When a well has to be shut in. in order to control a kick. there are two pressures acting at the shoe: • mud hydrostatic • shut-in pressure applied from surface. surface shut-in pressure is required to balance the bottom hole pressure. At the time of shut-in.

.• These two pressures. the MAASP is clearly equal to the Leak Off Pressure. assuming this is the shoe: • Pfrac = HYDshoe + MAASP • MAASP = Pfrac – HYDshoe • At the time of a LOT.e. combined. Pfrac > HYDshoe + Shut-in Pressure • MAASP is the maximum shut in pressure that can be applied without fracturing the weakest zone. since this is the shut-in pressure that actually causes fracture. cannot exceed the fracture pressure of the formation at the shoe (Pfrac determined from the leak off test). • i.

at the current TVD. then a deeper casing shoe (with greater fracture pressure) must be set.Kick Tolerance KICK TOLERANCE is the maximum balance gradient (i. mudweight) that can be handled by a well. without fracturing the shoe should the well have to be shut in. would result in shoe fracture during well shut in. . If the mudweight.e. that is required to balance the formation pressures while drilling.


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