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Well Control

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Summary

Surface

Old Pressure after Surface

Volume Surface Adding Kill Pressure after

Pumped Pressure Mud Bleeding

Initial -0- 1420

Conditions

1st Stage 20 1420 2031 966

2nd Stage 19 966 1633 513

3rd Stage 16 513 1227 120

4th Stage 10 120 920 -0-

By following this schedule, the well can be killed safely without

violating the casing seat and losing more mud and without permitting any

additional infux of formation gas into the wellbore.

In summary, the well is controlled by pumping kill-weight mud into

the annulus and bleeding dry gas out of the annulus. The volume of kill

fuid that can be pumped without fracturing the casing seat is determined

from Equation 5.3. Logically, the surface pressure should be reduced from

the value prior to lubricating kill mud by the additional hydrostatic con-

tributed by the kill-weight mud. However, for obvious reasons, the effective

hydrostatic cannot be less than the reservoir pressure. At the lower surface

pressures, the gas hydrostatic gradient is less and the fnal surface pressure

must be higher to refect the difference in gas gradient and prevent addi-

tional infux. The analysis is continued until the well is dead. Rudimentary

analysis suggests higher mud weights for well control.

DYNAMIC KILL OPERATIONS

Simply put, to kill a well dynamically is to use frictional pressure

losses to control the fowing bottomhole pressure and, ultimately, the static

bottomhole pressure of the blowout.

Dynamic Kill implies the use of a kill fuid whose density results

in a hydrostatic column which is less than the static reservoir pressure.

Therefore, the frictional pressure loss of the kill fuid is required to stop

252 Blowout and Well Control Handbook

the fow of reservoir fuids. Dynamic Kill in the purest sense was intended

as an intermediate step in the well control procedure. Procedurally, after

the blowout was dynamically controlled with a fuid of lesser density, it

was ultimately controlled with a fuid of greater density, which resulted in

a hydrostatic greater than the reservoir pressure.

Generically and in this text, Dynamic Kill includes control proce-

dures utilizing fuids with densities less than and much greater than that

required to balance the static reservoir pressure. In reality, when the den-

sity of the kill fuid is equal to or greater than that required to balance the

static reservoir pressure, the fuid dynamics are more properly described

as a Multiphase Kill Procedure.

Dynamically controlling a well using a Multiphase Kill Procedure

is one of the oldest and most widely used fuid control operations. In the

past, it has been a 'seat-of-the-pants¨ operation with little or no technical

evaluation. Most of the time, well control specialists had some arbitrary

rules of thumb, for example, the kill fuid had to be 2 pounds per gallon

heavier than the mud used to drill the zone, or the kill fuid had to achieve

some particular annular velocity. Usually, that translated into manifolding

together all the pumps in captivity, weighting the mud up as high as possi-

ble, pumping like hell, and hoping for the best. Sometimes it worked and

sometimes it didn`t.

There are many applications of the Dynamic and Multiphase Kill

procedures and any well control operation should be studied from that

perspective. The most common application is when the well is fowing out

of control and the drillpipe is on bottom. The kill fuid is pumped to the

bottom of the hole through the drillpipe, and the additional hydrostatic of

the kill fuid along with the increased friction pressure resulting from the

kill fuid controls the well.

Multiphase Kill operations were routine in the Arkoma Basin in

the early 1960s. There, air drilling was popular. In air drilling operations,

every productive well is a blowout. Under different circumstances, some of

themwould have made the front page of the NewYork Times. At one location

just east of McCurtain, Oklahoma, the fre was coming out of an 8-inch

blooie line and was almost as high as the crown of the 141-foot derrick.

The blooie line was 300 feet long, and you could toast marshmallows on

the rig foor. The usual procedure was the seat-of-the-pants Multiphase Kill

and it killed the well.

Fluid Dynamics in Well Control 253

The most defnitive work on the pure Dynamic Kill was done by

Mobil Oil Corporation and reported by Elmo Blount and Edy Soeiinah.

2

The biggest gas feld in the world is Mobil`s Arun Field in North Sumatra,

Indonesia. On June 4, 1978, Well No. C-II-2 blew out while drilling

and caught fre. The rig was immediately consumed. The well burned

for 89 days at an approximate rate of 400 million standard cubic feet

per day.

Due to the well`s high deliverability and potential, it was expected

to be extremely diffcult to kill. The engineering was so precise that

only one relief well was required. That a blowout of this magnitude

was completely dead one hour and 50 minutes after pumping operations

commenced is a tribute to all involved. One of the most signifcant contri-

butions resulting from this job was the insight into the fuid dynamics of a

Dynamic Kill.

The engineering concepts of a Dynamic Kill are best understood

by considering the familiar U-tube of Figure 5.6. The left side of the U-tube

may represent a relief well and the right side a blowout, as in the case just

discussed, or the left side may represent drillpipe while the right side would

correspond to the annulus, as is the case in many well control situations.

The connecting interval may be the formation in the case of a relief well

with the valve representing the resistance due to the fow of fuids through

the formation. In the case of the drillpipe-annulus scenario, the valve may

represent the friction in the drill string or the nozzles in the bit, or the

situation may be completely different. Whatever the situation, the technical

concepts are basically the same.

The formation is represented as fowing up the right side of the

U-tube with a fowing bottomhole pressure, T

ßow

, which is given by the

following equation:

T

ßow

T

a

fr

h

(5.11)

Where:

T

a

Surface pressure, psi

fr

Frictional pressure, psi

h

Hydrostatic pressure, psi

The capability of the formation to deliver hydrocarbons to the

wellbore is governed by the familiar back-pressure curve illustrated in

254 Blowout and Well Control Handbook

Q

P

flow

P

fr

P

h

P

s

F/gare 5.6 Dynamic Kill Schematic.

Figure 5.7 and described by the Equation 5.12:

Q C(T

2

b

T

2

ßow

)

n

(5.12)

Where:

Q Flow rate, mmscfpd

Fluid Dynamics in Well Control 255

Log Q

F/gare 5.7 Typical Open Flow Potential Curve.

T

b

Formation pore pressure, psi

T

ßow

Flowing bottmhole pressure, psi

C Constant

n Slope of back-pressure curve

0.5 for turbulence

1.0 for laminar fow

Finally, the reaction of the formation to an increase in fowing

bottomhole pressure, P

ßow

, is depicted by the classic Horner Plot, illus-

trated in Figure 5.8. The problem is to model the blowout considering

these variables.

In the past, shortcuts have been taken for the sake of simplicity.

For example, the most simple approach is to design a kill fuid and rate

such that the frictional pressure loss plus the hydrostatic is greater than the

shut-in bottomhole pressure, P

b

. This rate would be that which is suffcient

to maintain control. Equations 4.13 through 4.14 for frictional pressure

losses in turbulent fow can be used in such an analysis.

256 Blowout and Well Control Handbook

Log T

P

f

P

b

F/gare 5.8 Typical Pressure Build Up Curve.

Consider the Example 5.4:

Example 5.4

Given:

Depth, D 10,000 feet

Kill fuid,

1

8.33 ppg

Kill-fuid gradient,

m1

0.433 psi/ft

Bottomhole pressure, T

b

5200 psi

Inside diameter of pipe, D

i

4.408 inches

Surface pressure, T

a

atmospheric

Figure 5.6

Fluid Dynamics in Well Control 257

Required:

Determine the rate required to kill the well dynamically with water.

Solution:

T

ßow

T

a

fr

h

h

0.433(10,000)

h

4330 psi

fr

5200 4330

fr

870 psi

Rearranging Equation 4.14 where

fr

T

fti

:

Q

T

fti

D

4.8

i

7.7(10

5 .8

1

TV

.2

/

1

1.8

Q

(870)(4.408)

4.8

7.7(10

5

)(8.33)

.8

(1)

.2

(10,000)

1

1.8

Q 1011 gpm

Q 24.1 bpm

Therefore, as illustrated in Example 5.4, the well would be dyna-

mically controlled by pumping fresh water through the pipe at 24 bpm. The

Dynamic Kill Procedure would be complete when the water was followed

with kill mud of suffcient density (10 ppg in this example) to control the

bottomhole pressure.

The rate required to maintain control is insuffcient in most

instances to achieve control and is considered to be the minimum rate for

a Dynamic Kill operation. Kouba, et al. have suggested that the rate suf-

fcient to maintain control is the minimum and that the maximum rate is

258 Blowout and Well Control Handbook

approximated by Equation 5.13:

3

Q

k max

A

2g

c

D

tvd

D

h

fD

md

1

2

(5.13)

Where:

g

c

Gravitational constant,

/b

m

ft

/b

f

sec

2

A Cross sectional area, ft

2

D

h

Hydraulic diameter, feet

D

tvd

Vertical well height, feet

D

md

Measured well length, feet

¡ Moody friction factor, dimensionless

Consider Example 5.5:

Example 5.5

Given:

Same conditions as Example 5.4

Required:

Calculate the maximum kill rate using Equation 5.13.

Solution:

Solving Equation 5.13 gives

Q

k max

A

2g

c

D

tvd

D

h

¡ D

md

1

2

Q

k max

0.106

2(32.2)(10,000)(.3673)

.019(10,000)

1

2

Q

k max

3.74

ft

3

sec

Q

k max

40 bpm

As illustrated in Examples 5.4 and 5.5, the minimum kill rate is

24 bpm and the maximum kill rate is 40 bpm. The rate required to kill the

Fluid Dynamics in Well Control 259

well is somewhere between these values and is very diffcult to determine.

Multiphase fow analysis is required. The methods of multiphase fow

analysis are very complex and based upon empirical correlations obtained

fromlaboratory research. The available correlations and research are based

upon gas-lift models describing the fow of gas, oil, and water inside small

pipes. Precious little research has been done to describe annular fow, much

less the multiphase relationship between gas, oil, drilling mud, and water

fowing up a very large, inclined annulus. The conditions and boundaries

describing most blowouts are very complex to be described by currently

available multiphase models. It is beyond the scope of this work to offer

an in-depth discussion of multiphase models.

Further complicating the problemis the fact that, in most instances,

the productive interval does not react instantaneously as would be implied

by the strict interpretation of Figure 5.7. Actual reservoir response is illus-

trated by the classical Horner Plot illustrated in Figure 5.8. As illustrated in

Figure 5.8, the response by the reservoir to the introduction of a kill fuid

is non-linear.

For example, the multiphase frictional pressure loss (represented

by Figure 5.8) initially required to control the well is not that which will

control the static reservoir pressure. The multiphase frictional pressure loss

required to control the well is that which will control the fowing bottom-

hole pressure. The fowing bottomhole pressure may be much less than the

static bottomhole pressure.

Further, several minutes to several hours may be required for the

reservoir to stabilize at the reservoir pressure. Unfortunately, much of the

data needed to understand the productive capabilities of the reservoir in a

particular wellbore are not available until after the blowout is controlled.

However, data from similar offset wells can be considered.

Consider the well control operation at the Williford Energy Com-

pany Rainwater No. 2-14 in Pope County near Russellville, Arkansas.

4

The wellbore schematic is presented as Figure 5.9. A high-volume gas

zone had been penetrated at 4620 feet. On the trip out of the hole, the

well kicked. Mechanical problems prevented the well from being shut in

and it was soon fowing in excess of 20 mmscfpd through the rotary table.

The drillpipe was stripped to bottom and the well was diverted through the

choke manifold. By pitot tube, the well was determined to be fowing at a

rate of 34.9 mmscfpd with a manifold pressure of 150 psig. The wellbore

260 Blowout and Well Control Handbook

Casing Set at 560 feet

4 -inch 16.60 #/ft

End of Drillpipe at 4150 feet

Drill Collars - 16 6 inch 2 inch

480 feet

Bit at 4630 feet

TD 4700 feet

8 -inch hole

4012 feet

1

2

1

4

1

2

7 -inch hole

7

8

F/gare 5.9 Williford Energy Company, Rainwater No. 1, Pope County,

Arkansas.

schematic, Open Flow Potential Test, and Horner Plot are presented as

Figures 5.9, 5.10 and 5.11, respectively.

In this instance, the Orkiszewski method was modifed and utilized

to predict the multiphase behavior.

5

The well was successfully controlled.

Fluid Dynamics in Well Control 261

VOLUME RATE OF FLOW, Q (1000) MSCFPD

COFP

36

MMSCFPD

100

4000

1000

100 10 1

F/gare 5.10 Calculated Open Flow Potential Test, Williford Energy

Company-Rainwater No. 2-14.

The technique used in the Williford Energy example is very

conservative in that it determines the multiphase kill rate required to con-

trol the shut-in bottomhole pressure of 1995 psi. Analysis of Figure 5.11

indicates that the static bottomhole pressure will not be reached in the

blowout for more than 100 hours. The fowing bottomhole pressure when

the kill procedure begins is only 434 psi and is only 1500 psi approximately

20 minutes after the fowing bottomhole pressure has been exceeded. Of

course, in this case the kill operation is fnished in just over 10 minutes.

Including all these variables is more complex but well within the capa-

bilities of modern computing technology. Based on this more complex

analysis, the kill rate using 10.7-ppg mud was determined to be 10 bpm.

The model is further complicated by the fact that the Calculated

Open Flow Potential curve (COFP) presented as Figure 5.10 is a very

optimistic evaluation of sustained productive capacity. An Actual Open

FlowPotential curve (AOFP) based on sustained production would be more

262 Blowout and Well Control Handbook

2000

1750

1500

1250

1000

750

500

250

0

.1 1 10 100

Elapse time - hours

F/gare 5.11 Bottomhole Pressure Build Up Test, Williford Energy

Company-Rainwater No. 2-14.

appropriate for modeling actual kill requirements. A kill procedure based

on the COFP is the more conservative approach. An AOFP curve more

accurately refects the effect of the pressure draw down in the reservoir in

the vicinity of the wellbore.

THE MOMENTUM KILL

The Momentum Kill is a procedure where two fuids collide and

the one with the greater momentumwins. If the greater momentumbelongs

to the fuid fromthe blowout, the blowout continues. If the greater momen-

tum belongs to the kill fuid, the well is controlled. The technology of the

Momentum Kill procedure is the newest and least understood of well con-

trol procedures. However, the technique itself is not new. In the late ffties

and early sixties, the air drillers of eastern Oklahoma thought nothing of

pulling into the surface pipe to mud up an air-drilled hole in an effort to

avoid the hazards associated with the introduction of mud to the Atoka

Shale.

Momentum Kill concepts are best illustrated by Figures 5.12 and

5.13. Figure 5.12illustrates a situation in which the outcome would never be

Fluid Dynamics in Well Control 263

F/gare 5.12

F/gare 5.13

in doubt. The most fundamental reasoning would suggest that the occupant

of the car is in greater peril than the occupant of the truck. It is most likely

that the momentum of the truck will prevail and the direction of the car

will be reversed. Conceptually, fuid dynamics are not as easy. However,

consider the men in Figure 5.13. They have forgotten the fre and turned

their attention to each other. Obviously, the one with the least momentum

is destined for a bath.

The dynamics of a blowout are very much the same as those illus-

trated in Figure 5.13. The fuid fowing from the blowout exhibits a

defnable quantity of momentum. Therefore, if the kill fuid is introduced

at a greater momentum, the fow from the blowout is reversed when the

264 Blowout and Well Control Handbook

fuids collide. The governing physical principles are not signifcantly dif-

ferent from those governing the collision of two trains, two cars, or two

men. The mass with the greatest momentum will win the encounter.

Newton`s Second Law states that the net force acting on a given

mass is proportional to the time rate of change of linear momentum of that

mass. In other words, the net external force acting on the fuid within a

prescribed control volume equals the time rate of change of momentum of

the fuid within the control volume plus the net rate of momentum trans-

port out of the surfaces of the control volume.

Consider the following development with all units being basic:

Momentum:

M

m:

g

c

(5.14)

and the mass rate of fow:

vA (5.15)

and, from the conservation of mass:

vA

i

:

i

A

i

(5.16)

Where:

m Mass, lb

m

: Velocity,

ft

sec

g

c

Gravitational constant,

lb

m

ft

lb

f

sec

2

Density,

lb

m

ft

3

q Volume rate of fow,

ft

3

sec

Mass rate of fow,

lb

m

sec

Fluid Dynamics in Well Control 265

i Conditions at any point

A Cross sectional fow area, ft

2

All variables are at standard conditions unless noted with a subscript, i.

The momentum of the kill fuid is easy to compute because it is

essentially an incompressible liquid. The momentum of the kill fuid is

given by Equation 5.14:

M

mv

g

c

Substituting

:

q

A

m

results in the momentum of the kill fuid, Equation 5.17:

M

2

g

c

A

(5.17)

Since the formation fuids are compressible or partially so, the

momentum is more diffcult to determine. Consider the following devel-

opment of an expression for the momentum of a compressible fuid.

From the conservation of mass, Equation 5.16:

vA

i

:

i

A

i

And, for a gas, the mass rate of fow from Equation 5.15 is

vA

Substituting into the momentum equation gives the momentum of

the gas as:

M

qv

i

g

c

266 Blowout and Well Control Handbook

Rearranging the equation for the conservation of mass gives an

expression for the velocity of the gas, v

i

, at any location as follows:

:

i

q

i

A

:

i

i

A

From the Ideal Gas Law an expression for

i

, the density of the

gas at any point in the fow stream, is given by Equation 5.18:

i

S

g

M

a

T

i

z

i

T

i

R

(5.18)

Where:

S

g

Specifc gravity of the gas

M

a

Molecular weight of air

T

i

Pressure at point i,

lb

¡

ft

2

z

i

Compressibility factor at point i

T

i

Temperature at point i, Rankine

R Units conversion constant

Substituting results in an expression for v

i

, the velocity of the gas

at point i as follows:

:

i

qz

i

T

i

R

S

g

M

a

T

i

A

(5.19)

Making the fnal substitution gives the fnal expression for the

momentum of the gas:

M

2

z

i

T

i

R

S

g

M

a

T

i

g

c

A

(5.20)

In this development, all units are BASIC! That means that these

equations can be used in any system as long as the variables are entered

Fluid Dynamics in Well Control 267

in their basic units. In the English system, the units would be pounds, feet,

and seconds. In the metric system, the units would be grams, centimeters,

and seconds. Of course, the units` conversion constants would have to be

changed accordingly.

Consider the example at the Pioneer Production Company Martin

No. 1-7:

Example 5.6

Given:

Figure 5.14

Bottom pressure, T

b

5000 psi

Volume rate of fow, q 10 mmscfpd

Specifc gravity, S

g

0.60

Flowing surface pressure, T

a

14.65 psia

Kill-mud density,

1

15 ppg

Tubing OD 2

3

8

inches

Tubing ID 1.995 inches

Casing ID 4.892 inches

Temperature at 4000 feet, T

i

580 Rankine

Flowing pressure at 4000 feet, T

i

317.6 psia

Compressibility factor at 4000 feet, z

i

1.00

Required:

Determine the momentum of the gas at 4000 feet and the rate

at which the kill mud will have to be pumped in order for the

momentum of the kill mud to exceed the momentum of the gas

and kill the well.

268 Blowout and Well Control Handbook

8-

"

CSG

AT 2000 FT.

END OF TUBÌNG

AT 4000 FT.

5-

"

CSG

AT 10,000 FT.

5

8

1

2

F/gare 5.14 Pioneer Production Company-Martin No. 1-7.

Solution:

The momentum of the gas at 4000 feet can be calculated from

Equation 5.20 as follows:

M

2

z

i

T

i

R

S

g

M

a

T

i

g

c

A

Fluid Dynamics in Well Control 269

Substituting in the proper units,

0.0458

lb

m

ft

3

q 115.74

ft

3

sec

z

i

1.00

T

i

580 Rankine

R 1544

ft lb

f

R lb

m

S

g

0.60

M

a

28.97

T

i

45,734

lb

¡

ft

2

g

c

32.2

lb

m

ft

lb

¡

sec

2

A 0.1305 ft

2

M

(0.0458)(115.74)

2

(1.00)(580)(1544)

(0.60)(28.97)(45,734)(32.2)(0.1305)

M 7.53 lb

f

The rate at which the kill mud must be pumped can

be determined be rearranging Equation 5.17, substituting in the

proper units, and solving for the volume rate of fow as follows:

q

Mg

c

A

1

2

270 Blowout and Well Control Handbook

Where:

M 7.53 lb

f

112.36

lb

m

ft

3

A 0.1305 ft

2

q

(7.53)(32.2)(0.1305)

112.36

1

2

q 05307

ft

3

sec

q 57 bbl/min

The preceding example is only one simple instance of the use of the

MomentumKill technology. The momentumof the wellbore fuids is more

diffcult to calculate when in multiphase fow. However, the momentum of

each component of the fow stream is calculated and the total momentum

is the sum of the momentum of each component.

References

1. Grace, Robert, D., 'Fluid Dynamics Kill Wyoming Icicle.¨ World

Oil, April 1987, page 45.

2. Blount, E.M. and Soeiinah, E., 'Dynamic Kill: Controlling Wild

Wells a New Way,¨ World Oil, October 1981, page 109.

3. Kouba, G.E., et al. 'Advancements in Dynamic Kill Calculations

for Blowout Wells,¨ SPEDrilling andCompletion, September 1993,

page 189.

4. Courtesy of P.D. Storts and Williford Energy.

5. Orkiszewski, J., 'Predicting Two-Phase Pressure Drops in Vertical

Pipe,¨ Journal of Petroleum Technology, June 1967, page 829.

6. Courtesy of Amoco Production Company.

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