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ILL

ABERDEEN DRILLING SCHOOLS EE


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& Well Control Training Centre

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TROL TRAININ

WELL CONTROL
for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
1982 - 2002

TRAINING MANUAL
2002 REVISED EDITION
ABERDEEN DRILLING SCHOOLS
& Well Control Training Centre

WELL CONTROL
for the Rig-Site Drilling Team

Training Manual

50 Union Glen, Aberdeen, AB11 6ER SCOTLAND U.K. Tel: (01224) 572709 Fax: (01224) 582896 e-Mail: info@aberdeen-drilling.com

V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team

COPYRIGHT STATEMENT

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any
form or by any means, including photocopying and recording without the written permission
of the copyright holder, application for which should be addressed to:

Aberdeen Drilling Schools Ltd.,


50 Union Glen,
Aberdeen, AB11 6ER.

Such written permission must also be obtained before any part of this publication is stored in
a retrieval system of any nature.

Brand names, company names, trademarks, or other identifying symbols appearing in


illustrations and/or text are used for educational purposes only and do not constitute an
endorsement by the author or publisher.

Illustrations have been included in this document with the kind permission of Cooper Cameron
UK Ltd, Shaffer A Varco Co and Hydril UK Ltd.

V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team

CONTENTS

SECTION

Introduction

11 Fundamental Principles
of Well Control

22 Causes of Kicks

33 Kick Indicators

44 Shut-in Procedures

55 Methods of Well Control

66 Well Control Equipment

7 Inspection, Testing
and Sealing Components

89 Surface BOP Control Systems

910 Subsea BOP Control Systems


and Marine Riser Systems

10 Formulae, Conversion Factors


& Glossary of Terms

V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
INTRODUCTION

INTRODUCTION

The objective of this manual is to provide a good understanding of the


fundamentals of Well Control that can be applied to most Well Control operations.
In all cases, minimising the kick volume and closing the well in is our first priority.
We have tried, as far as possible, to avoid using specialist terms and iconography.

This manual describes industry recognised standards and practices and basic Well
Control procedures. They differ from our advanced Well Control methods which
tend to be well, formation, or rig specific. The manual covers the guidelines found
in API 16E, API 53 and API 59 along with the International Well Control Forum
syllabus. It also covers the basic requirements for IADC WellCap Certification at
all levels.

All Well Control principles rely upon an understanding that good planning and
early recognition and close in, is the best form of Well Control. Not all kicks are
swabbed kicks, many wells are drilled into unknown formation. It is recognised
that equipment can fail despite all the correct procedures being followed. This is
why you will find the equipment section comprehensive and useful for general
trouble shooting ideas.

V4 Rev March 2002


FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES
SECTION 1 : OF WELL CONTROL

Page

1. 0 Objectives 1
1. 1 General Information 1

1. 2 Hydrostatic Pressure 3

1. 3 Formation Pressure 4
1. 4 Normal Formation Pressure 4

1. 5 Abnormal Pressure 7

1. 6 Formation Fracture Pressure 12


1. 7 Leak-off Tests 14

1. 8 Maximum Allowable Annular Surface 21


Pressure - MAASP

1. 9 Casing Setting Depths 21

1. 10 Circulating Pump Pressure 23


1. 11 Choke Line Friction 25

1.12 Workshop 1 30

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SECTION 1 : FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF WELL CONTROL

FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF WELL CONTROL

1.0 OBJECTIVES

The objectives of this section are to introduce the Fundamental Principles of Well
Control.

1.1 GENERAL INFORMATION

The function of Well Control can be conveniently subdivided into three main
categories, namely PRIMARY WELL CONTROL, SECONDARY WELL
CONTROL and TERTIARY WELL CONTROL. These categories are briefly
described in the following paragraphs.

Primary Well Control

It is the name given to the process which maintains a hydrostatic pressure in the
wellbore greater than the pressure of the fluids in the formation being drilled, but
less than formation fracture pressure. If hydrostatic pressure is less than formation
pressure then formation fluids will enter the wellbore. If the hydrostatic pressure
of the fluid in the wellbore exceeds the fracture pressure of the formation then the
fluid in the well could be lost. In an extreme case of lost circulation the formation
pressure may exceed hydrostatic pressure allowing formation fluids to enter into
the well.

An overbalance of hydrostatic pressure over formation pressure is maintained,


this excess is generally referred to as a trip margin.

Secondary Well Control

If the pressure of the fluids in the wellbore ( i.e. mud) fail to prevent formation
fluids entering the wellbore, the well will flow. This process is stopped using a
“blow out preventer” to prevent the escape of wellbore fluids from the well.

This is the initial stage of secondary well control. Containment of unwanted


formation fluids.

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Tertiary Well Control

Tertiary well control describes the third line of defence. Where the formation
cannot be controlled by primary or secondary well control (hydrostatic and
equipment). An underground blowout for example. However in well control it is
not always used as a qualitative term. ‘Unusual well control operations’ listed
below are considered under this term:-

a) A kick is taken with the kick off bottom.

b) The drill pipe plugs off during a kill operation.

c) There is no pipe in the hole.

d) Hole in drill string.

e) Lost circulation.

f) Excessive casing pressure.

g) Plugged and stuck off bottom.

h) Gas percolation without gas expansion.

We could also include operations like stripping or snubbing in the hole, or drilling
relief wells. The point to remember is "what is the well status at shut in?" This
determines the method of well control.

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1.2 HYDROSTATIC PRESSURE

Hydrostatic pressure is defined as the pressure due to the unit weight and vertical
height of a column of fluid.

Hydrostatic Pressure = Fluid Density x True Vertical Depth

Note: It is the vertical height/depth of the fluid column that matters, its shape is
unimportant.
TVD

Figure 1.1 Different shaped vessels

Since the pressure is measured in psi and depth is measured in feet, it is


convenient to convert mud weights from pounds per gallon ppg to a pressure
gradient psi/ft. The conversion factor is 0.052.

Pressure Gradient psi/ft = Fluid Density in ppg X 0.052


Hydrostatic Pressure psi = Density in ppg X 0.052 X True Vert. Depth

The Conversion factor 0.052 psi/ft per lb/gal is derived as follows:

A cubic foot contains 7.48 US gallons.

A fluid weighing 1 ppg is therefore


equivalent to 7.48 lbs/cu.ft

The pressure exerted by one foot of that


fluid over the area of the base would be:

7.48 lbs
–––––––– = 0.052 psi
144 sq.ins
12"

12"
Figure 1.2
Area definition of a cubic foot 12"

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Example:

The Pressure Gradient of a 10 ppg mud

= 10 x 0.052
= 0.52 psi/ft

Conversion constants for other mud weight units are:

Specific Gravity x 0.433 = Pressure Gradient psi/ft


Pounds per Cubic Foot ÷ 144 = Pressure Gradient psi/ft

1.3 FORMATION PRESSURE

Formation pressure or pore pressure is said to be normal when it is caused solely


by the hydrostatic head of the subsurface water contained in the formations and
there is pore to pore pressure communication with the atmosphere.

Dividing this pressure by the true vertical depth gives an average pressure
gradient of the formation fluid, normally between 0.433 psi/ft and 0.465 psi/ft.
The North Sea area pore pressure averages 0.452 psi/ft. In the absence of accurate
data, 0.465 psi/ft which is the average pore pressure gradient in the Gulf of Mexico
is often taken to be the “normal” pressure gradient.

Note: The point at which atmospheric contact is established may not


necessarily be at sea-level or rig site level.

1.4 NORMAL FORMATION PRESSURE

Normal Formation Pressure is equal to the hydrostatic pressure of water extending


from the surface to the subsurface formation. Thus, the normal formation pressure
gradient in any area will be equal to the hydrostatic pressure gradient of the water
occupying the pore spaces of the subspace formations in that area.

The magnitude of the hydrostatic pressure gradient is affected by the


concentration of dissolved solids (salts) and gases in the formation water.
Increasing the dissolved solids (higher salt concentration) increases the formation
pressure gradient whilst an increase in the level of gases in solution will decrease
the pressure gradient.

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For example, formation water with a salinity of 80,000 ppm sodium chloride
(common salt) at a temperature of 25°C, has a pressure gradient of 0.465 psi/ft.
Fresh water (zero salinity) has a pressure gradient of 0.433 psi/ft.

Temperature also has an effect as hydrostatic pressure gradients will decrease at


higher temperatures due to fluid expansion.

In formations deposited in an offshore environment, formation water density may


vary from slightly saline (0.44 psi/ft) to saturated saline (0.515 psi/ft). Salinity
varies with depth and formation type. Therefore, the average value of normal
formation pressure gradient may not be valid for all depths. For instance, it is
possible that local normal pressure gradients as high as 0.515 psi/ft may exist in
formations adjacent to salt formations where the formation water is completely
salt-saturated.

The following table gives examples of the magnitude of the normal formation
pressure gradient for various areas. However, in the absence of accurate data,
0.465 psi/ft is often taken to be the normal pressure gradient.

Figure 1.3 Average Normal Formation Pressure Gradients

Pressure Gradient
Formation Water Example area
psi/ft (SG)
Fresh water 0.433 1.00 Rocky Mountains and Mid-
continent, USA
Brackish water 0.438 1.01
Salt water 0.442 1.02 Most sedimentary basins
worldwide
Salt water 0.452 1.04 North Sea, South China Sea
Salt water 0.465 1.07 Gulf of Mexico, USA
Salt water 0.478 1.10 Some area of Gulf of Mexico

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Figure 1.4

Porosity %
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80
0

1000

2000 Permian Pennsylvania


and Oklahoma (Athy)
Depth (metres)

Lias Germany
(Won Engelwardt)

3000 Miocene and Pliocene


Po Valley (Storer)

Tertiary Gulf Coast


(Dickinson)

4000 Tertiary Japan


(Magara)

Joides

5000

Reduction in clay porosity as a function of


depth (modified from Magara, 1978)

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1.5 ABNORMAL PRESSURE

Every pressure which does not conform with the definition given for normal
pressure is abnormal.

The principal causes of abnormal pressures are:-

1.5.1 Under-compaction in shales

When first deposited, shale has a high porosity. More than 50% of the total volume
of uncompacted clay-mud may consist of water in which it is laid. During normal
compaction, a gradual reduction in porosity accompanied by a loss of formation
water occur as the thickness and weight of the overlaying sediments increase.
Compaction reduces the pore space in shale, as compaction continues water is
squeezed out. As a result, water must be removed from the shale before further
compaction can occur. See Fig 1.4.

Not all of the expelled liquid is water, hydrocarbons may also be flushed from the
shale.

If the balance between the rate of compaction and fluid expulsion is disrupted
such that fluid removal is impeded then fluid pressures within the shale will
increase. The inability of shale to expel water at a sufficient rate results in a much
higher porosity than expected for the depth of shale burial in that area.

Figure 1.5a
Quality of reservoir permeability.

Coarse-grained, Fine Grained Poorly-sorted


well sorted
Good permeability Poor permeability

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Figure 1.5b
10000
8000
6000
4000

2000

1000
800
600
PERMEABILITY (md)

400

200

100
80
60
40

20
Coarse - and very coarse - grained

10 Coarse - and medium - grained


8 Fine - grained
6
4 Silty
Clayey
2

1
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 32 34 36
POROSITY %
The relationship between permeability and porosity (from Chilingar, 1964)

Figure 1.5c
WATER ESCAPE CURVE WATER CONTENT OF SHALES
(SCHEMATIC)
WATER AVAILABLE % WATER
FOR MIGRATION
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 SEDIMENT SURFACE

PORE WATER
PORE AND
INTERLAYER
WATER EXPULSION
1st
DEHYDRATION
AND
BURIAL DEPTH

LATTICE WATER
(SCHEMATIC)

STABILITY ZONE INTER-


LAYER LATTICE WATER
WATER STABILITY ZONE

2nd
DEHYD'N INTERLAYER WATER
STAGE ISOPLETH

3rd
DEHYDRATION DEEP BURIAL
STAGE WATER LOSS

'NO MIGRATION LEVEL'

Water Distribution Curves for Shale Dehydration

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1.5.2 Salt Beds

Continuous salt depositions over large areas can cause abnormal pressures. Salt is
totally impermeable to fluids and behave plastically. It deforms and flows by
recrystallisation. Its properties of pressure transmission are more like fluids than
solids, thereby exerting pressures equal to the overburden load in all directions.
The fluids in the underlying formations cannot escape as there is no
communication to the surface and thus the formations become over pressured.

1.5.3 Mineralisation

The alteration of sediments and their constituent minerals can result in variations
of the total volume of the minerals present. An increase in the volume of these
solids will result in an increased fluid pressure. An example of this occurs when
anhydrite is laid down. If it later takes on water crystallisation, its structure
changes to become gypsum, with a volume increase of around 35%.

1.5.4 Tectonic Causes

Is a compacting force that is applied horizontally in subsurface formations. In


normal pressure environments water is expelled from clays as they are being
compacted with increasing overburden pressures. If however an additional
horizontal compacting force squeezes the clays laterally and if fluids are not able
to escape at a rate equal to the reduction in pore volume the result will be an
increase in pore pressure.

Figure 1.6

EXTENSION
EXTENSION

COMPRESSION COMPRESSION

COMPRESSION COMPRESSION

Amount of
Shortening

POSSIBLE OVERPRESSURED ZONES

Abnormal Formation Pressures caused by Tectonic Compressional Folding

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1.5.5 Faulting

Faults may cause abnormally high pressures. IMPERVIOUS


SHALE
Formation slippage may bring a permeable GAS
OIL
formation laterally against an impermeable
formation preventing the flow of fluids. Non-
sealing faults may allow fluids to move from a
deeper permeable formation to a shallower
formation. If the shallower formation is sealed then
it will be pressurised from the deeper zone. WATER

This is a trap resulting from faulting


Figure 1.7 in which the block on the right has
moved up with respect to the one
on the left.
1.5.6 Diapirism
Cap Rock
A salt diapirism is an upward intrusion of salt to Gas

form a salt dome. This upthrust disturbs the normal Oil


Water
Water
layering of sediments and over pressures can occur
due to the folding and faulting of the intruded
formations.
Salt

Salt domes often deform overlying


Figure 1.8 rocks to form traps like the one
shown here.

1.5.7 Reservoir Structure

Abnormally high pressures can develop in normally compacted rocks. In a


reservoir in which a high relief structure contains oil or gas, an abnormally high
pressure gradient as measured relative to surface will exist as shown in the
following fig:
a Gas-Oil
Contact Gas
(GOC) Closure
OIL Oil-Water Oil
Contact
(OWC) Water
Spill
Point

Gas

Gas
Water Gas-Water Gas-Oil Oil
WATER Contact Contact
Figure 1.9a Figure1.9b (GWC) (GOC)

An anticlinal type of folded structure Trap nomenclature (a) in a simple structural


is shown here. Anticline differs from trap and (b) in stratigraphic traps. Note that
a dome in being long and narrow. the size of the stratigraphic trap on the left
is limited only by its petroleum content,
while the size of the trap on the right is
self-limiting.

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1.5.8 Typical types of hydrocarbon traps versus percentage of world total.

Major types of oil traps and percentage of world’s petroleum occurrence for each.
75%

7% 9%
1% 2% 3% 3%

Anticlines Faults Salt Diapirs Unconformity Reef Other Combination


Stratigraphic

Structural Traps Stratigraphic Traps Combination


Traps

Figure 1.10

1.5.9 Typical hydrocarbon seals versus percentage of world total

Types of seals and percentage of world’s petroleum


occurrence for each.

65%
33%

2%

Shale Evaporite Carbonate


(salt) (limestone & dolomite)

Figure 1.11

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WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
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1.6 FORMATION FRACTURE PRESSURE

In order to plan to drill a well safely it is necessary to have some knowledge of the
fracture pressures of the formation to be encountered. The maximum volume of
any uncontrolled influx to the wellbore depends on the fracture pressure of the
exposed formations.

If wellbore pressures were to equal or exceed this fracture pressure, the formation
would break down as fracture was initiated, followed by loss of mud, loss of
hydrostatic pressure and loss of primary control. Fracture pressures are related to
the weight of the formation matrix (Rock) and the fluids (water/oil) occupying the
pore space within the matrix, above the zone of interest. These two factors
combine to produce what is known as the overburden pressure. Assuming the
average density of a thick sedimentary sequence to be the equivalent of 19.2 ppg
then the overburden gradient is given by:

0.052 x 19.2 = 1.0 psi/ft

Since the degree of compaction of sediments is known to vary with depth the
gradient is not constant.

NORMAL COMPACTION
Abnormally High Pressure Due to Hydrocarbon Column

0
1. Pressure on the
Gas-Water Contact = 2790 psi

1 2. Less Gas Column


Pressure = 0.10 x 1000’ = 100 psi
3. Pressure at top of Sand = 2690 psi

4 4. Abnormal Gradient at top Sand


2690 psi
––––––– = 0.538 psi/ft
5000 ft

5
DEPTH - 1000 ft

1000’ GAS
GRADIENT = 0.10 psi/ft
6 Normal pressure at
WATER the Gas-Water contact
.465 x 6000’ = 2790 psi

Figure 1.12

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Onshore, since the sediments tend to be more compacted, the overburden


gradient can be taken as being close to 1.0 psi/ft. Offshore, however the
overburden gradients at shallow depths will be much less than 1.0 psi/ft due
to the effect of the depth of seawater and large thicknesses of unconsolidated
sediment. This makes surface casing seats in offshore wells much more vulnerable
to break down and is the reason why shallow gas kicks should never be shut in.
See Fig 1.13

Fracture Gradient Comparisons


(for illustration purposes only)
A B

0 ft
Hydrostatic due to sea water
1500 x 0.445 = 667.5 psi

1500 ft
Pressure due to overburden
3000 x 1.0 = 3000 psi
Pressure due to overburden
1500 x 1.0 = 1500 psi

3000 ft
Total Overburden Total Overburden
2167.5 psi (0.723 psi/ft) 3000 psi (1.0 psi/ft)

C D

0 ft
Hydrostatic due to sea water
1500 x 0.445 = 667.5 psi
1500 ft

Pressure due to overburden


12000 x 1.0 = 12000 psi
Pressure due to overburden
10500 x 1.0 = 10500 psi

12000 ft
Total Overburden Total Overburden
11167.5 psi (0.93 psi/ft) 12000 psi (1.0 psi/ft)
Figure 1.13

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1.7 LEAK-OFF TESTS

The leak-off test establishes a practical value for the input into fracture pressure
predictions and indicates the limit of the amount of pressure that can be applied to
the wellbore over the next section of hole drilled. It provides the basic data needed
for further fracture calculations and it also tests the effectiveness of the cement job.

The test is performed by applying an incremental pressure from the surface to the
closed wellbore/casing system until it can be seen that fluid is being injected into
the formation. Leak-off tests should normally be taken to this leak-off pressure
unless it exceeds the pressure to which the casing was tested. In some instances as
when drilling development wells this might not be necessary and a formation
competency test, where the pressure is only increased to a predetermined limit,
might be all that is required.

1.7.1 Leak-Off Test Procedure:

Before starting, gauges should be checked for accuracy. The upper pressure limit
should be determined.

1) The casing should be tested prior to drilling out the shoe.

2) Drill out the shoe and cement, exposing 5 - 10 ft of new formation.

3) Circulate and condition the mud, check mud density in and out.

4) Pull the bit inside the casing. Line up cement pump and flush all lines to be
used for the test.

5) Close BOPs.

6) With the well closed in, the cement pump is used to pump a small volume at
a time into the well typically a 1/4 or 1/2 bbl per min. Monitor the pressure
build up and accurately record the volume of mud pumped. Plot pressure
versus volume of mud pumped.

7) Stop the pump when any deviation from linearity is noticed between pump
pressure and volume pumped.

8) Bleed off the pressure and establish the amounts of mud, if any, lost to the
formation.

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EXAMPLES OF LEAK-OFF TEST PLOT INTERPRETATION

In non-consolidated or highly permeable formations fluid can be lost at very


low pressures. In this case the pressure will fall once the pump has been
stopped and a plot such as that shown in Fig 1.14a will be obtained. Figs
1.14b and 1.14c show typical plots for consolidated permeable and
consolidated impermeable formations respectively.

a) Unconsolidated b) Consolidated Permeable


Formations Formations
PRESSURE

PRESSURE

CUMULATIVE VOLUME CUMULATIVE VOLUME

c) Consolidated
Impermeable Formations

Final Pumping Pressure After


Each Volume Increment

Final Static Pressure After


Each Volume Increment
PRESSURE

Leak-off Point

CUMULATIVE VOLUME

IDEALISED LEAK-OFF TEST CURVES

Figure 1.14

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Working example of leak-off test procedure (floating rigs)

“Operational Drilling Procedures for Floating Rigs” is designed to determine the


equivalent mud weight at which the formation will accept fluid. This test is not
designed to break down or fracture the formation. This test is normally performed
at each casing shoe.

Prior to the formation leak-off, have “handy” a piece of graph paper (see graph 1 ),
pencil and straight edge (ruler). Utilising the high pressure cement pumping unit,
perform leak-off as follows:

1. Upon drilling float equipment, clean out rat hole and drill 15 ft of new hole.
Circulate and condition hole clean. Be assured mud weight in and mud
weight out balance for most accurate results.

2. Pull bit up to just above casing shoe. Install circulating head on DP.

3. Rig up cement unit and fill lines with mud. Test lines to 2500 psi. Break
circulation with cementing unit, be assured bit nozzles are clear. Stop
pumping when circulation established.

4. Close pipe rams. Position and set motion compensator, overpull drillpipe
(+/- 10,000 lbs), close choke/kill valves.

5. At a slow rate (i.e. 1/4 or 1/2 BPM), pump mud down DP.

6. a. Pump 1/4 bbl - record/plot pressure on graph paper.

b. Pump 1/4 bbl - record/plot pressure on graph paper.

c. Pump 1/4 bbl - record/plot pressure on graph paper.

d. Pump 1/4 bbl - record/plot pressure on graph paper.

e. Pump 1/4 bbl - record/plot pressure on graph paper.

f. Continue this slow pumping. Record pressure at 1/4 bbl increments


until two points past leak-off.
(See examples, Graph 1, 2 & 3.)

g. Upon two points above leak-off, stop pumping. Allow pressure to


stabilize. Record this stabilized standing pressure (normally will
stabilize after 15 mins or so).

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h. Bleed back pressure into cement unit tanks. Record volume of bleed
back.

i. Set and position motion compensator, open rams.

j. Rig down and cement unit lines. Proceed with drilling operations.

k. Leak-off can be repeated after step 6 if data confirmation is required,


otherwise leak-off test is complete.

NOTE: For 20" and 13 3/8" csg leak-off tests, plot pressure every 1/2 bbl. Results
will be the same.

It should be noted that in order to obtain the proper leak-off and pumping rate
plot, it will be necessary to establish a continuous pump rate at a slow rate in
order to allow time to read the pressure and plot the point on the graph. (Barrels
pumped vs. pressure - psi), normally 1/2 BPM is sufficient time.

A pressure gauge of 0-2000 psi with 20 or 25 increments is recommended.

NOTE: In the event Standing Pressure is lower than leak-off point. Use standing
pressure to calculate equivalent mud weight. Always note volume of mud
bled back into tanks.

1.7.2 Formation Breakdown Pressure (psi)

= hydrostatic pressure of mud in casing + applied surface pressure


= (mud wt. x constant x vert shoe depth) + surface pressure
The formation breakdown pressure can be expressed as a GRADIENT.

Formation Breakdown Pressure (psi)


Formation Breakdown Gradient (psi/ft) = ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Vert. Shoe Depth (ft)

The formation breakdown gradient expressed as a maximum allowable mud


weight:
Maximum Allowable Mud Weight (ppg) = Formation Breakdown Gradient (psi/ft) ÷ 0.052

or
Formation Breakdown Pressure (psi)
Maximum Allowable Mud Weight (ppg) = –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– ÷ 0.052
Vert Shoe Depth (ft)

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Graph 1.1 Formation Pressure Test Work Sheet

1100

1000

900

800

700
SURFACE TEST PRESSURE - PSI

600

500

400

300

NOTE: Commence measuring volume


200 NOTE: after pressuring up to 200 psi
NOTE: Pump at a 0.3 BPM rate and
NOTE: plot pressures and volumes
NOTE: (BBL's MUD)

100

0
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

BARRELS MUD PUMPED

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Graph 1.2

Typical Pressure Test


1100
csg set at 5000' TVD
w/12 lb mud in hole.

1000
Required Test Pressure
(Equivalent to 16,0 Mud)

900

800 705 psi


5 min stabilized
pressure

700
SURFACE TEST PRESSURE - PSI

600

500

400

300

NOTE: Commence plotting pressure


200 NOTE: and pumped volume after
NOTE: pressuring up to 200 psi

100

0
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

BARRELS MUD PUMPED

V4 Rev March 2002 1 - 19


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 1 : FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF WELL CONTROL

Graph 1.3

Formation Typical Pressure Plot for


Breakdown Formation Breakdown and
Pressure Fracture Propagation
1100

Leak-off
Pressure
1000

900

800

700
SURFACE TEST PRESSURE - PSI

600

500

400

300

NOTE: Commence plotting pressure


200 NOTE: and pumped volume after
NOTE: pressuring up to 200 psi

100

0
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

BARRELS MUD PUMPED

1 - 20 V4 Rev March 2002



 casing shoe.
SECTION 1 : FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF WELL CONTROL

1.8 MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE ANNULAR SURFACE PRESSURE - MAASP.

The leak-off test was used to determine the strength of the formations below the

strings is a vital part of the well planning process.


An incorrect decision with the casing setting
depths too shallow could have serious
consequences. An unnecessarily deep setting
depth could have adverse economic
consequences when considering the extra time
needed to drill the hole deeper and the extra
amount of casing required to be run and
cemented.

V4 Rev March 2002


Figure 1.15
Typical Offshore Casing Program
36" Hole

26" Hole

WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team

The Formation Breakdown Pressure = an applied surface pressure + hydrostatic pressure of mud in the casing

The applied surface pressure at which leak-off occurred is the maximum allowable
annular surface pressure with the mud weight in use at that time. MAASP is the
maximum surface pressure that can be tolerated before the formation at the shoe
fractures.

MAASP = Formation Breakdown pressure at shoe – Hydrostatic Pressure of mud in use in the casing shoe

or rewritten as:

MAASP = (Fracture gradient – Mud gradient) x True Vert. Shoe Depth

or as:

MAASP = (Max equiv. mud wt. – Mud wt. in casing) x (0.052 x True Vert. shoe depth)

MAASP is only valid if the casing is full of the original mud, if the mud weight in
the casing is changed MAASP must be recalculated.

The calculated MAASP is no longer valid if influx fluids enter into the casing.

1.9 CASING SETTING DEPTHS

The choice of setting depths for all the casing


Seabed

17 1/2" Hole

12 1/4" Hole

8 1/2" Hole
30" Casing
(Conductor)

20" Casing
(Surface String.)

13 1/8" Casing
(Intermediate String)

9 5/8" Casing
(Production String)

7" Liner

1 - 21

1 - 22
Depth x 1000 ft

10

12

14

WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 1 : FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF WELL CONTROL

1.9.1 Deep Casing Setting Depths

The selection of deeper casing setting depths will use different criteria to those
used for shallow casing seats. Initial selection of the setting depth is made with
reference to the anticipated lithological column, formation pressure and fracture
gradient profiles. Once all the information has been collated from offset well data a
plot similar to that shown in Fig 1.16 can be drawn up. By studying the geology
and pressure profiles, tentative setting depths can be chosen based on the
prevention of formation breakdown by mud weights in use in the subsequent hole
section. See Fig 1.17. From a Well Control point of view, it is necessary to
determine whether this tentative setting depth will give adequate protection
against formation breakdown when a kick is taken. A kick tolerance “factor” will
normally be applied.

Fracture Gradient

Pore Pressure Gradient

8.0 10.0 12.0 14.0 16.0 18.0

Pressure Gradient - lb/gal Equivalent

PRESSURE PROFILE PREDICTIONS

Figure 1.16
20.0
Depth x 1000 ft

10

12

14
Preferred Setting Depths

Pore Pressure Gradient

8.0 10.0 12.0 14.0 16.0


Required Setting Depths

(based on lithological column) (to prevent formation fracture


due to weight of mud column)

Fracture Gradient

Proposed Mud
Weight program

18.0

Pressure Gradient - lb/gal Equivalent


PRESSURE PROFILES WITH CASING SETTING DEPTHS

Figure 1.17
20.0

V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 1 : FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF WELL CONTROL

1.10 CIRCULATING PUMP PRESSURE

The pressure provided by the rig pump is the sum of all of the individual
pressures in the circulating systems. All the pressure produced by the pump
is expended in this process, overcoming friction losses between the mud and
whatever it is in contact with:

• Pressure loss in surface lines


• Pressure loss in drill-string
• Pressure loss across but jets
• Pressure loss in annulus

Pressure losses are independent of hydrostatic and imposed pressures.

Pressure losses in the annulus acts as a “back pressure” on the exposed


formations, consequently the total pressure at the bottom of the annulus is higher
with the pump on than with the pump off.

Static bottom Annulus


Circulating bottom hole pressure =
hole pressure + pressure losses

STATIC CIRCULATING
Formation Formation under
will Kick Control

0 3000
psi psi

Annulus Pressure
Loss = 250 psi

10 ppg MUD

BHP = 5200 psi BHP = 5450 psi

10000’
5300 psi Formation Pressure 5300 psi
Figure 1.18

V4 Rev March 2002 1 - 23


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 1 : FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF WELL CONTROL

The total pressure on bottom can be calculated and converted to an equivalent


static mud weight which exerts the same pressure.

Equivalent Mud Wt (ppg) = (APL + Pmud ) ÷ 0.052 ÷ TVD


a
or
APL
Equivalent Mud wt E.C.D = Mud Wt in use + ––––––––––
0.052 X TVD

Where: APL = Annulus Pressure Loss


Pmud = Hydrostatic Mud Pressure in Annulus
a

Circulating pressure will be affected if the pump rate or the properties of the fluid
being circulated are changed.

Example:-
Assuming a circulating pump pressure is 3000 psi when pumping at
100 spm. The pump speed is increased to 120 spm. To approximate the new
circulating pump pressure:

New Pump Speed 2


P(2) = P(1) x ( –––––––––––––––––
Original Pump Speed )
Where:- P(1) = Original pump pressure at original pump speed.
P(2) = New circulating pressure at new pump speed.

P(2) = 3000 x ( ) 120 2


––––
100
P(2) = 4320 psi at 120 spm

Example:-
Assuming a circulating pump pressure in 3000 psi with a 10 ppg mud
weight pumping at 100 spm. If the mud weight in the system was changed
to 12 ppg. To approximate the new circulating pump pressure:

New Mud Weight 12


P(2) = P(1) x –––––––––––––––– P(2) = 3000 x –––
Original Mud Weight 10

P(2) = 3600 psi when circulating with 12 ppg mud.

Note: Changing either pump speed or mud weight will affect annulus pressure
losses.

1 - 24 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 1 : FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF WELL CONTROL

1.11 CHOKE LINE FRICTION

LOSSES IN SUBSEA KILL OPERATIONS


Figure 1.19
In subsea situations, a pressure loss exists when
circulating through the choke due to the friction losses in 500
PSI
the extended choke line running up from the BOP. This
pressure loss is not accounted for in normal Slow
Circulating Rate (SCR) measurements, which are taken
while circulating up the marine riser (see Fig 1.19). SHAKERS

If the normal method of bringing pumps to kill speed is


followed (that is, choke manifold pressure maintained
equal to SICP until kill rate is achieved), bottom hole
pressure will be increased by an amount equal to this
choke line friction loss (CLFL). This excess pressure can
result in serious lost circulation problems during the kill
operations.

Since fracture gradients generally decrease with increased


water depth, correct handling of the CLFL becomes more
critical as water depth increases. Beyond approximately
500 feet water depth, it should always be considered CONVENTIONAL SCF
FLOW PATH
while planning well control operations.
Figure 1.20
It is possible to measure CLFL while taking
SCR’s. One simple way to do this is to pump DRILL PIPE CHOKE MANIFOLD

down the choke line at reduced pump rates 0 200


(taking returns up the open marine riser as is PSI PSI
CHOKE
shown in Figure 1.20) and record the pressure
reading on the choke manifold gauge.
FROM PUMP
SHAKERS

It is fundamental to all standard methods of well


control to maintain constant bottom hole pressure
(BHP) throughout kill operations. To accomplish
this a method must be used to keep total applied
casing pressures relatively constant while
bringing the mud pump to kill rate.

In the absence of significant CLFL (surface stacks


or shallow water), the method used is to merely
keep choke manifold pressure equal to SICP until
the pump is up to speed.

CLFL MEASUREMENT PUMPING


DOWN CHOKE LINE CLCF = 200 PSI

V4 Rev March 2002 1 - 25


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 1 : FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF WELL CONTROL

But when CLFL exists, total applied casing pressure varies from SICP at pump
start-up to SICP + CLFL with the pump at kill rate, if the above method were used.
This would cause bottom hole pressure to increase by an amount equal to CLFL,
as shown in Figures 1.21 and 1.22

Figure 1.21 Figure 1.22

DRILL PIPE CHOKE MANIFOLD DRILL PIPE CHOKE MANIFOLD

800 1000 1500 1000


PSI PSI PSI PSI
CHOKE CHOKE

RETURNS
CLFL
0 PSI CLFL
(STATIC) 200 PSI
(DYNAMIC)
SUBSEA BOP SUBSEA BOP

APL APL
0 PSI NEGLIGIBLE

BHP 6000 PSI BHP 6200 PSI


Pf = 6000 psi
Pf = 6000 psi
Ph = 5200 psi (in annulus)
Ph = 5200 psi (in annulus)
PUMP AT KILL RATE HOLDING CONSTANT
PUMPS OFF (kick shut in)
CHOKE MANIFOLD PRESSURE
CHANGE IN BHP = 200 psi increase

1 - 26 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 1 : FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF WELL CONTROL

Figure 1.23

To eliminate this problem, two methods exist. First, by DRILL PIPE CHOKE MANIFOLD

reducing choke manifold pressure by an amount equal 1300


PSI
800
PSI
to a known CLFL (adjusting choke manifold pressure to CHOKE

SICP -CLFL), the effect of the CLFL is negated. This is


accomplished by reducing the original SICP by the RETURNS
amount of CLFL while bringing the pumps to speed (see CLFL

Figure 1.23). Once kill rate pressure has been established, 200 PSI
(DYNAMIC)
SUBSEA BOP
the choke operator switches over to the drill pipe gauge
and follows the drill pipe pressure graph in the usual
way.

Or secondly, given a choke manifold configuration with APL


separate pressure gauges for choke and kill lines, it is NEGLIGIBLE

possible to utilise the kill line (shut off down-stream of


the gauge outlet to prevent flow, thus eliminating
friction) as a pressure connection to a point upstream of
any potential CLFL (known or unknown). This is shown BHP 6000 PSI
in Figure 1.24. If the kill line gauge in this instance is Pf = 6000 psi
Ph = 5200 psi (in annulus)
kept constant while bringing the pump to speed, the PUMP AT KILL RATE WITH REDUCED
effect of CLFL is eliminated. CHOKE MANIFOLD PRESSURE
CHANGE IN BHP = 0 psi increase

Figure 1.24
Note the advantages of the second method: DRILL PIPE CHOKE MANIFOLD

1000 1300 800


1. The gauge reading choke manifold PSI PSI PSI
CHOKE
pressure will show a decrease after pump
is up to speed. The amount of this
decrease is equal to the CLFL. RETURNS
KLFL CLFL
0 PSI 200 PSI

2. No precalculated or pre-measured CLFL (STATIC)


SUBSEA BOP
(DYNAMIC)

information is required.

3. The kill line gauge can be subsequently


used like the choke manifold pressure
gauge on a surface stack for the purposes APL
NEGLIGIBLE
of altering pump rates or problem
analysis.

NOTE: If the second method of handling the


CLFL situation is preferred, it would be BHP 6000 PSI
Well shut in
Pf = 6000 psi
advisable to rig a remote kill line Ph = 5200 psi (in annulus)
PUMP AT KILL RATE HOLDING CONSTANT
pressure gauge which could be seen by KILL LINE PRESSURE READING
the choke operator. CHANGE IN BHP = 0 psi increase

V4 Rev March 2002 1 - 27


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 1 : FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF WELL CONTROL

It is extremely important to note that regardless of which Figure 1.25


method is used, they both accomplish the goal of
DRILL PIPE CHOKE MANIFOLD
maintaining constant bottom hole pressure equal to
formation pressure, just as would be the case were CLFL 75
PSI
100
PSI

absent. This is done without the need to alter any CHOKE

calculations on the kick sheet. Thus initial and final


circulating pressures, which are read on the drill pipe gauge,
are unaffected by CLFL. CLFL is recorded on the Kick Sheet CLFL
0 PSI
(STATIC)
for convenience only – it is not used in kick sheet SUBSEA BOP

calculations.

Several additional points should be made about CLFL. It


should be noted that it will only be possible to use the above APL
recommended methods when SICP is greater than CLFL. If 0 PSI

this is not true, it will be unavoidable to apply excess


pressure to the bottom of the hole using standard well
control procedures. Also, as kill mud comes up the annulus,
total applied casing pressure needed to maintain constant BHP 5200 PSI

bottom hole pressure will eventually drop below CLFL. Pf = 5200 psi
Ph = 5100 psi (in annulus)
After this point, drill pipe pressures will exceed planned PUMPS OFF (kick shut in)
FCP @ 4 bbl/min = 400 psi
Final Circulating Pressure in spite of having the choke wide FCP @ 2 bbl/min = 200 psi
CLFL @ 4 bbl/min = 200 psi
open with no choke manifold back pressure. CLFL @ 2 bbl/min = 60 psi

Figure 1.26
These situations can be mitigated by use of unusually slow DRILL PIPE CHOKE MANIFOLD

pumping rates or by taking returns up choke and kill lines 575 0


PSI PSI
simultaneously. Figures 1.25 - 1.28 illustrate this problem CHOKE

and methods of dealing with it. They show an example in


which a static SICP of 100 psi is reduced while pumping as RETURNS a
result of the increase in back pressure created in circulating CLFL
200 PSI

up the choke line, by itself or choke and kill lines together. SUBSEA BOP
(DYNAMIC)

APL
NEGLIGIBLE

Fig 24: Pumping 4 bbl/min BHP 5300 PSI


Pf = 5200 psi
with choke wide open. Ph = 5100 psi (in annulus)
Note increase in BHP PUMP AT 4 BBL/MIN HOLDING 0 PSI
CHOKE MANIFOLD PRESSURE
due to excess CL friction. CHANGE IN BHP = 100 psi increase

1 - 28 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 1 : FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF WELL CONTROL

Fig 1.27: Pump rate reduced to Fig 1.28: By taking flow up choke and
bbl/min. BHP is held constant kill lines simultaneously, the same effect
at SICP - CLFL is achieved as in fig 1.27, but at a
pumping rate of 4 bbl/min.

Figure 1.27 Figure 1.28

DRILL PIPE CHOKE MANIFOLD DRILL PIPE CHOKE MANIFOLD

275 40 40 475 40
PSI PSI PSI PSI PSI
CHOKE CHOKE CHOKE

RETURNS RETURNS RETURNS


CLFL KLFL 2 BBL/MIN 2 BBL/MIN CLFL
60 PSI 60 PSI 60 PSI
(DYNAMIC) (DYNAMIC) (DYNAMIC)
SUBSEA BOP SUBSEA BOP

4 BBL/MIN

APL APL
NEGLIGIBLE NEGLIGIBLE

BHP 5200 PSI BHP 5200 PSI


Pf = 5200 psi Pf = 5200 psi
Ph = 5100 psi (in annulus) Ph = 5100 psi (in annulus)
PUMP AT 2 BBL/MIN WITH REDUCED PUMP AT 4 BBL/MIN USING CHOKE
CHOKE MANIFOLD PRESSURE AND KILL LINES FOR RETURN FLOW
CHANGE IN BHP = 0 psi increase CHANGE IN BHP = 0 psi

V4 Rev March 2002 1 - 29


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 1 : FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF WELL CONTROL

1.12 - WORKSHOP 1
SCORE
1. Convert the following mud densities into pressure gradients.

a. 13.5 ppg _____________ psi/ft


b. 16 ppg _____________ psi/ft
c. 12 ppg _____________ psi/ft 2

2. Convert the following gradients into mud densities.

a. 0.806 psi/ft _____________ ppg


b. 0.598 psi/ft _____________ ppg
c. 0.494 psi/ft _____________ ppg 2

3. Calculate the hydrostatic pressure for the following.

a. 9.5 ppg mud at 9000ft MD/8000 ft TVD =_____________


b. 15.5 ppg mud at 18000ft TVD/21000ft MD =_____________
c. 0.889 psi/ft mud at 11000ft MD/9000ft TVD =_____________ 2

4. Convert the following pressures into equivalent mud weights in PPG.

a. 3495 psi at 7000ft =_____________


b. at 4000ft with 2787 psi =_____________
c. 12000ft MD/10500ft TVD with 9000 psi =_____________ 2

5. High bottom hole temperatures could affect the hydrostatic pressure


gradients resulting in:

a. An increase in the hydrostatic gradient


b. A decrease in the hydrostatic gradient
c. Would have no effect 2

1 - 30 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 1 : FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF WELL CONTROL

SCORE
6. Assuming a 10 ppg mud is being circulated at 700 GPM at a
depth of 10000ft TVD/MD the circulating pump pressure is
3000 psi. If the circulating friction losses in the system are as
follows:

Pressure losses through pipe/collars 1200 psi


Pressure loss across the bit jets 1600 psi
Pressure loss in the annulus 200 psi

a. When circulating what is the dynamic bottom hole


pressure?

Answer..................... 2

b. What is the static bottom hole pressure?

Answer..................... 2

c. What is the equivalent circulating density ECD?

Answer..................... 2

d. If the pump speed is increased to give 800 GPM, what will


the pump pressure be?

Answer..................... 2

e. Will this increase in the pump speed have any effect on


bottom hole pressure?

Answer YES/NO 2

f. Referring to the data given above, if the mud weight being


circulated at 700 GPM was 12 ppg rather than 10 ppg, what
would pump pressure be?

Answer...................... 2

7. When circulating a 12 ppg mud at 10000ft ECD is 12.3 ppg. What


is the annular pressure loss?

Answer...................... 2

V4 Rev March 2002 1 - 31


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 1 : FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF WELL CONTROL

SCORE
8. Calculate the pressure that one barrel of 12 ppg mud Wt exerts.

a. Around the drill collars if the annular capacity is 0.03 bbls/ft.

Answer...................... 2

b. Around the drill pipe if the annular capacity is 0.05 bbls/ft.

Answer...................... 2

9. If the fluid level in a well bore fell by 480ft, what is the reduction
in bottom hole pressure if the mud weight is 12 ppg?

Answer...................... 2

10. If a 12 ppg mud over-balances the formation pressure by 240 psi


theoretically how far could the mud level fall before going
under-balance?

Answer....................... 2

11. Drilling at 12700ft with an 8 1/2" bit, the drill pipe is 5" with 700ft
of 6 1/2" collars. The mud weight = 12 ppg. The yield point of the
mud is 12lbs/100ft2. Use the equation given below to determine
ECD.

Answer...................... 4

Annular-pressure loss = YP x L
—————
200(DH-DP)
2
where YP = Yield point of mud in lbs/100ft
L = Length of annulus, collar or pipe
DH = Hole diameter
DP = Collar or pipe diameter

12. If a formation pore pressure gradient at 8500ft is 0.486 psi/ft,


what mud weight is required to give an over-balance of 200 psi?

Answer...................... 2

WORKSHOP 1 - Answers

1 - 32 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 1 : FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF WELL CONTROL

WORKSHOP 1 - Answers
1. MUD WEIGHT x 0.052

a. 13.5 x 0.052 = 0.702 psi/ft


b. 16.0 x 0.052 = 0.832 psi/ft
c. 12.0 x 0.052 = 0.624 psi/ft

2. GRADIENT ÷ 0.052

a. 0.806 ÷ 0.052 = 15.5 ppg


b. 0.598 ÷ 0.052 = 11.5 ppg
c. 0.494 ÷ 0.052 = 9.5 ppg

3. T.V.D. x MUD WEIGHT x 0.052

a. 8000 x 9.5 x .052 = 3952 psi


b. 18000 x 15.5 x .052 = 14508 psi
c. 9000 x 0.889 = 8001 psi

4. PRESS ÷ T.V.D ÷ .052

a. 3495 ÷ 7000 ÷ .052 = 9.6 ppg


b. 2787 ÷ 4000 ÷ .052 = 13.39 ppg (13.4)
c. 9000 ÷ 10500 ÷ .052 = 16.48 ppg (16.5)

5. b.

6. (T.V.D. x MUD WT x .052) + A.P.L.

a. (10000ft x 10ppg x .052) + 200 = 5400 psi


b. 10000 x 10 x .052 = 5200 psi
c. 5400 ÷ 10000 ÷ .052 = 10.38 ppg
d. 3000 x (800)2 = 3918 psi
——
(700)

Note d. This calculation is the same relationship as


Press-Strokes-Relationship.
(i.e.) P x (new S.P.M)2
—————
(old S.P.M.)

V4 Rev March 2002 1 - 33


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 1 : FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF WELL CONTROL

e. YES

f. PRESS x (new MUD WT)


————————
(old MUD WT)

3000 x (12)
——
(10) = 3600 psi

7. A.P.L. = (ECD - MUD WT) x (TVD x .052)


= (12.3 - 12) x (10000 x .052)
= .3 x 520
A.P.L. = 156 psi

8. MUD g psi/ft
———
ANN vol psi/ft

a. = 12 x .052 = .624 = 20.8 psi/bbl


——
.03

b. = .624 psi/bbl
—————— = 12.48 Psi/bbl
.05

9. 480 x 12 .052 = 299.52 psi


(300 psi)

10. PRESS - psi = 240 = 384ft


——— ——
MUD g psi/ft .624ft

1 - 34 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 1 : FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF WELL CONTROL

11. A.P.L. around D/C = 12 x 700 = 21 psi


—————
200(8.5-6.5)

A.P.L. around D/P = 12 x 12000 = 206 psi


——————
200 x (8.5 - 5)

TOTAL A.P.L. = 227psi

227
ECD = 12 + —— ÷ .052
12700

ECD = 12.34 PPG

12. 8500 x .486 = 4131 + 200


= 4331 psi

4331 ÷ 8500 ÷ .052 = 9.79 ppg


= (9.8 ppg)

V4 Rev March 2002 1 - 35


SECTION 2 : CAUSES OF KICKS

Page

2. 0 Objectives 1
2. 1 Introduction 1

2. 2 Primary Well Control- How it is Affected 1

2. 3 Causes of Kicks and Influxes 6


2. 4 Hydrate Formation & Prevention 15

2. 5 Function of Drilling Muds 17

2. 6 Extracts From API RP59 24


2. 7 Workshop 2 31

V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 2 : CAUSES OF KICKS

CAUSES OF KICKS
2.0 OBJECTIVES

The objectives of this section are to Highlight the Causes of Kicks and Influxes.

2.1 INTRODUCTION
Primary control is defined as using the drilling fluid to control formation fluid
pressure. The drilling fluid has to have a density that will provide sufficient
pressure to overbalance pore pressure. If this overbalance is lost, even temporarily
then formation fluids can enter the wellbore. Preventing the loss of primary
control is of the utmost importance.

Definition of Kick

A kick is an intrusion of unwanted fluids into the wellbore such that the effective
hydrostatic pressure of the wellbore fluid is exceeded by the formation pressure.

Definition of Influx

An influx is an intrusion of formation fluids into the wellbore which does not
immediately cause formation pressure to exceed the hydrostatic pressure of the
fluid in the wellbore, but may do, if not immediately recognised as an influx,
particularly if the formation fluid is gas.

2.2 PRIMARY WELL CONTROL - HOW IT IS EFFECTED


To ensure primary well control is in place the following procedures and
precautions must be observed.

Mud Weight

Mud into and out of the well must be weighted to ensure the correct weight is
being maintained to control the well. This task is normally carried out by the
shaker man at least every thirty minutes or less, depending upon the nature of the
drilling operation and/or company policy. The mud weight can be increased by
increasing the solid content and decreased either by dilution or the use of solids
control equipment.

Tripping Procedures

Tripping in or out of the well must be maintained using an accurate log called a
trip sheet. A trip sheet is used to record the volume of mud put into the well or
displaced from the well when tripping.

A calibrated trip tank is normally used for the accurate measurement of mud
volumes and changes to mud volumes while tripping.

V4 Rev March 2002 2-1


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 2 : CAUSES OF KICKS

Figure 2.1

Well Name Trip No.


Date Mud Weight Fluid Loss
Depth D.P. Size D.P. Displacement
Time Trip Started D.C. Size D.C. Displacement

DISPLACEMENT
Number
of Stands Theoretical Last Trip This Trip Comments
Per ___ Std. Total Per ___ Std. Total Per ___ Std. Total

If rig pump is used, calculate from strokes. If trip tank is used, record level of
decrease.

2-2 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 2 : CAUSES OF KICKS

When tripping pipe or drill collars out of the hole, a given volume of mud is put
into the well for the volume of steel removed. If the volume required to fill the
hole is significantly less than the volume of steel removed, then tripping must be
stopped to ensure the well is stable, and consideration given to going back to
bottom to condition the mud and investigate the cause of the problem.

THE HOLE MUST BE KEPT FULL AT ALL TIMES

A full opening or safety valve should be available at all times on the drill floor
together with the required crossover subs. A non-return (i.e. grey) valve should
also be readily available.
Figure 2.3
Figure 2.2 NON RETURN SAFETY VALVE (GREY VALVE)
FULL BORE OPENING SAFETY VALVE

RELEASE TOOL
VALVE
RELEASE ROD

Upper Seat
Body

Crank

Ball
VALVE SEAT

Lower Seat

VALVE SPRING

Trip Margin (Safety Factor)

Trip Margin (Safety Factor) is an overbalance to compensate for the loss of ECD
and to overcome the effects of swab pressures during a trip out of the hole.

V4 Rev March 2002 2-3


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 2 : CAUSES OF KICKS

Flow Checks

Flow checks are performed to ensure that the well is stable. Flow checks should be
carried out with the pumps off to check the well with ECD effects removed. Flow
checks are usually performed when a trip is going to take place at the following
minimum places:

• on bottom

• at the casing shoe

• before the BHA is pulled into the BOP's

Short Trips/Wiper Trips

In some circumstances prior to pulling out of the hole a short trip, 5 or 10 stands
should be considered. The well is then circulated and mud returns carefully
monitored.

Pumping a Slug of Heavy Mud

This is a practice often carried out to enable the pipe to be pulled dry and the hole
to be more accurately monitored during the trip. The following equation is used to
calculate the dry pipe volume for the slug pumped:

Dry Pipe Volume = Slug Volume x (Slug Weight ÷ Mud Weight - 1)

This dry pipe volume can be converted to Dry Pipe Length by dividing this
volume by the internal capacity of the pipe as illustrated in the following equation:

Dry Pipe Length = Dry Pipe Volume (bbls) ÷ Drill Pipe Capacity (bbls/ft)

Mud Logging

A logging unit if available is extremely important particularly with respect to well


control. The unit carries out some of the following services:

• Gas detection in the mud

• Gas analysis

• Cuttings density analysis

• Recording mud densities in and out

• Recording flow line temperatures

• Recording penetration rates

• Pore Pressure Trends

2-4 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 2 : CAUSES OF KICKS

A typical mud logging system is illustrated in Figure 2.4 below.

KELLY POSITION
ROP
WOB
DEPTH

KELLY HOSE
SWIVEL
STAND PIPE

STANDPIPE
PRESSURE

PUMP KELLY
PUMP RATE

SUCTION

SUCTION PIT
FLOWLINE
PIT LEVELS SHAKER

SHALE
CUTTINGS DENSITY SLIDE

GAS QUANTITY
GAS TYPE
MUD TEMPERATURE
RETURN MUD WEIGHT
N D
IO N
T A
A G
LU IN
A S
V S
E CE
O
R
P

• ROTARY SPEED
• TORQUE
G
G GIN
O
DL
MU UNIT
VDU IN
COMPANY
REP'S OFFICE

V4 Rev March 2002 2-5


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 2 : CAUSES OF KICKS

Communication

If a transfer of mud to the active system is requested the driller will be informed,
the logging unit must likewise be informed. Good communication all round is
essential.

Alarms

The high and low settings for the pit level recorder and flow line recorder must be
checked and are set to appropriate values.

2.3 CAUSES OF KICKS AND INFLUXES

The most common causes of kicks are:

• Improper monitoring of pipe movement (drilling assembly and casing).

- Trip out - making sure hole takes the proper amount of mud.
- Trip in - making sure it gives up proper amount of mud and
preventing lost circulation due to surges.

• Swabbing during pipe movement.

• Loss of circulation.

• Insufficient mud weight.

- Abnormal pressured formations


- Shallow gas sands

• Special situations.

- Drill stem testing


- Drilling into an adjacent well
- Excessive drilling rate through a gas sand

Surveys in the past have shown that the major portion of well control problems
have occurred during trips. The potential exists for the reduction of bottom hole
pressure due to:

• Loss of ECD with pumps off.

• Reduction in fluid levels when pulling pipe and not filling the hole.

• Swabbing.

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WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 2 : CAUSES OF KICKS

2.3.1 FAILURE TO KEEP THE HOLE FULL DURING A TRIP

If the fluid level in the hole falls as pipe is removed a reduction in bottom hole
pressure will occur. If the magnitude of the reduction exceeds the trip margin or
safety overbalance factor a kick may occur. The hole must be kept full with a lined
up trip tank that can be monitored to ensure that the hole is taking the correct
amount of mud. If the hole fails to take the correct mud volume, it can be detected.
A trip tank line up is shown in Fig 2.5.
BELL
NIPPLE
RETURN LINE

FLOAT
FILL UP
LINE

TANK

INDICATOR
PUMP

Figure 2.5 CONTINUOUS CIRCULATING TRIP TANK

It is of the utmost importance that drill crews properly monitor displacement and
fill up volumes when tripping. The lack of this basic practice results in a large
amount of well control incidents every year.

2.3.2 SWABBING AND SURGING

Swabbing is when bottom hole pressure is reduced below formation pressure due
to the effects of pulling the drill string, which allows an influx of formation fluids
into the wellbore.

When pulling the string there will always be some variation to bottom hole
pressure. A pressure loss is caused by friction, the friction between the mud and
the drill string being pulled. Swabbing can also be caused by the full gauge down
hole tools (bits, stabilisers, reamers, core barrels, etc.) being balled up. This can
create a piston like effect when they are pulled through mud. This type of
swabbing can have drastic effects on bottom hole pressure.

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WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 2 : CAUSES OF KICKS

The factors affecting swabbing and surging are:

• Pulling speed of pipe.

• Mud properties.

• Viscosity.

• Hole geometry.

Surging

Surging is when the bottom hole pressure is increased due to the effects of running
the drill string too fast in the hole. Down hole mud losses may occur if care is not
taken and fracture pressure is exceeded while RIH. Proper monitoring of the
displacement volume with the trip tank is required at all times.

Figure 2.6

PRESSURE SURGES SWABBING ACTION


Swabbing is a recognised hazard whether it is “low" volume swabbing or “high”
volume swabbing. A small influx volume may be swabbed into the open hole
section. The net decrease in hydrostatics due to this low density fluid will also be
small. If the influx fluid is gas it can of course migrate and expand. The expansion
may occur when there is little or no pipe left in the hole. The consequences of
running pipe into the hole and into swabbed gas must also be considered.

Pulling Speeds

Tripping speeds must be controlled to reduce the possibility of swabbing. It is


normal practice for the Mud Logger to run a swab and surge programme and to
make this information available to the Driller. This will provide ample information
to reduce the possibility of unforeseen influx occurring.

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WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
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Mud Properties

Controlling the rheology of mud is important. Controlling water-loss to avoid


thick wall cake will also help.

Trip Margin

A safety factor to provide an overbalance to compensate for swab pressure can be:

Trip Margin Factor APL psi


––––––––––––––––– = –––––––––––––––––
(psi/ft) True Vert. Depth. ft

APL = Annulus Pressure Loss

If swabbing has been detected and the well is not flowing a non return valve
should be installed and the bit returned to bottom. Flow check each stand. Once
back on bottom the well should be circulated and the bottoms up sample checked
for contamination.

If the well is flowing or the returns from the well are excessive when tripping in
then the following should be carried out:

• Install a non return valve. If there is a strong flow then a kelly cock may
have to be installed first.

• Shut the well in.

• Prepare for stripping.

• Strip in to bottom.

• Circulate the well, check bottoms up for contamination.

Continuous monitoring of replacement and displacement volumes is essential


when performing tripping. A short wiper trip and circulating the well before
pulling completely out of the hole will provide useful information about swabbing
and pulling speeds.

Useful formulae for calculating the psi reduction per foot of drill pipe pulled are as
follows:

( (mud grad. (psi/ft) x metal disp. (bbls/ft))


Pulling Dry Pipe: psi/ft or dry pipe pulled = –––––––--––––––––––––--–––––––––––––––
(casing cap. (bbls/ft) - metal disp. (bbls/ft))
)
(
(mud grad. (psi/ft) x metal disp. + cap. (bbls/ft)
Pulling Wet Pipe: psi/ft or wet pipe pulled = –––––––--–––––––-–––––-–––––––––-––––––
)
(casing cap. (bbls/ft) - metal disp. + cap. (bbls/ft))

V4 Rev March 2002 2-9


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 2 : CAUSES OF KICKS

2.3.3 LOSS OF CIRCULATION

Another cause for a kick to occur is the reduction of hydrostatic pressure through
loss of drilling fluid to the formation during lost circulation. When this happens,
the height of the mud column is shortened, thus decreasing the pressure on the
bottom and at all other depths in the hole.

The amount the mud column can be shortened before taking a kick from a
permeable zone can be calculated by dividing the mud gradient into the
overbalance at the top of the permeable kick zone.

Overbalance (psi)
H (ft) = ––––––––––––––––––––––
Mud Gradient (psi/ft)

2.3.4 INSUFFICIENT MUD WEIGHT

A kick can occur if a permeable formation is drilled which has a higher pressure
than that exerted by the mud column. If the overpressurised formations have low
permeability then traces of the formation fluid should be detected in the returns
after circulating bottoms up. If the overpressured formations have a high
permeability then the risk is greater and the well should be shut-in as soon as flow
is detected.

2.3.5 ABNORMAL PRESSURED FORMATIONS

A further cause of kicks from drilling accidentally into abnormally pressured


permeable zones. This is because we had ignored the warning signals that occur,
these help us detect abnormal pressures. Some of these warning signals are: an
increased penetration rate, an increase in background gas or gas cutting of the
mud, a decrease in shale density, an increase in cutting size, or an increase in
flow-line temperature, etc.

In some areas, there were adequate sands that were continuous and open into the
sea or to the surface. In these areas the water squeezed from the shale formations,
travelled through the permeable sands and was released to the sea or to a surface
outcrop. This de-watering allowed the formations to continue to compact and
thereby increase their density.

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WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 2 : CAUSES OF KICKS

Figure 2.7

SEA

PERMEABLE ZONE

NORMAL PRESSURE
In other areas, or at other times, the sands did not develop or were sealed by
deposition of salt or other impervious formations, or by faulting such as we have
indicated here. Although the shale water was squeezed, it could not escape. Since
water is nearly incompressible, the shales could not compress past the point where
the water in the shale started to bear the weight of the rock above. This section
caused a condition in which the weight of the formation - that is, the overburden -
was borne not by the shale alone, but assisted by the fluids in the shale. In this
situation the shale will have more porosity, and a lower density, than they would
have had if the now pressured water had been allowed to escape. These
formations, both sand and shale, are then overpressured. If a hole is drilled into
an overpressured formation, weighted mud will be required to hold back the
fluids contained in the pore space.

Figure 2.8

SEA

FAULT

ABNORMAL PRESSURE
Abnormally high formation pressure is defined as any formation pressure that is
greater than the hydrostatic pressure of the water occupying the formation pore
spaces. Abnormally high formation pressures are also termed surpressures,
overpressures and sometimes geopressures. More often, they are simply called
abnormal pressures.

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WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
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Abnormally high formation pressures are found worldwide in formations ranging


in age from the Pleistocene age (approximately 1 million years) to the Cambrian
age (500 to 600 million years). They may occur at depths as shallow as only a few
hundred feet or exceeding 20,000 ft and may be present in shale/sand sequences
and/or massive evaporite-carbonate sequences.

The causes of abnormally high formation pressures are related to a combination


of geological, physical, geochemical and mechanical processes.

As defined, the magnitude of abnormally high formation pressures must be


greater than the normal hydrostatic pressure for the location, and may be as high
as the overburden pressure. Abnormally high pressure gradients will thus be
between the normal hydrostatic gradient (0.433 to 0.465 psi/ft) and the
overburden gradient (generally 1.0 psi/ft).

However, locally confined pore pressure gradients exceeding the overburden


gradient by up to 40% are known in areas such as Pakistan, Iran, Papua New
Guinea, and the CIS. These super pressures can only exist because the internal
strength of the rock overlying the super pressured zone assists the overburden
load in containing the pressure. The overlying rock can be considered to be in
tension.

In the Himalayan foothills of Pakistan, formation pressure gradients of 1.3 psi/ft


have been encountered. In Iran, gradients of 1.0 psi/ft are common and in Papua
New Guinea, a gradient of 1.04 psi/ft has been reported. In one area of Russia,
local formation pressure in the range of 5870 to 7350 psi at 5250 feet were reported.
This equates to a formation pressure gradient of 1.12 to 1.4 psi/ft.

In the North Sea abnormal pressures occur with widely varying magnitudes in
many geological formations.

The Tertiary sediments are mainly clays and may be overpressured for much of
their thickness. Pressure gradients of 0.52 psi/ft are common with locally
occurring gradients of 0.8 psi/ft being encountered. An expandible clay (gumbo)
also occurs which is of volcanic origin and is still undergoing compaction. The
consequent decrease in clay density would normally indicate an abnormal
pressure zone but this is not the case. However, in some areas, mud weights of the
order of 0.62 psi/ft or higher are required to keep the wellbore open because of the
swelling nature of these clays. This is almost equal to the low overburden
gradients in these areas.

In the Mesozoic clays of the North Sea Central Graben, overpressures of 0.9 psi/ft
have been recorded. One reported case indicated a formation pressure gradient of
0.91 psi/ft in the Jurassic section. In the Jurassic of the Viking Graben, abnormal
formation pressure gradients of up to 0.69 psi/ft have been recorded.

2 - 12 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
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In Triassic sediments, abnormally high formation pressures have been found in


gas bearing zones of the Bunter Sandstone in the southern North Sea. Also in the
southern North Sea, overpressures are often found in Permian carbonates,
evaporates and sandstones sandwiched between massive Zechsteins salts.

2.3.6 SHALLOW GAS SANDS

Kicks from shallow sands (gas and water) whilst drilling in the top hole section
with short casing strings can be very hazardous, as documented by many case
histories. Some of the kicks from shallow sands are caused by charged formations:
poor cement jobs, casing leaks, injection operations, improper abandonments, and
previous underground blowouts can produce charged formations.

2.3.7 SPECIAL SITUATIONS

a) Drill Stem Testing (DST)

The formation test is one of the most hazardous operations encountered in drilling
and completing oil and gas wells. The potential for stuck tools, blowouts, lost
circulations, etc., is greatly increased.

A drill stem test is performed by setting a packer above the formation to be tested,
and allowing the formation to flow. Down hole chokes can be incorporated in the
test string to limit surface pressures and flow rates to the capabilities of the surface
equipment to handle or dispose of the produced fluid.

During the course of the test, the bore hole or casing below the packer, and at least
a portion of the drill pipe or tubing, is filled with formation fluid. At the
conclusion of the test, this fluid must be removed by proper well control
techniques to return the well to a safe condition. Failure to follow the correct
procedures to kill the well could lead to a blowout.

b) Drilling Into an Adjacent Well

Drilling into an adjacent well is a potential problem, particularly offshore where a


large number of directional wells are drilled from the same platform. If the drilling
well penetrates the production string of a previously completed well, the
formation fluid from the completed well will enter the wellbore of the drilling
well, causing a kick. If this occurs at a shallow depth, it is an extremely dangerous
situation and could easily result in an uncontrolled blowout.

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WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 2 : CAUSES OF KICKS

c) Excessive Drilling Rate Through a Gas Sand/Limestone

When drilling a gas bearing formation, the mud weight will be gas cut due to the
gas breaking out of the pore space of the cuttings near the surface. The severity of
the influx will depend on the penetration rate, porosity and permeability, and is
independent of mud weight. The importance attached to gas cutting is that gas is
entering the wellbore in small quantities, which calls for caution. Degassing is
necessary to ensure that good mud is being pumped back into the hole to prevent
the percentage of gas from increasing with each circulation, which would allow
greater and greater bottom hole hydrostatic pressure reductions.

Figure 2.9 Reduction in Hydrostatic Head Due to Gas Cutting of the Mud

18 ppg mud cut 50% to 9.0 ppg


Depth Normal Head Reduced Head
18 ppg mud Head Reduction
1,000' 936 psi 866 psi 60 psi
5,000' 4,680 psi 4,598 psi 82 psi
10,000' 9,360 psi 9,265 psi 95 psi
20,000' 18,720 psi 18,615 psi 105 psi

Most of mud cutting is close to surface. Divert flow through choke manifold to
prevent belching and to safely contain gas through mud gas separator. Time drill
the gas cap to prevent severe gas cutting of mud.

Gas cutting alone does not indicate the well is kicking, unless it is associated with
pit gain. Allowing the well to belch over the nipple could cause reduction in
hydrostatic pressure to the point that the formation would start flowing, resulting
in a kick.

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WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 2 : CAUSES OF KICKS

2.4 APPENDIX - HYDRATE FORMATION & PREVENTION

2.4.1 FORMATION OF HYDRATES

Hydrates will only form if there is free water present in a system.

Hydrates are crystalline water structures filled with small molecules. In oil / gas
systems they will occur when light hydrocarbons (or carbon dioxide) are mixed
with water at the correct temperature and pressure conditions.
A very open, cage-like structure of water molecules is the backbone of hydrates.
This structure which bears some resemblance to a steel lattice in a building can
theoretically be formed in ice, liquid water, and water vapour. In practice however,
hydrates are only formed in the presence of liquid water. The crystal framework is
very weak and collapses soon if not supported by molecules filling the cavities in
the structures.
Methane, Ethane, CO2 and H2S are the most suitable molecules to fill cavities.
Propane and Isobutane can only fill the larger cavities. Normal butane and heavier
Hydrocarbons are too big and tend to inhibit hydrate formation.
Tests indicate that Hydrate formation is comparable with normal crystallisation.
‘Undercooling’ is possible, but the slightest movement within and undercooled
mixture, or the presence of a few crystallisation nuclei will cause a massive
reaction. Once the crystallisation has started, hydrates may block a flowline
completely within seconds.
The formation of hydrates is governed by the crude composition, water
composition, temperature and pressure. In most cases the crude composition
cannot be changed. Hydrates can be dissolved / prevented by a temperature
increase or a pressure decrease. A chemical hydrate inhibition can be performed by
changing the composition of the water.
Under the correct conditions of temperature and pressure, hydrates will form
spontaneously.
At high pressures, hydrates may form at relatively high temperatures; e.g. at 2900
psi they can begin to form at about 77˚ F .
Hydrates do not require a pressure drop to form. However, the refrigeration effect
from a small pressure drop, such as a stuffing box leak, may be sufficient to
produce optimum pressure and temperature conditions for hydrate formation.
Hydrates can form under flowing or static conditions. The first indication of them
forming in the tubing or annular flow string is a drop in flowing wellhead
pressure followed by an initially slow then progressively rapid drop in wellhead
flowing temperature.
During well operations, the greatest danger posed by hydrates is the plugging of
the tubing string downhole. The biggest risk area for this occurring is on offshore
installations from the seabed upwards where temperatures are generally the
lowest.

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WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 2 : CAUSES OF KICKS

A hydrate plug in the tubing string under flowing or static conditions results in;
being unable to run or pull wireline tools, unable to squeeze or circulate the well
dead, and unable to flow the well to remove the hydrates. Also, hydrates may
prevent vital equipment, such as the Downhole Safety Valve from functioning
correctly. Thus a downhole hydrate plug gives rise to a potentially dangerous
situation and must be avoided at all costs.

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WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 2 : CAUSES OF KICKS

2.5 THE FUNCTIONS OF DRILLING MUDS

(1) PRIMARY FUNCTIONS:

(a) To help maintain the stability of the wellbore, by outward hydrostatic pressure and
mud filter cake.

(b) To carry the drill cuttings up the annulus and back to the surface by its upward
motion and viscosity.

(c) To maintain pressure balance in the well during drilling, tripping and other opera-
tions. The mud hydrostatic pressure must be at least equal to or greater than the reser-
voir pore pressure.

(d) To cool the bit and drillstring and to lubricate the cutting surfaces at the bit.

(e) To hold cuttings in suspension, by its gelling action, when circulation is stopped.
(2) SECONDARY FUNCTIONS:

(f) To provide a working fluid for downhole motors and turbines and for the transmis-
sion of coded downhole signals to the surface (MWD)+.

(g) To help to support part of the weight of the drillstring by its buoyancy.

(h) To help to prevent mud filtrate invasion of productive formations by an imperme-


able filter cake.

(i) To ease the movement of drillstring in the well and to reduce wear by its lubricity

V4 Rev March 2002 2 - 17


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 2 : CAUSES OF KICKS

PROPERTIES of DRILLING MUDS

Drilling muds need to have some essential properties. Those are :

RHEOLOGY: This group of mud properties influences the hydrodynamics of the mud
behaviour. It includes:
Mud (plastic) viscosity in centipoise units.
Mud yield strength in lbf/l00ft2.
Gel strength at 10sec and 10 minutes.

DENSITY: This is controlled by the weight additives in the mud. It is of importance


in pressure control, drilling rate (ROP) and in wall stability of the well.

FILTRATION: This is the ability of the mud to build a thin layer of filter cake on the
wall of the hole. The filter cake controls the outward flow of liquid
filtrate from the mud into the reservoir formation. The deeper the
penetration of this filtrate into the rock, the more difficult later logging
of the well becomes.

LUBRICITY: This is the ability of the mud to provide a degree of lubrication of the
rubbing surfaces of the drillstring and the rock or the casing, and so
reduce wear. lt is provided by the clays, polymers or oils in mud.

Additionally, the mud needs to have properties of resistivity and corrosion inhibition .

CLASSIFICATION OF DRILLING MUDS

Drilling muds can be divided into the following classes:

(1): Water-based muds ie fresh water or sea water.

(2): Oil-bascd muds: (a) Invert emulsions, with oil:water ratios from 50:50 to 90:10.

(b) Low toxic invert emulsions, as in


(a) but with low to base oils.

(3): Synthetic or pseudo oil-based muds.

In addition to muds, gas and stable foams may be used as drilling fluids.

2 - 18 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 2 : CAUSES OF KICKS

INGREDIENTS of DRILLING MUDS:

All muds have 4 categories of ingredients:

(a) A liquid base to support other components

(b) A viscosifier, to produce viscosity and gel.

(c) A weighting agent, to produce density.

(d) Chemicals to control changes to the mud arising from interactions with the
drilled formations.

MUD CLASSlFICATION: WATER-BASED MUDS.

BASE FLUID: Fresh water or sea water or brackish water. (SG = l to 1.03)

VISCOSIFIER: Bentonite clays and/or co-polymers.


(SG= 2.6)

WEIGHTING: Barite (sg = 4.2) or,


Magnetite (sg = 5.1) or,
Galena (sg= 6.5)

CHEMICALS: Caustic soda or lime for pH control.


Lignosulfonate derivatives, for thinning.
Salts, for inhibition of reactions.
Gypsum, for inhibition.
Starch and gums.
Surfactants.
Corrosion inhibitors' etc.

V4 Rev March 2002 2 - 19


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 2 : CAUSES OF KICKS

SOME TYPICAL MUDS:

(1) SPUD MUDS: Very basic: Sea water and pre-hydrated clays, or native clays.
Used for top-hole sections. Hi pump rates needed to give good hole-
cleaning and wall support. Very low cost/bbl.

(2) LIGNOSULFONATE MUDS: Used where active native clays have to be drilled.
Lignite materials are added to control the thickening effect of those
clays. Give good control of the drilled solids and mud rheology. If sea
water is base fluid, pre-hydrated bentonite slurry must be used .

(3) LIME ,GYPSUM or CALCIUM TREATED MUDS: Used where shale/clays or


anhydrites are present and may cause hole instability.

(4) SALT WATER MUDS: Used where salt formations or unstable shales are to be
drilled. Sodium or potassium salts (NaC1 or KCI) are used for
inhibition.

(5) POLYMER MUDS: Use high molecular weight polymers (CMC, hydroxyethyl
cellulose) to give viscosity and gel. May be used with small amounts
of bentonites to give Low Solids Non-Dispersed muds. Good ROP's
and protection against formation damage.

2 - 20 V4 Rev March 2002


Function Relevant property Effect of property Recommended value Chemicals for
on penetration rate control

1. Confines formation Mud density Increased mud density Has to be calculated from Raise by adding
pressures decreases penetration well depth and expected BARYTES
rate pressures
Safety factor: 2-300 psi Lower by adding
overpressure WATER

V4 Rev March 2002


( 1500-2000 KPa) (check viscosity)

2. Carries out cuttings a. Viscosity Increase mud viscosity Keep as low as is Raise by adding
decreases penetration practically possible BENTONITE or
rate 35-50 secs M.F. C.M.C.
A.V 12-20 cp Lower by adding
PV 10-15cp WATER
YP + 9 x mud density kg/L (check density) or
THINNER

b. Bingham Increase yield point and 0’ gel (mud density -1) x 10 Raise by adding
yield point gel strength decreases 10’ gel (mud density -1) x 15 BENTONITE
penetration rate
c. Gel Strength Lower by adding
THINNER

3. Protects and supports a. Fluid loss Decreased fluid loss Spud mud + 20 mls Lower by adding
bore - hole wall by the slightly decreases Shallow no producing C.M.C. or
formation of an penetration rate zones 10 mls THINNER
impermeable mudcake Below 10,000ft 5mls
which also minimise Hole troubles or producing Raise by adding
contamination zones <5 mls WATER

b. Solid content Increases solids content In unweighted muds Keep as low as


decreases penetration < 10 % vol. possible by
rate continuous removal
of unwanted clay,
silt, sand and
cuttings
FUNCTIONS AND PROPERTIES OF OIL WELL DRILLING FLUIDS

4. Lubricates and cools a. Water content Increased water content In unweighted muds
SECTION 2 : CAUSES OF KICKS
WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team

bit and drill string Increases penetration rate > 90 % vol.

2 - 21
WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 2 : CAUSES OF KICKS

MUD CONTAMINATION:

Mud contaminants are extraneous materials which enter the mud during the drilling
process, and which alter and degrade the essential mud properties.

Mud contaminants arise from:

(1) The formations which are drilled. Those contaminants are either solid or liquids or
gases from:

(a) Shales:
(b) Limestones,dolomites and anhydrites:
(c) Salt formations:
(d) Formation brines:
(e) Hydrogen sulphide, carbon dioxide:
(f) Retained small particles (< 2 microns) of cuttings.

(2) Cement: this is a potential problem when cementing casings and on drilling out
"green" cement plugs.

Those contaminants will generally cause adverse reactions in the muds ( particularly
water-based muds), such as:

Flocculation, where dispersed bentonite clay platelets can aggregate, causing


(i) rising gel strengths;
(ii) high rates of fluid loss from mud;
(iii) thick,soft filter cake.

Viscosity changes.

2 - 22 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 2 : CAUSES OF KICKS

LOW TOXIC OIL BASED MUDS:

Generally all oil-based muds in Western activities are of the low-toxic base oil types.
Many governments have stringent regulations which limit or ban the discharge of oil
impregnated cuttings. Oil to water ratios lie in the range of 50%: 50% to 90%: 10% . A
typical LT OBM would have the following categories of constituents:

LT base oil (of the paraffin series).

Water, which has calcium chloride (CaCl) dissolved to 250,000 ppm or which is
saturated with salt (NaCI) to 315,000 ppm.

Primary emulsifier.

Organophilic clay ( for viscosity).

Secondary emulsifier and wetting agent.

Lime.

Weighting agent ( barite)

At atmospheric conditions, the filter cake from an OBM will be very thin and the
filtrate loss negligible.

LT OBM's are generally more expensive than straight water-based muds and, when
diluted, base oil should be used. Rig modifications are necessary to handle LT OBM's.

Unlike water based muds, there is a problem relating to the solubility of a gas kick in
the base oil of the mud. This problem is much more acute at bottom hole pressures
around 4000 psi than at high bottom hole pressures. Due to the gas solubility, the true
volume of an influx may be substantially greater than the measured pit gain. This
problem is compounded when the dissolved gas breaks out of solution at the bubble-
point pressure, when large volumes of gas can be released within the annulus or down-
stream of the choke.

V4 Rev March 2002 2 - 23


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 2 : CAUSES OF KICKS

2.6 EXTRACTS FROM API RP59

6.1 Introduction. Loss of primary well control most frequently results from:
1) failure to keep the hole full; 2) swabbing; 3) insufficient drilling fluid density;
and/or 4) lost circulation. These problems can occur during any operation
conducted on a well. The goal of well control is to prevent a well kick (influx of
formation fluid into the wellbore) from becoming a blowout (uncontrolled flow
of formation fluid).

6.2 Conditions Necessary for a Kick. The two conditions that must be present in
the wellbore for a kick to occur are 1) the pressure in the wellbore at the face of the
kicking formation must be less than the formation pressure; and 2) the kicking
formation must have sufficient permeability to allow flow into the wellbore. To
maintain primary well control, drilling personnel should utilise all techniques at
their disposal to ensure that the hydrostatic pressure in the wellbore is always
greater than the formation pressure. A number of conditions which can cause or
contribute to well kicks are discussed in Paras 4.3 through 4.15.

6.3 Hole Not Full of Drilling Fluid. When the fluid level in the wellbore is
allowed to drop or is maintained with a lighter density fluid, the resultant reduced
hydrostatic head can allow fluid entry from the formation. The rig should have
drilling fluid measuring devices to determine that proper fluid replacement or
displacement occurs when pulling or running pipe. The type of fluid measuring
equipment used should be influenced by the anticipated well control operations
involved in drilling the well.

6.4 Tripping Out of the Hole. When pulling pipe, its displacement volume should
be replaced with the proper amount of drilling fluid to maintain constant
hydrostatic pressure. Any significant reduction in hydrostatic pressure may result
in loss of primary control. If the hole fails to take the proper amount of drilling
fluid, hoisting operations should be suspended and an immediate safe course of
action determined while observing the well. This usually requires returning to
bottom and circulating the hole. The frequency of filling the hole during tripping
operations is critical in maintaining primary control. The hole should be completely
filled at intervals that will prevent an influx of formation fluid. Continuous filling
or filling after each stand of drill pipe may be advisable. The hole should be filled
after each stand of drill collars. When the hole is filled continuously, an isolated
drilling fluid volume measurement facility (such as a trip tank) must be used.

6.5 Tripping In the Hole. In running pipe back in the hole, the drilling fluid
volume increase at the surface should be no greater than predicted displacement.
Some holes take significant volumes of drilling fluid during trips because of
seepage loss. It is necessary to keep a trip book (refer to Para. 10.3 and Table 10.1)
for ready comparison to determine if an abnormal condition occurs. The gauging
of fluid returns and comparison with prior trip records should provide a warning
of possible loss of primary well control. The hole and fluid returns should be
checked at frequent intervals.

2 - 24 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 2 : CAUSES OF KICKS

6.6 Out of the Hole. Time with pipe out of the hole should be minimised.
Particular care should be taken when a servicing tool, such as a core barrel, with
its length too great to clear the ram closure zone and/or its outside diameter too
large to fit the pipe rams, to have the necessary crossover connection(s) readily
available so that correct pipe movement can be effected to be able to close more
than the annular blowout preventer. In case of equipment repair on drilling rigs,
the pipe should be run at least back to the last easing shoe, if possible, before
repairs are undertaken. In well servicing operations, when making equipment
repairs, effecting routine maintenance, or shutting down overnight, the pipe
should be run to a sufficient depth to ensure that the well can be controlled.

6.7 Swabbing. When pipe is pulled from a well, a reduction in bottom-hole


hydrostatic pressure (swabbing) may occur. Bottom-hole pressure reduction of
several hundred pounds per square inch (psi) can occur when swabbing takes
place. This pressure reduction, which can be sufficient to permit the entry of
formation fluid into the wellbore, is one of the major reasons for losing primary
well control. This type of swabbing action should not be confused with the more
obvious concept of actually pulling fluid from a well with a balled up bit or
packer, or swabbing in a producing well through tubing. When pipe is pulled from
a well, swabbing can be difficult to detect. The well may take some fluid as the
pipe is withdrawn but less than the complete pipe displacement. The detection of
swabbing, therefore, can only be done by accurately measuring the drilling fluid
added to the hole as pipe is pulled. Three prime factors in controlling swabbing
are: 1) drilling fluid properties; 2) rate of pulling pipe; and 3) drill string and hole
configurations.

6.8 Trip Margin. The use of a trip margin is encouraged to offset the effects of
swabbing. The additional hydrostatic pressure will permit some degree of
swabbing without losing primary well control.

6.9 Short Trip. After tripping and circulating “bottoms-up,” the amount of gas,
salt water, or oil contamination will enable the evaluation of operating practices
affecting swabbing. Adjustments in pulling speed, drilling fluid flow properties,
and/or drilling fluid density may be warranted. A short trip and circulating
“bottoms-up” before pulling out of the hole can also be used to determine the
system’s swabbing characteristics.

6.10 Insufficient Drilling Fluid Density. The condition where formation pressure
exceeds existing hydrostatic pressure in the wellbore is referred to as under-
balance and can be caused be insufficient drilling fluid density.

6.11 Lost Circulation. Lost circulation occurs in both drilling and well servicing
operations and may quickly destroy the hydrostatic overbalance that constitutes
primary control. The loss can result from natural or induced causes. Natural
causes include fractured, vugular, cavernous, subnormally-pressured, or pressure-
depleted formations. Induced loss can result from mechanical formation fracturing
resulting from 1) excessive drilling fluid density, 2) excessive annular circulating
pressure, 3) pressure surges related to running pipe or tools. 4) breaking
circulation, or 5) packing off in the annulus.

V4 Rev March 2002 2 - 25


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 2 : CAUSES OF KICKS

6.12 Drill Stem Testing. Drill stem tests are performed by setting a packer above
the formation to be tested and allowing the formation to flow. During the course
of testing, the borehole or casing below the packer and at least a portion of the
drill pipe or tubing is filled with formation fluid. At the conclusion of the test, the
fluid in the test string above the circulating valve must be removed by proper well
control techniques, such as reversing, to return the well to a safe condition.
Depending on the length of hole below the packer, type of fluid entry, and
formation pressure, the normal drilling hydrostatic overbalance can be reduced
or lost. Caution should be exercised to avoid swabbing when pulling the test
string because of the large diameter packers.

6.13 Drilling Into an Adjacent Well. Frequently, a large number of directional


wells are drilled from the same offshore platform or onshore drilling pad. If a
drilling well penetrates the production string of a previously completed well,
the formation fluid from the completed well may enter the wellbore of the drilling
well, causing a kick. Special care should be exercised to avoid a collision course
with another well.

6.14 Excessive Drilling Rate Through a Gas Sand. Even if the drilling fluid
density in the hole is sufficient to control gas zone pressure, gas from the drilled
cuttings will mix with the drilling fluid. Excessive drilling rate through a shallow
gas zone or coal bed can supply sufficient gas from cuttings to reduce the
hydrostatic pressure of the drilling fluid column through a progressive
combination of density reduction and drilling fluid loss from “belching” to the
point that the formation will begin flowing into the wellbore.

6.15 Others. Primary control can also be lost while performing operations other
than circulating, drilling, or running and pulling pipe, loss of well control can
occur during coring, perforating, fishing, performing primary or remedial
cementing, running casing or liner operations, or when differential fill equipment
malfunctions. All such operations require the accurate measurement and control
or drilling fluid replaced or displaced in the well to maintain primary control.
Complications can occur in primary control during floating drilling operations
due to distorted readings caused by motion and heave. The measurement of
drilling fluid volume and flow rate is most critical in floating operations and
requires pit level monitoring devices (floats) located in the centre of the pits or
multi-floats with sequential integration utilised. A trip tank and pit watcher
should be considered if vessel movement creates any problem in measuring
drilling fluid requirements on trips.

6.16 Special Situations. The accurate prediction of pressure gradients, particularly


abnormal pressure, and the prevention of an insufficient drilling fluid density
situation, are highly desirable but not always attainable. In some situations of
insufficient drilling fluid density, operations can be safely handled and proceed
without increasing drilling fluid density, yet maintain control (underbalanced
drilling). An abnormally pressured gas zone with low productivity (e.g., shale gas)
is a possible example where the well will not flow appreciably but gas exists after

2 - 26 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 2 : CAUSES OF KICKS

a trip which may require use of blowout prevention equipment and/or rotating
heads. Sometimes fluid influx will occur when circulation is stopped, but will not
occur during drilling operations due to the effect of annular circulating pressure.
In this instance, successful operations usually require an increase in drilling fluid
density or, in some fields, the use of a lighter drilling fluid and another heavier
drilling fluid to control the well on trips.

WELL CONTROL WARNING SIGNALS

6.17 General. Well control warning signals can be classified in three major general
categories as follows:

A. Previous Field History and Drilling Experiences.

1. Depth of zones capable of flowing.

2. Formation gradients.

3. Fracture gradients.

4. Formation content.

5. Formation permeability.

6. Intervals of lost circulation.

B. Physical Response From the Well.

1. Pit gain or loss.

2. Increase in drilling fluid return rate.

3. Changes in flowline temperature.

4. Drilling breaks.

5. Variations in pump speed and/or standpipe pressure.

6. Swabbing.

7. Drilling fluid density reduction.

8. Effects of connections, short trip, and trip on shows and gains.

9. Hole problems indicating underbalance


(i.e., tight hole, packing-off, sloughing).

10. Excessive pressure or pressure changes between casing strings.

V4 Rev March 2002 2 - 27


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 2 : CAUSES OF KICKS

C. Chemical and Other Technical Responses From the Well.

1. Chloride changes in the drilling fluid.

2. Oil show.

3. Gas show (chromatograph).

4. Formation water.

5. Shale density.

6. Electric logs.

7. Drilling equation exponents.

6.18 Volume of Drilling Fluid to Keep the Hole Full on a Trip is Less Than
Calculated or Less Than Trip Book Record. This condition is usually caused by
formation fluid entering the wellbore due to the swabbing action of the drill string.
As soon as swabbing is detected, the drill string should be run back to bottom.
Circulate and condition the drilling fluid to minimise further swabbing. It may be
necessary to increase the drilling fluid density, but this should not be the first step
considered because of the inherent potential problems of causing lost returns or
differential sticking.

6.19 Gain in Pit Volume. An unaccounted volume gain in the drilling fluid pit(s) is
an indication that a kick may be occurring. As the formation fluid feeds into the
wellbore, it causes more drilling fluid to flow from the annulus than is pumped
down the drill string, thus the volume of fluid in the pit(s) increases.

6.20 Increased Flow From Annulus. If the pumping rate is held constant, the flow
from the annulus should be constant. If the annulus flow increases without a
corresponding change in pumping rate, the additional flow is caused by formation
fluid(s) feeding into the wellbore or gas expansion.

6.21 Sudden Increase in Bit Penetration Rate. A sudden increase in penetration


rate (drilling break) is usually caused by a change in the type of formation being
drilled: however, it may also signal an increase in formation pore pressure.
Increased penetration rates due to higher pore pressures are usually not as abrupt
as formation drilling breaks, but they can be. In order to be certain that gradual
increases in pore pressure are recognised, a penetration rate versus depth curve
plot is recommended to highlight the trend of increasing pore pressure.

6.22 Change in Pump Speed or Pressure. The initial surface indication that a well
kick has occurred could be a momentary increase in pump pressure. The pump
pressure increase is seldom recognised because of its short duration, but it has
been noted on some pump pressure recording charts after a kick was detected.

2 - 28 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 2 : CAUSES OF KICKS

The pressure increase is followed by a gradual decrease in pump pressure, and


may be accompanied by an increase in pump speed. As the lighter formation fluid
flows into the wellbore, the hydrostatic pressure exerted by the annular column of
fluid decreases, and the drilling fluid in the drill pipe tends to U-tube into the
annulus. When this occurs, the pump pressure will drop and the pump speed will
increase. The lower pump pressure and increase in pump speed symptoms are
also indicative of a hole in the drill string, commonly referred to as a washout.
Until a confirmation can be made whether a washout or a well kick has occurred, a
kick should be assumed.

6.23 Gas-cut Drilling Fluid. Gas-cut drilling fluid often occurs during drilling
operations and can be considered one of the early warning signs of a potential
well kick: however, it is not a definite indication that a kick has occurred or is
impending. An essential part of analysing this signal is being able to determine
the downhole conditions causing the drilling fluid to be gas-cut. Gas-cut fluid
occurs as a result of one or more of the following downhole conditions:
1) drilling a gas-bearing formation with the correct drilling fluid density in the
hole (drilled gas); 2) swabbing while making connections or making a trip
(trip or connection gas); and 3) influx of gas from a formation having a pore
pressure greater than the pressure exerted by the drilling fluid (gas flow).

A. Drilled Gas. When the hydrostatic pressure exerted by the drilling fluid is
greater than the pore pressure of a gas-bearing formation being drilled, there
will be no influx of gas from the formation. Nevertheless, gas from the drilled
cuttings will usually mix with the drilling fluid causing the returns to be gas
cut. As gas is circulated up the annulus, it expands slowly until just before
reaching the surface. The gas then undergoes a rapid expansion, resulting in
the drilling fluid density being reduced considerably upon leaving the
annulus. In some cases this reduction in density can be quite extreme but it
may not mean that a kick is about to occur. Usually, only a small loss in
hydrostatic pressure results because the majority of gas expansion occurs in
the top of the hole. Drilling fluid of proper density is still maintained in most
of the hole. Quite often when the drilled gas reaches the surface, the annular
preventer must be closed and the drilling fluid circulated through the open
choke manifold. This prevents the expanding gas from “belching” fluid
through the bell nipple. If “belching” continues, the hydrostatic head will be
reduced due to loss of drilling fluid from the hole.

B. Trip or Connection Gas. After circulating “bottoms-up” following a trip or


connection, a higher level of gas entrained in the drilling fluid returns may
cause a short duration density reduction or gas unit increase. If the well did
not flow when the pumps were stopped during the trip or connection, it can
be reasonably assumed that the gas was swabbed into the wellbore by the
pipe movement. These symptoms can indicate increasing formation pressure
when compared with previous trips and connections.

V4 Rev March 2002 2 - 29


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 2 : CAUSES OF KICKS

C. Gas Flow. Influx from a gas zone while drilling is a serious situation.
While drilling, the formation pore pressure must exceed the hydrostatic
pressure of the drilling fluid plus the circulating friction losses in the annulus
for gas from the formation to flow into the wellbore. Once influx begins,
continued circulation without the proper control of surface pressures will
induce additional flow, since the density of the hydrostatic column (annulus)
is continually lessened by the flow of formation fluid and expansion of gas.

6.24 Liquid-cut Drilling Fluid. When a permeable liquid-bearing formation


having pore pressure greater than the drilling fluid hydrostatic pressure is
encountered, fluid will feed into the wellbore. Depending upon the pressure
differential between the formation and the drilling fluid, influx may be detected
by: 1) a gain in pit volume, 2) lower density returns, 3) a change in drilling fluid
chlorides, and/or 4) an increase in rotary torque. The volume of liquid contained
in the cuttings is usually so small that unless accompanied by gas, it will not
significantly affect the drilling fluid density.

NOTE: A rare exception to this rule is the very low permeability formation which can be
drilled while allowing a continuous small influx to occur. This type of underbalanced
drilling is only practicable in certain well-known drilling areas where the geology is
sufficiently known to allow preplanning for the rig equipment and drilling practices
necessary.

ADDITIONAL CAUSES OF KICKS UNIQUE TO SUBSEA OPERATIONS

9.2 Loss of Integrity. Wellbore hydrostatic pressure is a function of height and


density of the drilling fluid column from the flowline to the depth of interest. If a
riser fails, leaks, or becomes disconnected, the drilling fluid gradient in the riser is
lost and replaced by a sea water gradient (approximately 0.445 psi/ft — 8.56 Ib/
gal) from the point of failure to sea level. The loss of wellbore hydrostatic pressure
associated with this situation can sometimes be sufficient to allow the well to flow.
The first response should be to close the blowout preventers. In some situations,
the drilling fluid density may be sufficient to compensate for the loss of
hydrostatic pressure. If not, the loss of hydrostatic pressure should be restored
prior to opening the blowout preventer.

9.3 Trapped Gas Below Blowout Preventers Subsequent to control operations


during which gas is circulated out the choke line, free gas will remain trapped
below the closed preventer. If the closed preventer is an annular preventer, it is
possible for this volume of gas to be quite significant. In order to prevent a rapid
unloading of the riser due to trapped gas when the annular preventer is opened or
the introduction of a secondary kick due to light density drilling fluid in the riser,
close the uppermost rams below the choke line and close the diverter. Open the
preventer above the trapped gas and allow this gas to rise toward the surface.
Displace the riser with kill fluid and reopen the rams. It may be necessary in
extreme cases to close the bottom rams to isolate the hole and fill the riser by
circulating through the kill line. This problem becomes more severe with increased
water depth and/or preventer size.
2 - 30 V4 Rev March 2002
WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 2 : CAUSES OF KICKS

2.7 - WORKSHOP 2
SCORE

1. There are a variety of mechanisms that can cause abnormal


formation fluid pressures. List 4 of the principle causes below.

Answer (a) ————————


(b) ————————
(c) ————————
(d) ———————— 2

2. Shown below is a pressure versus volume plot of a leak off test.

1200
PRESSURE (PSI)

1000

800
600

400
200
0
VOLUME
The leak off was carried out with a 10.6 ppg mud. The casing shoe is at
4000ft TVD.

a. What is the maximum pressure that the exposed formations


below the shoe can support?
ANSWER................. 2

b. What is the “Fracture Gradient?”


ANSWER................. 2

c. What is the maximum mud weight?


ANSWER................. 2

d. If drilling was resumed and the mud weight was increased to


12.6 ppg. Calculate M.A.A.S.P
ANSWER................. 2

V4 Rev March 2002 2 - 31


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 2 : CAUSES OF KICKS

SCORE
3. M.A.A.S.P. The maximum allowable annular surface pressure
should be re-calculated..

a. At the start of each shift


b. As soon as possible after a drilling break
c. When approaching a suspected transition zone
d. When the mud weight has been increased in the system
e. If a kick has occurred and the well is shut-in

ANSWER................. 2

4. The calculated M.A.A.S.P. value is relevant..

a. When the influx is in the open-hole section


b. As the influx approaches the surface

ANSWER................. 2

SCORE
5. Given the following data:

Depth 10000ft TVD


Bit size 8 1/2"
Shoe depth 8500ft TVD
Mud weight 12.6 ppg

Collars - 600ft. capacity = 0.0077 bbl/ft


Metal displacement = 0.03 bbl/ft
Drill-pipe 5" capacity = 0.0178 bbl/ft
Metal displacement = 0.0075 bbl/ft
Casing/pipe annular capacity = 0.0476 bbl/ft
Casing capacity = 0.0729 bbl/ft
One stand of drill-pipe = 94ft.

Assuming the 12.6 ppg mud gives an over-balance of 200 psi.

a. If 10 stands of pipe are removed “dry” without filling the hole,


what would be the resultant reduction in bottom-hole pressure?

ANSWER........................... 3

b. If 5 stands of pipe had been pulled “wet” without filling the


hole, the resultant reduction in bottom-hole pressure would be.

ANSWER........................... 3

c. If prior to tripping a 20 barrel slug of 14.6 ppg mud was


displaced to prevent a wet trip, what would be the expected
volume return due to the U-tubing of the heavy mud?

ANSWER........................... 2

2 - 32 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 2 : CAUSES OF KICKS

6. Prior to tripping out of the hole a trip tank and pump are lined up to
keep the hole full as the pipe is removed. The trip tank contains 30
barrels of mud. After pulling 10 stands of pipe the level in the trip
tank is 27 barrels. (Use data given in Question 6). Would the safest
option be..

a. To continue tripping but flow-check when bits at shoe.


b. Stop and shut the well in. If no pressures seen open
the well up and continue tripping.
c. Flow-check. If no flow, go back to bottom and circulate.
d. Flow-check. If no flow, continue tripping

ANSWER............................ 2
SCORE
7. A well can be induced to flow by swabbing. Swabbing is the
reduction of bottom hole pressure due to the effects of pulling pipe.
List below 3 conditions that can cause swabbing.

Answer (a) ———————


(b) ———————
(c) ——————— 2

8. A drill string consist of 5" 20 lb/ft drill-pipe and 8 1/2" drill-collars.


The spare kelly cock has 4 1/2" I. F. thread connections. What
crossover sub is required for the collars?

ANSWER.......................... 2

9. A fixed rig is set in 300ft of sea water. The marine conductor has
been set X ft below the sea-bed. The flow line is 65ft above the
mean sea-level. The strength of the sub-sea formations is 0.68 psi/ft.
Sea-water gradient is 0.445 psi/ft. It is proposed to drill with 9.2 ppg
mud. What is the minimum depth that the conductor has to be set
below sea-bed to prevent losses?

ANSWER............................. 8

10. An over-balance or trip margin is added to the mud. When


tripping this will prevent a loss of B.H.P. due to the swabbing effect
of pulling the pipe.

ANSWER. TRUE/FALSE 2

11. Assume casing is set at 4800ft TVD/MD and that gas sands were
encountered at 5000ft and at 8500ft. If the formation pressure gradient at
5000ft is 0.47 psi/ft and at 8500ft it is 0.476 psi/ft. What mud weight is
required to give an over-balance or trip margin of 200 psi?

ANSWER............................ 4

V4 Rev March 2002 2 - 33


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 2 : CAUSES OF KICKS

WORKSHOP 2 - Answers

1. (a) Under compacted shales


(b) Thick gas sands
(c) Faults
(d) Diaprism salt domes
(e) Shape of reservoir structure

2. Surface pressure = 1100 psi

a. (CSG TVD x MUD WT x .052) + Surface pressure


= (4000 x 10.6 x .052) + 1100 = 3305 psi

b. Frac g = Max press ÷ CSG TVD


= 3305 ÷ 4000 = 0.826 psi/ft

c. Max Mud Wt = Frac g ÷ .052


= .826 ÷ .052 = 1 5.88ppg

d. MAASP = (Max mud wt - Drlg mud wt) x .052 x CSG TVD


= (15.88 - 12.6) x .052 x 4000
= 682 psi

3. d.

4. a.

5. a. Mud g x Met Disp


—————————
CSG Cap - Met Disp

= .655 x .0075 = .0049 = .0751 psi/ft


————— ———
.0729 – .0075 .0654

.0751 x 940 = 71 psi

b. Mud g x (Met Disp + pipe cap)


———————————————
Ann Cap

= .655 (.0075 + .0178) = .3525 psi/ft


—————————
.047

470ft x .3525psi/ft = 166 psi

2 - 34 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 2 : CAUSES OF KICKS

c. Dry pipe vol = Slug vol x (slug wt)


————— - 1
(mud wt)

( )
= 14.6
20 X ———– – 1
12.6

= 3.17 bbls

6. c.

7. (a) Pulling speed.


(b) Mud Properties, viscosity - Gel strength.
(c) Profile of hole (Wellbore geometry).

8. 4 1/2" if box - 6 5/8" reg pin.

9. (Hyd mud to sea bed) - (Hyd sea water)


——————————————————
(Frac g - Mud g)

= (365 x 9.2 x .052) - (300 x .445)


—————————————
(.68 - .478)
= 41.1
——
.202
203 ft.

10. False.

11. Mud Wt to give 200 psi overbalance


= 5000 x .47 psi/ft = 2350 + 200
= 2550

∴ 2550 ÷ 5000 ÷ .052 = 9.8 ppg

If the 200 psi is to overbalance formation pressure at 8500ft


mud wt would be 9.6 ppg. This would overbalance the sands at
5000ft by 148 psi.

V4 Rev March 2002 2 - 35


SECTION 3 : KICK INDICATORS

Page

3. 0 Objectives 1
3. 1 Early Warning Signs 1

3. 2 Increase in Drilling Rate of Penetration -


Drilling Break 1

3. 3 Increase Torque and Drag 2

3. 4 Decrease in Shale Density 2


3. 5 Increase in Cutting Size and Shape 3

3. 6 Mud Property Changes 3

3. 7 Increase in Trip, Connection and a


Background Gas 4

3. 8 Change in the Temperature of the Return


Drilling Mud 5

3. 9 Decrease in D-Exponent 7
3.10 Positive Kick Signs 8

3.11 Hydrocarbon Kick Behaviour 10

3.12 Workshop 3 15

V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 3 : KICK INDICATORS

KICK INDICATORS
3.0 OBJECTIVES

The objectives of this section are to review the indication of a kick. Early warning
signs will be covered as well as positive kick signs.

3.1 EARLY WARNING SIGNS

The alertness in determining early warning signs in well control is of the upmost
importance to wellbore safety. Careful observance and positive reaction to these
signs will keep the well under control and prevent the occurrence of a well flow
situation. The various signs that have been recorded as early warning indicators
are not consistent in all situations. The signs however may have to be used
collectively as one indicator may not accurately provide the warning of getting
into an unbalanced situation. Even though the series of signs may change between
wells, early warning indications can be found from the following list.

• Increase in drilling rate of penetration.


• Increase torque and drag.
• Decrease in shale density.
• Mud property changes.
• Increase in cutting size and shape.
• Increase in trip, connection and/or background gas.
• Increase in the temperature of the return drilling mud.
• Decrease in D-exponent.

3.2 INCREASE IN DRILLING RATE OF PENETRATION - DRILLING BREAK

When drilling ahead and using consistent drilling parameters, as the bit wears, a
normal trend of decrease penetration rate should occur. If the differential pressure
between the hydrostatic pressure of the drilling fluid and formation pore pressure
decreases, an increase in the drilling rate occurs as the chip hold down effect is
reduced.

A general and consistent increase in penetration rate is often a fairly good


indicator that a transition zone may have been penetrated. A rapid increase in
penetration rate may indicate that an abnormal pressure formation has been
entered and an underbalance situation has occurred.

V4 Rev March 2002 3-1


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 3 : KICK INDICATORS

3.3 INCREASED TORQUE AND DRAG

Increased drag and rotary torque are often noted Figure 3.1
when drilling into overpressured shale formations
due to the inability of the underbalanced mud
density to hold back physical encroachment of the
formation into the wellbore. ∆W
––––
drag
Drag and rotating torque are both indirect and (up)
qualitative indicators of overpressure. They are also
indicators of hole instability and other mechanical
problems.

Torque and drag trend increases often indicate to the


driller that a transition zone is being drilled. Up drag
and down drag as well as average torque figures
should be recorded on each connection. These trends
are valuable when comparing other trend changes.

∆W
––––
drag
(down)

3.4 DECREASE IN SHALE DENSITY

The density of shale normally increases with depth, but decreases as abnormal
pressure zones are drilled. The density of the cuttings can be determined at surface
and plotted against depth. A normal trend line will be established and deviations
can indicate changes in pore pressure.

3-2 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 3 : KICK INDICATORS

3.5 INCREASE IN CUTTING SIZE AND SHAPE

In transition zones or in abnormally pressured shales (sandy shales and bedding


sand streaks) the shales break off and fall into hole because of under balanced
condition (pore pressure greater than mud hydrostatic pressure). Water wetting
may further aggravate this problem.

Changes in the Shape of Shale Cuttings can occur as an underbalanced situation is


developing. The particles are often larger and may be sharp and angular in the
transition zone. Extra fill on bottom may coincide with the trend change. Severe
sloughing will often cause changes in pressure and stroke relationship.

Normally pressured shales produce small cuttings with rounded edges and are
generally flat, while cuttings from an over pressured shale are often long and
splintery with angular edges. As reduction of hydrostatic differential between the
pore pressure and bottomhole pressure occurs, the hole cuttings will have a
greater tendency to come off bottom. This can also lead to shale expansion causing
cracking, and sloughing of the shales into the wellbore. Changes in cuttings shape
and cuttings load over the shakers needs to be monitored at surface.

3.6 MUD PROPERTY CHANGES

Water cut mud or a chloride (and sometimes calcium) increase that has been
circulated from bottom always indicates that formation fluid has entered the
wellbore. It could be created by swabbing or it could indicate a well flow is
underway. Small chloride or calcium increases could be indicative of tight (non-
permeable) zones that have high pressure.

In certain type muds, the viscosity will increase when salt water enters the
wellbore and mixed with the mud. This is called flocculation because the little
molecules of mud solids, which are normally dispersed, form little “groups” called
flocs. These flocs cause viscosity and gel increases.

In other type muds you might see a viscosity decrease caused by water cutting
(weight decrease). This is true when operating with low pH salt saturated water
base muds.

In oil muds, any water contamination would act as a “solid” and cause viscosity
increases.

Gas cut mud would be fluffy and would have higher viscosities (and lower mud
weight).

IT IS ESSENTIAL TO KNOW THAT TREND CHANGES ARE MORE


IMPORTANT THAN ACTUAL VALUE OF THE CHANGE.

V4 Rev March 2002 3-3


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 3 : KICK INDICATORS

3.7 INCREASE IN TRIP, CONNECTION AND A BACKGROUND GAS

Return mud must be monitored for contamination with formation fluids. This is
done by constantly recording the flowline mud density and accurately monitoring
gas levels in the returned mud.

Gas cut mud does not in itself indicate that the well is flowing (gas may be
entrained in the cuttings). However, it must be treated as early warning of a
possible kick. Therefore pit levels should be closely monitored if significant levels
of gas are detected in the mud.

An essential part of interpreting the level of gas in the mud is the understanding
of the conditions in which the gas entered the mud in the first place.

Gas can enter the mud for one or more of the following reasons:

• Drilling a formation that contains gas even with a suitable overbalance.

• Temporary reduction in hydrostatic pressure caused by swabbing as pipe is


moved in the hole.

• Pore pressure in a formation being greater than the hydrostatic pressure of


the mud column.

Gas due to one or a combination of the above, can be classified as one of the
following groups:

Drilled Gas

When porous formations containing gas are drilled, a certain quantity of the gas
contained in the cuttings will enter the mud.

Gas that enters the mud, unless in solution with oil base mud and kept at a
pressure higher than its bubble point, will expand as it is circulated up the hole,
causing gas cutting at the flowline. Gas cutting due to this mechanism will occur
even if the formation is overbalanced. Raising the mud weight will not prevent it.

It should be noted that drilled gas will only be evident during the time taken to
circulate out the cuttings from the porous formation.

3-4 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 3 : KICK INDICATORS

Connection Gas

Connection gases are measured at surface as a distinct increase above background


gas as bottoms up occurs after a connection.

Connection gases are caused by the temporary reduction in effective total pressure
of the mud column during a connection. This is due to pump shut down and the
swabbing action of the pipe.

In all cases, connection gases indicate a condition of near balance. When an


increase trend of connection gases are identified, consideration should be given to
weighting up the mud before drilling, operations continue and particularly prior
to any tripping operations.

Trip Gas

Trip gas is any gas that enters the mud while tripping the pipe with the hole
appearing static. Trip gas will be detected in the mud when circulating bottoms up
occurs after a round trip.

If the static mud column is sufficient to balance the formation pressure, the trip gas
will be caused by swabbing and gas diffusion.

Significant trip gas may indicate that a close to balance situation exists in the hole.

Gas Due to Inadequate Mud Density

Surface indication of an underbalanced formation depend on the degree of


underbalance, as well as the formation permeability. Drilling of a permeable
formation that is significantly overbalanced will cause an immediate flow increase
followed by a pit gain.

3.8 CHANGE IN THE TEMPERATURE OF THE RETURN DRILLING MUD

The temperature will normally take a sharp increase in transition zones. The
circulating rate, elapsed time since tripping and mud volume will influence
flowline temperature trends.

The temperature gradient in abnormally pressured formations is generally higher


than normal. The temperature gradient decreases before penetrating the interface
and, therefore marked differences can give and early indication of abnormal
pressures. This is usually a surface measurement which has a tendency to be
influenced by operating factors. Figure 3.2 shows plots of temperature increase
while penetrating an abnormal pressure formation.

V4 Rev March 2002 3-5


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 3 : KICK INDICATORS

Figure 3.2 Flowline Temperature Data


5 8
DEPTH 1000 ft

DEPTH 1000 ft
6 ∆T = 0.53 °F 100' 9

∆T = 0.23 °F 100'
7 10

∆T = 4.33 °F 100'
8 11
TOP OF ABNORMAL TOP OF ∆T = 2.08 °F 100'
PRESSURE ZONE ABNORMAL
PRESSURE ZONE
9 12
90 100 110 120 130 110 120 130 140 150 160
FLOWLINE TEMPERATURE = °F FLOWLINE TEMPERATURE = °F
Temperature data from Gulf Coast well Temperature data from South Texas well

7 3

∆T = 0.39 °F 100'
DEPTH 1000 ft

DEPTH 1000 ft

8 4

∆T = 0.70 °F 100'
9 TOP OF ABNORMAL 5
PRESSURE ZONE
∆T = 10.0 °F 100'
10 6
∆T = 3.38 °F 100' TOP OF
ABNORMAL
PRESSURE ZONE
11 7
120 130 140 150 160 100 110 120 130 140 150
FLOWLINE TEMPERATURE = °F FLOWLINE TEMPERATURE = °F
Temperature data from Pacific Coast well Temperature data from South China Sea well

∆T = 0.43 °F 100'
2
DEPTH 1000 ft

∆T = 5.20 °F 100'
3

TOP OF
4 ABNORMAL
PRESSURE ZONE

5
70 80 90 100 110 120
FLOWLINE TEMPERATURE = °F
Temperature data from North Sea well

3-6 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 3 : KICK INDICATORS

3.9 DECREASE IN D-EXPONENT

The D-Exponent will be plotted by the well loggers and maintained current at all
times. This value was introduced in the mid sixties to calculate a normalised
penetration rate in relation to certain drilling parameters.

log (R/60N)
d = ––––––––––––––
log (12W/10°D)

Where:

R = rate of penetration, ft/hr


N = rotary speed, rpm
W = weight on bit, lbs
D = bit size, ins
d = D-exponent

The D-exponent may be corrected and normalised for mud weight changes and/
or ECD (equivalent circulating density) by the following:

d x normal pressure (ppg)


dc = –––––––––––––––––––––––
mud weight or ECD (ppg)

Figure 3.3
SAMPLE PLOT OF Dc EXPONENT vs. DEPTH
A plot of Dc-Exponent versus depth
in shale sections, has been used with 1.0 1.5 2.0
moderate success in predicting
abnormal pressure. Trends of
10 -
Dc-exponent normally increase with
depth, but in transition zones, its value
decreases to lower than expected values.
Mud logging companies have further
Depth (1000 ft)

11 - Normal
variations/models which try to
Trend
normalise for other parameters (such as Line
bit wear and rock strength) to varying
degrees of success. An illustration of a
12 -
Dc plot is attached as figure 3.3.

13 -
17
16
15
14
13
12

10
11

V4 Rev March 2002 3-7


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 3 : KICK INDICATORS

3.10 POSITIVE KICK SIGNS

A kick occurs when the hydrostatic pressure of the mud column in the well is less
than the formation pressure provided that the formation has the ability to
produce. A kick is a positive indicator that formation fluid is entering the wellbore
and Secondary Well Control must be initiated.

Recognising a Kick While Drilling

Flow into the wellbore causes two changes to occur in the mud circulating system:

• Increase of active mud system volume.

• The mud return flow rate exceeds the mud flow rate into the well.

Since a rig’s fluid system is a closed system, and increase in returns detected by a
flow monitoring system will also be indicated by a gain in pit level. Detecting a
change in pit level may be done by visual observation. This means placing some
type of pit level marker in the tank, then posting someone to keep a constant
watch. From your own experience, you know that to keep a constant watch on the
pit level is next to impossible. This is especially true during trips, when most kicks
occur. A more accurate and reliable method is to use any of the several pit level
measuring instruments with the recorder mounted at the driller’s console and
supported by the mud logger’s monitoring system. This allows a constant watch
on the pit level by the driller, both while tripping and drilling. Good
communication between crew members is essential on the rig. Drillers should
make sure crew hands notify them if they do anything to change the level in the
pits. If crew hands are adding volume to the pits, they should also notify the
driller when they stop adding volume.

When drilling a formation containing gas, a minor pit level rise will be noted
because of the core volume of gas being drilled. However, this will occur only as
the gas nears the surface, and is due to the drilled gas expanding and is not
necessarily an indication that the well is underbalanced. The timing of the increase
in pit volume is important in distinguishing between a true kick and gas
expansion only. The hole will also take the same volume of fluid that it gave up,
after the gas bubble has reached the surface. However, if there is any question as to
the cause of the pit gain, stop the pump and check the well for flow.

On trips, the drill crew should be able to recognise a 5-barrel kick or less. During
drilling, the crews are generally able to recognise a 10 barrel kick or less.

The size or severity of a kick depends on the volume of foreign fluid allowed to
enter the wellbore, which depends on the degree of underbalance, the formation
permeability, and the length of time it takes the drilling crew to detect that the well
is kicking.

3-8 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 3 : KICK INDICATORS

Recognising a Kick While Tripping

Flow into the wellbore will cause improper hole fill up, if this is seen a flow check
should be performed.

• If the flow check is positive then the well should be shut in.

• If the flow check is negative the drill string should be run back to bottom to
circulate bottoms up (stripping may have to be used here).

Trip tanks are recognised to be the safest and most reliable method of monitoring
mud volumes on trips. It is recommended that a continuous hole fill up be used
when tripping out of the hole. When tripping in the hole the, trip tank should be
used to ensure the correct mud displacement is taking place.

Rig movement with a floating drilling rig makes it more difficult to recognise kick
indicators while drilling or tripping. For this reason additional fluid volume
detection equipment is installed in the mud pits to compensation for rig motion. It
is recommended for floating drilling units that flow checks be performed on the
trip tank with the hole fill pump circulating across the bell nipple to eliminate rig
motion as much as possible.

Situations that can mask a kick:-

• Mud weight adjustments while drilling.

• Mud transfers while drilling.

• Partial lost circulation.

• Solids control equipment and degassing mud.

• Spills and leaks in surface equipment.

• Drain back.

• Pump start up and shut down.

V4 Rev March 2002 3-9


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 3 : KICK INDICATORS

3.11 KICK BEHAVIOUR

A Comparison Between Oil and Water Base Muds

Due to high temperatures and pressure a small gas kick can turn into a serious
well control problem with oil base muds. Solution gas can become dissolved and
miscible. The reason for this is that the gas remains in solution until it reaches its
bubble point. In the same way that gas in a disposable lighter remains in its liquid
phase until the pressure is relieved.

In fig 3.4a three barrels of mud have entered the wellbore at 10,000 ft, but we
would see no pit gain while drilling until the gas has been circulated up to 2600 ft.
The gas then expands rapidly and there is a real danger of blowing out sufficient
mud to put the entire well underbalance. This problem is easier to detect in water
based muds because the original volume of the gas will expand much earlier as
the pressure above the gas is reduced (see fig. 3.4b). The problem in OBM's is that
if a kick has entered the wellbore undetected it is impossible to know where the
top of the gas is. For example if the drilling rate is say 80 SPM and the pump
output is .117bbls per stroke then in an 8.5" hole section with 5" drillpipe the influx
would travel 203 ft. for each minute that the kick is undetected. In extreme cases
the gas could be 6000 - 7000ft. away from the surface without the driller realising
anything is wrong.

Under these conditions it may be prudent to count all drilling breaks as primary
indicators. Stop drilling, shut off the pumps and close the well in. The gas can then
be circulated through the choke in a safe manner utilising the first circulation of
the drillers method. Some procedures advise that the gas should be circulated to
2500 ft. below the BOP before the well is shut in and the gas circulated through the
choke. It may be the case that the bubble point is lower and unless this
information is known, even though the first procedure may take a little longer,
remember safety is always our main concern.

3 - 10 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 3 : KICK INDICATORS

GAS EXPANSION

(UNCONTROLLED)

(WELL OPEN)

If a gas bubble is allowed to expand without control of any kind it will eventually
unload the well. With the well unloaded, kick sizes increasing, causing more
unloading. This cycle of influx and unloading has caused the loss of many wells.

Boyles Law is shortened version of equation for gas expansion e.g. P V = P V .


1 1 2 2

It generally states that if the volume of gas doubles, the pressure is reduced by
half in the bubble.

P1 = Hydrostatic Pressure (W/Gas bubble on bottom)


=T.D
V1 = Original Pit Gain

P2 = Hydrostatic press at secondary depth

V2 = Gas volume @ surface or at secondary depth

V2 = P1V1
–––
P2

V4 Rev March 2002 3 - 11


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 3 : KICK INDICATORS

GAS MIGRATION WHEN GAS IN SOLUTION

(OIL BASE MUD)

Well Control problems can result in blowouts because of the solubility of certain
gases in specific types of mud e.g. Methane dissolves in oil base mud, and H2S
dissolves in water base mud. This fact makes it more difficult to detect a kick. A
large gas influx entering the wellbore may change the pit level very little if the gas
dissolves in the mud. The influx is then circulated up the wellbore in the mud column,
until the hydrostatic pressure on top of the gas decreases to a certain point then the
gas flashes or bubble point reached and gas comes out of solution. Detecting the
kick by observing flow-line or mud pits can be very difficult until the kick is very
close to surface and expands rapidly. Moreover, gas dispersed in well bore fluids
does not migrate up the hole therefore a flo-check may not show.

3 - 12 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 3 : KICK INDICATORS

GAS MIGRATION

(WELL SHUT IN)

When a well is shut in on a kick that contains gas the gas will percolate or migrate
up the hole even if the well is allowed to remain static. Gas migration can cause
confusion during a well control operation, because it can be overlooked. Gas or Gas
bubbles float or migrate up the hole because they are lighter than mud. When gas
bubbles rise they expand or if they are not allowed to expand they cause an increase
on all wellbore pressures and surface pressures. Therefore if a well is shut in for a
long time, all pressures, wellbore surface etc. will increase causing lost circ. etc., if
not relieved by allowing gas to expand. So lowering SIDPP to original value through
choke and observing, keeping SIDPP at original value, will prevent this problem.

All pressures will increase during migration of gas except pressure in actual bubble
which is usually at formation pressure.

V4 Rev March 2002 3 - 13


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 3 : KICK INDICATORS

Figure 3.4a - Oil Base Mud Figure 3.4b - Water Base Mud
ASSUME: Three bbls of gas is swabbed into the hole during a connection (undetectable)

0 Surface Conditions 0 Surface Conditions


15 psi 70°F 15 psi 70°F

Bubble Point 100% of Total Expansion


1000' - 2000'

12 bbls
Gas
2,500' 2,500' Volume

Depth
Depth

Detectable Pit Gain

6 bbls
5,000' 5,000' Gas
Volume

Bottom Hole Conditions Bottom Hole Conditions


7000 psi 250°F 7000 psi 250°F
10,000' 10,000'
0 3 bbls Bbls 1,400 0 3 bbls Bbls 1,400

Solution gas will not migrate or expand until Gas in WBM will migrate and expand as
bubble point pressure is reached. pressure is reduced.

NOTE:The dissolving of gas into oil base mud does not hinder the detection of large volume kicks (5 bbls +),
normal kick detection applies. After the well is shut in. Normal kick killing procedures apply.

3 - 14 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 3 : KICK INDICATORS

3.12 - WORKSHOP 3

1) GAS cutting of the mud could be prevented by having a mud weight


that gives a large over pressure.

(a) TRUE

(b) FALSE

2) The affect on bottom hole pressure of gas cutting will be greatest:

(a) Initially when the gas enters into the mud.

(b) When the gas cut mud nears the casing shoe.

(c) When it gets near the surface.

3) Given the following data:

Depth 9850 ft TVD


Shoe 5500 ft TVD
Mud 11 ppg (Assume this mud gives an overbalance of 150 psi.)

If the top 500 ft of this mud column is cut to 9 ppg and from 500 ft to
1300 ft the mud in the cut to 10.5 ppg, from 1300 ft to 1500 ft the mud
is 10.8 ppg. If the rest of the system is uncut, what is the reduction in
bottom hole pressure.

Answer–––––––––––––––––––––

4) If the gas cutting of the mud is at a constant level but shows significantly
bigger peak levels when connections are made, this indicates:

(a) That formation permeability has changed.

(b) That it must be high pressure gas from the formations.

(c) That bottom hole pressure is increasing when the pumps are off.

V4 Rev March 2002 3 - 15


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 3 : KICK INDICATORS

5) Generally predictions are based on the fact that abnormally pressured


formations are not as “dense” as normally pressured formations at the
same depth.
Is this statement:

(a) TRUE

(b) FALSE

6) An increase in both the volume and size of cuttings at the shaker


is an indication of overpressured formations:

(a) TRUE

(b) FALSE

7) Drilling in a deep high pressure high temperature well with oil


based muds. A small gas kick that goes into solution:
(Select two answers)

(a) Will remain in solution until it gets to the surface.

(b) Will come out of solution when it reaches a bubble point pressure.

(c) Would be easier to detect in water based muds.

8) An increase in penetration rate of a drilling break can be caused:

(a) By an increase in formation porosity.

(b) By an increase in permeability.

(c) By an increase in formation pressure.

(d) By a change in one OR all of the above.

9) Connection gas as opposed to background gas can be caused:

(a) Due to a temporary reduction in the overall mud pressure


during a connection.

3 - 16 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 3 : KICK INDICATORS

(b) Due to a temporary increase in the overall mud pressure


during the connection.

(c) By a reduction in the rate of penetration.


WORKSHOP 3 - ANSWERS

V4 Rev March 2002 3 - 17


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 3 : KICK INDICATORS

WORKSHOP 3 - Answers
1. B

2. C

3. 75 psi Reduction

500ft x 9ppg x .052 = 234psi


500 +

800ft x 10.5ppg x .052 = 437psi

1300 +

200ft x 10.8ppg x .052 = 112psi

1500 +

8350 x 11ppg x .052 = 4776psi

5559psi

9850 9850 x 11ppg x .052 = 5634 - 5559 = 75psi

4. B

5. A

6. A

7. B&C

8. D

9. A

3 - 18 V4 Rev March 2002


SECTION 4 : SHUT-IN PROCEDURES

Page
4. 0 Objectives 1
4. 1 Introduction to Shut-in Procedures
on a Fixed Rig 1
4. 2 Soft Shut-in Procedure While Drilling
on a Fixed Rig 2
4. 3 Soft Shut-In Procedure While Tripping
on a Fixed Rig 2
4. 4 Hard Shut-In Procedure While Drilling
on a Fixed Rig 3
4. 5 Fast Shut-In Procedure While Drilling on
a Fixed Rig 4
4. 6 Diverter Procedure While Drilling on
a Fixed Rig 4
4. 7 General Introduction for Shut-In Procedure
on a Floating Rig 5
4. 8 Soft Shut-In Procedure While Drilling on a
Floating Rig 6
4. 9 The Hard Shut-In Procedure on a Floating Rig 7
4.10 The Fast Shut-In Procedure on a Floating Rig 8
4.11 Shallow Gas and Diverting Procedure on
a Floating Rig 8
4.12 Surface & Subsea BOP's While Wireline Logging 10
4.13 Extracts from API RP59 11
Workshop 4(a) - Surface 19
Workshop 4(b) - Subsea 23
V4 Rev March 2002
WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 4 : SHUT-IN PROCEDURES

SHUT-IN PROCEDURES

4.0 OBJECTIVES

To cover the shut-in procedures and diverter procedures for a surface BOP. To cover
A.P.I. recommendations for these procedures which includes advantages and
disadvantages.

To cover the shut-in procedures and diverter procedures for a subsea BOP. To cover
A.P.I. recommendations for these procedures which includes advantages and
disadvantages.

4.1 GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO SHUT-IN PROCEDURES


ON A FIXED RIG

Note: A fixed rig is defined as a drilling rig equipped with a surface BOP.

Shut-in procedure should be agreed by contractor and operating company and posted
on rig floor before drilling the well begins.

When any positive indication of a kick is observed such as a sudden increase in flow or
an increase in pit level, then the well should be shut in immediately without doing a
flow check. If the increase in flow or pit gain is hard to detect
then a flow check can be done to confirm the well is flowing.

If surface hole is being drilled and the conductor pipe is not set in a competent
formation and a shallow gas kick is taken then the gas should be diverted. This will be
discussed at the end of this section.

The procedures which follow are generalised suggestions and not necessarily applicable
to any specific rig.

V4 Rev March 2002 4-1


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 4 : SHUT-IN PROCEDURES

4.2 SOFT SHUT-IN PROCEDURE WHILE DRILLING ON A FIXED RIG

1. When any indications are observed, while drilling, that the well may be
flowing, stop rotating the drill string, raise the drill string with pumps on
until tool joint is above the drill floor.

2. Stop pumps and check for flow, if positive:

3. Open choke line HCR valve.

4. Close BOP.

5. Close choke. If the choke is not a positive closing choke then close a valve
downstream of choke.

6. Call supervisors and commence plotting a graph of shut in drill pipe


pressure. Check pit volume gain.

7. Refer to A.P.I. R.P. 59 section 3.8 for the advantages and disadvantages
of the soft shut-in.

Note: Choke in open position while drilling.

4.3 SOFT SHUT-IN PROCEDURE WHILE TRIPPING ON A FIXED RIG

1. If there is an indication of swabbing and the well flows during a flow check
proceed as follows.

2. Set the slips.

3. Install full opening safety valve (Kelly cock).

4. Close safety valve.

5. Open choke line HCR valves.

6. Close BOP.

7. Close choke.

8. Call supervisor and check pressures.

9. Install inside blowout preventer (Gray valve or Non-Return Valve).

10. Open safety valve.

4-2 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 4 : SHUT-IN PROCEDURES

11. Reduce annular preventer pressure and start stripping drill pipe in the hole.

Note: Choke in open position while tripping.

With a swabbed kick there are four options:

1. Strip back in hole.

2. Perform a volumetric bleed.

3. Bullhead kick back into formation.

4. Perform off bottom kill then return to bottom


and circulate well to desired mud weight.

4.4 HARD SHUT-IN PROCEDURE WHILE DRILLING ON A FIXED RIG

1. When any indication is observed while drilling that the well maybe flowing,
stop rotating the drill string, raise the drill string with pumps on until tool
joint is above the drill floor.

2. Stop pumps and check for flow, if positive:

3. Close annular or pipe rams.

4. Open choke line HCR valve.

5. Call supervisor and commence plotting a graph of shut in drill pipe pressure.
Check pit volume gain.

6. Refer to A.P.I. R.P. 59 sections 3:7 for advantages and disadvantages of the
hard shut-in.

After the well has been shut in.

In any shut-in procedure it is prudent to line up the annulus to the trip tank above the
annular or rams. This will assist in double checking to see if they are leaking. Double
check that the well is lined up through the choke manifold prior to circulating kick out.

V4 Rev March 2002 4-3


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 4 : SHUT-IN PROCEDURES

4.5 FAST SHUT-IN PROCEDURE WHILE DRILLING ON A FIXED RIG

1. When any indication is observed while drilling that the well maybe flowing,
stop rotating the drill string, raise the drill string with pumps on until tool
joint is above the drill floor.

2. Stop pumps and check for flow, if positive:

3. Open choke line HCR valve.

4. Close Annular.

5. Call supervisors and commence plotting a graph of shut in drill pipe


pressure. Check pit volume gain.

Note: There are no A.P.I recommendations for the fast shut-in

4.6 DIVERTER PROCEDURE WHILE DRILLING ON A FIXED RIG

1. Where shallow casing strings or conductor pipe are set, fracture gradients
will be low. It may be impossible to close the BOP on a shallow gas kick
without breaking down the formation at the shoe. If a shallow gas kick is
taken while drilling top hole then the kick should be diverted.

Drilling shallow sand too fast can result in large volumes of gas cut mud in
the annulus and cause the well to flow, also fast drilling can load up the
annulus increasing the mud density leading to lost circulation and if the level
in annulus drops far enough then well may flow.

When drilling top hole a diverter should be installed and it is good practice
to leave the diverter installed until 13 3/8" casing has been run. An automatic
diverter system should first:-

a) Open an alternative flow path to overboard lines.

b) Close shaker valve and trip tank valve.

c) Close diverter annular around drill pipe.

d) If there are two overboard lines then the upwind valve should be
manually closed.

4-4 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 4 : SHUT-IN PROCEDURES

2. If any indication of flow is observed while drilling top hole, close diverter
immediately as the gas will reach surface in a very short time and it is
inadvisable to attempt a flow check.

3. Suggested diverting procedure in the event of a shallow gas kick.

a) Maintain maximum pump rate and commence pumping kill mud if


available.

b) Space out so that the lower safety valve is above the drill floor.

c) With diverter line open close shaker valve and diverter packer.

d) Shut down all nonessential equipment, if there is an indication of gas on


rig floor or cellar area then activate deluge systems.

e) On jack-up and platform rigs monitor sea for evidence of gas breaking
out around conductor.

f) If mud reserves run out then continue pumping with sea-water.

g) While drilling top hole a float should be run. This will prevent gas
entering drill string if a kick is taken while making a connection. It will
also stop backflow through the drill string on connections.

4.7 GENERAL INTRODUCTION FOR SHUT-IN PROCEDURE ON


A FLOATING RIG

Note: A floating rig is defined as a rig equipped with subsea BOP’s.

Shut-in procedure should be agreed by contractor and operating company and posted
on rig floor before drilling the well begins.

When any positive indication of a kick is observed such as a sudden increase in flow or
increase in pit level, then the well should be shut in immediately without doing a flow
check. If the increase in flow or pit gain is hard to detect then flow check can be done to
confirm the well is flowing.

It maybe difficult to obtain an accurate flow check by observing flow line on rig floor or
flow line at shaker due to rig movement.

V4 Rev March 2002 4-5


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 4 : SHUT-IN PROCEDURES

To obtain an accurate flow check:

a) Stop rotating, pick up and space out for hang off rams.

b) Shut down rig pumps.

c) Line up trip tank.

d) Close shaker valve.

e) Half fill trip tank with mud and perform a flow check.

If surface hole is being drilled and the conductor or surface casing is not set in a
competent formation and a shallow gas kick is taken, then the kick should be diverted
and not shut in. Diverting procedure will be discussed at the end of this section.

The procedure which follow are generalised suggestions and not necessary applicable
to any specific rig.

4.8 SOFT SHUT-IN PROCEDURE WHILE DRILLING ON A FLOATING RIG

1. When any indication is observed while drilling that the well maybe flowing,
stop rotating the drill string, raise drill string with pumps running and space
out for hang off rams.

2. Stop pumps and check for flow, if positive:

3. Open fail-safe valve, open the choke line.

4. With compensator at mid-stroke, close annular.

5. Close choke if the choke is not a positive closing choke then close a valve
downstream of choke.

6. Call supervisors and commence plotting a graph of shut in drill pipe


pressure. Check pit volume gain.

7. Close hang off rams with reduced pressure, reduce annular pressure, slack
off and land drill string on rams. Increase manifold pressure to 1500 psi and
open annular.

4-6 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 4 : SHUT-IN PROCEDURES

8. Close wedge locks and adjust compensator to support drill string weight to
BOP plus 20,000 lbs.

Note: There will be pressure trapped between annular and rams.

9. It has become accepted practice to the lower annular to minimise volume of


gas trapped in BOP. With a stack set up of three sets of pipe rams and one set
of shear rams, hang off rams would always be upper or middle pipe rams
but never lower pipe rams. This is because if a kill or choke line washes out
beneath the lower pipe rams it would be impossible to secure the wall.

10. Refer to A.P.I. R.P 59 section 3:8 for advantages and disadvantages for the
soft shut-in.

Note: Choke in open position while drilling.

4.9 THE HARD SHUT-IN PROCEDURE ON A FLOATING RIG

1. When any indication is observed while drilling that the well maybe flowing,
stop rotating the drill string, raise drill string with pumps running and space
out for hang off rams.

2. Stop pumps and check for flow, if positive:

3. With compensator at mid-stroke close annular or pipe rams.

4. Open fail-safe valves on the choke line.

5. Call supervisors and commence plotting a graph of shut in drill pipe


pressure. Check pit volume gain.

6. If rams have been closed then reduce manifold pressure, slack off on drill
string and land tool joint on rams. Increase manifold pressure to 1500 psi -
close wedge locks, adjust compensator to support drill string weight to BOP
plus 20,000 lbs.

7. Refer to A.P.I. R.P. 59 section 3:7 for advantages and disadvantages of the
hard shut-in.

V4 Rev March 2002 4-7


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 4 : SHUT-IN PROCEDURES

4.10 THE FAST SHUT-IN PROCEDURE ON A FLOATING RIG

1. When any indication is observed while drilling that the well maybe flowing,
stop rotating, raise drill string with pumps running and space out for hang
off rams.

2. Stop pump and check for flow, if positive:

3. Open fail-safe valves on the choke line.

4. With compensator at mid-stroke, close annular.

5. Call supervisors and commence plotting a graph of shut in drill pipe


pressure, check pit volume gain.

6. Close hang off rams with reduced pressure, reduce annular pressure, slack
off and land drill string on rams. Increase manifold pressure to 1500 psi open
annular.

7. Close wedgelocks and adjust compensator to support drill string weight to


BOP plus 20,000 lbs.

Note: There will be pressure trapped between annular and rams.

8. There are no A.P.I. recommendations for the fast shut-in.

4.11 SHALLOW GAS AND DIVERTING PROCEDURE ON A


FLOATING RIG

1. Shallow gas sand lenses are normally completely enveloped in mud stone
and tend to be highly porous, permeable and relatively unconsolidated.
These lenses maybe normally pressured, but if they are lying at an inclination
they may be overpressured.

2. Shallow gas kicks happen when drilling into a sand lens and are generally
caused by loss of hydrostatic head due to one or a combination of the
following.

a) Overloading the annulus with cuttings which may cause losses.

b) Fast drilling leading to drilled gas unloading the annulus.

c) Improper hole fill while tripping if a riser has been run.

4-8 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 4 : SHUT-IN PROCEDURES

3. The following are the recommended procedures for drilling 36" and 24" hole
from a floating rig if there is a risk of shallow gas.

a) Drill a pilot hole prior to drilling 24" hole.

b) Drill with returns to sea-bed.

c) Restrict penetration rate to avoid overloading annulus or having an


excess of drilled gas in annulus.

4. Precautions to take while drilling top hole.

a) If possible have camera on sea-bed observing for any sign of gas.

b) Have a crew member observing surface of sea.

c) A procedure for moving the rig off location must be in place and this
procedure should be practised prior to spudding the well.

d) A reserve of weighted mud of twice hole volume should be mixed prior


to spudding well.

e) A float should always be run in drill string.

5. Suggested action to take if a shallow gas kick occurs while taking returns to
sea-bed.

a) Attempt to control the well by pumping sea water or mud.

b) If gas flow is endangering personnel or rig, attempt to drop drill string.

c) Move rig to a safe position up wind of gas plume.

6. Suggested action to take if a riser and connector has been run and a shallow
gas kick has been taken.

a) It is not recommended to divert as any solids in the gas influx will


quickly erode overboard lines.

b) Drop the drill string.

c) Unlatch the connector with an overpull on riser tensioner lines.

d) Move rig to a safe position outside and upwind of gas plume while
slacking off on guide lines.

V4 Rev March 2002 4-9


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 4 : SHUT-IN PROCEDURES

4.12 SURFACE & SUBSEA BOP’S WHILE WIRELINE LOGGING

- Direct the wireline loggers to cease operations and close the well on the
upper annular.
- Open kill line valves and begin to record shut in pressure and pit gain.
- Pass word to the OIL COMPANY REPRESENTATIVE and SENIOR
DRILLING CONTRACTOR REPRESENTATIVE of the well condition.
- Decide on kill programme.

Note: If at all possible the wireline should be pulled or stripped out of the hole. If
the line needs to be cut and dropped, a surface hydraulic cable cutter should
be used. The shear rams should be considered as a last resort and used only if
the annular(s) fail to secure the well.

4 - 10 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 4 : SHUT-IN PROCEDURES

4.13 EXTRACTS FROM API RP59

CLOSING IN KICKS

3.6 Soft Close-in Procedure. For a soft close-in, a choke is left open at all times other
than during a well control operation. The choke line valves are aligned such that a flow
path is open through the choking system, with the exception of one choke line valve
located near the blowout preventer. When the soft close-in procedure is selected for
closing in a well the: 1) choke line valve is opened, 2) blowout preventer is closed, and
3) choke is closed. This procedure allows the choke to be closed in such a manner to
permit sensitive control and monitoring of casing pressure buildup during closure. This
is especially important if formation fracturing and broaching to the surface is likely to
occur if the well is closed in without regard to the possibility of excessive initial closed-
in casing pressure.

3.7 Hard Close-in Procedure. For a hard close-in, the chokes remain closed at all times
other than during a well control operation. The choke line valves are aligned such that a
flow path is open through the choking system with the exception of the choke(s) itself
and one choke line valve located near the blowout preventer stack. When the hard
close-in procedure is selected for closing in a well, the blowout preventer is closed. If
the casing pressure cannot be measured at the wellhead, the choke line valve is opened
with the choke or adjacent high pressure valve remaining closed so that pressure can be
measured at the choke manifold. This procedure allows the well to be closed in the
shortest possible time, thereby minimising the amount of additional influx of kicking
fluid to enter the wellbore. Use of the hard close-in procedure is limited to well
conditions in which the maximum allowable casing pressure is greater than the
anticipated initial close in pressure and a well fracture would not be expected to broach
to the surface on initial closure.

3.8 Soft Close-in Versus Hard Close-in Procedure. The soft close-in procedure provides
a means of monitoring casing pressure and a more sensitive control of casing pressure
buildup during closure than will be experienced using the hard close-in procedure. If
the initial closed-in casing pressure is likely to exceed the maximum allowable casing
pressure, the soft close-in procedure permits initiation of a low choke pressure
procedure or other alternate procedures before maximum allowable casing pressure is
reached. In this situation, the soft close-in procedure has a distinct advantage over the
hard close-in procedure. The major disadvantage of the soft close-in procedure is that
the additional time involved in opening the choke line valve and closing the choke will
allow additional influx into the wellbore. This procedure will result in a larger kick
volume and potentially higher casing pressure than obtained if the hard close-in
procedure is used while circulating out the kick. The hard close-in procedure is
somewhat less complicated, can be performed by one man working on the rig floor, and
is more likely to be performed without inadvertent delays in closure than the soft close-
in procedure.

V4 Rev March 2002 4 - 11


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 4 : SHUT-IN PROCEDURES

3.9 Stabilised Pressures. When a kick is detected, the well should be closed in as
quickly as possible to minimise kick influx volume. Figure 3.3 shows a schematic
diagram of a well shut in on a kick. In this well, a 20-barrel gas influx occurs when
drilling at 10,000 feet with a 10.0 Ib/gal drilling fluid. The stabilised closed-in pressures
are 500 psi on the drill pipe and 640 psi on the casing or annulus gauge.

Figure 3.4 illustrates various pressures in the wellbore. To understand how the various
pressures interact, it is necessary to isolate and identify each one. The drill pipe gauge
pressure plus the hydrostatic pressure of the drilling fluid equals the formation
pressure. The same pressure balance can be made for the annulus, i.e., casing gauge
pressure plus the hydrostatic pressure of the annulus drilling fluid plus the hydrostatic
pressure of the influx equals the formation pressure.

Figure 3.5 illustrates an example of a 10,000 500 PSI


foot closed-in well with 10.0 Ib/gal drilling DRILL
640 PSI
PIPE
fluid and a small volume of gas at bottom.
When the gas rises to 5000 feet without CASING

expansion or temperature change, the


bottom-hole pressure rises to 7800 psi,
which is equivalent to a 15.0 Ib/gal drilling
fluid column. When the gas reaches
the surface, bottom-hole pressure is
10,400 psi, which is equivalent
to a 20.0 Ib/gal drilling fluid
column. At 5000 feet the borehole
pressure is equivalent to a 10 LB/GAL
30.0 Ib/gal drilling fluid DRILLING FLUID
column to that depth. Such
excessive pressure should 10 LB/GAL
DRILLING FLUID
be avoided whether gas rises
through a static drilling fluid
column or is circulated out by
allowing the gas to expand as
it rises. This also requires that
the pits be allowed to gain
20 BBL GAS ENTRY
volume. If a gas bubble is
permitted to rise in a wellbore
without expanding, the gas BOTTOM-HOLE PRESSURE
= 5700 PSI
pressure will remain constant.
The reduced hydrostatic head 10,000 FT FORMATION PRESSURE
= 5700 PSI
above the gas column must
be overcome by increased
surface pressure on the casing: WELL CLOSED IN ON A KICK
in turn this increased pressure
results in a higher bottom-hole pressure.

4 - 12 V4 Rev March 2002


 DRILL PIPE

500 PSI

5200 PSI

5700 PSI
DRILLING FLUID
COLUMN PRESSURE

5700 PSI

FORMATION
PRESSURE

FIG 3.4
ANNULUS

640 PSI

4980 PSI

80 PSI

5700 PSI

WELL CLOSED IN ON A KICK


DRILLING FLUID
COLUMN PRESSURE

GAS
HYDROSTATIC
PRESSURE

3.10 Closed-in Drill Pipe Pressure. Formation pressure near the wellbore is reduced
SURFACE
PRESSURE

during flow. When the well is closed in, the borehole pressure will rise until equal to
formation pressure. As the drill pipe (and annulus) is in communication, the drill pipe
pressure will also rise and stabilize. The drill pipe pressure at this time indicates the
0 FT

5000 FT

10000 FT

BOTTOM-HOLE

amount to increase the drilling fluid density. If the well is not circulated, the gas will
slowly rise and increase both wellbore and drill pipe pressures. Drill pipe pressures
read after the initial stabilized reading will indicate excessive drilling fluid density
increase. To avoid excess wellbore pressures, the choke should be used to bleed drilling
fluid from the casing and maintain the initial shut-in drill pipe pressure. These
conditions are illustrated in Figure 3.6. To determine the closed-in drill pipe pressure
when a back-pressure valve is in the drill string, pressure should be increased slowly
using the smallest pump available to determine the pressure at which the back-pressure
valve opens. If casing pressure is seen to rise while pumping on the drill pipe, pumping
should be stopped and the increase in casing pressure subtracted from drill pipe
pressure.

DRILL PIPE
PRESSURE PSI

FIG 3.6
CLOSED-IN DRILL PIPE PRESSURE

V4 Rev March 2002


DESIRED VALUE

TIME
PRESSURE

WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 4 : SHUT-IN PROCEDURES

INITIAL
0 PSI

EQUIVALENT DRILLING
FLUID DENSITY
DRILLING
FLUID
5200 PSS

GAS
5200
PSS

= 5200 PSI

= 10.0 LB/GAL

INCREASE DUE TO RISE OF GAS


FIG 3.5
2600 PSI

CLOSED-IN WELLBORE PRESSURE


WITH TIME
GAS
5200
PSS

= 7800 PSI
FINAL
5200 PSI

=10400 PSI
GAS
5200
PSS

DRILLING
FLUID
5200 PSS

= 15.0 LB/GAL = 20.0 LB/GAL

4 - 13
WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 4 : SHUT-IN PROCEDURES

FORMATION INTEGRITY TESTS

3.11 Leak-off Test. A leak-off test is made to determine the pressure at which a
formation will begin to fracture. Leak-off tests are usually run after drilling a short
distance below the surface casing shoe. These tests may also be made on other casing
strings. A leak-off test is performed by pumping drilling fluid into the
wellbore at a slow rate (typically one-half barrel per minute), with blowout preventers
closed and carefully plotting the resulting pressure versus the total volume pumped.
The pressure at which the plotted curve begins to flatten. i.e., when the pressure
increases a smaller amount for a volume pumped, is the surface leak-off pressure. The
pump should be stopped immediately. This pressure plus the hydrostatic pressure of
the drilling fluid is the formation fracture pressure.

Formation fracture pressure (psi) =

Leak-off pressure (psi) + [.052 x Drilling fluid density (Ib/gal)] x Casing TVD (ft).

It is useful to calculate the formation fracture gradient as equivalent or fracture drilling


fluid density.

Fracture drilling fluid density (Ib/gal) =

Leak-off pressure
Drilling fluid density in
––––––––––––––––––– +
use during test (Ib/gal).
.052 x Casing TVD (ft)

Fracture pressure is the maximum surface pressure that can be applied to a casing that
is full of drilling fluid without fracturing the formation. Fracture pressure is calculated
as follows:

Fracture pressure (psi) =

.052 x Casing TVD (ft) x [Fracture drilling fluid density (Ib/gal) - Present drilling fluid density (lb/gal)].

3.12 Formation Competency Test. A formation competency test is made to determine if


a wellbore will support drilling fluid of a higher density which may be required at some
future time during the well drilling and completion operations. The formation
competency test is performed by pumping drilling fluid into the wellbore at a slow rate
(typically one-half barrel per minute) with blowout preventers closed. Pumping into the
wellbore should be continued until reaching the predetermined test pressure as
calculated below:

Test pressure (psi) =

.052 x Casing TVD (ft) x [Required test drilling fluid density b/gal) - drilling fluid density currently in use (Ib/gal)].

4 - 14 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 4 : SHUT-IN PROCEDURES

CREW DRILLS

The proficiency with which drilling crews react to well control situations and follow
correct control procedures can be enhanced by repetitive drills. When the desired
proficiency is attained, periodic drills should be continued to maintain performance.
The following drills, frequency, and proficiency levels are considered desirable:

A. Pit Drill.

Without prior warning and during a routine operation, the rig supervisor should
simulate a gain in pit drilling fluid volume by raising a float sufficiently to cause an
alarm to be activated. If automatic equipment is not available, the drills may be
signalled by word of mouth. This, of course, diminishes the surprise element, but the
training is still effective. The drilling crew should immediately initiate one of the four
procedures discussed in Paragraph B depending on the operation at the time of the
drill. A pit drill is terminated when the crew has completed the steps up to, but not
including, closing the blowout preventers (Crews must be advised that this is a pit drill,
otherwise they should proceed with the complete blowout preventer drill). The supervisor
initiating the drill should record response time. Crew response time should be one
minute or less.

B. Blowout Preventer Drill.

This drill includes all steps of the pit drill (refer to Paragraph A) but is continued
through all the steps of closing in the well as outlined below. This drill should be
repeated on a daily basis until each crew can close in the well within a span of two
minutes. Thereafter the drill should be repeated weekly to maintain proficiency.

1. On-bottom Drill.

a. Signal given.

b. Stop rotary.

c. Raise kelly tool joint above the rotary, while sounding the alarm.

d. Stop pump.

e. Check for well flow.

The on-bottom drill should be carried only to the point of driller recognition,
signalled by raising the kelly and pump shutdown. This is to avoid the
danger of stuck pipe.

V4 Rev March 2002 4 - 15


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 4 : SHUT-IN PROCEDURES

2. Tripping Drill Pipe Drill

a. Signal given.

b. Position the upper tool job above rotary table and set slips.

c. Stab full-open valve on drill pipe.

d. Close drill pipe safety valve.

e. Close blowout preventer.

Drills while tripping drill pipe should be performed after the bit is up in the casing. A
full opening safety valve for each size and type connection in the string must be open
and on the floor ready for use. Safety valves must be clearly identified as to size and
connection to avoid confusion and lost time when stabbing.

3. Drill with Drill Collars in the Preventer.

a. Signal given

b. Position the upper drill collar in rotary table and set slips.

c. Stab full-open safety valve made up on one joint of drill pipe with change-over
sub onto collars.

NOTE: Preparation for this operation must be made in advance. Prior to reaching
the drill collars when pulling out of the hole, a drill pipe to drill collar change-over
sub must be placed on a single joint of drill pipe. The full open safety valve is then
made on the top of the joint of drill pipe.

d. Lower collars with joint of drill pipe into the hole.

e. Close the drill pipe safety valve.

f. Close the pipe rams above drill pipe tool joint.

Flows that occur with drill collars in the preventers will generally be quite rapid
since they are usually the result of expansion of a gas bubble that is quite close to the
surface. The joint of drill pipe picked up with the elevators will usually be easier to
stab and make up than a safety valve alone. Under actual kick conditions (other than
drill) if only one stand of drill collars remained in the hole it would probably be
faster to simply pull that last stand and close the blind rams.

4 - 16 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 4 : SHUT-IN PROCEDURES

4. Out of the Hole Drill.

a. Signal given.

b. Close blind rams.

C. Stripping Drill.

The performance of a stripping drill by at least one crew on each well should be
considered. This drill can be conveniently performed after casing is set and before
drilling out cement. With drill pipe in the hole a blowout preventer should be closed
and the desired pressure trapped. Each crew member should be assigned a specific
position. Following an acceptable procedure, the crew should strip sufficient pipe
into the hole to establish the workability of the equipment and to allow each crew
member to learn to perform assignments. In addition to establishing equipment
reliability, this will permit the training of at least one crew on each well. Over a
period of time, all crews should become proficient in stripping operations. Stripping
drills are not recommended for operations involving subsea blowout preventer
stacks.

D. Choke Drill.

Choke drills should be performed before drilling out surface casing and each
subsequent casing string. With pressure trapped below a closed preventer, the choke
should be used to control casing pressure while pumping down the drill pipe at a
prescribed rate. This drill will establish equipment performance and allow the crew
to gain proficiency in choke operation. It is desirable to discharge into a trip tank to
accurately monitor flow rates for correlation with choke opening, pump rates, and
pressure drops in the circulating system and across the choke. This is particularly
important for subsea blowout preventer stacks in deep water, which may have
significant circulating pressure losses in the choke lines.

E. Hang-off Drill (Subsea Blowout Preventers Only)

Following prescribed procedures, the crew should place the drill string in position
for hang-off. One hang-off should be made before drilling out of surface pipe to
ensure that all necessary equipment is on hand and in working condition. Actual
hang-off will not normally be performed on subsequent drills. This drill can be
conveniently performed in conjunction with the pit drill.

V4 Rev March 2002 4 - 17


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 4 : SHUT-IN PROCEDURES

TRIP TANKS

A trip tank is a low-volume, calibrated tank which can be isolated from the
remainder of the surface drilling fluid system and used to accurately monitor the
amount of fluid going into or coming from the well. A trip tank may be of any shape
provided that it is calibrated accurately and a means is provided for reading the
volume contained in the tank at any liquid level. The readout may be direct or
remote, preferably both. The size of the tank and readout arrangement should be
such that volume changes in the order of one-half barrel can be easily detected. Tanks
containing two compartments with monitoring arrangements in each compartment
are preferred as this facilitates removing or adding drilling fluid without interrupting
rig operations. The primary use of the trip tank is to measure the amount of drilling
fluid required to fill the hole while pulling pipe to determine if the drilling fluid
volume matches pipe displacement. Other uses of the trip tank include measuring
drilling fluid or water volume into the annulus when returns are lost, monitoring the
hole while logging or following cement job, calibrating drilling fluid pumps, etc. The
trip tank is also used to measure the volume of drilling fluid bled from or pumped
into the well as pipe is stripped into or out of the well.

TRIP BOOK

A tally should be maintained showing the volume of drilling fluid required to fill the
hole after pulling the specified number of stands along with the cumulative volume.
It is important to keep this record in a "trip book" so that each trip may be compared
with previous trips for anomalous behaviour, rather than to rely only on comparison
with theoretical displacement volumes. A similar record is made of drilling fluid
returns while running pipe in the hole.

4 - 18 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 4 : SHUT-IN PROCEDURES

4.14 - WORKSHOP 4(a) - Surface

ANNULAR
PREVENTER Note: The well will be killed using the left hand
automatic choke.

Remotely operated choke - left hand


SHEAR RAM
P To mud/gas separators,
15 pits and diverter lines
Manual
8 Adjustable Choke
9
5" PIPE RAM
To pit

HCR HCR
VALVE VALVE CHOKE 7
LINE
Bleed line
DRILL
SPOOL
11 12
1 2 3 4
10

13
5" PIPE RAM
P To mud/gas separators,
pits and diverter lines
14
Remotely operated choke - right hand
CASING
HEAD
5 6 P = Positive Closing Choke

Questions 1-4 refer to the diagram above. The valves shown are numbered 1 to 15.

1. If all of the above valves were closed, indicate below those valves
that should be in the open position if the Manifold is lined up to
suit a Soft Shut-in (excluding choke).

Answer:

2. Referring to the above question indicate the position of the chokes,


when lined up for a Soft Shut-in .

a. Left hand remote choke Opened Closed


b. Manual adjustable choke Opened Closed
c. Right hand remote choke Opened Closed

V4 Rev March 2002 4 - 19


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 4 : SHUT-IN PROCEDURES

3. Indicate the position of the chokes, when lined up for a Fast Shut-in .

a. Left hand remote choke Opened Closed


b. Manual adjustable choke Opened Closed
c. Right hand remote choke Opened Closed

4. Indicate the position of the chokes, when lined up for a Hard Shut-in .

a. Left hand remote choke Opened Closed


b. Manual adjustable choke Opened Closed
c. Right hand remote choke Opened Closed

If an indication of a Kick while Drilling occurs, or if the Well flows while


Tripping, then the well must be closed-In. (A Kelly is being used)
The following is a list of possible Actions that could or could not be taken
when shutting the well in.

1. Pick up and space out


2. Stop Rotating
3. Set Slips
4. Open HCR valve
5. Close HCR valve
6. Install Safety Valve(FOSV)
7. Open Safety Valve
8. Close Safety Valve
9. Open Ram Preventer
10. Close Ram Preventer
11. Open Annular Preventer
12. Close Annular Preventer
13. Stop pumping
14. Install Inside B.O.P (Grey Valve)
15. Open Choke
16. Close Choke
17. Record Data

For questions 5 to 8 refer to the list shown above.

5. Select the correct sequence of actions which should be taken if a


well kicks while drilling and the Soft Shut-in is to be used.

Answer:

4 - 20 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 4 : SHUT-IN PROCEDURES

6. Select the correct sequence of actions which should be taken if a


well kicks while drilling and the Fast shut-in is to be used.

Answer:

7. Select the correct sequence of actions which should be taken if a


well kicks while drilling and the Hard shut-in is to be used.

Answer:

8. If a well flow while Tripping, select the correct sequence of actions


which should be taken if the Fast shut-in is to be used.

Answer:

9. Secondary well control could be defined as initially;

a. Controlling formation fluids with the pressure of the mud


column, in a static or dynamic condition.
b. Controlling formation fluids with the pressure of the mud
column and the well closed in.

10. Prior to Stripping back to bottom, and assuming there is no float


valve in the string, the equipment made up on top of the string
would generally be;

a. A Safety valve (Kelly cock) in the closed position.


b. An Inside Blow-Out Preventer (Grey valve).
c. An I.B.O.P valve on top of a opened Safety Valve.
d. A Safety valve closed with an IBOP valve below it.
e. A closed Regan "Fast Shut-off valve".
f. An I.B.O.P. valve on top of an opened Regan "Fast
Shut-off valve".

11. If a well starts to Flow due to Gas at shallow levels, the safest
action would be: (Select three answers)

a. Shut the Well in as fast as possible, use a ram preventer.


b. Shut the diverter and then open the vent line and close the flow line.
c. Open the vent line, close the flow line and then close the diverter.
d. Have all nonessential personnel removed from the rig.
e. Pump into the well at the fastest rate.
f. Line up the returns to go through the Poor-Boy Degasser.

V4 Rev March 2002 4 - 21


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 4 : SHUT-IN PROCEDURES

WORKSHOP 4(a) - Answers

1. The valves which should be in the open position:


numbers: 2, 3, 7, 8 and 15. ref ch 6-43

2. Left hand remote choke- opened


Manual Adjustable choke- closed
Right hand remote choke- closed

3. Left hand remote choke- closed


Manual Adjustable choke- closed
Right hand remote choke- closed

4. As Q 3. All chokes Closed

5. 2, 1, 13, 4, 12, 16 and 17. ref. ch 4-2

6. 2, 1, 13, 4, 12 and 17 ref. ch 4-5

7. 2, 1, 13, 10 or 12, 4 and 17 ref. ch 4-3

8. 1, 3, 6, 8, 4, 12, 14, 7 and 17 ref. ch 5-29

9. b. ref. ch 1-1

10. c. ref. ch 5-29

11. c. d. and e. ref. ch 4-4

4 - 22 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 4 : SHUT-IN PROCEDURES

WORKSHOP 4(b) - Subsea

Vent to top From C&K To port - Blow-down line


of derrick manifold flare line
4” pipe

28 Blow-down line
10” Vent to
mud-gas To starboard
separator 27 flare line

26 31
36” diameter
separator

Mud-gas
separator 29
22
30
To shale
shaker 23
Manual
choke
L/hand 24
remote
choke 21
25
20
R/hand
17 remote
18 choke
14
19 16

13 11
2
15
1 12
10
3 5

4 9
6
7
Kill To shale
shaker To cement
line 8
unit mud
pumps
Choke
DECK LEVEL line

SEA LEVEL

Flex joint

NOTE: Annular
Right hand auto-choke will Preventer
be used during well killing
operations.
The upper pipe rams will
be used during well kill H-4
operations. Kill
Connector
Choke
line line
REMOTELY ACTUATED Annular
Preventer
VALVES

F5 F6 Shear
Rams
5” F1 F2
Rams
F7 F8 Variable F3 F4
Rams
5”
Rams

H-4
SEA FLOOR Connector

Questions 1-4 refer to the stack and manifold diagram. The valves shown in the
diagram are on the choke and kill line at the stack numbered F1 to F8.
The valves on the manifold are numbered 1 to 31.

V4 Rev March 2002 4 - 23


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 4 : SHUT-IN PROCEDURES

1. If all of the above valves were closed, indicate below those valves
that should be in the open position if the Manifold is lined up to
suit a Soft Shut-in while drilling.

Answer:

2. Referring to the above question indicate the position of the chokes,


when lined up for a Soft Shut-in .

a. Left hand remote choke Opened Closed


b. Manual adjustable choke Opened Closed
c. Right hand remote choke Opened Closed

3. Indicate the position of the chokes, when lined up for a Fast Shut-in .

a. Left hand remote choke Opened Closed


b. Manual adjustable choke Opened Closed
c. Right hand remote choke Opened Closed

4. Indicate the position of the chokes, when lined up for a Hard Shut-in .

a. Left hand remote choke Opened Closed


b. Manual adjustable choke Opened Closed
c. Right hand remote choke Opened Closed

If an indication of a Kick while Drilling occurs, or if the Well flows while


Tripping, then the well must be closed-In. (A Kelly is being used)
The following is a list of possible Actions that could or could not be taken
when shutting the well in.

1. Pick up and space out


2. Stop Rotating
3. Set Slips
4. Open Fail-safe valves
5. Close Fail-safe valves
6. Close Ram preventer
7. Open Ram preventer
8. Close Upper Annular
9. Close Lower Annular
10. Open Annular
11. Open Choke
12. Close Choke
13. Stop pumping
14. Set compensator to mid stroke
15. Hang Off
16. Record Data

4 - 24 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 4 : SHUT-IN PROCEDURES

For questions 5 to 7 refer to the list shown above.

5. Select the correct sequence of actions which should be taken if a


well kicks while drilling and the Soft Shut-in is to be used.

Answer:

6. Select the correct sequence of actions which should be taken if a


well kicks while drilling and the Fast shut-in is to be used.

Answer:

7. Select the correct sequence of actions which should be taken if a


well kicks while drilling and the Hard shut-in is to be used.

Answer:

8. Having information about tides and rig heave on a floating rig


is important for many reasons, particularly if a well has to be shut in.
From the following select the most important reason for this.

a. To know the exact measured depth from the bit to the rig floor.
b. To know where the tool joints are in relation to the ram that
will be used.
c. To be able to make necessary adjustments to the riser tensioners
d. To reduce the risk of collapsing the riser.

9. Some sensible precautions that could be taken while drilling top if


there is any risk of shallow gas would be: (There is more than 1 answer)

a. Monitor sea bed returns and observe surface of sea.


b. Drill pilot hole
c. Restrict penetration rate
d. Close the well in at the first sign of flow
e. All of the above.

10. Drilling for the 20 inch casing is generally done without a riser.
this is because:

a. It is much easier to detect any flow or pit changes.


b. It is easier to control bottom hole pressure
c. It is easier to move the rig off location in an emergency
d. It is easier to close the well in.

V4 Rev March 2002 4 - 25


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 4 : SHUT-IN PROCEDURES

WORKSHOP 4(b) - Answers

1. The valves which should be in the open position:


numbers: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 25, 26, 27 and 30

2. Left hand remote choke- closed


Manual Adjustable choke- closed
Right hand remote choke- opened

3. Left hand remote choke- closed


Manual Adjustable choke- closed
Right hand remote choke- closed

4. As Q 3. All chokes Closed

5. 2, 1, 13, 4, 8, 12, 6, 15, 14, 10 and 16

6. 2, 1, 13, 4, 8, 6, 15, 14, 10 and 16

7. 2, 1, 13, 8, 4, 6, 15, 14, 10 and 16

8. b.

9. a, b and c

10. c.

4 - 26 V4 Rev March 2002


SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

Page

5. 0 Objectives 1
5. 1 Kill Methods General 1

5. 2 Constant Bottom Hole Pressure Kill Methods 4

5. 3 The Driller's Method 5


5. 4 The Wait and Weight Method 13

5. 5 Volumetric Well Control 17

5. 6 Volumetric Stripping 23
5. 7 Edited Extract From API RP53 28

5. 8 Removal of Gas Trapped in BOP's 30

5. 9 Kick Detection and Well Control Problems


on Deviated and Horizontal Wells 34

5.10 Kick Tolerance 42


5.11 Workshop 5 49

V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

METHODS OF WELL CONTROL


5.0 OBJECTIVES

To cover the methods of well control for fixed rigs, to cover the special
considerations for subsea rigs and to look at step down graphs for deviated and
horizontal wells.

5.1 KILL METHODS GENERAL

The objective of the various kill methods is to circulate out any invading fluid and
circulate a satisfactory weight of kill mud into the well without allowing further
fluid into the hole. Ideally this should be done with the minimum of damage to
the well.

If this can be done, then once the kill mud has been fully circulated around the
well, it is possible to open up the well and restart normal operations. Generally, a
kill mud which just provides hydrostatic balance for formation pressure is
circulated.

This allows approximately constant bottom hole pressure which is slightly greater
than formation pressure to be maintained as the kill circulation proceeds because
of the additional small circulating friction pressure loss.

After circulation, the well is opened up again and the mud weight may be further
increased to provide a safety or trip margin.

V4 Rev March 2002 5-1


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

BALANCE OF PRESSURES

Once the well is shut-in providing nothing has broken down, the pressures in the
well will be in balance. What is lacking in hydrostatic head of fluid in the well is
now being made up by surface applied pressure on the annulus and on the drill
pipe.

Providing the bit is on bottom and the string is full with a known mud density this
allows us to determine what the formation pressure is and hence what kill mud
weight is required to achieve balance.

On the drill pipe side of the U-tube. (Figure 5.1):

Formation Pressure = [Hydrostatic Pressure of Mud in Drill pipe] + [Shut-in Drill Pipe Pressure SIDPP]

On the casing side of the U-tube:

Formation = Hydrostatic Pressure + Hydrostatic Pressure + Shut-in Casing


Pressure of Mud in Annulus of Influx Pressure

The mixture of mud and formation fluid in the annulus makes it impossible to
determine formation pressure using the casing information. The drill pipe,
however, is full of clean mud of known weight and can be used as a “barometer’
of what is happening downhole.

PF = Head of Mud In Drill pipe + SIDPP

We require the mud to produce a hydrostatic pressure equal to the formation


pressure over a length equal to the true vertical depth of the hole. This can be
expressed as a gradient, and converted to any desired mud weight unit; in this
case ppg.

The kill mud weight required could also be described as the original mud weight
increased by an amount which will provide a hydrostatic pressure equal to the
amount of the drill pipe shut-in pressure over the vertical length of the hole.

SIDPP (psi)
Kill Mud Original Mud + ––––––––––––––––––
Weight (ppg) = ÷ 0.052

[ ]
Weight (ppg) True Vertical Depth (ft)

Once the formation pressure is known, the mud weight required to balance, or
‘kill’, it can be calculated, since:-

Formation Pressure (psi)


Kill Mud Weight (ppg) = ––––––––––––––––––– ÷ 0.052
True Vertical Depth (ft)

5-2 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

Figure 5.1

DRILL PIPE ANNULUS

DRILL PIPE CASING


PRESSURE PRESSURE

800 psi 1220 psi

MUD HYDROSTATIC MUD HYDROSTATIC


PRESSURE IN THE PRESSURE IN THE
DRILL PIPE ANNULUS

8613 psi

9100 psi 67 psi

TOTAL PRESSURE TOTAL PRESSURE


ACTING DOWN ACTING DOWN
(9100 + 800 = 9900 psi) (8613 + 1220 + 67 =9900 psi)

9900 psi 9900 psi

FORMATION
9900 psi 9900 psi
PRESSURE

9900 psi

Drill Pipe:
SIDPP + Hydrostatic Pressure of Mud = Formation Pressure
Annulus:
SICP + Hydrostatic Pressure of Mud + Hydrostatic Pressure of Influx
= Formation Pressure

V4 Rev March 2002 5-3


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

5.2 CONSTANT BOTTOM HOLE PRESSURE KILL METHODS

There are three ‘constant bottom-hole pressure’ kill methods in common use today
which are:

• Driller’s Method

• Wait & Weight Method (also known as the ‘Engineer’s Method’)

• Concurrent Method

These three techniques are very similar in principle, and differ only in respect of
when kill mud is pumped down.

In the Driller’s Method, the kill is split into two circulations. During the first, the
kick fluid is circulated without changing the mud weight; once the kick is out, the
mud is weighted up and pumped around the well on the second circulation.

The Wait & Weight method achieves both of these operations simultaneously. Kill
mud is prepared before starting the kill, and the kick fluid is circulated out while
this mud is circulated into the well.

In the Concurrent method, a compromise is adopted between these two methods.


The kick fluid is circulated out while the mud being circulated in, is weighted up
in stages, towards the kill weight.

5-4 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

5.3 THE DRILLER'S METHOD

In the Driller’s Method, the kick is circulated out of the hole using the existing
mud weight. The mud weight is then raised to the required level and circulated
around the well.

Two complete circulations are thus required, as a minimum, for this method. Since
it deals separately with the removal of the kick and the addition of kill weight
mud, it is generally considered to be the simplest of well control methods, and it
requires least arithmetic. However, this results, in the well being circulated under
pressure for a relatively long time, possibly the longest of the three methods, with
an increased possibility of choke problems. Also, the annular pressures produced
during the first circulation are higher than produced with any other method.

CAUTION: because very high annular pressure may arise when killing a gas kick
with this method, care should be taken. Annular pressure will be at a
maximum immediately before gas arrives at surface, and casing burst
pressure limitations may be critical.

This method is most used on small land rigs where the Driller may have little help
and limited equipment. It is also used on highly deviated and horizontal wells,
where the influx is likely to be a swabbed kick.

In addition the simplicity of the Driller’s Method makes it useful when only
limited information is available about the well conditions.

To summarise:

FIRST CIRCULATION: Pump the kick out of the well, using existing mud weight.

SECOND CIRCULATION: Pump kill weight mud around the well.

Advantages of Driller’s Method:

• Minimum Arithmetic
• Minimum Waiting Around Time - can start kill at once
• Minimum Information Required

Disadvantages of Driller’s Method:

• Highest Annular Pressure Produced


• Maximum Well Under Pressure Time
• Longest ‘On-choke’ Time

V4 Rev March 2002 5-5


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

Procedure for Driller’s Method (See Figure 5.2)

1. The well is closed in and the information recorded.

FIRST CIRCULATION

2. If a slow circulating rate pressure, PSCR, has been taken, then calculate the
pressure required on the drill pipe for the first circulation of the well.

This is: Initial Circulation = Slow Circulation Rate + Shut-in Drill pipe
Pressure Pressure Pressure
or: ICP = PSCR + SIDPP

3. Open the choke about one quarter, start the pump and break circulation; then
bring the pump up to the KILL RATE.

4. While the Driller is bringing the pump up to the KILL RATE, the choke
operator should operate the choke so as to keep the casing pressure at or near
the closed in casing pressure reading.

5. Once the pump is up to the KILL RATE, the choke operator should transfer
his attention to the drill pipe pressure gauge and adjust the choke to
maintain the INITIAL CIRCULATING PRESSURE on the drill pipe pressure
gauge.

6. The INITIAL CIRCULATING PRESSURE is held constant on the drill pipe


pressure gauge by adjusting the choke throughout the whole of the first
circulation, until all of the kick fluid has been circulated out of the well. The
pump rate must also be held constant at the KILL RATE throughout this
period.

7. Once the kick is out of the hole, shut the well in and mix up the kill mud
weight required.

Kill Weight Mud (ppg) = Original Mud Weight + ( SIDPP


–––––––––––––––
T.V.D. x 0.052
)
NOTE 1: This is a kill weight mud to balance formation pressure. It is the lowest
possible mud weight which will ‘kill’ the well. Once the well is dead, it
will be necessary to increase the mud weight further to provide a trip
margin.
NOTE 2: Some operators prefer to continue circulating the well while kill weight
mud is being mixed. There is no theoretical reason why this should not be
done, though it does result in further wear and tear on equipment under
pressure - in particular the choke.

5-6 V4 Rev March 2002


A B C
INITIAL CASING CASING
SIDPP SICP CIRCULATING PRESSURE PRESSURE
PRESSURE RISING
SIDPP = SIDPP

V4 Rev March 2002


ORIGINAL
WEIGHT DRILLER’S
DRILLER’S MUD DRILLER’S
METHOD METHOD METHOD

KICK SHUT IN CIRCULATING FIRST


GAS KICK OUT CIRCULATION
Gas Kick EXPANDING COMPLETE
Expanding gas is pushing more Well closed in
mud out of annulus, so Casing
Before start Pressure rising to compensate and
GAS Original weight mud all
of first KEEP CONSTANT BOTTOM
circulation HOLE PRESSURE around well

D E F
CASING
DRILLPIPE CASING
PRESSURE
PRESSURE PRESSURE F.C.P. 0 psi 0 psi
Figure 5.2

BEING
DROPPING STEADY
REDUCED

KILL
WEIGHT
MUD DRILLER’S WELL KILLED
DRILLER’S METHOD
METHOD Shut in - kill
KILL MUD
COMING UP mud all round
CIRCULATING well
ANNULUS
KILL MUD IN
Drill pipe pressure KILL Choke being steadily Well clean up may take
dropping (from I.C.P MUD opened to keep F.C.P. on some time - small
to F.C.P. as Kill Mud drill pipe, hence Casing residual pressure on the
goes to bit ) Pressure reducing casing is thus likely
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL
WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team

5-7
WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

SECOND CIRCULATION

8. Once the kill mud is ready, open the choke about one quarter, start the pump
and break circulation. Then bring the pump up to the kill rate.

9. While the Driller is bringing the pump up to the kill rate, the choke operator
should operate the choke so as to keep the casing pressure steady at the same
pressure as when closed in.

10. While the drill pipe is being filled with heavy mud there are two options for
keeping B.H.P. constant, either keep the casing pressure constant or make out
a graph going from I.C.P. to F.C.P.

NOTE: If the influx was gas and all the gas was not removed in first circulation,
the first option of keeping casing pressure constant could lead to higher
annular pressures.

The drill pipe pressure will go down as the drill pipe is being slugged with the
heavier mud. In practice, if all the kick was properly removed in the first
circulation, the choke should not need to be touched once the pumps are steady at
the Kill Rate, until kill mud reaches the bit.

Once the kill mud reaches the bit, the pressure held on the drill pipe is just that
required to circulate the kill mud around the well. This is the slow circulating rate
pressure, increased slightly for the extra mud weight.

Final Circulating Slow Circulating Kill Mud Weight .


Pressure = Rate Pressure x Original Mud Weight

The drill pipe pressure starts dropping below the initial circulating pressure, as the
kill mud starts down the drill pipe, reaching the final circulating pressure when
the kill mud reaches the bit. Thereafter the drill pipe pressure is held at the final
circulating pressure by controlled opening of the choke, as the kill mud moves up
the annulus.

A graph showing how drill pipe pressure drops from the initial to the final
circulating pressure is shown in Figure 3 and this can be used as a guide to the
drill pipe pressures required. The drill pipe pressure should drop according to the
graph, as kill mud goes to the bit, without the choke being moved.

5-8 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

Figure 5.3

1500
1400
1300 ICP
1200
1100
1000
PRESSURE

900
FCP
800
700
600
500
400
300
200
100
0
0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1000 1100 1200 1300 1400 1500 1600 1700
STROKES

Because of the possibility that the annulus may not be circulated completely clean,
during the first circulation, it may be preferable to work out how the drill pipe
pressure should vary as kill mud is pumped around the well. This will allow the
drill pipe pressure to be used throughout, so eliminating the possibility of small
gas bubbles in the annulus producing misleading information.

The following graphs depict the variations in pressure during the well circulation.

V4 Rev March 2002 5-9


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

Figure 5.4

FIRST CIRCULATION

Circulating Pressure FINISH


START

Pressure Constant

Circulating
Pressure at
Reduced Rate

Drill Pipe
Closed in
Pressure

Time or Pump Strokes

START Annular Pressure FINISH

ux
Infl
Gas

Water Influx

Annular
Pressure

Time or Pump Strokes

Profile of Circulating and Annular Pressure


While Killing by Driller's Method

5 - 10 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

Figure 5.5

SECOND CIRCULATION

Circulating Pressure FINISH


START

Pressure Constant
Circulating
Pressure at Circulating Pressure with Kill Mud
Reduced Rate

Well Dead in Drill Pipe

Drill Pipe
Closed in
Pressure

Surface to Bit
Time or Pump Strokes

START Annular Pressure FINISH

Constant

Annular
Pressure

Surface to Bit
Time or Pump Strokes

Profile of Circulating and Annular Pressure


While Killing by Driller's Method

V4 Rev March 2002 5 - 11


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

Determination of Initial Circulating Pressure

If no slow circulating rate pressure has been taken, then the initial circulating
pressure can be determined using the start-up procedures described in the
circulations of the Driller’s Method.

Where the casing pressure has been held constant while the pumps are brought up
to a kill rate, the drill pipe pressure reading will be the initial circulating pressure.

WARNING: the existence of a predetermined kill rate gives rig personnel a wrong
impression that a kick must be circulated exclusively at this rate.

The procedure consists of:

1. Noting casing pressure reading.

2. Adjusting pumps to new kill rate. Adjusting choke to hold casing pressure
constant at the value noted.

3. As soon as the driller has the pumps settled on the new rate, return to the
drill pipe pressure gauge. Note this new reading is the circulating pressure for the
new pump rate and maintain this.

4. Check choke orifice size, in relation to kill rate

NOTE: This procedure is satisfactory at any time during a kill providing the mud
weight in the drill string is not changing during the process. It is however
preferable to maintain pump rate constant as much as possible. Any
decision to change pump rate should be taken early.

5 - 12 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

5.4 THE WAIT AND WEIGHT METHOD

The “Wait and Weight” is sometimes referred to as the ‘Engineers Method’ or the
‘One Circulation Method’. It does, at least in theory, kill the well in one circulation.

Once the well is shut in and pressures stabilised, the shut in drill pipe pressure is
used to calculate the kill mud weight. Mud of the required weight is made up in
the mud pits. When ready, kill mud is pumped down the drill pipe. At
commencement, enough drill pipe pressure must be held to circulate the mud,
plus a reserve equivalent to the original shut in drill pipe pressure. This total
steadily decreases as the mud goes down to the bit, until with kill mud at the bit,
the required pressure is simply that needed to pump kill mud around the well.

The choke is adjusted to reduce drill pipe pressure while kill mud is pumped
down the string. With kill mud at the bit, the static head of mud in the drill pipe
balances formation pressure. For the remainder of the circulation, as the influx is
pumped to the surface, followed by drill pipe contents and the kill mud, the drill
pipe pressure is held at the final circulating pressure by choke adjustment.

Advantages of the Wait and Weight Method

• Lowest wellbore pressures, and lowest surface pressures - this means less
equipment stress.

• Minimum ‘on-choke’ circulating time - less chance of washing out the choke.

Disadvantages of the Wait and Weight Method

• Considerable waiting time (while weighting up) - gas migration.

• If large increases in mud weight required, this is difficult to do uniformly in


one stage.

Procedure for the Wait and Weight Method

The Wait and Weight method uses the same calculations already described for a
drill pipe pressure schedule. The calculations are:

Kill Mud Weight Original Mud Weight + _______(SIDPP)_______


=
(PPG) (PPG) True Vertical Depth x.052

V4 Rev March 2002 5 - 13


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

At the start of the circulation, with kill mud:


Initial Circulating Slow Circulating Rate Shut in Drill pipe
Pressure = Pressure + Pressure
(ICP) (SCRP) (SIDPP)
Once the capacity of the drill string is calculated, it is possible to draw a graph
showing how drill pipe pressure varies as kill mud is pumped down to the bit.
(See Figure 5.6)

Once kill mud is ready, the start-up procedure is as previously described.

The choke is cracked open, the pump started to break circulation, and then brought
up slowly to the Kill Rate.

While the Driller brings the pump up to the Kill Rate, the choke operator works the
choke so as to keep the casing pressure at or as near as possible to the closed in
casing pressure reading.
When the pump is up to the Kill Rate, the choke operator transfers to the drill pipe
pressure gauge.

As the kill mud proceeds down the drill pipe, the drill pipe pressure is allowed to
drop steadily from the Initial Circulating Pressure to the Final Circulating Pressure,
by choke adjustment.

Where the kick is a small one, at or near the bottom of the hole, the drill pipe
pressure tends to drop of its own accord as the kill mud moves down. Little or no
choke adjustment is required.

Only in cases of diffused gas kicks with gas far up the annulus will significant
choke adjustments be needed during this period.

After kill mud has reached the bit, the drill pipe pressure is maintained at the Final
Circulating Pressure, until the kill mud returns to surface.

As with the Driller’s method, this Final Circulating pressure is held constant as
long as pump rate is held constant at the selected value. If, for any reason, the
pump rate is felt to be wrong, it can be changed using the same procedure
described previously. However, pump rate changes should be avoided, where
possible.

While the pump rate is adjusted, the casing pressure is held steady by adjusting
the choke. Once the pump is stabilised at its new speed, the revised circulating
pressure is read from the drill pipe gauge. If a gas influx is very near to the surface,
adjusting pump rate by holding a steady casing pressure may significantly increase
the bottom hole pressure. This is due to the rapid expansion of gas near the
surface. Alterations in pump rate are to be made early on!

The following two graphs depict pressure variations during the Wait and Weight
method.

5 - 14 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

Figure 5.6
Circulating Pressure FINISH
START

Circulating Pressure Constant


Pressure at Circulating Pressure with Kill Mud
Reduced Rate

Well Dead in Drill Pipe

Drill Pipe
Closed in
Pressure

Surface to Bit
Time or Pump Strokes

START Annular Pressure FINISH

PH1 PH2 PH3 PH4

Annular
Pressure

Surface to Bit
Time or Pump Strokes

Profile of Circulating and Annular Pressure


Killing by Wait and Weight Method

V4 Rev March 2002 5 - 15


5 - 16
A B CASING
C CASING
DRILLPIPE
PRESSURE PRESSURE
I.C.P. SICP PRESSURE F.C.P.
V. SLOWLY V. SLOWLY
DROPPING
RISING RISING

Kill Mud Kill Mud Kill Mud


Weight Weight Weight

WAIT & WEIGHT WAIT & WEIGHT WAIT &


WEIGHT
START OF KICK CIRCULATING
KILL MUD DOWN KILL MUD
Drill pipe pressure dropping AT BIT
Gas Kick from Initial Circulating
Pressure to Final Circulating Drill pipe Pressure
Pressure Casing Pressure now steady at
Just starting kill mud rising very slowly (little gas Final Circulating
down drill pipe expansion) Pressure
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

D CASING
E F
SMALL
F.C.P. PRESSURE CASING F.C.P. 0
AT
F.C.P.
WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team

PRESSURE
Figure 5.7

MAXIMUM

WAIT & WEIGHT WAIT &


WAIT & WEIGHT
WEIGHT
DRILL PIPE
GAS AT
CONTENTS
SURFACE WELL KILLED
AT SURFACE

Well ‘clean up’ takes


Casing Pressure Small Casing Pressure still some time, as small
at its maximum held - as light mud from residual Casing
value drillpipe circulated out Pressure is likely

V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

5.5 VOLUMETRIC WELL CONTROL

The volumetric method is mostly used in workover and production operations. It


is a means of allowing the gas to migrate to surface under control. The gas needs
to migrate at over (approx.) 1000' per hour. To allow the bubble to expand the
casing gauge is held constant for a given volume of mud bled off. This operation is
repeated, holding an ever increasing pressure on the gauge until the gas reaches
the surface. This is to ensure the BHP is constant.

WHEN TO USE VOLUMETRIC WELL CONTROL

• A gas kick is taken and is migrating and the drill string is plugged and only
casing pressure can be read.

• No drill string in the well, packer leaking, wireline logging and swabbed gas
migrating.

Figure 5.9 Example of volumetric well control with a plugged bit

700
WELL DATA

TVD = 12000'
TVD Shoe = 8000'
DP/csg/OH cap = 0.0459 bbl/ft
130 bbls
DC/OH cap = 0.0291 bbl/ft
Mud wt = 12.0 ppg
Influx Grad = 0.12 psi/ft
Casing Press = 700 psi

Active pit volume before kick = 120 bbls


Active pit volume after kick = 130 bbls

For calculating safety margins and working margins use the universal volumetric
well control equation below:-

P.choke = Pann + Ps + Pw

Pa = Initial SICP

Ps = Built in safety margin prior to volumetric well control


commencing.
Recommended safety margin = 100 - 200 psi

Pw = Working margin for volumetric well control


Recommended working margin = 50 - 100 psi

V4 Rev March 2002 5 - 17


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

P.choke = Pann + Ps + Pw
= 700 + 100 + 50
= 850 psi

5.5.1 Allow the casing pressure to increase to 850 psi. Note the time taken for this
pressure increase then estimate percolating rate in ft/hr.

Example:-

Pressure increased by 150 psi in 15 minutes or 600 psi/hr

Pressure increase/hr
Percolating rate= –––––––––––––––––
Mud grad psi/ft

600 psi
= –––––––––
0.624 psi/ft
= 962 ft/hr

Note: With this percolating rate it will take approximately 12 hours to get the
influx to the surface and it should also be noted percolating rate may
increase when gas is close to surface.

5.5.2 When casing pressure is at 850 psi bleed off at choke a volume of mud equal
to the working pressure (50 psi).

Note: Casing pressure must be kept constant at 850 psi during this operation.
After 50 psi of mud equivalent has been bled off at choke allow the gas to
migrate unexpanded until a further 50 psi of overbalance is attained.
Bleed off 50 psi equivalent mud at choke and repeat procedure until gas is
at choke. The next step lubrication will be discussed later.

5.5.3 CALCULATIONS FOR MUD VOLUME TO BLEED FOR PW

OH/DC's Cap
A. Around drill collars mud volume to bleed = Pw x –––––––––––
Mud grad
0.0291
= 50 X ––––––
0.624
= 2.3 bbls

5 - 18 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

B. Around Drill Pipe

DP/OH Casg Cap


Mud volume to bleed = Pw x ––––––––––––––
Mud Grad
0.0459
= 50 x ––––––
0.624
= 3.6 bbls

5.5.4 GRAPHICAL EXAMPLE OF A VOLUMETRIC BLEED

Figure 5.10

1000
Bleed off 3.6 bbls

Allow gas to migrate until 5


casing pressure read 850 psi Bleed off 3.6 bbls
900
2
4
Bleed off 3.6 bbls keeping choke
pressure ± 20 psi either side of 900
3 psi Influx around D.pipe
800 Bleed off 2.3 bbl keeping
choke pressure ± 20 psi
either side of 850 psi
influx around DC's

1
700 First build up
when well was
shut in

600

500
Time

V4 Rev March 2002 5 - 19


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

5.5.5 Figure 5.11 shows what is happening to the gas in the well.

Figure 5.11

0 0 0 0 0 0

700 850 850 900 950 1000

original volume
(10 bbls) (10 bbls) (12.3 bbls) (15.9 bbls) (18.5 bbls) (22.1 bbls)

Gas volume in bbls at the end of each mud bleed.

Clearly the description outlined is simplified. Four bleeds are shown.


Depending upon the size of the volume bled and the well depth more or less
bleeds may be required than illustrated here.

Important Points

1. Bleed mud at constant choke pressure using the manual choke. Ensure
crew trained not to be tempted to bleed off faster than this as more
influx could be induced into the well. A major problem with the
method could be boredom, careful records must be kept of pressure
and volumes.

2. Gas may not conveniently migrate up the well in one bubble. As soon
as gas reached choke, stop bleeding until rest of gas catches up. This
may build up an unacceptable overbalance and each situation will have
to be judged on the operational merits of the situation.

5 - 20 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

5.5.6 LUBRICATION

Once gas is at choke stop the bleed operation and commence pumping mud
into the well using the kill line.

The procedure for lubrication is as follows:-

1. Pump slowly into kill line and let kill and choke line pressure equalise
before opening kill line stack valves.

2. Pump 3.6 bbls mud into annulus and allow the mud time to fall
through the gas, then bleed off pressure at the choke equal to the
hydrostatic pressure of the mud pumped into the annulus.

Example:-

Pumped volume
Pressure to bleed = ––––––––––––– x Mud grad
Ann Cap
3.6
= –––––– x 0.624
0.0459
= 50 psi

3. Repeat the lubrication process until all the gas has been replaced with
mud and referring to the drawing in figure 5.11, this will take
approximately 22.1 bbls.

Note: Pit volume should return to 120 bbls the volume in active pit
before kick was taken.

V4 Rev March 2002 5 - 21


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

Figure 5.12 Graphical example of lubricating mud into annulus


ls
bb
6
1050 3. After pumping mud into annulus, waiting
p
m
Pu period allows mud to fall then bleed gas until
1000 casing pressure reduces by 50 psi below
original pressure.
950

900

850

800
Casing Pressure

750

700

650

600

550

500

450

400 Pit Volume


152.1 148.5 145 141 138 134 130.5 127 123 120
350
3.6 7.2 10.8 14.4 18 21.6 25.2 28.8 32.4
Barrels Pumped

1. Original Pit Volume = 120 bbls

Pit volume after kick and volumetric bleed = 152.1 bbls

2. Formation pressure = SICP + P° hyd mud + P° hyd gas


= 700 + (11656 x 0.624) + (344 x 0.12)
= 700 + 7273 + 42
= 8015 psi

BHP after lubrication = SICP + P° Hyd mud


= 550 + (12000 x 0.624)
= 550 + 7488
= 8038 psi

5.5.7 Once the volumetric bleed and lubrication has been completed then the well
must be circulated to kill mud. This can be done by running wire line and
perforating drill pipe or drill collars. If all the gas has been bled from the
annulus then SICP can be used to calculate the kill mud.

5 - 22 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

5.6 VOLUMTRIC STRIPPING

5.6.1 Example of Volumetric Stripping

The options available if an influx is swabbed or if the well starts flowing


during a trip are as follows:-

a) If well is not flowing, trip back to bottom keeping a careful check on


returns. Then circulate influx out of hole.

b) If well is flowing and is shut in and the gas is percolating with the bit a
long way off bottom and tight hole conditions have been experienced,
then consider doing a volumetric bleed.

c) If well is flowing and is shut in and the gas is percolating with the bit a
long way off bottom and tight hole conditions have been experienced,
then consider bullheading.

d) If well is flowing and is shut in and the gas is percolating and no


problems are anticipated in stripping back to bottom, then consider
volumetric stripping to get bit to bottom. Circulate influx out using first
circulation of Driller's Method.

Note: A swabbed kick well can be most effectively killed with bit on
bottom. So every effort must be made to get bit safely back on
bottom.

V4 Rev March 2002 5 - 23


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

5.6.2 Well details

Figure 5.13

108

108

Bit size = 8 1/2"


TVD = 12,000'
TVD shoe = 9,000'
Bit Depth = 11,000'
DP Cap = 0.02776 bbl/ft
DP Disp = 0.0075 bbl/ft
DP/OH cap = 0.0459 bbl/ft
Mud wt = 12.0 ppg
Pit Gain = 15.0 bbls
Influx Grad = 0.12 psi/ft

Bit depth at original shut in = 11,000'

15 bbls
Figure 5.14
0

560
Shut in pressures and influx size
with bit on bottom.

24.5 bbls

5 - 24 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

5.6.3 Shut in procedure for a swabbed kick while tripping

Fast shut-in

1. Stab safety valve (kelly cock).

2. Close safety valve.

3. Open HCR fail safe valves.

4. Close annular.

5. Read casing pressure and if possible read drill pipe pressure.

6. Stab inside BOP (Gray valve).


7. Open safety valve.

8. Do stripping calculations, prepare stripping sheet.

9. Reduce annular pressure and commence stripping drill pipe.

Note: The above procedure (steps 1 through 5) assumes there is no float or


non-return valve in the drill string.

5.6.4 For calculating safety margins and working margins use the universal
volumetric well control equation below:-

P.choke = Pann + Ps + Pw

Pa = Initial SICP

Ps = 100 psi + *Increase in casing pressure with influx around drill collars
* ∆P.csg = Mud grad - Influx grad x (H2 - H1)

Pw = Working margin (Recommended working margin = 50 - 100 psi)

15 15
H1 = –––– = 214' H2 = ––––– = 514'
0.07 0.0292

Pa = 108 psi

Ps = 100 + (0.624 - 0.12) x (514 - 214)


= 100 + 0.504 x 300
= 251 psi

Pw = 50 psi

P.choke = 108 + 251 + 50


= 410 psi

V4 Rev March 2002 5 - 25


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

Theoretical bleed off in bbl/ft while stripping = DP displacement + DP cap


= 0.01776 + 0.0075
= 0.02526 bbl/ft

Excess bleed off for each 50 psi working margin = Pw x ( Ann Cap
––––––––––
Mud grad
)
= 50 x (0.0292
–––––––
0.0624
)
= 2.3 bbls

Note: If the gas is not migrating while stripping, only theoretical bleed off will
be seen in strip tank.
If gas is migrating then any excess bleed off is due to migration.
When excess bleed off is ± 2.3 bbls, then build in another 50 psi working
pressure. Refer to Volumetric Stripping chart (Fig. 5.15).

Figure 5.15

Average length ACCUMULATIVE VOLUMES


P° choke = 94' Theoretical Actual vol. Excess vol.
No. Stands vol. bleed off bleed off bleed off

Step 1 108 –>410 1 1.00 1.20 0.20 After 50' pressure at 410 psi

410 2 3.37 4.53 1.16

410 3 5.74 7.86 2.12

After 15' stripped


Step 2 460 4 7.74 10.72 2.98
pressure at 460 psi

460 5 10.11 14.05 3.94

460 6 12.48 17.38 4.90

After 15' stripped


Step 3 510 7 14.48 20.18 5.70
pressure at 510 psi

510 8 16.85 23.51 6.66

510 9 19.22 26.84 7.62

After 15' stripped


Step 4 560 10 21.59 30.07 8.48
pressure at 560 psi

560 11 23.96 33.41 9.45

5 - 26 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

Step 1 Allow casing pressure to increase to calculated Pchoke pressure


while stripping first stand, then hold casing pressure constant by
bleed off at choke.

Note: The casing pressure may not rise straight away because the gas has
to be compressed. It may take 2 - 3 stands before a pressure build up
is seen.

Step 2, 3 & 4 With theoretical bleed already calculated, record actual bleed,
when the difference between the actual and theoretical bleed is
2.3 bbls allow annulas pressure to increase by Pw (50 psi).

Figure 5.16

600
Step 4
500 Step 3
Step 2
400
Pressure

Step 1

300

200

100

0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Stands

5.6.5 With bit on bottom casing pressure reads 560 psi, gas influx has expanded by
9.45 bbls and if it was possible to read drill pipe pressure it would read zero
with drill pipe full of mud. The influx should now be circulated out using
auto choke.

Note: No kill mud will be required as this is a swabbed kick.

V4 Rev March 2002 5 - 27


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

5.7 EDITED EXTRACT FROM API RP53

PIPE STRIPPING ARRANGEMENTS - SURFACE INSTALLATIONS

PURPOSE

During operations on a drilling or producing well, a sequence of events may


require tubing, casing, or drill pipe to be run or pulled while annular pressure is
contained by blowout preventers; such practice is called “stripping”. Stripping is
normally considered an emergency procedure to maintain well control; however,
plans for certain drilling, completion, or well work operations may include
stripping to eliminate the necessity of loading the well with fluid.

EQUIPMENT

Stripping techniques vary, and the equipment required depends upon the
technique employed. Each stripping operation tends to be unique, requiring
adaptation to the particular circumstances. Therefore, the equipment and the basic
guidelines discussed herein are necessarily general in nature. Stripping requires
surface equipment which simultaneously:

a. permits pipe to be pulled from or run into a well,

b. provides a means of containing and monitoring annular pressure, and

c. permits measured volumes of fluid to be bled from or pumped into the well.

Subsurface equipment is required to prevent pressure entry or flow into the pipe
being stripped. This equipment should either be removable or designed so that its
presence will not interfere with operations subsequent to stripping.

The well site supervisor and crew must have a thorough working knowledge of all
well control principles and equipment employed for stripping. Equipment should
be rigorously inspected, and, if practicable, operated prior to use.

For stripping operations, the primary surface equipment consists of blowout


preventers, closing units, chokes, pumps, gauges, and trip tanks (or other accurate
drilling fluid measuring equipment).

The number, type, and pressure rating of the blowout preventers required for
stripping are based on anticipated or known surface pressure, the environment,
and degree of protection desired. Often the blowout preventer stack installed for
normal drilling is suitable for low pressure stripping if spaced so that tool joints or
couplings can be progressively lowered or pulled through the stack, with at least
one sealing element closed to contain well pressure.

5 - 28 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

Annular preventers are most commonly employed for stripping because tool
joints and some couplings can be moved through the preventer without opening
or closing of the packing element. Wear of the packing element limits the sole use
of this preventer if high annular pressure must be contained while stripping. To
minimise wear the closing pressure should be reduced as much as possible and the
element allowed to expand and contract (breathe) as tool joint pass through.
Lubrication of the pipe with a mixture of oil and graphite or by permitting a small
leakage of annular fluid will reduce wear on the packing element. A spare packing
element should be at the well site during any stripping operation.

Ram type preventers or combinations of ram and annular preventers are


employed when pressure and/or Configuration of the coupling could cause
excessive wear if the annular preventer were used alone. Ram preventers must be
opened to permit passage of tool joints or couplings. When stripping between
preventers, provision should be made for pumping into and releasing fluid from
the space between preventers. Pressure across the sealing element should be
equalised prior to opening the preventer to reduce wear and to facilitate operation
of the preventer. After equalising the pressure and opening the lower preventer a
volume of drilling fluid equal to that displaced as the pipe is run into or pulled
from the well should be, respectively, bled from or pumped into the space
between the preventers.

Chokes are required to control the release of fluid while maintaining the desired
annular pressure. Adjustable chokes which permit fast, precise control should be
employed. Parallel chokes which permit isolation and repair of one choke while
the other is active are desirable on lengthy stripping operations. Because of the
severe service, spare parts or spare chokes should be on location. Fig. 10.A.1
illustrates an example choke installation on the standpipe suitable for stripping
operations.

A pump truck or skid mounted pump is normally employed when stripping out.
The relatively small volume of drilling fluid required to replace the capacity and
displacement of each stand or joint of pipe may be accurately measured and
pumped at a controlled rate with such equipment. Well fluid from below the
preventer should not be used to equalise pressure across the stripping preventer.

A trip tank or other method of accurately measuring the drilling fluid bled off,
leaked from, or pumped into the well within an accuracy of one-half barrel is
required.

The lowermost ram should not be employed in the stripping operation. This ram
should be reserved as a means of shutting in the well if other components of the
blowout preventer stack fail. It should not be subjected to the wear and stress of
the stripping process.

V4 Rev March 2002 5 - 29


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

5.8 REMOVAL OF GAS TRAPPED IN BOP’S

In order to displace a gas kick completely from the wellbore several circulations of
the well might be needed. During this time some of the gas may have become
trapped under closed rams in the BOP stack as shown in Fig 5.28. This has the
potential to cause a serious problem if the gas is not removed in a controlled
manner. If the rams were opened without removing the trapped gas, the gas
would be released into the riser. As the gas migrated, it would expand rapidly and
cause the riser to unload mud onto the rig floor.

The most thorough method of gas removal is to leave the well shut on the lower
rams whilst displacing the choke and kill lines to water. By closing the kill line
valves, pressure can be bled off up the choke line and “U-tubed” up the choke line
by opening the pipe rams. This sequence is shown in Fig 5.29 and 5.30.

The surface diverter should be closed during the operations so that any residual
gas from the riser can be safely dealt with. Once the riser has been displaced to kill
weight mud the lower rams can be opened and the well flow-checked. Calculate
any new riser margin or trip margin that might have to be added to the mud
weight.

Figure 5.28 TRAPPED GAS IN BOP STACK


KILL CHOKE
LINE LINE
UPPER
ANNULA
R
LOWER
ANNULA
BLIND/SHEAR R
RAMS

PIPE RAMS

PIPE RAMS

PIPE RAMS

5 - 30 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

Figure 5.29 REMOVING TRAPPED GAS FROM BOP STACK

KILL CHOKE KILL CHOKE


LINE LINE LINE LINE

Isolate the well from the BOP stack Slowly displace kill line to salt water.
by closing the lower pipe rams. As the kill line is displaced to water,
increase the kill line circulating
pressure by an amount equal to the
difference in hydrostatic pressure
between kill mud and salt water at
stack depth. This will maintain the gas
at original pressure with clean salt
KILL CHOKE water returns at surface stop pumping
LINE LINE
close choke.

Displace riser to kill mud using upper


kill line.

V4 Rev March 2002 5 - 31


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

Figure 5.30 REMOVING TRAPPED GAS FROM BOP STACK

KILL CHOKE KILL CHOKE


LINE LINE LINE LINE

Close the subsea kill line valves. Close the diverter and line up to fill the riser.

At this point the pressure is still Open the pipe rams and allow the riser to
trapped in the gas bubble. U-tube taking returns up the choke line.

Bleed off pressure through the choke Fill the riser as necessary.
to allow the gas to displace water
from the choke line. Open the lower pipe rams and diverter
element.
The gas bubble should now be at
close to atmospheric pressure. Flow check the well.

5 - 32 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

Bubble Expansion Example:-


Choke Line Length = 1000'
Choke Line Volume = 8 bbls
Kill Mud = 15 ppg
Sea Water Grad = 0.445

P1 V1 780 X 3
V2 = –––– = ––––––– = 5.3 bbls
P2 445
P1 = 15 x 1000 x 0.052 = 780 psi
V1 = 3 bbls
P2 = 0.445 x 1000 = 445 psi

Example:

This example gives some idea of the large volumes of gas that could be
released to atmosphere if the annular is opened without sweeping the stack.

Lets say that we are drilling in 1800' of water and the well has been killed to
surface, via the choke line with 16.5 ppg mud.

The hydrostatic head compressing the gas under the bag would be

(1800 x 16.5 x .052) + 14.7 = 1559 psi

If the volume of gas trapped below the BOP = 5.46 bbls then:

P1 x V1 1559 x 5.46
–––––– = V2 –––––––––– = 579 bbls
P2 14.7

573 bbls of gas released at surface.

V4 Rev March 2002 5 - 33


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

5.9 KICK DETECTION AND WELL CONTROL PROBLEMS ON


DEVIATED AND HORIZONTAL WELLS

Figure 5.31

A - SURFACE

30" Shoe TVD = 1000' MD = 1000'


20" Shoe TVD = 2500' MD = 2500'
B - KICK OFF POINT (K.O.P.)

13 3/8" Shoe TVD = 5000' MD = 5500'

Mud Weight = 10.0 ppg


9 5/8" Shoe TVD = 9500' MD = 17500'

Formation Pressure = 4700 psi C - END OF BUILD (E.O.B.) D - TOTAL MEASURED


MD at C = 12500' DEPTH (M.D.)

Well Depth TVD = 10000' MD = 15000'

INTRODUCTION

Kick behaviour can be significantly different in highly deviated and horizontal


wells. If influx is mainly gas, problems can be experienced getting the gas to move
out of the horizontal section. It maybe impossible to remove the gas if the
horizontal section is greater than 90 degrees. Swabbed influxes can be hard to
detect in horizontal sections and care must be taken while making connections or
tripping in these sections of the hole. Drill pipe pressure graphs will also be
significantly different for horizontal and deviated wells.

5.9.1 KICK DETECTION AND PRECAUTIONS TO TAKE WHILE DRILLING

a) First indication of a kick while drilling would be an increase in flow rate.

b) If the increase in flow rate is not picked up then the second indication of a
kick would be a pit level increase.

c) While drilling the horizontal section mixing chemicals or slow addition of


mud into the active system should be avoided

5 - 34 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

5.9.2 KICK DETECTION AND PRECAUTIONS TO TAKE WHEN MAKING


CONNECTIONS.

a) The equivalent circulating density is relatively higher when drilling high


angle wells. While drilling, the trip tank should be kept half full of mud
when pumps are off. During a connection well should be lined up on trip
tank as the most likely time to swab or take a kick is when APL is lost with
pumps off.

b) If an influx has been swabbed in and not picked up during a connection no


increase pit level will be seen until influx is out of horizontal section. If it is a
gas influx in an oil base mud then no increase maybe seen until influx
reaches bubble point usually ± 3000 feet beneath mud return flow line. The
driller and mud logger should pay particular attention to flow rates and pit
levels when connection gas moves out of horizontal section or is ± 3000 feet
beneath mud return flow line.

5.9.3 KICK DETECTION AND PRECAUTIONS TO TAKE WHILE TRIPPING.

a) Mud loggers will calculate maximum tripping speed to avoid swabbing.

b) Check mud rheology is within specifications prior to tripping, high mud


rheology can lead to swabbing.

c) When tripping out of horizontal section there are two options available
and a slug should not be pumped until bit is inside 9 5/8" casing.

1. Line up to trip tank pull out to 9 5/8" shoe monitoring hole fill in trip
tank

ADVANTAGES: Accurate record of hole fill.

DISADVANTAGES: Pulling out of hole with pumps off there is no APL


to Act as a safety margin.

2. Pull out of hole to 9 5/8" shoe back reaming and circulating.

ADVANTAGES: While circulating annular pressure loss will be acting


on formation and should prevent swabbing.

DISADVANTAGES: If an influx is swabbed in, it would be very hard if


not impossible to detect.

V4 Rev March 2002 5 - 35


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

5.9.4 GAS KICK IN HORIZONTAL SECTION.

a) Gas will not migrate if hole angle is 90 degrees or greater.

b) Gas will not migrate if it is dissolved in oil based mud.

c) Gas maybe trapped in undulations or washouts or in hole sections which are


greater than 90 degrees.

d) If gas cannot be removed from inverted sections then consider bullheading


gas into formation.

e) Slow circulating rates which give a flow rate greater than 130 ft/min while
circulating gas out of horizontal section should be considered. Flow rates
lower than this may not remove the gas from the horizontal section

f) A swabbed influx will not give a SICP if shut in while it is in horizontal


section.

g) Referring to drawings on page 1 it would be impossible to take a kick if


formation pressure remains at 4700 psi. If a fault is drilled and formation
pressure increases and the well is shut on a kick then SIDPP = SICP and the
gradient of the influx cannot be calculated.

5 - 36 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

Drill pipe kill graph for a vertical well using well details from Fig 5.31

Additional Information

SIDPP = 600 psi


PSCR (Up Riser) = 700 psi
Pump Output = 0.117 bbl/stks
Drill Pipe Cap = 0.01776 bbl/ft
BHA Cap = 1000' X 0.008 bbl/ft
Drill String Cap = 9000 X 0.01776 = 159.8
1000 X 0.008 = 8.0
167.8 bbl

167.8
Strokes to = ––––– = 1434 stks
Disp D.string 0.117

ICP - FCP 1300-784


Press Step Down psi/stks = –––––––––––––– = ––––––––– = 0.36 psi/stks
Surface to bit stks 1434

600
1. Kill Mud wt = ––––– ÷ 0.052 + 10.0
10000

= 11.2 ppg

2. ICP = 600 + 700

= 1300 psi

11.2
3. FCP = 700 x ––––
10

= 784 psi

V4 Rev March 2002 5 - 37


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

Figure 5.32

1500
1400
1300 ICP
1200
1100
1000
PRESSURE

900
FCP
800
700
600
500
400
300
200
100
0
0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1000 1100 1200 1300 1400 1500 1600 1700
STROKES
To construct this graph calculate ICP and FCP and strokes to displace the drill
string then draw a line between the two points.

IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT THIS GRAPH IS MADE UP OF TWO


DIFFERENT PRESSURES

No 1 Is the SIDPP which will decrease from 600 psi to zero when kill mud
is at the bit.

No 2 Is the SCR pressure which increases from 700 psi to 784 psi when the
kill mud is at the bit.

5 - 38 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

Drill pipe kill graph for a horizontal well using well details from Fig 5.31

Additional Information

SIDPP = 600 psi


PSCR (Up Riser) = 1050 psi
Pump Output = 0.117 bbl/stks
Drill Pipe Cap = 0.01776 bbl/ft
BHA Cap = 1000' X 0.008 bbl/ft
Drill String Cap = 14000 X 0.01776 = 248.6
1000 X 0.008 = 8.0
256.6 bbl

256.6
Strokes to = ––––– = 2194 stks
Disp D.string 0.117

Figure 5.33

A - (SURFACE)

B - (K.O.P.) MD = 2500'
TVD = 2500'

MD = 15000'
MD = 12500' TVD = 10000'
C - (E.O.B.) D - (M.D.)
TVD = 10000'

600
1. Kill Mud wt = ––––– ÷ 0.052 + 10.0 = 11.2 ppg
10000

2. ICP = 600 + 1050 = 1650 psi

11.2
3. FCP = 1050 x –––– = 1176 psi
10

V4 Rev March 2002 5 - 39


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

Figure 5.34

1700 A - (SURFACE) 1650


1600
1500 B - (K.O.P.) 1521
1400
1300
PRESSURE

1200 D - (M.D.) 1170


1100
C - (E.O.B.) 1155
1000
800
600
400
200
0
0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 2000 2200 2400 2600
STROKES
The calculations for Figure 34 are as follows:-

1. Pressure Drop from A to B

Static drill pipe pressure drop to point (B) = SIDPP - ( TVD(B)


––––––– x SIDPP
TVD
)
2500
= 600 - ––––– x 600 = 600 - 150 = 450 psi
10000

Frictional pressure increase at point (B) = SCR UP RISER + ( MD(B)


––––– FCP-PSCR
MD
)
= 1050 + ( 2500
–––––– x 126
15000
) = 1050 + 21 = 1071 psi

Pressure drop from A–> B = 1650 –> (1071 + 450) = 1650 psi –> 1521 psi

44.4
Strokes from A–> B 2500 x 0.01776 = –––––– = 380 strokes
0.117

5 - 40 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

2. Pressure drop from B to C

Static drill pipe pressure drop to point (C) = SIDPP - ( TVD(C)


–––––– x SIDPP
TVD
)
= 600 - ( 10000
––––– x 600
10000
) = 0 psi

Frictional pressure increase at point C = SCR + ( MD(C)


––––– x ∆P SCR
MD
)
= 1050 + (12500
–––––– x 126
15000
) = 1050+105 = 1155 psi

Pressure drop from B to C = 1521 to 1155 psi

Strokes from B to C = (12500 - 2500) x 0.01776 = ( )177.6


––––– = 1518 strokes
0.117

Accumulative strokes = 380 + 1518 = 1898 strokes

3. Frictional pressure increase from point C to point D

Frictional pressure at C = 1155 psi


Frictional pressure at D = 1176 psi

26.64
Strokes from C to D = (12500 - 14000) x 0.01776 = –––––– = 228 strokes
0.117
8
1000 x 0.008 = –––– = 68 strokes
0.117
296 strokes

Accumulative strokes to point D = 380 + 1518 + 296 = 2194 strokes

V4 Rev March 2002 5 - 41


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

5.10 KICK TOLERANCE

When a gas influx has entered a well there are 2 critical locations for the influx:-

a) When the influx is at the bottom of the well. In this case the SICP must not
exceed the MAASP, if the formation is not fractured at the casing shoe.

b) When the influx has been circulated up to the casing shoe, by a constant
bottom hole pressure method. In this case, the pressure at the choke must
not exceed the MAASP.

KICK TOLERANCE DEPENDS UPON:-

Formation strength, fracture pressure or fracture gradient.

Mud density or gradient.

Gas influx density or gradient.

Formation pore pressure, gradient or SIDPP.

Drill string and wellbore geometries.

The maximum tolerable length of gas influx in the annulus at any position
between bottom hole and the casing shoe is:-

H (Max) = MAASP - SIDPP (Eqn1)


G m - Gi

Where:- GM = mud gradient (psi/ft)

GI = influx gradient (psi/ft)

MAASP = (Gfrac - Gm) x Ds (psi)

Gfrac = formation fracture gradient at the shoe (psi/ft)

DS = TVD to the shoe (ft)

SIDPP = shut-in drillpipe pressure (psi)

5 - 42 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

KICK TOLERANCE : DRILLED KICK


MAASP

SICP

0 E L PRESSURE

BDE = pressure profile in annulus at


shut-in.
BD = initial gas influx height = H1
BMFKL = pressure profile in annulus
when top of gas is circulated to
DEPTH (TVD)

casing shoe, by 'drillers method'.

SK = fracture pressure at shoe.


FK = maximum tolerable length of
expanded gas influx at shoe
Mud

= HMAX.
∆le FKN = ∆le BDM.
Gra
dien

Hence HMAX = MAASP - SIDPP


GM - GI
t/Pr
effu
re L
ine

Shoe S N K
Fra

H max (gas)
ctu
reL

F
ine

D
M
A B H1(gas)

Phyd Ppore C
SIDPP

NB. Well geometry assumed to be constant

V4 Rev March 2002 5 - 43


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

DEFINITION 1: for a kick taken while drilling into a high pressure formation.

Kick Tolerance is the maximum allowable influx volume, for a known or assumed
SIDPP, which will not cause the formation to fracture when either the influx is at
the bottom of the annulus or when it is circulated and expanded to the casing shoe
by a constant bottom-hole pressure method. (Usually the Driller's method).

Thus the kick tolerance is either

H
a) V1g = Ldc x Vdca bbl (If H is <Ldc)

V1g = Vdca + (HCdpa


- Ldc) bbl (if H is >Ldc)
or

where H is calculated from Eqn 1

OR

b) V1g = Pfrac x (MAASP - SIDPP) bbl


Ppore x (GM - GI) x Csa

The Lower value of V1g calculated from a) and b) is the Kick Tolerance.

Where:- Vdca = Volume of DC/OH annulus, (bbl)

Ldc = (Vertical) length of drill collars, (ft)

Cdca = Capacity of DC/OH annulus (ft/bbl)

Cdpa = Capacity of DP/OH annulus (ft/bbl)

Csa = Capacity of annulus (ft/bbl) at the casing shoe - this


will probably = Cdpa, but on occasion it may = Cdca

Pfrac = fracture pressure at shoe (psi)

Ppore = pore pressure at bottom of hole (psi)

5 - 44 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

DEFINITION 2: for a kick taken while tripping out of the hole.

Kick tolerance for a swabbed kick is the maximum allowable influx volume which
may be swabbed into the bottom of a well, without fracturing the formation when
the well is closed in, and when the mud gradient is at the least equal to the
formation pore pressure gradient.

It is assumed that prior to tripping, the mud weight was correct. In this case, when
the bit is eventually back at bottom SIDPP=0, although initially SIDPP should =
SICP (no float) when the well is closed in and the bit is above the influx.

In this case Hmax = MAASP


GM - GI ft

and the kick tolerance is either

V1g = H
Ldc x Vdca

Vdca + (H - Ldc)
or V1g = Cdpa

V4 Rev March 2002 5 - 45


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

KICK TOLERANCE EXERCISE 1

A well has a TVD of 14500 ft with the casing shoe at 13200 ft TVD. The fracture
gradient is 0.87 psi/ft and the current mud is 15.3 ppg. There is 700 ft of 6 1/2"
OD drill collar and the open hole diameter is 8 1/2", with 5" drill pipe.

The annular capacities are:-

DC/OH = 34.314 ft/bbl

DP/OH = 21.787 ft/bbl

1) Calculate the kick tolerance if the well is shut-in with the


current mud and a SIDPP of 570 psi.

The gas gradient is 0.1 psi/ft.

2) Calculate the kick tolerance for a swabbed kick when the mud
weight is equivalent to the formation pore pressure.

The mud gradient is 0.835 psi/ft.

5 - 46 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

SOLUTION

1) MAASP = (Gfrac - GM) x DShoe G = 15.3 x 0.052 = 0.7956 psi/ft


M
= (0.87 - 0.7956) x 13200

= 982 psi

Then H1 max = MAASP - SIDPP


GM - GI

982 - 570 .
=
0.7956 - 0.1

= 592.3 ft

a) For influx at the bottom of the well, influx is still within the DC/OH annulus,
at its maximum.

Volume of DC/OH annulus= 700 = 20.40 bbl


34.314

Therefore: Kick tolerance (a) = 592.3 x 20.40 = 17.3 bbl


700

b) For kick at casing shoe,

Pfrac x (MAASP - SIDPP)


Kick tolerance (b) =
Ppore x Cdpa x (GM - GI)

Gfrac x (MAASP - SIDPP) x Dshoe


=
Gpore x Cdpa x (GM - GI) x TVD

Gpore = 15.3 x 0.052 x 14500 + 570 = 0.835 psi/ft


14500

0.87 x (982 - 570) x 13200


Therefore: kick tolerance (b) = = 25.8 bbl
0.835 x 21.787 x (0.7956 - 0.1) x 14500

conclusion: The smaller of those 2 values is the (a) value


therefore kick tolerance = 17.3 bbl when the kick is
in the DC/OH annulus. This is usually the case in
short open-hole sections.

V4 Rev March 2002 5 - 47


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

2) For a swabbed kick, maximum allowable (SIDPP = 0) influx height is:

Hmax = MAASP ft
GM - G I

New MAASP = (0.87 - 0.835) x 13200

= 462 psi

462
Therefore H1 max = = 628.6 ft
0.735

Therefore swabbed kick tolerance with 0.835 psi/ft mud.

= 628.6 x 20.4
700

= 18.3 bbl

5 - 48 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

WORKSHOP 5

The following questions 1-5 refer to the first stage of the Drillers Method.

1. A well was shut-in on a kick that occurred whilst drilling. During


the first circulation of the Drillers Method, the choke operator
maintains a constant drill pipe pressure at a constant pump
speed.
Will bottom hole pressure:

a. Be increasing
b. Be decreasing
c. Being kept constant

2. Referring to the question above, the choke operator has not


taken into account the large volume of the surface lines, i.e.
from the pump to the rig floor.
This will result in:

a. An increase in bottom hole pressure


b. A reduction in bottom hole pressure
c. No change to bottom hole pressure

3. Referring to question 1 above if the kick was brine, (with no gas)


Casing or Choke pressure will be at its highest :

a. When pressures have stabilised at shut-in


b. When the kick is going into the shoe
c. When the kick is nearing the surface

4. What happens to pressure at the shoe as the brine kick is being


moved into the casing shoe?:

a. Pressure at the shoe will be constant


b. Pressure at the shoe will reduce
c. Pressure at the shoe will increase

5. If the kick is gas rather than brine and as it is being circulated


into the casing shoe will:

a. Pressure at the shoe increase


b. Pressure at the shoe decrease
c. Pressure at the shoe remain constant

V4 Rev March 2002 5 - 49


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

6. During the second stage of the Drillers Method, assuming all of


the kick was removed during the first stage, if when starting the
operation the choke operator maintained a constant initial
circulating pressure in the drill-pipe until kill mud reached the bit.
Would bottom hole pressure?

a. Be increased
b. Have reduced
c. Be constant

7. If at the start of the second stage of the Drillers Method, the choke
operator maintained a constant Casing or Choke pressure until
kill mud was at surface. How would this action affect B.H.P. ?

a. B.H.P. would be seeing an increase from the moment the


pump reached kill speed until kill mud was at surface.
b. B.H.P. would have increased until kill mud was at the bit,
then B.H.P. would have remained constant as kill mud
displaced the annulus.
c. B.H.P. would have remained constant until kill mud at bit
then B.H.P. would be increased as kill mud displaced the
annulus.

8. If total losses occur when drilling and with the bit off bottom and
the mud pumps off. Sea-water is then pumped to the annulus.
Assume the volume of water it took to fill the well to the top was
equivalent to 500' of annulus. What is the resultant reduction in
bottom hole pressure due to this action ?

Mud weight = 10 ppg


Sea-water = 8.7 ppg

a. 260 psi
b. 226 psi
c. 34 psi

9. The well flows with the bit 10 stands off bottom. Shut-in casing
pressure reads 200 psi. If the influx is below the bit:

a. Shut-in drill pipe pressure will be higher than 200 psi


b. Shut-in drill pipe pressure will be lower than 200 psi
c. Shut-in drill pipe pressure should be 200 psi

5 - 50 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

10. A well is shut-in on a kick whilst drilling and stabilised shut-in


pressures have been established. Due to a delay in starting the kill
operation surface pressures have increased by 100 psi as the
influx is migrating. The safest action would be:

a. To bleed mud off using the choke until casing pressure


reduces by 100 psi. Then keep it constant.
b. Bleed mud off keeping a constant drill pipe pressure.
c. Leave it until the problem causing the delay has been
resolved then increase the kill mud weight by .5 ppg.

11. Referring to Q10. If surface pressure had increased by 200 psi


due to migration of the influx. How far has the influx migrated
if the mud weight is 10 ppg and the influx density is assumed
to be .12 psi/ft ?

Answer:

12. When comparing the Drillers and Wait & Weight Kill Methods
with regards to the pressures that will be exerted on the exposed
foundations immediately below the casing shoe: Select 2 answers
from the following statements.

a. The Drillers Method will always give a higher shoe pressure.


b. The Wait & Weight Method will always give a lower shoe
pressure.
c. The Drillers Method will give the lowest shoe pressure when
the open hole volume is smaller than the string volume.
d. The Wait & Weight Method will give the lowest shoe pressure
when the open hole volume is greater than the string volume.
e. There will be no great difference in shoe pressures whether
the Drillers or Wait/Weight Method is used if the open hole
volume is less than the string volume.

13. If a well is shut-in on a gas kick and the gas is not allowed to
expand as it migrates up the well-bore. What happens ?

a. To B.H.P.

(i) It increases
(ii) It decreases
(iii) Stays more or less the same

V4 Rev March 2002 5 - 51


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

b. To surface pressures

(i) They increase


(ii) They stay more or less the same
(iii) Only casing pressure will increase

c. To pressures at the shoe

(i) Will only increase if the influx is below the shoe


(ii) Will continue to increase
(iii) Will remain fairly constant

d. Pressures in the gas influx. Assuming no temperature change.

(i) Pressure in the gas will continue to increase


(ii) Pressure in the gas will keep reducing as it migrates
(iii) There should be no great change to the pressures in the
gas influx

14. A kick is being circulated out using the Wait & Weight Kill Method.
Shortly after pumping kill mud to the bit, final circulating pressure
has suddenly increased by 200 psi. The pump speed has been kept
constant at kill speed and there was no change noted on the choke
gauge. What is the problem ?

a. The choke has plugged


b. A bit nozzle has plugged
c. A pack-off has occurred around the bit

15. If the choke operator opened the choke and reduced drill pipe
pressure back to the calculated final circulating pressure in the
problem as described in Question 14. The result would be:

a. B.H.P. would be reduced


b. B.H.P. would be increased
c. no change to B.H.P

5 - 52 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

WORKSHOP 5 - Answers

1. c. Being kept constant

Maintain ICP with present mud weight until bottoms-up


(1st circ. driller's method).

2. c. No change to bottom hole pressure

Kill mud is not being circulated until the 2nd circulation.

3. a. When pressures have stabilised at shut-in

When the height of the kick is at its highest: ie around


the drill collars.

4. b. Pressure at the shoe will reduce

Kick fluid is being replaced with a heavier "mud",


reducing pressure at the shoe.

5. b. Pressure at the shoe decrease

Kick fluid is being replaced with a heavier "mud",


reducing pressure at the shoe.

6. a. Be increased

Casing pressure should be constant while DP pressure


should reduce from an ICP to a FCP.

7. c. B.H.P. would have remained constant until kill mud at bit


then B.H.P. would be increased as kill mud displaced the
annulus.

Casing pressure should reduce as kill mud displaces annulus.

8. c. 34 psi

500 x (10 - 8.7) x .052 = 33.8 psi

V4 Rev March 2002 5 - 53


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 5 : METHODS OF WELL CONTROL

9. c. Shut-in drill pipe pressure should be 200 psi

10. b. Bleed mud off keeping a constant drill pipe pressure.

11. Answer: 385'

200 psi
= 385'
.52 psift

12. d. The Wait & Weight Method will give the lowest shoe pressure
when the open hole volume is greater than the string volume.
e. There will be no great difference in shoe pressures whether
the Drillers or Wait/Weight Method is used if the open hole
volume is less than the string volume.

13. a. (i) It increases

b. (i) They increase

c. (ii) Will continue to increase

d. (iii) There should be no great change to the pressures in


the gas influx

14. b. A bit nozzle has plugged

15. a. B.H.P. would be reduced

5 - 54 V4 Rev March 2002


SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Page

6. 0 API Guidelines - API RP53 1


6. 1 Ram Blowout Preventers 10

6. 2 Annular Preventers 38

6. 3 Diverters 57
6. 4 Gaskets, Seals and Wellheads 72

6. 5 Manifolds 84

6. 6 Inside BOP’s 102

V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

6.0 API GUIDELINES (API RP53)

BLOWOUT PREVENTER STACK ARRANGEMENTS


SURFACE INSTALLATIONS

CLASSIFICATION OF BLOWOUT PREVENTERS

API classification of example arrangements for blowout preventer equipment is


based on working pressure ratings. Example stack arrangements shown in Figs.
C.1 to C.9 should prove adequate in normal environments, for API Classes 2M,
3M, 5M, 10M and 15M. Arrangements other than those illustrated may be equally
adequate in meeting well requirements and promoting safety and efficiency.

STACK COMPONENT CODES

The recommended component codes for designation of blowout preventer stack


arrangements are as follows:

A = annular type blowout preventer.


G = rotating head.
R = single ram type preventer with one set of rams, either blank or for pipe,
as operator prefers.
Rd = double ram type preventer with two sets of rams, positioned in
accordance with operator’s choice.
Rt = triple ram type preventer with three sets of rams, positioned in
accordance with operator’s choice.
S = drilling spool with side outlet connections for choke and kill lines.
M = 1000 psi rated working pressure.

Components are listed reading upward from the uppermost piece of permanent
wellhead equipment, or from the bottom of the preventer stack. A blowout
preventer stack may be fully identified by a very simple designation, such as:

5M -13 5/8 - SRRA

This preventer stack would be rated 5000 psi working pressure, would have
throughbore of 13 5/8 inches, and would be arranged as in Fig. C.5.

RAM LOCKS

Ram type preventers should be equipped with extension hand wheels hydraulic
locks.

V4 Rev March 2002 6-1


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

SPARE PARTS

The following recommended minimum blowout preventer spare parts approved


for the service intended should be available at each rig:

a. a complete set of drill pipe rams and ram rubbers for each size drill pipe
being used,

b. a complete set of bonnet or door seals for each size and type of ram preventer
being used,

c. plastic packing for blow out preventer secondary seals,

d. ring gaskets to fit flange connections, and

e. appropriate spare parts for annular preventers, when used.

PARTS STORAGE

When storing blowout preventer metal parts and related equipment, they should
be coated with a protective coating to prevent rust.

DRILLING SPOOLS

While choke and kill lines may be connected to side outlets of the blowout
preventers, many operators prefer that these lines be connected to a drilling spool
installed below at least one preventer capable of closing on pipe. Utilisation of the
blowout preventer side outlet reduces the number of stack connections by
eliminating the drilling spool and shortens the overall preventer stack height. The
reasons for using a drilling spool are to localise possible erosion in the less
expensive spool and to allow additional space between rams to facilitate stripping
operations.

Drilling spools for blowout preventer stacks should meet the following minimum
specifications:

a. Have side outlets no smaller than 2" nominal diameter and be flanged,
studded, or clamped for API Class 2M, 3M, and 5M. API Class 10M and 15M
installations should have a minimum of two side outlets, one 3" and one 2"
nominal diameter.

b. Have a vertical bore diameter at least equal to the maximum bore of the
uppermost casinghead.

c. Have a working pressure rating equal to the rated working pressure of the
attached blowout preventer.

6-2 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

For drilling operations, wellhead outlets should not be employed for choke or kill
lines Such outlets may be employed for auxiliary or back-up connections to be
used only if a failure of the primary control system is experienced.

ARRANGEMENT
FIG C.4

RS*R
S*
R

2M RATED WORKING PRESSURE SERVICE – SURFACE INSTALLATION


EXAMPLE BLOWOUT PREVENTER ARRANGEMENTS FOR
ARRANGEMENT
FIG C.3

S*RR
S*
R
A

FIG 6.0.1
Double Ram Preventers,
ARRANGEMENT S*RR

Rd Optional.
FIG C.2
S*
R

ARRANGEMENT S*A
FIG C.1
S*
A

V4 Rev March 2002 6-3


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

A A

R R

R S*

S* R

FIG C.5 FIG C.6


ARRANGEMENT S*RRA ARRANGEMENT
Double Ram Type Preventers, RS*RA
Rd Optional.

FIG 6.0.2
EXAMPLE BLOWOUT PREVENTER
ARRANGEMENTS FOR 3M AND 5M RATED
WORKING PRESSURE SERVICE –
SURFACE INSTALLATION
* Drilling spool and its location in the stack arrangement is optional

6-4 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

G**

A** A** A**

R R R

R R R

S* R S*

R S* R

CASING CASING CASING


SPOOL SPOOL SPOOL

FIG C.7 FIG C.8 FIG C.9


ARRANGEMENT RS*RRA** ARRANGEMENT S*RRRA** ARRANGEMENT RS*RRA**G**
Double Ram Type Preventers, Double Ram Type Preventers, Double Ram Type Preventers,
Rd Optional. Rd Optional. Rd Optional.

FIG 6.0.3
EXAMPLE BLOWOUT PREVENTER ARRANGEMENTS
FOR 10M AND 15M WORKING PRESSURE SERVICE –
SURFACE INSTALLATION
* Drilling spool and its location in the stack arrangement is optional.
** Annular Preventer A, and rotating head G, can be of a lower pressure rating.

V4 Rev March 2002 6-5


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

BLOWOUT PREVENTER STACK ARRANGEMENTS -


SUBSEA INSTALLATIONS

VARIANCE FROM SURFACE INSTALLATIONS

The arrangements of subsea blowout preventer stacks are similar to the example
preventer surface installations with certain differences. The differences
are:

a. Choke and kill lines normally are connected to ram preventer body outlets.

b. Spools may be used to space preventers for shearing tubulars, hanging off
drill pipe, or stripping operations.

c. Choke and kill lines are manifolded for dual purpose usage.

d. Blind/shear rams are normally used in place of blind rams.

e. Ram preventers are usually equipped with an integral or remotely operated


locking system.

STACK COMPONENT CODES

The recommended component codes adopted for designation of subsea blowout


preventer stack arrangements use the same nomenclature as surface
installations with the addition of remotely operated connectors:

CH =remotely operated connector used to attach wellhead or preventers to each


other (connector should have a minimum working pressure rating equal to
the preventer stack working pressure rating).

C = low pressure remotely operated connector used to attach the marine riser to
L
the blowout preventer stack.

Example subsea blowout preventer stack arrangements are illustrated in


Figs. D.1 through D.8.

6-6 V4 Rev March 2002


CL
A*

V4 Rev March 2002


CL CL A CH

A A
R R

S R R R

CH CH CH CH

FIG D.1 FIG D.2 FIG D.3 FIG D.4


ARRANGEMENT CHSACL ARRANGEMENT ARRANGEMENT ARRANGEMENT
(2m rated working pressure only.) CHRRCHA
HRACL HRRACL Double Ram Type Preventers,
Double Ram Type Preventers, Rd, Optional.
Rd, Optional.

FIG 6.0.4
EXAMPLE BLOWOUT PREVENTER ARRANGEMENTS FOR
2M AND 3M RATED WORKING PRESSURE
SERVICE – SUBSEA INSTALLATION
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT
WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team

6-7
6-8
A* A*

CL CH

CL CH

A* A*

A* A*

R R

R R R R
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

R R R R
R R R R
WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team

CH CH CH CH

FIG D.5 FIG D.6 FIG D.7 FIG D.8


ARRANGEMENT CHRdRA*CL ARRANGEMENT ARRANGEMENT ARRANGEMENT
Triple Ram Type Preventers, CHRdRdA*CHA*
Rd Optional HRdRA*CHA* HRdRdA*CL

fig 6.0.5
EXAMPLE BLOWOUT PREVENTER ARRANGEMENTS FOR
5M, 10M AND 15M RATED WORKING PRESSURE

V4 Rev March 2002


SERVICE – SUBSEA INSTALLATION
WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

FIG 6.1.1 U Blowout Preventer

V4 Rev March 2002 6-9


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

6.1 RAM BLOWOUT PREVENTERS - CAMERON U BOP

The Cameron U BOP is the most widely used ram-type BOP for land, platform
and subsea applications worldwide and offers the widest range of sizes of any
Cameron ram-type BOP. Like all other Cameron preventers, the rams in the U BOP
are pressure-energized. Wellbore pressure acts on the rams to increase the sealing
force and maintain the seal in case of hydraulic pressure loss. Seal integrity is
actually improved by increased well bore pressure.

Other features of the U BOP include:

• Hydraulic stud tensioning available on larger sizes to ensure that stud


loading is consistently accurate and even.

• Bonnet seal carrier is available to eliminate the need for high makeup torque
on bonnet studs and nuts.

• Hydraulically operated locking mechanisms, wedgelocks, lock the ram


hydraulically and hold the rams mechanically closed even when actuating
pressure is released. The operating system can be interlocked using sequence
caps to ensure that the wedgelock is retracted before pressure is applied to
open the BOP.

• For subsea applications, a pressure balance chamber is used with the wedge
locks to eliminate the possibility of the wedgelock becoming unlocked due to
hydrostatic pressure.

Other features include hydraulically opening bonnets, forged body and a


wide selection of rams to meet all applications.

Figure 6.1.2 U Blowout Preventer Wedgelock Assembly

6 - 10 V4 Rev March 2002


V4 Rev March 2002
Bo
'O nn
'R
in Pl R Bo et
gs as am dy Se
Li , C
tic s , al
p O In As Si s
Se pe ylin je se ng
al Pi ra d ct m le
,O st t i er io
n bl
on ng , O y
pe ,O C p e
Po
ra pe ylin ra rt
tin
g ra de tin
g
Pi tin r
st g
on
Bo
nn
et
Se
S Si al
C ea de G
on l R ro
ne in En ov
ct gs try e
in ,
In g Po
C te R rt
yl rm od
Pi in ed
de
st r, ia
H
Lo on
,R R te
ck Bon am Fl
Lo ou
s in am C
an
ck in g net ge
in g, Sc C ha
g re ha ng
Sc w ng e
re e
Figure 6.1.3 Figure Cameron U - Type BOP

w
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT
WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team

6 - 11
WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

PIPE RAMS

Cameron pipe rams are available for use in Cameron ram-type BOPs to fit all
commonly used sizes of tubing, drill pipe, drill collar or casing.

• Cameron pipe rams are self-feeding and incorporate a large reservoir of


packer rubber to ensure a long-lasting seal under all conditions.

• Ram packers lock into place and are not dislodged by well flow

• All Cameron pipe rams are suitable for H2S service per NACE MR-01-75.

• CAMRAM™ top seals are standard for all Cameron pipe rams (except
U BOPs larger than 13-3/4”).

• CAMRAM 350™ packers and top seals are available for high temperature
service and for service in which concentrations of H2S are expected.

Top Seal Top Seal

Packer
Packer
Ram Ram

U BOP Pipe Ram U II BOP Pipe Ram

CAMRAM Top Seal


CAMRAM Packer

Wear
Pads
Ram

T BOP Pipe Ram

Figure 6.1.4 - PIPE RAMS

6 - 12 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

VARIABLE BORE RAMS

One set of Cameron variable bore rams (VBRs) seals on several sizes of pipe or
hexagonal kelly, eliminating the need for a set of pipe rams for each pipe size.
Features include:

• VBR packer contains steel reinforcing inserts which rotate inward when the
rams are closed so the steel provides support for the rubber which seals
against the pipe.

• All VBRs are suitable for H2S service per NACE MR-01-75.

• CAMRAM™ top seals are standard for all Cameron VBRs.

Ram Body
Top Seal CAMRAM Packer

Ram Body
CAMRAM Packer

VBR Packer
Wear Pads

U and U II BOP Variable Bore Ram T BOP Variable Bore Ram

Figure 6.1.5 - VBR'S

Shearing Blind Rams

Cameron shearing blind rams (SBRs) shear the pipe in the hole, then bend the
lower section of sheared pipe to allow the rams to close and seal. SBRs can be
used as blind rams during normal drilling operations. Features include:

• Large frontal area on the blade face seal reduces pressure on the rubber and
increases service life.

• Cameron SBRs can cut pipe numerous times without damage to the cutting
edge.

• The single-piece body incorporates an integrated cutting edge.

• CAMRAM™ top seals are standard for all Cameron SBRs.

• H2S SBRs are available for critical service applications and include a blade
material of hardened high alloy suitable for H2S service.

V4 Rev March 2002 6 - 13


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

DVS rams are shearing blind rams which are similar to SBRs with the following
features:

• DVS (double V shear) rams fold the lower portion of the tubular over after
shearing so that the lower blade can seal against the blade packer

• DVS rams include the largest blade width available to fit within existing
ram bores.

CAMRAM Top Seal


Ram
Slide Packer Body

Blade
Packer CAMRAM Top Seal
Upper
Lower SBR
SBR Blade Insert
Slide Packer
U and U ll BOP Shearing Blind Ram

Blade
Blade Packer
Insert Upper
SBR
Lower
SBR
CAMRAM U and U ll H S BOP Shearing Blind Ram
Blade Packer Top Seal 2

Upper Blade Insert Screw

Slide Packer

Wear
Pads
Lower Blade
Insert Upper
Lower SBR
SBR Top Seal
Upper Ram Body
T BOP Shearing Blind Ram
Lower Ram Body

Side Blade
Packer Packer

DVS Shear Ram

Figure 6.1.6 - SHEAR RAMS

6 - 14 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

SECONDARY SEAL

The secondary seal is activated by screwing down on the piston which forces
plastic through the check valve and into the space between the two swab cup
seals. Further piston displacement causes pressure to build up between the swab
cups, forcing them to flare out and provide a seal. When the pressure exerted by
the plastic packing reaches the proper valve, additional displacement of the piston
will overcome the spring tension in the relief valve and plastic packing will begin
to extrude from it.

The secondary seal should be activated only if the primary connecting-rod seal
leaks during and emergency operation. The secondary seal is designed for static
conditions and movement of the connecting rod causes rapid seal and rod wear.

PROTECTOR

PACKING PISTON

PLASTIC PACKING

CHECK VALVE

RAM SIDE

PRIMARY
SEAL
SECONDARY
SEALS

PACKING
REGULATOR
VALVE
Figure 6.1.7 - SECONDARY SEAL

V4 Rev March 2002 6 - 15


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

U II Blowout Preventer

The Cameron U II BOP takes all of the features of the U BOP and adapts them for
subsea use in the 18-3/4-10,000 and 15,000 psi WP sizes.
Like all other Cameron preventers, the rams in the U II BOP are pressure-
energized. Wellbore pressure acts on the rams to increase the sealing force and
maintain the seal in case of hydraulic pressure loss. Seal integrity is actually
improved by increased well bore pressure.

Other features of the U II BOP include:

• Internally ported hydraulic stud tensioning system ensures that stud loading
is consistently accurate and even.

• Bonnet seal carrier is available to eliminate the need for high makeup torque
on bonnet studs and nuts.

• Hydraulically operated locking mechanisms, wedgelocks, lock the ram


hydraulically and hold the rams mechanically closed even when actuating
pressure is released. The operating system can be interlocked using sequence
caps to ensure that the wedgelock is retracted before pressure is applied to
open the BOP

• A pressure balance chamber is used with the wedgelocks to eliminate the


possibility of the wedgelock becoming unlocked due to hydrostatic pressure.
Other features include hydraulically opening bonnets, forged body and a
wide selection of rams to meet all applications.

Figure 6.1.8 - 18-3/4" DOUBLE U II BLOWOUT PREVENTER

6 - 16 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Optional Equipment

Bonnet Seal Carriers for TL, U, UL and U 11 BOPS


The bonnet seal carrier is a bore-type sealing assembly which replaces the face seal
used as the previous bonnet seal. Sealing capability is not dependent upon bonnet
bolt torque. One seal is captured in a machined bore in the BOP body while the
other seal is captured in a machined bore in the intermediate flange.

The seal carrier was designed, developed


and performance-verified for use in newly
manufactured BOPs or as a replacement seal
assembly for BOPs where either the BOP
body or the intermediate flange requires
weld repair on the sealing surfaces.

Large Bore Shear Bonnets


Cameron developed large bore shear bonnets to increase the available shearing
force required to shear high strength and high quality pipe. In order to achieve this
the large bore shear bonnet design increased the available closing area by 35% or
more. Cameron recommends large bore shear bonnets when larger shearing forces
are required. As an alternative to purchasing new large bore shear bonnets, some
old shear bonnets can be converted. This process requires reworking and replacing
several existing components.

Tandem Boosters for U BOPS


A BOP equipped with tandem boosters can deliver increased shearing force while
not increasing the wear and tear on the packers. Tandem boosters approximately
double the force available to shear pipe. Since the tail rod of the tandem booster
has the same stroke as the BOP operating piston, the standard shear locking
mechanism can be installed on the outside end of the booster.

Large Bore Shear Bonnet Assembly Exploded View

Figure 6.1.9 Tandem Booster Exploded View

V4 Rev March 2002 6 - 17


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Figure 6.1.10 UII BOP Hydraulic Control System

6 - 18 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Figure 6.1.11 UII BOP Part Numbers

V4 Rev March 2002 6 - 19


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

SHAFFER SL RAM BLOWOUT PREVENTERS

Shaffer Model SL ram blowout preventers are the product of more than 50 years of
experience in building ram BOP’s to meet the changing demands of the petroleum
industry. SL designated models incorporate the improvements made in the LW S
preventer line over the past 20 years—improvements resulting from a continuing
research program to ensure that Shaffer preventers meet or surpass the latest
industry requirements.

Special Features

• Flat doors simplify ram changes. To change the rams, apply opening
hydraulic pressure to move the rams to the full open position. Remove the
door cap screws and swing the door open. Remove the ram from the ram
shaft and replace it. It is not necessary to apply closing hydraulic pressure to
move the rams inward to clear the door.

• Door seals on most sizes have a hard backing moulded into the rubber. This
fabric and phenolic backing prevents extrusion and pinching at all pressures
to assure long seal life.

• Internal H2S trim is standard. All major components conform to API and
NACE H2S requirements.

• Maximum ram hardness Is Rc22 to insure H2S compatibility of pipe and


blind rams. Shear rams have some harder components.

• Manual-lock and Poslock pistons can be interchanged on the same door by


replacing the ram shaft, piston assembly and cylinder head.

• Wear rings eliminate metal-to-metal contact between the piston and cylinder
to increase seal life d virtually eliminate cylinder bore wear.

• Lip type piston seals are long-wearing polyurethane with molybdenum


disulfide moulded in for lifetime lubrication..

• Lip-type ram shaft seals hold the well bore pressure and the opening
hydraulic pressure. No known failures of this highly reliable high pressure
seal have occurred.

• Secondary ram shaft seals permit injection of plastic packing if the primary
lip-type seal ever fails. Fluid dripping from the weep hole in the door
indicates that the primary seal is leaking and the secondary seal should be
energised.

6 - 20 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

• Rams are available which will support a 600,000 pounds when a tool
joint is lowered onto the closed rams. These rams conform to H2S
requirements.

• Shear rams cut drill pipe and seal in one operation. Most common weights
and grades of drill pipe are sheared with less than 1,500 psi hydraulic
pressure.

• Poslock operators automatically lock the rams each time they are closed. This
eliminates the cost of a second hydraulic function to lock. It also simplifies
emergency operation because the rams are both closed and locked just by
activating the close function.

Figure 6.1.12 - SHAFFER SL-RAM BOP

Ram shaft seal


Roundhead ram shaft
Piston seals
Cylinder

Weep hole

Flat door

Cylinder head Ram


Wear rings
Ram shaft
Piston assembly packing retainer
Secondary
ram shaft seal

V4 Rev March 2002 6 - 21


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Figure 6.1.13 - LOCKING SYSTEMS

Poslock adjustment thread

Piston

Locking segment

Locking shoulder

Ram shaft Ram

1) Poslock in open position

Cylinder

Piston
Locking segment Locking cone

2) Poslock piston in closed position

Ram shaft Ram

1) Manual-lock piston in open position

Cylinder Head

3) Manual-lock piston in closed position

Locking shaft

2) Manual-lock piston in closed and locked position

6 - 22 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

MODEL SL MANUAL-LOCK SYSTEM

Manual-lock pistons move inward and close the rams when closing hydraulic
pressure is applied. If desired, the rams can be manually locked in the closed
position by turning each locking shaft to the right until it shoulders against the
cylinder head. Should hydraulic pressure fail, the rams can be manually closed
and locked. They cannot be manually reopened.

The manual locking shafts are visible from outside and provide a convenient ram
position indicator. Threads on the manual locking shaft are enclosed in the
hydraulic fluid and are not exposed to corrosion from mud and salt water or to
freezing.

Rams are opened by first turning both locking shafts to their “unlocked” position,
then applying opening hydraulic pressure to the pistons, which move outward
and pull the rams out of the well bore.

MODEL SL HYDRAULIC SYSTEM

OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE

Hydraulic power to operate a Model SL ram BOP can be furnished by any


standard oil field accumulator system.

Hydraulic passages drilled through the body eliminate the need for external
manifold pipes between the hinges. Each set of rams requires only one opening
and one closing line. There are two opening and two closing hydraulic ports,
clearly marked, on the back side of the BOP. The extra hydraulic ports facilitate
connecting the control system to the preventer.

A 1,500-psi-output hydraulic accumulator will close any Model SL ram BOP with
rated working pressure in the well bore except for the 11" and 13 5/8—15,000 psi
BOP’s, which require 2,100 psi. However, these two will close against 10,000 psi
well pressure with less than 1,500 psi hydraulic pressure.

A 3,000 psi hydraulic pressure may be used, but this will accelerate wear of the
piston seals and the ram rubbers.

A 5,000 psi hydraulic pressure test is applied to all Model SL cylinders at the
factory. However, it is recommended that this pressure not be used in the field
application.

V4 Rev March 2002 6 - 23


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

The hydraulic operating fluid should be hydraulic oil with a viscosity between 200
and 300 SSU at 100°F. If necessary, a water-soluble oil such as NL Rig Equipment
K-90 and water can be used for environmental protection. Ethylene glycol must be
added to the K-90 and water solution for freeze protection if equipment is exposed
to freezing temperatures.

NOTE: Never use fuel oil of any kind as it causes the rubber goods to swell and
deteriorate. Some water-soluble fluids do not give adequate corrosion protection
or lubrication and should not be used.

MODEL SL POSLOCK SYSTEM

SL preventers equipped with Poslock pistons are automatically locked in the


closed position each time they are closed. The preventers will remain locked in the
closed position even if closing pressure is removed. Opening hydraulic pressure is
required to reopen the pistons.

The hydraulics required to operate the Poslock are provided through opening and
closing operating ports. Operation of the Poslock requires no additional hydraulic
functions, such as are required in some competitive ram locking systems.
When closing hydraulic pressure is applied, the complete piston assembly moves
inward and pushes the rams into the well bore. As the piston reaches the’ fully
closed position, the locking segments slide toward the piston O.D. over the locking
shoulder as the locking cone is forced inward by the closing hydraulic pressure.

The locking cone holds the locking segments in position and is prevented by a
spring from vibrating outward if the hydraulic closing pressure is removed.
Actually, the locking cone is a second piston inside the main piston. It is forced
inward by closing hydraulic pressure and outward by opening hydraulic pressure.

When opening hydraulic pressure is applied, the locking cone moves outward and
the locking segments slide toward the piston l.D. along the tapered locking
shoulder. The piston is then free to move outward and open the rams.

NOTE: Poslock pistons are adjusted in the factory and normally do not require
adjustment in the field except when changing between pipe rams and shear rams.
The adjustment is easy to check and easy to change.

6 - 24 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Figure 6.1.14 - FLUID CIRCUIT - SL RAM

V4 Rev March 2002 6 - 25


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

ULTRALOCK™ LOCKING SYSTEM

UltraLock, the most versatile locking system available, provides a maintenance-


free and adjustment-free locking system that is compatible with any ram assembly
that the blowout preventers can accommodate. Once the UltraLock is installed, no
further adjustments will be needed when changing between Pipe Rams, Blind/
Shear or MULTI-RAM assemblies. BOPs that are equipped with the UltraLock are
automatically locked in the closed position each time the BOPs are closed; no
preset pressure ranges are needed. The BOPs will remain locked in the closed
position, even if closing pressure is lost or removed. Hydraulic opening pressure is
required to re-open the preventer, and this opening pressure is supplied by the
regular opening and closing ports of the preventer. No additional hydraulic lines
or functions are required for operations of the locks. Stack frame modifications are
not required because all operational components are in the hydraulic operating
cylinders. Existing BOPs with PosLock~ Cylinders can be upgraded to the
UltraLock. U.S. patent number 5,025,708.

Secondary
Unlocking Piston

Locking Plate

Locking Ram
Locking Rod Plate Locking Rod Dog Load Ultra Lock Shaft
Retaining Screw Locking Dog Spring Piston
Locking Rod Plate Retainer

Figure 6.1.15 - ULTRALOCK - UNIQUE POSITION LOCKING SYSTEM

6 - 26 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

TYPE 72 SHEAR RAMS

Type 72 shear rams shear pipe and seal the well bore in one operation. They also
function as blind or CSO (complete shut-off) rams for normal operations.

The hydraulic closing pressure required to shear commonly used drill pipe is
below 1,500 psi for BOP’s with 14'’ pistons. These pistons are standard in all BOP’s
rated at 10,000 psi working pressure and higher. On lower pressure preventers,
optional 14" pistons can be supplied for shearing instead of the standard 10"
pistons.

When shearing, the lower blade passes below the sharp lower edge of the upper
ram block and shears the pipe. The lower section of cut pipe is accommodated in
the space between the lower blade and the upper holder. The upper section of cut
pipe is accommodated in the recess in the top of the lower ram block.

Closing motion of the rams continues until the ram block ends meet. Continued
closing of the holders squeezes the semicircular seals upward into sealing

contact with the seat in the BOP body and energises the horizontal seal. The
closing motion of the upper holder pushes the horizontal seal forward and
downward on top of the lower blade, resulting in a tight sealing contact. The
horizontal seal has a moulded-in support plate which holds it in place when the
rams are open.

Type 72 Shear Rams are covered by U.S. Patent No. 3,736,982. (Ref fig 6.1.16)

V4 Rev March 2002 6 - 27


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

UPPER RUBBER LOWER BLOCK


LOWER RUBBER

UPPER
BLOCK

LOWER
HOLDER

SHEAR BLADE

UPPER HOLDER

HORIZONRAL SEAL SEMICIRCULAR SEAL

SUPPORT PLATE

SHEAR RAMS OPEN

SHEAR RAMS CLOSING

HORIZONRAL SEAL SEMICIRCULAR SEAL

SUPPORT PLATE

SHEAR RAMS CLOSED

Figure 6.1.16 - TYPE 72 SHEAR RAMS

6 - 28 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

HYDRIL RAM BLOWOUT PREVENTERS

Features: (Refer to Fig 6.1.17 and 6.1.18)

1. The Ram Body Casting has controlled and predictable structural hardness and
strength throughout the pressure vessel. Hydril pressure vessel material has equal
strength along all axes to provide reliable strength and resistance to sulphide stress
cracking in hydrogen sulphide service.

2. The Ram Assembly provides reliable seal off of the wellbore for security and
safety. The Ram accommodates a large volume of feedable rubber in the front
packer and upper seal for long service life.

3. The Field Replaceable Seal Seat provides a smooth sealing surface for the ram
upper seal. The seal seat utilises specially selected and performance effective
materials for maximum service life.

4 Hinged Bonnet swing completely clear of overhead restrictions (such as another


BOP) and provide easy access for rapid ram change to reduce downtime.

5. Load Hinges separate from the fluid hinge and are equipped with self-
lubricated bearings to support the full weight of the bonnet for quick and easy
opening of the bonnet.

6. Fluid Hinges, separate from the load hinges, connect the control fluid passages
between the body and bonnets. This arrangement provides a reliable hydraulic
seal and permits full pressure testing and ram operation with the bonnets open.
The fluid hinges and bonnet hinges contain all the seals necessary for this function
and may be removed rapidly for simple, economical repair.

7. Replaceable Cylinder Liner has a corrosion and wear resistant bore for reliable
piston operation. The cylinder liner is easily field replaceable or reparable for
reduced maintenance cost and downtime.

8. Piston and Piston Rod Assembly are one piece for strength and reliability in
closing and opening the ram which results in a secure operating assembly.

9. Choice of Ram Locks—Automatic Multiple Position Locking (MPL) or Manual


Locking is available on Ram BOPs.

10. Multiple-Position Locking (MPL) utilises a hydraulically-actuated mechanical


clutch mechanism to automatically lock the rams in a seal off position.

11. Manual Locking utilises a heavy-duty acme thread to manually lock the ram in
a sealed-off position or to manually close the ram if the hydraulic system is
inoperative.

12. Fluid Connections and Hydraulic Passages are internal to the bonnets and
body and preclude damage during moving and handling operations.

V4 Rev March 2002 6 - 29


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

13. Connector Ring Grooves are stainless steel lined for all connectors (top, bottom
and side outlets) for corrosion resistance of the sealing surface.

14. Sloped Ram Cavity is self-draining to eliminate build-up of sand and drilling
fluid.

15. Bonnet Seal utilises field proven material in an integrated seal design which
combines the seal and backup ring for reliability and long life.

16. Piston Rod Mud Seal is a rugged, field-proven, integrally designed lip seal and
backup ring retained in the bonnet by a stainless steel spiral lock ring.

17. Secondary (Emergency) Piston Rod Packing provides an emergency piston rod
seal for use in the event of primary seal leakage at a time when repair cannot be
immediately effected.

18. A Weephole to atmosphere isolates wellbore pressure, indicates when seal is


achieved and possible leakage in the primary seat. (Shown out of position)

19. Piston Seals are of a lip-type design and are pressure-energized to provide a
reliable seal of the piston to form the operating chambers of the BOP.

20. Side Outlets for choke/kill lines are available on all models. Two outlets, one
on each side, may be placed below each ram. In single and double configurations,
outlets may be placed below the upper and lower ram, below the bottom ram only,
or below the top ram only, therefore providing great versatility in stack design.

21. Single and Double Configurations are available with a choice of American
Petroleum Institute (API) flanged, studded or clamp hub connections. This allows
for the most-economical use of space for operation and service. (Not shown)

22. Bonnet Bolts are sized for easy torquing and arranged for reliable seal between
bonnet and body. This prevents excessive distortion during high pressure seal off.

23. Bonnet Bolt Retainers keep the bonnet bolts in the bonnet while servicing the
BOP.

24. Guide Rods align ram with bonnet cavity, preventing damage to the ram,
piston rod or bonnets while retracting the rams.

25. Ram Seal Off is retained by wellbore pressures. Closing forces are not required
to retain an established ram seal off.

6 - 30 V4 Rev March 2002


13. CONNECTOR RING GROOVES 1. THE RAM BODY CASTING

3. THE FIELD REPLACABLE


SEAL SEAT

15. BONNET SEAL

V4 Rev March 2002


2. THE RAM
ASSEMBLY

17. SECONDARY
(EMERGENCY)
(PISTON ROD PACKING)

22. BONNET BOLTS

11. MANUAL LOCKING 6. FLUID HINGES

5. LOAN HINGES

12. FLUID CONNECTIONS


AND HYDRAULIC PASSAGES

20. SLIDE OUTLETS FOR CHOKE/KILL

24. GUIDE RODS

19. PISTON SEALS


7. REPLACABLE 14. SLOPED RAM CAVITY
CYLINDER LINER
16. PISTON ROD MUD SEAL
18. A WEEPHOLE
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT
WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team

Figure 6.1.17 - 13 5/8" - 10,000 PSI RAM BOP MANUAL LOCK

6 - 31
6 - 32
3. THE FIELD REPLACEABLE
SEAL SEAT
2. THE RAM ASSEMBLY 13. CONNECTOR RING GROOVES
1. THE RAM BODY CASTING

22. BONNET BOLTS

6. FLUID HINGES

5. LOAD HINGES
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT
WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team

10. MULTIPLE-POSITION
LOCKING (MPL)

20. SIDE OUTLETS FOR CHOKE KILL

14. SLOPED RAM CAVITY


8. PISTON AND PISTON
ROD ASSEMBLY 15. BONNET SEAL
16. PISTON ROD MUD SEAL
18. A WEEPHOLE
7. REPLACEABLE 19. PISTON SEALS
CYLINDER LINER

Figure 6.1.18 - 18 3/4" - 15,000 PSI RAM BOP MULTIPLE POSITION LOCK (MPL)

V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

MPL AUTOMATIC RAM LOCKING


(Refer to Fig 6.1.19)
Hydril Ram Blowout Preventers are available with automatic Multiple-Position
Ram Locking. Multiple-Position Locking (MPL) allows the ram to seal off with
optimum seal squeeze at every closure. MPL automatically locks and maintains
the ram closed with the optimum rubber pressure required for seal off in the front
packer and upper seal.

Front packer seal wear (on any ram BOP) requires a different ram locking position
with each closure to ensure an effective seal off. Multiple-Position Locking is
required to ensure retention of that seal off position.

A mechanical lock is automatically set each time the ram is closed. Ram closure is
accomplished by applying hydraulic pressure to the closing chamber which moves
the ram to a seal off position. The locking system maintains the ram mechanically
locked while closure is retained and/or after releasing closing pressure. The ram is
opened only by application of opening pressure which releases the locking system
automatically and opens the ram, simultaneously.

MPL is available on all Hydril Ram Blowout Preventers.

How MPL works

This figure shows the ram maintained closed and sealed off by the MPL.
Hydraulic closing pressure has been released. The Hydril Ram Blowout Preventer
with MPL automatically maintains ram closure and seal off. MPL will maintain the
required rubber pressure in the front packer and upper seal to ensure a seal off of
rating working pressure. MPL will maintain the seal off without closing pressure
and with the opening forces created by hanging the drill string on the ram.

Locking and unlocking of the MPL are controlled by a unidirectional clutch


mechanism and a lock nut. The unidirectional clutch mechanism maintains the nut
and ram in a locked position until the clutch is disengaged by application of
control system pressure to open the ram.

Hydraulic opening pressure disengages the front and rear clutch plates to permit
the lock nut to rotate and the ram to open. As the ram and piston move to the open
position, the lock nut and front clutch plate rotate freely.

V4 Rev March 2002 6 - 33


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Figure 6.1.19 - HYDRILL MULTI-POSITION LOCK (MPL)

6 - 34 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Figure 6.1.20 Ram Preventer Opening and Close Ratios

Cameron U Shaffer 'SL' Hydril Ram

SIZE WP (psi) Open Close Open Close Open Close

7 1/16 in. 3,000 2.3 6.9 1.5 5.4


5,000 2.3 6.9 1.5 5.4
10,000 2.3 6.9 1.7 8.2
15,000 2.3 6.9 3.37 7.11 6.6 7.6

9 in. 2,000
3,000 2.6 5.3
5,000 2.6 5.3
10,000

11 in. 2,000 2.5 7.3


3,000 2.5 7.3 2.0 6.8
5,000 2.5 7.3 2.0 6.8
10,000 2.5 7.3 7.62 7.11 2.4 7.6
15,000 2.2 9.9 2.8 7.11 3.24 7.6

13 5/8 in. 3,000 2.3 7.0 3.00 5.54 2.1 5.2


5,000 2.3 7.0 3.00 5.54 2.1 5.2
10,000 2.3 7.0 4.29 7.11 3.8 10.6
15,000 5.6 8.4 2.14 7.11 3.56 7.74

16 3/4 in. 2,000


3,000 2.3 6.8
5,000 2.3 6.8 2.03 5.54
10,000 2.3 6.8 2.06 7.11 2.41 10.6

18 3/4 in. 10,000 3.6 7.4 1.83 7.11 1.9 10.6


15,000 4.1 9.7 1.68 10.85 2.15 7.27

21 1/4 in. 2,000 1.3 7.0 0.98 5.2


3,000 1.3 7.0 0.98 5.2
5,000 5.1 6.2 1.9 10.6
10,000 4.1 7.2 1.63 7.11

26 3/4 in. 2,000


3,000 1.0 7.0

V4 Rev March 2002 6 - 35


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

EXAMPLE CLOSING FORCES IN RELATION TO AREA

a) When closing the well in on a floating rig the hard shut in method is usually
applied. The string is picked up say 20’ off bottom, the rotary table or top drive is
shut off and both pumps are shut down. The annular preventer is then closed and
the fail-safe's opened against a closed choke.

b) The tool joint is then spaced out for the correct pipe rams.

c) The string is stripped down until the tool joint is "hung off’ on the rams. The
correct operating pressure to set on the manifold regulator is directly related to the
well bore pressure. For example. Operating ratio 10:56:1. Working pressure of BOP
stack 10,000 psi.

F 10,000 psi
P = ––– ∴F=PxA ––––––––– = 947 psi
A 10.56

This pressure does not include an allowance for friction losses so the minimum
pressure would be say 1000 psi : 1000 psi x 10.56 = 10560 lbs closing force.

Figure 6.1.21

➙➙

➙➙ CLOSING ➙ ➙ CLOSING
RAM SHAFT AREA PRESSURE
➙➙ AREA
➙➙

➙➙

6 - 36 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Figure 6.1.22 RAM PREVENTERS -FLUID REQUIRED TO OPERATE

V4 Rev March 2002 6 - 37


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

6.2 ANNULAR PREVENTERS

In the unique design of the Cameron DL annular BOP, closing pressure forces the
operating piston and pusher plate upward to displace the solid elastomer donut
and force the packer to close inward. As the packer closes, steel reinforcing inserts
rotate inward to form a continuous support ring of steel at the top and bottom of
the packer. The inserts remain in contact with each other whether the packer is
open, closed on pipe or closed on open hole. Other features of the DL BOP include:
• The Cameron DL BOP is shorter in height than comparable annular preventers.
A quick-release top with a one-piece split lock ring permits quick packer change
out with no loose parts involved. The design also provides visual indication of
whether the top is locked or unlocked.

• The DL BOP is designed to simplify field maintenance. Components subject to


wear are field-replaceable and the entire operating system may be removed in
the field for immediate change-out without removing the BOP from the stack.

• Twin seals separated by a vented chamber positively isolate the BOP operating
system from well bore pressure. High strength polymer bearing rings prevent
metal-to-metal contact and reduce wear between all moving parts of the
operating systems.

• Packers for DL BOPs have the capacity to strip pipe as well as close and seal on
almost any size or shape object that will fit into the wellbore. These packers will
also close and seal on open hole. Some annular packers can also be split for
installation while pipe is in the hole. Popular sizes of the DL BOP are available
with high-performance CAMULAR™ annular packing subassemblies.

ACCESS
FLAPS

PACKING UNIT
CONSISTING OF:
LOCKING
PACKER,
GROOVES
DONUT

PUSHER
PLATE OPENING
CHAMBER

PISTON
OPENING
CLOSING
HYDRAULIC
HYDRAULIC
PORT
PORTS

VENT

Figure 6.2.1 DL ANNULAR BLOWOUT PREVENTER

6 - 38 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Figure 6.2.2 CAMERON 20,000 PSI WP ANNULAR BLOWOUT PREVENTER


SEALING ELEMENT

OPEN CLOSED ON PIPE CLOSED ON OPEN HOLE

V4 Rev March 2002 6 - 39


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Figure 6.2.3 HYDRIL “GK” ANNULAR

6 - 40 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

OPERATIONAL FEATURES
The Hydril GK Annular BOPs are particularly qualified to meet the industry’s needs for
simple and reliable blowout protection. Over 40 years of operational experience provide
the simplest, field proven mechanism in the industry.

Only Two Moving Parts (piston and packing unit) on the Hydril Annular BOP mean
few areas are subjected to wear. The BOP is thus a safer, and more efficient mechanism
requiring less maintenance and downtime.

A Long piston with a length to diameter ratio approaching one eliminates tendencies to
cock and bind during operations with off-centre pipe or unevenly distributed
accumulation of sand, cuttings, or other elements. This design ensures the packing unit
will always reopen to full bore position.

Back to Front Feedable Rubber on the Packing Unit enables the packing unit to close
and seal on virtually any shape in the drillstring or completely shut off the open bore
and to strip tool joints under pressure. This feature permits confident closure of the BOP
at the initial indication of a “kick” without delaying to locate the tool joint.

The Conical Bowl Design of the Piston provides a simple and efficient method of closing
the packing unit. The piston serves as a sealing surface against the rubber packing unit;
there is no metal-to-metal wear and thus longer equipment life results.

Utilisation of Maximum Packing Unit life is made possible with a piston indicator for
measuring piston stroke. This measurement indicates remaining packing unit life and
ensures valid testing.

A Field Replaceable Wear Plate In the BOP Head serves as an upper non-sealing wear
surface for the movement of the packing unit, making field repair fast and economical.

Flanged Steel Inserts In the Packing Unit reinforce the rubber and control rubber flow
and extrusion for safer operation and longer packing unit life.

Greater Stripping Capability is inherent in the design of the packing unit since testing
(fatigue) wear occurs on the outside and stripping wear occurs on the inside of the
packing unit. Thus, testing wear has virtually no affect on stripping capability and
greater overall life of the packing unit results. The resulting ability to strip the drillstring
to the bottom without first changing the packing unit means a safer operation, lower
operating costs and longer service life for the packing unit.

The Packing Unit Is Tested to Full Rated Working Pressure at the factory and the tests
are documented— before it reaches the well site—to ensure a safe, quality performance.

The Packing Unit Is Replaceable with Pipe In the Bore, which eliminates pulling the
drillstring for replacement and reduces operating expenses with more options for well
control techniques.

Large Pressure Energised Seals are used for dynamically sealing piston chambers to
provide safe operation, long seal life, and less maintenance.

Piston Sealing Surfaces Protected by Operating Fluid lowers friction and protects
against galling and wear to increase seal life and reduce maintenance time.

V4 Rev March 2002 6 - 41


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

BOP CLOSURE SEQUENCE

All Hydril Annular Blowout Preventers employ the same time-tested design for
sealing off virtually anything in the BOP bore or the open hole.
During normal wellbore operations, the BOP is kept fully open by leaving the
piston down. This position permits passage of tools, casing, and other items up to
the full bore size of the BOP as well as providing maximum annulus flow of
drilling fluids. The BOP is maintained in the open position by application of
hydraulic pressure to the opening chamber, this ensures positive control of the
piston during drilling and reduces wear caused by vibration.
(See Fig 6.2.4/A)

The piston is raised by applying hydraulic pressure to the closing chamber. This
raises the piston, which in turn squeezes the steel reinforced packing unit inward to
a sealing engagement with the drill string. The closing pressure should be
regulated with a separate pressure regulator valve for the annular BOP.
Guidelines for closing pressures are contained in the applicable Operator’s Manual.
(See Fig 6.2.4/B)

The packing unit is kept in compression throughout the sealing area, thus
assuring a tough, v durable seal off against virtually any drill string shape—kelly,
tool joint, pipe, or tubing to full rated working pressure. Application of opening
chamber pressure returns the piston to the full down position allowing the
packing unit to return to full open bore through the natural resiliency of the
rubber.
(See Fig 6.2.4/C)

6 - 42 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

BOP CLOSURE SEQUENCE

Figure 6.2.4/A - CLOSURE SEQUENCE (OPEN)

Figure 6.2.4/B - CLOSURE SEQUENCE (PART CLOSED)

Figure 6.2.4/C - CLOSURE SEQUENCE (SEALED OFF)

V4 Rev March 2002 6 - 43


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Figure 6.2.5
Complete shut off (CSO) of the well bore is possible with all Hydril Annular
BOP’s. During CSO the flanges of the steel inserts form a solid ring to confine the
rubber and provide a safe seal off of the rated working pressure of the BOP. This
feature should be utilised only during well control situations, as it will reduce the
life of the packing unit.

STRIPPING OPERATIONS

Drill pipe can be rotated and tool joints stripped through a closed packing unit,
while maintaining a full seal on the pipe. Longest packing unit life is obtained by
adjusting the closing chamber pressure just low enough to maintain a seal on the
drill pipe with a slight amount of drilling fluid leakage as the tool joint passes
through the packing unit. This leakage indicates the lowest usable closing pressure
for minimum packing unit wear and provides lubrication for the drill pipe motion
through the packing unit.

The pressure regulator valve should be set to maintain the proper closing chamber
pressure. If the pressure regulator valve cannot respond fast enough for effective
control, an accumulator (surge absorber) should be installed in the closing
chamber control line adjacent to the BOP—precharge the accumulator to 50% of
the closing pressure required. In subsea operations, it is sometimes advisable to
add an accumulator to the opening chamber line to prevent undesirable pressure
variations with certain control system circuits

6 - 44 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

TYPE GL 5000 PSI ANNULAR BLOWOUT PREVENTERS PATENTED

Hydril GL Annular Blowout Preventers are designed and developed both for
subsea and surface operations. The GL family of BOPs represents the cumulation
of evolutionary design and operator requirements. The proven packing unit
provides full closure at maximum working pressure on open hole or on virtually
anything in the bore - casing, drill pipe, tool joints, kelly, or tubing.
Features of the GL make it particularly desirable for subsea and deep well drilling.
These drilling conditions demand long-life packing elements for drill pipe
stripping operations and frequent testing.
The GL BOP offers the longest life packing unit for annular blowout preventers
available in the industry today - especially for the combination of BOP testing and
stripping pipe into or out of a well under pressure. The latched head permits
quick, positive head removal for packing unit replacement or other maintenance
with only minimum time required.
The following outstanding features of the Hydril GL BOPs make these units
particularly qualified to meet the industry’s needs for simple and reliable blowout
protection.
The Secondary Chamber, which is unique to the GL BOP, provides this unit with
great flexibility of control hookup and acts as a backup closing chamber to cut
operating costs and increase safety factors in critical situations. The chamber can
be connected four ways to optimise operations for different effects:

1. Minimise closing/opening fluid volumes.


2. Reduce closing pressure.
3. Automatically compensate (counter balance) for marine riser hydrostatic
pressure effects in deep water.
4. Operate as a secondary closing chamber.

Automatic Counter Balance can be achieved in subsea applications by selection of


one of the optional hookups of the secondary chamber.
The Latched Head provides fast, positive access to the packing unit and seals for
minimum maintenance time. The latching mechanism releases the head with a few
turns of the Jaw Operating Screws, while the entire mechanism remains inside the
blowout preventer. There are no loose parts to be lost downhole or overboard.
The Opening Chamber Head protects the opening chamber and prevents
inadvertent contamination of the hydraulic system while the head is removed for
packing unit replacement.

V4 Rev March 2002 6 - 45


6 - 46
PISTON INDICATOR HOLE
WEAR PLATE
PACKING UNIT
LATCHED HEAD

OPENING CHAMBER HEAD


OPENING CHAMBER
PISTON CHAMBER
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

CLOSING CHAMBER
WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team

SECONDARY CHAMBER

Cutaway View of GL BOP shown in Midstroke.


5000 or 10,000 psi bottom connections are
available in hub, API
flanged, or studded connection.

Figure 6.2.6

V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Figure 6.2.7 GL 16 3/8" - 5000 PSI BLOWOUT PREVENTER

Item Part Name No Req'd Approx. Net


No. Single Weight lb.
BOP Assembly 1 28,400
1 BOP Head 1 6,641
2 "O" Ring 1 .75
3 "O" Ring 20 .06
4 Jaw Operating Screw 20 4
5 Sleeve Screw 20 .25
6 Spacer Sleeve 20 .25
7 Pipe Plug 20 .25
10 Jaw 20 12
11 Packing Unit - Natural 1 910
Packing Unit - Synthetic 1 920
12 Piston 1 5,380
13 Non-extrusion Ring, Middle 2 3
14 Double "U" Seal, Middle 1 3
15 Non-extrusion Ring, Lower 2 2
16 Double "U" Seal, Lower 1 2.5
17 Body 1 14,105
18 "O" Ring 1 .5
19 Capscrew 14 .75
20 Slotted Body Sleeve 1 300
21 Outer Body Sleeve 1 1180
22 Non-extrusion Ring, Inner 2 1
23 Double "U" Seal, Inner 1 2.3
24 Opening Chamber Head 1 839
27 "U" Seal 2 3
29 Head Gasket 1 2.5
32 Pull Down Bolt Assembly 4 1
33 Relief Fitting 1 .06
34 Pipe Plug 1 .06
Seal Set - Complete
ACCESSORIES
Chain Sling Assembly 1 202
Eye Bolts, Piston
(1"-8NC x 17" LG) 2 6
Eye Bolts, Head
(1 1/2"-6NC x 2" LG) 3 6.75
Eye Bolts, Opening
Chamber Head -
(7/8"-9NC x 2 1/4" LG) 3 1
Protector Plate 1 99
Protector Plate Screw 4 .13

V4 Rev March 2002 6 - 47


6 - 48
HYDRIL 'GL'
Standard surface hook-up requires least Subsea hook-up for water depths over Subsea hook-up for water depths up
fluid so gives a faster closing time. 800 ft. to 800 ft.
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Figure 6.2.8
WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team

FIG. 1 FIG. 2 FIG. 3

SECONDARY CHAMBER SECONDARY CHAMBER SECONDARY CHAMBER


connected to connected to connected to
OPENING CHAMBER (S - O) CLOSING CHAMBER (S - C) MARINE RISER (CB)

CLOSING PRESSURE OPENING PRESSURE

V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Figure 6.2.9 CONTRACTOR PISTON

differential area centre line


exposed to mud
column

opening
pressure packing
unit

opening
area

closing operating
area piston
closing
pressure

well
pressure
well pressure
area

As the contractor piston is raised by hydraulic pressure, the rubber packing unit is
squeezed inward to a sealing engagement with anything suspended in the
wellbore. Compression of the rubber throughout the sealing area assured a seal-off
against any shape.

V4 Rev March 2002 6 - 49


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Figure 6.2.10
Average Surface Closing Pressure
(GL-16 3/4-5000 Standard Hook-up)
SECONDARY CHAMBER CONNECTED TO OPENING CHAMBER

1500
CSO
CLOSING PRESSURE - PSI

1000
3 1/2" thru 7" Pipe

7 5/8" thru 13 3/8" Pipe


500

CAUTION : Due to limiting properties of casing, closure should


NOTE : Pressures shown are
be done carefully, using initial closing pressure to prevent average. Actual pressure
collapse of casing. required to affect seal-off will
vary slightly with each
The closing pressures shown are initial closing pressures for individual packing unit.
most casing at O (zero) well pressure. Slightly higher closing
pressure may be required for seal-off
at higher well pressures.
0
0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000
WELL PRESSURE - PSI

Operating pressure for Subsea Annular Preventers

(0.052 x Wm x Dw) - (0.45 x Dw)


Adjustment Pressure (∆P) = –––––––––––––––––––––––––––
p
Where:

Wm = drilling fluid density in lb./gal.


Dw = water depth in feet
0.052 = conversion factor
p = 2.13 = the ratio of closing chamber area to
secondary chamber area for GL 16 3/4 - 5000.
0.45 psi/ft. = pressure gradient for sea-water using a specific
gravity of sea water = 1.04 and 0.433 psi/ft.
pressure gradient for fresh water.

The optimum closing pressure for the standard hookup is obtained


using the following formula:

Closing Pressure = Surface Closing Pressure + Adjustment Pressure (∆P)

6 - 50 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Operating Pressure for Accumulator Bottles

Example 1

3 1/ " - 7" pipe, 3500 psi well pressure, 16 lb./gal. drilling fluid, 500 ft. water depth.
2

Closing Pressure = Surface Closing Pressure + Adjustment Pressure (∆P)

From the Surface Closing Pressure graph Figure 6.5.13:

Surface Closing Pressure = 900 psi.

(0.052 x 16 Ib/gal x 500 ft) - (0.45 psi/ft x 500 ft)


Adjustment Pressure (∆P) = –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
2. 13

Adjustment Pressure (∆P) = 90 psi

Closing Pressure = 900 psi + 90 psi = 990 psi.

Pre-Charge Pressures - Surge Bottles

The pre-charge pressure for the closing chamber surge absorber can be calculated using the
following example:

Example 2
1
3 /2" - 7" pipe, 500 feet water depth.

Precharge = 0.80 [Surface Closing Pressure + (0.41 x Dw)]

Where:
Dw = water depth in feet.

0.41 psi/ft. = pressure gradient for control fluid (water and water
soluble oil) using a specific gravity of the mixture
= 0.95 and 0.433 psi/ft pressure gradient for fresh water.

Surface Closing Pressure = 600 psi.

Precharge = 0.80 [600 psi + (0.41 psi/ft. x 500 ft)]

= 644 psi.

V4 Rev March 2002 6 - 51


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Only packing elements which are supplied by the manufacturer of the annular
preventer should be used. New or repaired units obtained from other service
companies should not be used since the preventer manufacturers cannot be held
responsible for malfunction of their equipment unless their elements are installed.

Figure 6.2.11 Packing unit selection (from Hydril)

IDENTIFICATION
PACKING UNIT OPERATING DRILLING FLUID
TYPE TEMP RANGE COMPATIBILITY
Colour Code

NATURAL Black NR -30°F – 225°F Waterbase Fluid


RUBBER

NITRILE NBR Oil base/Oil


Red 20°F – 190°F
RUBBER Band Additive Fluid

NEOPRENE Green CR -30°F – 170°F Oil Base Fluid


RUBBER Band

Figure 6.2.12 Annular Preventers -


Gallons of Fluid Required to Operate on Open Hole
Size and Hydril NL Shaffer
Working Pressure GK GL Spherical
Inches psi Close Open Close Open Balancing Close Open
6 3,000 2.9 2.2 4.6 3.2
6 5,000 3.9 3.3 4.6 3.2
7 1/16 10,000 9.4
8 3,000 4.4 3.0 7.2 5.0
8 5,000 6.8 5.8 11.1 8.7
10 3,000 7.5 5.6 11.0 6.8
10 5,000 9.8 8.0 18.7 14.6
11 5,000
11 10,000 25.1
12 3,000 11.4 9.8 23.5 14.7
13 5/8 3,000
13 5/8 5,000 18.0 14.2 19.8 19.8 8.2 23.6 17.4
13 5/8 10,000 34.5 24.3 47.2 37.6
16 2,000 17.5 12.6
16 3,000 21.0 14.8
16 3/4 3,000
16 3/4 5,000 28.7 19.9 33.8 33.8 17.3 33.0 25.6
16 3/4 10,000
18 2,000 21.1 14.4
18 3/4 5,000 44.0 44.0 20.0 48.2 37.6
20 2,000 32.6 17.0
20 3,000
20 5,000 58.0 58.0 29.5 61.4 47.8
30 1,000
30 2,000

6 - 52 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

SPHERICAL BLOWOUT PREVENTERS

Shaffer Spherical blowout preventers are compact, annular type BOP’s which
reliably seal on almost any shape or size—kellys, drill pipe, tool joints, drill collars,
casing or wireline. Sphericals also provide positive pressure control for stripping
drill pipe into and out of

the hole. They are available in bolted cover, wedge cover and dual wedge cover
models. There are also special lightweight models for airlifting and Arctic models
for low temperature service.

Figure 6.2.13 SHAFFER ANNULAR

V4 Rev March 2002 6 - 53


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE

INSTALLATION

A blowout preventer operating and control system is required to actuate the


Spherical BOP. Several systems are available and those commonly used on drilling
rigs work well. The recommended installation requires:

1. A control line to the closing (lower) port.

2. For stripping, an accumulator bottle in the closing line adjacent to the BOP. This
bottle should be precharged to 500 psi for surface installations and to 500 psi
plus 45 psi per 100' of water depth for subsea installations.

3. control line to the opening (upper) port.

4. A hydraulic regulator to allow adjustment of operating pressure to meet any


given situation.

The hydraulic operating fluid should be hydraulic oil with a viscosity between 200
and 300 SSU at 100°F If necessary, a water-soluble oil such as Koomey K-90 and
water can be used for environmental protection. If equipment is exposed to
freezing temperatures, ethylene glycol must be added to the K-90 and water
solution for freeze protection.

NOTE: Some water-soluble systems will corrode the metals used in BOP’s. If
water-soluble oil is used, the user should ensure that it provides adequate
lubrication and corrosion protection.
Accumulator bottle

(1-gal. capacity for 1 1/16" - 10,00 psi bolted-cover model;


5-gal. capacity for all other bolted-cover models and 13 5/8"-
5,000 psi wedge-cover model;
10-gal. capacity for all other wedge-cover models)

Opening line

Hydraulic
unit Closing line

Installation hookup for single Spherical BOP

Accumulator
bottles
Opening line

Closing line

Opening line

Closing line Station1 Station 2


Hydraulic unit

Figure 6.2.14 Installation hookup for dual Spherical BOP

6 - 54 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE

OPERATING REQUIREMENTS

Sphericals have relatively simple operating requirements compared to other


annulars. When closing on stationary pipe, 1,500 psi operating pressure is
sufficient in most applications. Recommended closing pressures for specific
applications are given in the table at the bottom of the page.

Closing action begins when hydraulic fluid is pumped into the closing chamber of
the Spherical BOP below the piston (upper right). As the piston rises, it pushes the
element up, and the element’s spherical shape causes it to close in at the top as it
moves upward.

The element seals around the drill string as the piston continues to rise (middle
right). Steel segments in the element move into the well bore to support the rubber
as it contains the well pressure below.

When there is no pipe in the preventer, continued upward movement of the piston
forces the element to seal across the open bore (lower right). At complete shutoff,
the steel segments provide ample support for the top portion of the rubber. This
prevents the rubber from flowing or extruding excessively when confining high
well pressure.

STRIPPING OPERATIONS

Stripping operations are undoubtedly the most severe application for any
preventer because of the wear the sealing element is exposed to as the drill string
is moved through the preventer under pressure. To prolong sealing element life, it
is important to use proper operating procedures when stripping. The
recommended procedures are:

1. Close the preventer with 1,500 psi closing pressure.

2. Just prior to commencing stripping operations, reduce closing pressure to a


value sufficient to allow a slight leak.

3. If conditions allow, stripping should be done with a slight leak to provide


lubrication and prevent

excessive temperature buildup in the element. As the sealing element wears, the,
closing pressure will need to be incrementally increased to prevent excessive
leakage.

V4 Rev March 2002 6 - 55


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Figure 6.2.15

6 - 56 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

6.3 DIVERTERS

Figure 6.3.1 Typical Diverter System Installed on a Floating Rig

DIVERTER ELEMENT DIVERTER INSERT

PRESSURE LOCK

RELAX UNLOCK

ADJUST

CLOSED
CLOSED

OPEN OPEN

STARBOARD
PORT VENT
VENT

RETURNS TO SHAKER

PRESSURE BELOW
CLOSED
DIVERTER BAG

OPEN
UPPER "WORKING"
PACKING ELEMENT
SLIP JOINT
UPPER ELEMENT

RIG AIR

BLEED LOWER PACKING


ADJUST
ELEMENT CLOSED
WHEN DIVERTER
IS OPERATED
SLIP JOINT
UPPER ELEMENT
PRESSURIZE

RELAX SLIP JOINT


ANNULUS
ADJUST PRESSURE

V4 Rev March 2002 6 - 57


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Typical Operating Pressures

The diverter packer regulator will provide a maximum pressure of 1200 psi on the
packer.

For normal pressure use 750 psi.

The manifold pressure regulator provides a maximum pressure of 1650 psi.

For insert packer lock down dogs. Diverter lock down dogs etc.

For normal operation do not exceed 1250 psi.

Recommended pressure settings generally are:

Hydraulic supply pressure 3000 psi


Manifold pressure 1250 psi
Diverter packer pressure 750 psi

6 - 58 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Figure 6.3.2 Hydril FSP 28-2000 Diverter/BOP System Hydraulic Schematic


HOSE BUNDLE

LATCH

UNLATCH

HANDLING/TEST
TOOL

REGULATED
HYDRAULIC
SUPPLY

PUSH AND HOLD


TO UNLATCH

UNLATCH
PORT

STBD LATCH

BELL NIPPLE
SELECTOR LATCH

REGULATED
HYDRAULIC
SUPPLY
PORT

OPEN

CLOSE

DIVERTER/BOP
5 GALLON
ACCUMULATOR
CERAMIC LINED

AUTOMATIC OPENING
TO DIVERTER LINES
AS BAG CLOSES.

V4 Rev March 2002 6 - 59


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Figure 6.3.3 Example diverter with annular packing element

6 - 60 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Figure 6.3.4 Example diverter with insert - type packer

V4 Rev March 2002 6 - 61


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Figure 6.3.5 Example diverter with rotating stripper

6 - 62 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Figure 6.3.6 Example diverter systems - Integral sequencing

NOTE: When the diverter closes, the


piston moves upward opening
the flow path to the vent line
while closing the flow path to the
flow line.

V4 Rev March 2002 6 - 63


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

If an Annular Sequencing Device which requires lockdown of an insert packer is in


use, the lockdown function should be included in the automatic sequencing.

Figure 6.3.3

DIVERTER
OPEN
VALVE
OPEN
OPERATING
PRESSURE
VENT
VALVE
ACTUATOR
DIVERTER
CLOSE CLOSE

OPEN

FLOWLINE
VALVE
ACTUATOR

CLOSE

DIVERTED ANNULAR
SEALING DEVICE
OPERATING PRESSURE
CLOSE

ANNULAR
SEALING
DEVICE
OPEN

6 - 64 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Figure 6.3.4
DERRICK FLOOR

BELL NIPPLE
FLOW LINE

INSERT TYPE PACKER

HYDRAULIC VALVE OPERATOR

BLEED-OFF LINE
VALVE

HEAVE COMPENSATOR LINE

INNER BARREL OF TELESCOPING JOINT

SEA LEVEL

OUTER BARREL OF TELESCOPING JOINT

RISER COUPLING

FLEXIBLE JOINT

GUIDE FRAME

HYDRAULIC LATCH
PERMANENT GUIDE BASE
TEMPORARY GUIDE BASE

When drilling surface hole from a template the cuttings are returned to surface
for disposal to avoid spool build up on the template.

V4 Rev March 2002 6 - 65


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Figure 6.3.5

21 in HST RISER
COUPLING PIN

MUD BOOST LINE


CONNECTION

21 1/4 in – 2000 MSP


ANNU-FLEX

FLEX JOINT

ANNULAR BOP

21in HYDRAULIC
CONNECTOR

21 1/4 in – 2000
SHEAR RAM

OUTLET NOZZLE(S)

21 1/4 in – 2000
FSS SPOOL

BLIND FLANGE

C K VALVE

30 in LATCH

Sub-sea diverting stack (template operations).

6 - 66 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Figure 6.3.6 (SURFACE DIVERTER)

V4 Rev March 2002 6 - 67


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Figure 6.3.7 (MSP DIVERTER/BOP)

6 - 68 V4 Rev March 2002


ACCUMULATOR BANK
PILOT CONTROL LINE
TO DRILLING CONSOLE

REGULATED
HYDRUALIC
SUPPLY
VENT RISER DIVERTER MANIFOLD
(NEAR DRILLING MANIFOLD) VENT

V4 Rev March 2002


FROM DRILLING 3"Ø
MUD GAS CHOKE MANIFOLD 3"CHOKE
SEPERRTOR 3"Ø

MUD PUMP

6"Ø 6"Ø

6"Ø
RIG FLOOR
6"Ø Bell
12"Ø 16"Ø TO SHALE
Nipple
Diverter SHAKER

Upper
Flex MOON POOL
Joint

Riser
GPLG
Figure 6.3.8

INNER
RISER CHOKE LINE BARREL
12"Ø BELL NIPPLE DIVERTER OVERBOARD LINE

TELESCOPIC JOINT
OPEN CONTROL LINE

6"Ø RISER DIVERTER OVERBOARD LINE OUTER


BARREL RISER BOOST LINE
CLOSE CONTROL LINE
Riser
GPLG
RISER
DIVERTER
QUICK CONNECT Riser JOINT
COUPLING Diverter

Riser KILL DRAPE HOSE


6" DRAPE HOSE GPLG
CHOKE DRAPE HOSE
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT
WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team

6 - 69
WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Figure 6.3.9 HYDRIL ANNULAR PREVENTER - TYPE “MSP” - 2000 PSI

Operating Features:

1. Will close on open hole and hold 2000 psi (but not recommended).

2. Primary usage is in diverter systems.

3. Automatically returns to the open position when closing is released.

4. Sealing assistance is gained from the well pressure.

5. Greater stripping capability of the packing unit since (fatigue) wear occurs
on the outside of the packing unit.

6 - 70 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

ROTATING HEADS

When used, rotating heads are installed above the BOP stack. They provide a seal
on the kelly or drillpipe. A drive unit, attached to the kelly, locates in a bearing
assembly above the stripper rubber.

Some applications for rotating heads are:

• Drilling with air or gas, to divert the returns through a "Blooey line".

• To permit drilling with underbalanced mud, by maintaining a back pressure


on the wellbore.

• As a diverter for surface hole.

• To keep gas away from the rotary table. This is especially important where
Hydrogen Sulphide can be expected.

Realistic working pressures for rotating heads are 500 to 700 psi. It is
recommended that they are not installed for routine gas cap drilling (unless sour
gas is expected) since their use precludes observation from the rig floor of annulus
fluid level.

Figure 6.3.10

KELLY BUSHING

SWING-BOLT
CLAMP ASSEMBLY

DRIVE BUSHING
ASSEMBLY
SHOCK PAD

DRIVE RING AND


BOWL BEARING ASSEMBLY

STRIPPER RUBBER

OUTLET FLANGE

INLET FLANGE

V4 Rev March 2002 6 - 71


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

6.4 GASKETS, SEALS AND WELLHEADS

API Type 'R' Ring Joint Gasket

The type ‘R’ ring joint gasket is not energised by internal pressure. Sealing takes
place along small bands of contact between the grooves and the gasket, on both
the OD and ID of the gasket. The gasket may be either octagonal or oval in cross
section. The type ‘R’ design does not allow face-to-face contact between the hubs
or flanges, so external loads are transmitted through the sealing surfaces of the
ring. Vibration and external loads may cause the small bands of contact between
the ring and the ring grooves to deform the plastic, so that the joint may develop a
leak unless the flange bolting is periodically tightened. Standard procedure with
type ‘R’ joints in the BOP stack is to tighten the flange bolting weekly.

Figure 6.4.1 Figure 6..4.2


CL CL

ENERGISED

6 - 72 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Figure 6.4.3

V4 Rev March 2002 6 - 73


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

API Type 'RX' Pressure-Energised Ring Joint Gasket

The ‘RX’ pressure-energised ring joint gasket was developed by Cameron Iron
Works and adopted by API. Sealing takes place along small bands of contact
between the grooves and the OD of the gasket. The gasket is made slightly larger
in diameter than the grooves, and is compressed slightly to achieve initial sealing
as the joint is tightened. The ‘RX’ design does not allow face-to-face contact
between the hubs or flanges. However, the gasket has large load-bearing surfaces
on the inside diameter, to transmit external loads without plastic deformation of
the sealing surfaces of the gasket. It is recommended that a new gasket be used
each time the joint is made up.

Figure 6.4.4 Figure 6.4.5


CL CL

ENERGISED

6 - 74 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

API Type 'BX' Pressure-Energised Ring Joint Gasket

Sealing takes place along small bands of contact between the grooves and the OD
of the gasket. The gasket is made slightly larger in diameter than the grooves, and
is compressed slightly to achieve initial sealing as the joint is tightened.
Although the intent of the ‘BX’ design was face-to-face contact between the hubs
and flanges, the groove and gasket tolerances which are adopted are such that, if
the ring dimension is on the high side of the tolerance range and the groove
dimension is on the low side of the tolerance range, face-to-face contact may be
very difficult to achieve. Without face-to-face contact, vibration and external loads
can cause plastic deformation of the ring, eventually resulting in leaks. Both
flanged and clamp hub ‘BX’ joints are equally prone to this difficulty. The ‘BX’
gasket frequently is manufactured with axial holes to ensure pressure balance,
since both the ID and the OD of the gasket may contact the grooves.

In practice, the face-to-face contact between hubs or flanges is seldom achieved.

Figure 6.4.6 Figure 6.4.7 Figure 6.4.8

CL CL CL

ENERGISED

V4 Rev March 2002 6 - 75


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

API Face-to-Face Type ‘RX’ Pressure-Energised Ring Joint Gasket

The face-to-face ‘RX’ pressure-energised ring joint gasket was adopted by API as
the standard joint for clamp hubs. Sealing takes place along small bands of contact
between the grooves and the OD of the gasket. The gasket is made slightly larger
in diameter than the grooves, and is compressed slightly to achieve initial sealing
as the joint is tightened. Face-to-face contact between the hubs is ensured by an
increased groove width, but this leaves the gasket unsupported on it’s ID. Without
support from the ID of the grooves, the gasket may not remain perfectly round as
the joint is tightened. If the gasket buckles or develops flats, the joint may leak.

This type of gasket has not been accepted by the industry and is seldom used.

Figure 6.4.9 Figure 6.4.10


CL C
L

ENERGISED

6 - 76 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

‘CIW’ Type ‘RX’ Pressure-Energised Ring Joint Groove

CIW modified the API face-to-face type ‘RX’ pressure-energised ring joint grooves
to prevent any possible leaking caused by the buckling of the gasket in the API
groove. The same API face-to-face type ‘RX’ pressure energised ring joint gaskets
are used with these modified grooves. Sealing takes place along small bands of
contact between the grooves and the OD of the gasket. The gasket is made slightly
larger in diameter than the grooves, and is compressed slightly to achieve initial
sealing as the joint is tightened. The gasket ID will also contact the grooves when it
is made up. This constraint of the gasket prevents any possible leaking caused by
the buckling of the gasket. Hub face-to-face contact is maintained within certain
tolerances. The maximum theoretical stand-off from the stack-up of the tolerances
of the gasket and the groove is 0.022 inches.

Face-to-face contact cannot be assured with this ring/groove combination. This


ring is seldom found in use. The ‘CX’ ring accomplishes the intent of the ‘RX’ face-
to-face design.

Figure 6.4.13 Figure 6.4.14


CL C
L

V4 Rev March 2002 6 - 77


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Type 'AX' and 'VX' Pressure-Energised Ring Joint Gasket

The ‘AX’ pressure-energised ring joint gasket was developed by Cameron Iron
Works. The ‘VX’ ring was developed by Vetco.

Sealing takes place along small bands of contact between the grooves and the OD
of the gasket. The gasket is made slightly larger in diameter than the grooves, and
is compressed slightly to achieve initial sealing as the joint is tightened. The ID of
the gasket is smooth and is almost flush with the hub bore. Sealing occurs at a
diameter which is only slightly greater than the diameter of the hub bore, so the
axial pressure load on the connector is held to an absolute minimum. The belt at
the centre of the gasket keeps it from buckling or cocking as the joint is being
made up. The OD of the gasket is grooved. This allows the use of retractable pins
or dogs to positively retain the gasket in the base of the wellhead or riser
connector when the hubs are separated. The gasket design allows face-to-face
contact between the hubs to be achieved with minimal clamping force. External
loads are transmitted entirely through the hub faces and cannot damage the
gasket.

Figure 6.4.13 Figure 6.4.14


CL CL

ENERGISED

6 - 78 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

‘CIW’ Type ‘CX’ Pressure-Energised Ring Joint Gasket

The ‘CX’ pressure-energised ring joint gasket was developed by Cameron Iron
Works. Sealing takes place along small bands of contact between the grooves and
the OD of the gasket. The gasket is made slightly larger in diameter than the
grooves, and is compressed slightly to achieve initial sealing as the joint is
tightened. The gasket is patterned after the ‘AX’ and ‘VX’ gasket, but is recessed,
rather than being flush with the well bore, for protection against keyseating.
The gasket seals on approximately the same diameter as do the ‘RX’ and ‘BX’
gaskets. The belt at the centre of the gasket keeps it from buckling or cocking as
the joint is being made up. Since the ‘CX’ gasket is protected from keyseating, it is
suitable for use through the BOP and riser system, except at the base of the
wellhead and riser connectors. The gasket design allows face-to-face contact
between the clamp hubs or flanges to be achieved with minimal clamping force.
External loads are transmitted entirely through the hub faces and cannot damage
the gasket.

Figure 6.4.15 Figure 6.4.16


C
L CL

V4 Rev March 2002 6 - 79


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Application of Type 'AX', 'VX' and 'CX' Pressure-Energised Ring Joint Gaskets

The ‘AX’, ‘VX’ and ‘CX’ face-to-face pressure-energised ring gaskets allow face-to-
face contact between the hubs to be achieved with minimal clamping force. The
‘AX’ and ‘VX’ gasket is used at the base of the wellhead and riser connector when
the hubs are separated. The ‘AX’/’VX’ design ensures that axial pressure loading
on the connector is held to an absolute minimum. The ‘AX’ gasket also is suitable
for side outlets on the BOP stack, since these outlets are not subject to keyseating.
The ‘CX’ gasket is recessed for protection against keyseating. The ‘CX’ gasket is
suitable for use throughout the BOP and riser system, except at the base of the
wellhead and riser connector.

Figure 6.4.17 HYDRIL DRILLING SPOOL DATA

6 - 80 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Figure 6.4.18

V4 Rev March 2002 6 - 81


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Figure 6.4.19

6 - 82 V4 Rev March 2002


All blowout preventers, drilling spools, adapter flanges will be furnished with the specific API ring joint flange
equipment listed below:

RATING OF BOP APPROVED * MAXIMUM BOLT ** MINIMUM NUT

V4 Rev March 2002


STACK APPROVED FLANGES RING GASKETS STRENGTH STRENGTH

2000 psi wp API Type 6B with API Type ASTM Grade ASTM Grade
and 3000 psi wp Type R Flat Bottom RX B-7 2H
Installations Groove
BOLTS AND NUTS

5000 psi wp API Type 6B with API Type RX or ASTM Grade ASME Grade
Installations Type R Flat Bottom API Type BX wp B-7 2-H
Groove or API Type Type 6BX Flange
6BX w/Type BX Groove

10,000 psi wp API Type 6BX with API Type ASTM Grade ASTM Grad
Installations Type BX Groove BX B-7 2-H

* Acceptable material for flange ring gaskets as per API Spec 6A, "Wellhead Equipment".

Sweet Oil - Low Carbon Steel

Sour Oil or Gas - Type 316 stainless steel preferred but Type 304 stainless steel acceptable except
for high risk H2S wells.
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT
WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team

** In some H2S applications, ASTM A-193 Gr B/M with a maximum Rockwell hardness of 22 may be acceptable.
Figure 6.4.20 SPECIFICATIONS FOR BOP FLANGES, RING GASKETS, FLANGE

If used, flanges should be derated per Table 1.4B of API 6A.

6 - 83
WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

6.5 MANIFOLDS, VALVES, SEPARATORS AND FLOW GAIN SENSORS

1. MUD CONTROL AND MONITORING EQUIPMENT

Correct installation and operation of this equipment is fundamental to effective


primary and secondary well control. The following are the most important aspects:

a) Pit Volume Measurement

A pit volume totalising (PVT) should be provided. A calibrated read-out and


audio alarm should be installed at the Driller’s station.

The following measurement devices are required for all tanks:

• A float for the PVT system, to isolate other floats when the trip tank is in use.

• An internal calibrated ladder-type scale.

• A remote ladder-type scale, visible from the Driller’s station for the trip tank.

• A small wireline can be used to connect a float in the tank to the scale on the
rig floor.

b) Flow line Measurement

A device should be provided for measurement of flow line and mud return rate.
This (Flo Show) device should have a read-out and alarm at the Driller’s station.

c) Trip Tank

Trip tanks are used to fill the hole on trips, measure mud or water into the annulus
when circulation has been lost, monitor the hole when tripping, logging or other
similar type operations. There are two basic types of trip tanks - gravity feed and
pump. The pump type system is better because it provides for safer and more
expedient trip operation. The trip tank would be isolated from the surface mud
system to prevent inadvertent loss or gain of mud from the trip tank due to valves
being left open.

In the past, many blowouts occurred due to swabbing or not keeping the hole
filled while tripping the drill string out of the hole. To provide exact fluid
measurements for pipe displacement, trip tanks were developed to accurately
measure within ± 1.0 barrel the influx or efflux of fluid from the wellbore. As the
drill string is pulled from the hole, the mud level will drop due to the volume of
metal being removed. If mud is not added to the hole as pipe is pulled, it is
possible to reduce hydrostatic pressure to less than formation pressure. When this
happens, a kick will occur. Swabbing can occur when pipe is pulled too fast and
friction between the pipe and the mud column causes a reduction in hydrostatic
pressure to a valve less than formation pressure.

6 - 84 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Figure 6.5.1
MFC3 CONTROL CONSOLE

MFS 3 - Series RETURN MUD FLOW SYSTEM


40 50 60
30 70
20 80
10 90
0 % 100
RETURN
MUD
FLOW
MFT2 MUD FLOW SENSOR
LO LO HI HI
ADJUST FLOW FLOW ADJUST

MUD
FLOO SMOOTHING
MED 2 AMP
LO HI
ON

RECORDER RETURN
RETURN FLOW FLOW
WARNING HI-LO SENSOR
115 VAC
WARNING

LINE

H1240 WARNING SYSTEM

WARNING
LIGHTS
115 (Optional)
VAC
REMOTE
INDICCTOR

FROM MVT4
MFR2 or MFRE2 RETURN MUD HORN
RECORDER FLOW SYSTEM (Optional)
(Optional)

Figure 6.5.2

MVR2 ELECTRONIC
MFTX2 FLOW SENSOR
MFCX RETURN MUD FLOW AND RECORDER (Optional)
ASSEMBLY
PUMP STROKE SENSOR CONSOLE

40 50 60
30 70
20 80
10 90
0 100

H1268 WARNING
SYSTEM HORN

H1234A PUMP H1267 WARNING SYSTEM


STROKE SENSOR CONTROL BOX

MFSX2 MUD FLOW FILL SYSTEM

V4 Rev March 2002 6 - 85


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

To prevent loss of hydrostatic pressure it is necessary to fill the hole on a regular


schedule, or continuously, using a trip tank to keep the track of the fluid volume
required. The metal volume of the pipe being pulled can be calculated, but mud
additions necessary to replace hole seepage losses due to filtration effects can only
be predicted by comparison with the mud volumes required to keep the hole
properly filled on previous trips. For this reason, it is import that a record of mud
volume required, versus number of stands pulled be maintained on the rig in a
trip book for every trip made.

Typical Trip Tank Hook-up - On A Floating Rig

As illustrated in Figure 6.5.3, a centrifugal pump takes suction from the trip tank
and fills the hole through a line into the bell nipple. The pump runs constantly
while the drill string is pulled from the hole. The hole stays full as each stand of
pipe is pulled and excess mud returns to the trip tank through an outlet on the
main flow line. A valve must be installed in the flow line downstream of this
outlet to block all flow to the shale shakers while making a trip. A closed
circulation system can be monitored by a float system and a digital read-out in
1-barrel increments on the Driller’s console.

Mud Gas Separator

The separator is installed downstream of the choke manifold to separate gas from
the drilling fluid. This provides a means of safely venting the gas and returning
usable liquid mud to the active system.

There are two types of mud gas separators: Atmospheric and Pressurised.

• The atmospheric type separator is standard equipment on nearly all rigs and
is referred to in the field as a ‘gas buster’ or ‘poorboy' separator. The main
advantage of this type of separator is its operational simplicity which does
not require control valves on either the gas or mud discharge lines.

• A pressurised mud gas separator is designed to operate with moderate back


pressure, generally 50 psi or less. Pressurised separators are utilised to
overcome line pressure losses when an excessive length of vent line is
required to safely flare and burn the hazardous gas an extended distance
from the rig. The pressurised separator is considered special rig equipment
and may not be provided by the contractor. This type of separator is installed
on rigs drilling in high risk H2S areas and for drilling underbalanced in areas
where high pressure, low volume gas continually feeds into the circulating
fluid.

6 - 86 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

During well control operations, the main purpose of a mud gas separator is to vent
the gas and save the drilling fluid. This is important not only for economic
reasons, but also to minimise the risk of circulating out a gas kick without having
to shut down to mix additional mud volume. In some situations the amount of
mud lost can be critical when surface volume is marginal and on-site mud
supplies are limited. When a gas kick is properly shut in and circulated out, the
mud gas separator should be capable of saving most of the mud.

There are a number of design features which affect the volume of gas and fluid
that the separator can safely handle. For production operations, gas oil separators
can be sized and internally designed to efficiently separate gas from the fluid.
This is possible because the fluid and gas characteristics are known and design
flow rates can be readily established. It is apparent that ‘gas busters’ for drilling
rigs cannot be designed on the same basis since the properties of circulated fluids
from gas kicks are unpredictable and a wide range of mixing conditions occur
downhole. In addition, mud rheological properties vary widely and have a strong
effect on gas environment. For both practical and cost reasons, rig mud gas
separators are not designed for maximum possible gas release rates which might
be needed; however, they should handle most kicks when recommended shut-in
procedures and well control practices are followed. When gas low rates exceed the
separator capacity, the flow must be bypassed around the separator directly to the
flare line. This will prevent the hazardous situation of blowing the liquid from the
bottom of the separator and discharging gas into the mud system.

Figure 6.5.4 illustrates the basic design features for atmospheric mud gas
separators. Since most drilling rigs have their own separator designs, the Drilling
Supervisor must analyse and compare the contractor’s equipment with the
recommended design to ensure the essential requirements are met.

The atmospheric type separator operates on the gravity or hydrostatic pressure


principle. The essential design features are:

• Height and diameter of separator.

• Internal baffle arrangement to assist in additional gas break-out.

• Diameter and length of gas outlet.

• A target plate to minimise erosion where inlet mud gas mixture contacts the
internal wall of the separator, which provides a method of inspecting plate
wear.

• A U-tube arrangement properly sized to maintain a fluid head in the


separator.

V4 Rev March 2002 6 - 87


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Figure 6.5.3

REMOTE
TRIP TANK RIG FLOOR
CONTROL VALVE
LEVEL
INDICATOR

OVERBOARD

ROTARY TABLE

DIVERTER
RETURNS TO
SHAKERS

FLOWLINE
HOLE FILL
UP LINE
TELESCOPIC
JOINT
FROM
MISSION PUMPS
RISER

CHECK

VALVE

DRAIN TRIP TANK PUMP

Figure 6.5.4 An Example Mud Gas Separator


GAS OUTLET
8" ID MINIMUM

GAS BACK PRESSURE


REGISTERED AT
STEEL
THIS GAUGE
(Typically 0 to 20 psi)
TARGET PLATE
INLET
APPROX 1/2 OF HEIGHT

INSPECTION
COVER

30" OD
SECTION A-A
TANGENTIAL INLET
10' MINIMUM HEIGHT

A A 4" ID INLET-TANGENTIAL TO SHELL


INSPECTION FROM CHOKE MANIFOLD
COVER
BRACE

HALF CIRCLE BAFFLES ARRANGED


IN A 'SPIRAL' CORFIGURATION

TO SHAKER HEADER TANK


10' APPROX

MAXIMUM HEAD AVAILABLE


DEVELOPED BY THIS HEIGHT
OF FLUID
eg 10 foot HEAD AT 1.5 SG
GIVES 6.5 psi MAXIMUM
CAPACITY

8" NOMINAL 'U' TUBE

4" CLEAN-OUT PLUG 2" DRAIN OR FLUSH LINE

6 - 88 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

The height and diameter of an atmospheric separator are critical dimensions


which affect the volume of gas and fluid the separator can efficiently handle.
As the mud and gas mixture enters the separator, the operating pressure is
atmospheric plus pressure due to friction in the gas vent line. The vertical distance
from the inlet to the static fluid level allows time for additional gas break-out and
provides an allowance for the fluid to rise somewhat during operation to
overcome friction loss in the mud outlet lines. As shown in Figure 6.5.4, the
gas-fluid inlet should be located approximately at the midpoint of the vertical
height. This provides the top half for a gas chamber and the bottom half for gas
separation and fluid retention. The 30 in. diameter and 16 ft minimum vessel
height requirements have proven adequate to handle the majority of gas kicks. The
separator inlet should have at least the same ID as the largest line from the choke
manifold, which is usually 4 in. Some separators use tangential inlet, which creates
a small centrifugal effect on the gas-fluid mixture and causes faster gas break-out.

The baffle system causes the mud to flow in thin sheets which assists the
separation process. There are numerous arrangements and shapes of baffles used.
It is important that each plate be securely welded to the body of the separator with
angle braces.

A 8 in. minimum ID gas outlet is usually recommended to allow a large volume of


low pressure gas to be released from the separator with minimum restriction.
Care should be taken to ensure minimum back pressure in the vent line. On most
offshore rigs, the vent line is extended straight up and supported to a derrick leg.
The ideal line would be restricted to 30 ft in length and the top of the line should
be bent outward about 30 degrees to direct gas flow away from the rig floor. If it is
intended that the gas be flared, flame arresters should be installed at the discharge
end of the vent line.

As stated previously, when the gas pressure in the separator exceeds the
hydrostatic head of the mud in the U-tube, the fluid seal in the bottom is lost and
gas starts flowing into the mud system. The mud outlet downstream of the U-tube
should be designed to maintain a minimum vessel fluid level of approximately
3 1/2 ft in a 16 ft high separator. Assuming a 9.8 ppg mud and total U-tube height
of 10 ft, the fluid seal would have a hydrostatic pressure equal to 5.096 psi. This
points out the importance for providing a large diameter gas vent line with the
fewest possible turns to minimise line frictional losses.

The mud outlet line must be designed to handle viscous, contaminated mud
returns. As shown in Figure 6.5.4 an 8 in. line is recommended to minimise
frictional losses. This line usually discharges into the mud ditch in order that good
mud can be directed over the shakers and untreatable mud routed to the waste pit.

V4 Rev March 2002 6 - 89


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Degassers

If a fluid's viscosity does not allow gas to break out completely, a degasser may
also be used. A degasser is not designed to handle large volumes of gas, because
the volume of gas actually entrained in the fluid is small. Degassers separate
entrained gas from fluid using a vacuum chamber, a pressurised chamber, a
centrifugal spray, or a combination. The most commonly used degassers are
vacuum tanks and centrifugal pump sprayers, but many others are available.

Properly maintaining degassers is not difficult. Primarily, it is a matter of correctly


lubricating any pumps used in the system. In degassers that employ a float arm,
joints must be kept lubricated. When a vacuum pump is used, the water knockout
ahead of the compressor must be emptied daily.

In general, vacuum degassers are very effective with heavy, viscous muds from
which it is difficult to extract gas with a separator alone. In any degassing
operation, residence time and extraction energy requirements are increased as
mud viscosity and gel strength increases.

Figure 6.5.5

FLARE LINE

DISCHARGE
SUCTION

6 - 90 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Choke Manifolds

The choke manifold is an arrangement of valves, fittings, lines and chokes which
provide several flow routes to control the flow of mud, gas and oil from the
annulus during a kick.
Figure 6.5.6
Adjustable choke

P To pit and/or mud/gas


separators
2" Nominal
2"
Remotely
Operated
Blowout Preventer Valve
2"
Stack Outlet
Bleed line
P To pit

3" Nominal 4" Nominal


Sequence 2"
Optional

2"

P To mud/gas separator
and/or pit
2" Nominal
Remotely operated
or adjustable choke
Typical Choke Manifold for 5,000 psi
Working Pressure Service-Surface Installation

Figure 6.5.7
Remotely operated choke

P To mud/gas separators
and/or pit
2" Nominal
2"
Adjustable Choke
2"
To pit
2" Nominal
Blowout Preventer 2"
Stack Outlet CHOKE
LINE
Bleed line
P To pit

3" Nominal 4" Nominal


Sequence 2"
Optional

Remotely Operated Valve 2"

P To mud/gas separator
and/or pit
2" Nominal
Remotely operated choke

Typical Choke Manifold for 10,000 psi and 15,000 psi


Working Pressure Service-Surface Installation

V4 Rev March 2002 6 - 91


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Figure 6.5.8

BYPASS TO
POORBOY DEGASSER TO POORBOY TO MUD
OR TRIP TANK DEGASSER PITS

2
4

2
3
1

BOP STACK
1 1
PRIMARY
CHOKE LINE
1 1 1 2

CHOKE BYPASS LINE RESERVE PIT


(DERRICK FLARE
KILL OR OFFSHORE RIGS)
SECONDARY 1
CHOKE LINE
1 2
3

BUFFER CHAMBER

FROM KILL
PUMP TO GAUGE

2
4
MANIFOLD CHOKE LINE

FROM DST 2
CHOKE MANIFOLD
DST LINE

1. 10,000 psi gate valves.


2. 5,000 psi gate valves.
3. Remote controlled chokes. BURNING LINE
4. Manually adjusted chokes. (PRODUCTION GAS SEPARATOR
OFFSHORE RIGS)

6 - 92 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

SPECIFICATION 1 13/16" THRU 2 9/16", 10,000 PSI

Figure 6.5.9 Figure 6.4.10


E

10,000 lb Working Pressure (Inches)


No of Turns
Size WP A B C D E Wt
to Open
1 13/16" 10,000 1 13/16 18 1/4 5 11/16 18 5/8 8 206 12 1/2
2 1/16" 10,000 2 1/16 20 1/2 5 11/16 18 5/8 9 3/4 218 13 1/2

2 9/16" 10,000 2 9/16 22 1/4 6 7/8 19 1/2 9 3/4 292 16


Flange specifications conform to API standard 6A

National Gate Valves are available with flanged ends in standard API bore sizes
and working pressures. Special trims are available for sour gas and oil service on
request. National Gate Valves are also readily available to accept most pneumatic
or hydraulic operators. National Gate Valves meet the applicable standards set
forth by the American Petroleum Institute. When ordering, be sure to specify
quantity, size, working pressure, end connection, body and trim materials, and
service conditions (such as temperature, pressure, and composition of flow
material).

V4 Rev March 2002 6 - 93


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Figure 6.4.11 - Components 113/16" thru 21/16" 15,000 psi

Hex Nut

Handwheel

Bearing
Stem Grease Fitting
Bonnet Cap

Grease Seal
Set Screw
O-Ring
Flat Split
Clevis Ring
Nut
Stem Bearing

Clevis Pin Shoulder


Hub Seal Split Ring

Packing Gland
Gate Hex Nut
Stem Packing
Packing Header Ring
Seat Plastic
Packing Stud Bolt
Assembll

Plastic
Packing
Injection Bonnet
Fitting
Body

Bonnet
Gasket
Grease Grease
Fitting Fitting

6 - 94 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Figure 6.5.12 - Type ‘HCR‘ pressure operated gate valve

The type ‘HCR‘ pressure operated gate valves is a flow line valve requiring
relatively low operating pressures. This is a single ram, hydraulic gate valve
packed with elements similar to the old ‘QRC‘ ram assembly. The closing ratio of
well pressure to hydraulic operating pressure is approximately 8 to 1. Available
sizes are 4-inch 3000 to 5000 psi working pressure, and 6-inch 3000 and 5000 psi
working pressure with standard API flanges.

V4 Rev March 2002 6 - 95


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Figure 6.5.13 Figure 6.5.14

Cameron type “F“ Gate Valve

The Cameron type “F“ gate valve is a commonly used valve on BOP system lines.
The valve is conduit type with no pockets for solids to deposit and hardened
rotating seats which distribute wear. Gates and seats may be replaced without
disconnecting the valves. These valves may be equipped with either hydraulic or
pneumatic operators. Control pressure is lower, especially at high operating
pressures. Sizes from 1-13/16 to 6-6/8 inch are available in ratings of 2,000 to
10,000 working pressure.

Fail-safe type “F“ valves are opened and held open by control pressure in the
operating cylinder. Line pressure tends to close the valve because the gate and
stem move outward in closing. Closing force is supplied by valve body pressure
acting on the stem area, plus the action of a coiled spring. Since operating pressure
is low so that closing ratio is not a problem, “fail-safe“ models close automatically
upon loss of pressure and are ideally suited for subsea use.

6 - 96 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Fail Safe Valves

High pressure choke and kill lines run from the stack to the choke manifold on the
rig floor. To shut these lines off when not required, each is equipped with two fail
safe valves. These can be opened hydraulically from the surface but when the
opening pressure is released spring action automatically forces the gate closed.
The valves are always rated at the same pressure as the stack and choke and kill
lines.

Due to space limitations the first valve out from the stack (the inner valve) is a 90
degree type with a target to avoid sand cutting. The outer valve is straight through
and must be able to hold pressure from on top as well as below when the choke
and kill lines are tested.

In the Cameron type AF fail safe valve (fig 6.5.15) flow line pressure acting against
the lower end of the balancing stem assists in closing the valve. A port in the
operator housing allows the hydrostatic pressure due to water depth to balance
the hydrostatic head of the operating fluid. A resilient sleeve transmits the sea
water pressure to an oil chamber on the spring side of the operating piston.
Without this feature the hydrostatic head of the operating fluid acting on top of the
piston would tend to open the valve itself, especially in deep water.

Liquid lock between the two valves in each line is eliminated by porting the fluid
exhausted from the pressure chamber when opening the valve, away from the
neighbouring valve.

V4 Rev March 2002 6 - 97


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Figure 6.5.15

Operator fluid inlet


Woodruff key Retainer ring
Locking ring Piston
Sea water hydrostatic pressure Set screw
"O" Ring

Spring cartridge assembly

Sea water hydrostatic


pressure equalizing port Resilient sleeve

Sleeve
Clamp
Ring
"J" Packing
Vent "O" ring Ring
Pipe plug
"J" Packing
Anti-extrusion ring
Junk ring Bonnet stud
Retainer ring
Pin Bonnet nut
Bonnet

Pipe plug Gate and seat assembly


Bonnet gasket
Body
Pin
Adaptor stem

Balancing stem
"O" ring

"J" packing
"O" ring

"O" ring
"J" packing
Nut

"O" ring
Gland

Pipe plug

CAMERON TYPE AF FAIL SAFE VALVE

6 - 98 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Figure 6.5.16

V4 Rev March 2002 6 - 99


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Figure 6.5.17

6 - 100 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

K Choke Beans and Wrenches

• Flared Orifice entrance reduces erosion on the entrance surface.

• Accuracy levels are maintained over extended periods of use.

• Choke beans save time and money because replacement intervals are
extended.

Cameron K choke beans come in two styles, positive and combination. The
positive bean has a fixed orifice diameter. The combination bean has a fixed
diameter and a throttling taper at the entry. The combination bean is used with an
adjustable choke needle to make incremental changes to orifice sizes smaller than
the fixed orifice.

The part numbers of the positive and combination beans are determined by
desired orifice size. K1 positive bean orifice sizes range from 4/64" to 64/64"/ Part
numbers for K1 positive beans are available on request. K2 positive bean orifice
sizes range from 4/64" to 128/64". The part number for K2 positive bean is
626397-( )-( ). The dash numbers indicate desired orifice size; for example,
626397-01-10 is a 110/64" diameter orifice. K3 positive bean orifice sizes range
from 4/64" to 192/64". Part numbers for K3 positive beans are available on
request.

K1 combination bean sizes range from 6/64" to 64/64". K2 combination bean sizes
range form 6/64" to 128/64". The part number for the K2 combination bean is
626396-( )-( ). K3 combination bean sizes range from 6/64" to 192/64". Part
numbers for the K1 and K3 combination beans are available upon request.

The part number of the K2 bean wrench is 626266-01. The part numbers of the K1
and K3 bean wrenches are available on request.

V4 Rev March 2002 6 - 101


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

6.6 INSIDE BOP'S

Drill Pipe Float Valves

The drill pipe float valve and the flapper type of back pressure valve, serve
essentially the same purpose, but differ in design.

These valves provide instantaneous shut-off against high or low back pressure and
allow full fluid flow through the drill string. Another advantage is that it prevents
cuttings from entering the drill string, thus reducing the likelihood of pulling a
wet string. Abnormal pressures and anticipated subnormal pressure zones should
be the deciding factor regarding what type of valve to run or the possibility of not
running any valve at all. Expectations of abnormal pressures have shown the
vented type of flapper valve to be the most popular because of the ease involved
in recording shut-in drill pipe pressures. The disadvantages are that the pipe must
be filled while tripping in, and reverse circulation is not possible.

Figure 6.6.1

6 - 102 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Figure 6.6.2 - Kelly Cock Figure 6.6.3 - Gray Valve

RELEASE TOOL
VALUE
RELEASE ROD

Upper Seat
Body

Crank
VALVE SEAT

Ball

Lower Seat VALVE SPRING

Figure 6.6.4
Installing a Checkguard improves well control
significantly. It serves as a check valve to prevent
upward flow through the drill string while permitting
downward mud pumping or flow from injectors.

While stripping drill pipe into the hole, Checkguard


control upward pressure in the annulus and in the drill
pipe. Latching the check valve into the landing sub
contains the pressure in the drill pipe.

Prior to shearing drill pipe, install the check valve to


protect against the release of well pressures. Installation
of the check valve simplifies well control, since
formation pressures cannot communicate up the drill
string.

While tripping, Checkguard contains upward well bore


pressure in the drill pipe, allowing the top connection to
be open.

V4 Rev March 2002 6 - 103


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 6 : WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

Checkguard uses a spring and ball design. Fluid can be pumped through the
valve from the top. But when fluid tries to flow from the bottom to the top, it is
sealed by the spring-loaded ball against the seat.

A large rubber packer provides sealing when fluid attempts to flow around the
valve. The packer is engaged by the tapered body. The body is driven upward by
pressure from below. The more pressure from below, the tighter the seal is.

Installation and Retrieval

Install the landing sub in the drill string while tripping into the hole. Position the
landing sub in the lower end of the drill string.

Install the check valve by dropping it into an open tool joint. Connect the kelly
and pump the check valve into the landing sub. Use the drill pipe safety kelly
guard and lower the kelly guard if excessive back flow exists.

Retrieve the check valve by installing a sinker bar above the retrieving tool and
using a wire line. Use normal wire line procedure. Another way is to trip the drill
string and remove the check valve from the landing sub with the retrieval tool.

Operating tips include ensuring the packer rubber is clean and pliable. Check for
foreign substances such as paint, grease and dirt on the packer surface. Check for
cracking and embrittlement of packer. Never oil rubber packer. Replace packer if
condition requires.

The check valve should be disassembled, cleaned and lubricated (not packer) once
it is retrieved from the landing sub after downhole use.

The valve should be stored in a protected area, away from sun and rain while not
in use. This protects the working parts and packer.

6 - 104 V4 Rev March 2002


INSPECTION, TESTING
SECTION 7 : AND SEALING COMPONENTS

Page

7A Inspection and Testing - Surface Installations 1


7B Inspection and Testing - Subsea Installations 12

7C Sealing Components - Surface Installations 14

7D Sealing Components - Subsea Installations 15

V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 7 : INSPECTION & TESTING

SECTION 7-A
INSPECTION AND TESTING - SURFACE INSTALLATIONS

FIELD ACCEPTANCE INSPECTION AND TESTING

7.A.1 The field acceptance procedure should be performed each time a new or
reworked blowout preventer or blowout preventer of unknown condition is
placed in service.

Ram Type Preventers and Drilling Spools

7.A.2 Following are recommended inspections and tests for this equipment:

a. Visually inspect the body and ring grooves (vertical, horizontal, or ram bore)
for damage, wear, and pitting.

b. Check bolting, both studs and nuts, for proper type, size, and condition.
Refer to Section 8-A for bolting recommendations.

c. Check ring joint gaskets for proper type and condition. Refer to Section 8-A
for ring joint gasket recommendations.

d. Visually inspect ram type preventers for:

1) Wear, pitting, and or damage to the bonnet or door seal area, bonnet or
door seal grooves, ram bores, ram connecting rod, and ram operating rods.

2) Packer wear, cracking, and excessive hardness, Refer to Section 8-A for
information on sealing components.

3) Measure ram and ram bore to check for maximum vertical clearance
according to manufacturer’s specifications. This clearance is dependent on
type, size, and trim of the preventers.

4) If preventer has secondary seals, inspect secondary seals and remove the
plugs to expose plastic packing injection ports used for secondary sealing
purposes. Remove the plastic injection screw and the check valve in this port.
(Some preventers have a release packing regulating valve that will need to be
removed.) Probe the plastic packing to ensure it is soft and not energising the
seal. Remove and replace packing if necessary.

V4 Rev March 2002 7-1


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 7 : INSPECTION & TESTING

e. Hydraulically test with water using the following procedure


(refer to Para. 7.A.5 for test precautions):

1) Connect closing line(s) to preventer(s).

2) Set preventer test tool on drill pipe below preventer(s) if testing preventer
with pipe rams.

3) Check for closing chamber seal leaks by applying closing pressure to close
the rams and check for fluid leaks by observing opening line port(s). Closing
pressure should be equivalent to the manufacturer’s recommended operating
pressure for the preventer’s hydraulic system.

4) Release closing pressure, remove closing line(s), and connect opening


line(s).

5) Check for opening chamber seal leaks by applying opening pressure to


open rams and check for fluid leaks by observing closing line port(s).
Opening pressure should be equivalent to the manufacturer’s recommended
operating pressure for the preventer’s hydraulic system.

6) Release opening pressure and reconnect closing line(s).

7) Check for ram packer leaks at low pressure by closing rams with 1500 psi
operating pressure and apply pressure under rams to 200-300 psi with
blowout preventer test tool installed (when testing preventer containing pipe
rams). Hold for three minutes. Check for leaks. If ram packer leaks, refer to
step 9. If ram packer does not leak, proceed to step 8.

8) Check for ram packer leaks by increasing pressure slowly to the rated
working pressure of the preventer. Hold for three minutes. Check for leaks.
If ram packer leaks, proceed to step 9.

9) If rams leak, check for worn packers and replace if necessary. If the
preventer is equipped with an automatic locking device, check same for
proper adjustment in accordance with manufacturer’s specifications.
Continue testing until a successful test is obtained.

10) Test the connecting rod for adequate strength by applying opening
pressure as recommended by the manufacturer with rams closed and
blowout preventer rated working pressure under the rams.

11) Release opening pressure and release pressure under rams.

12) Repeat procedure (steps 1 through 9) for each set of pipe rams.

13) Test blind rams in same manner as pipe rams (step 1, steps 3 through 9)
with test plug installed but test joint removed.

7-2 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 7 : INSPECTION & TESTING

Annular Blowout Preventers and Diverters

7.A.3 Following are recommended inspections and tests for this equipment:

a. Visually inspected:

1) Studded face of preventer head for pitting and damage, particularly in


ring groove and stud holes.

2) Body for wear and damage.

3) Vertical bore for wear and damage from drill string and drill tools.

4) Inner sleeve for pitting and damage. Look through slots in base of inner
liner for cuttings that might be trapped, thereby preventing full movement of
the piston.

5) Packer for wear, cracking excessive hardness, and correct elastomer


composition. Refer to Section 8-A for information on sealing components.

6) Bolting (both studs and nuts) for proper type, size, and condition. Refer to
Section 8-A for bolting recommendations.

7) Ring-joint gaskets for proper type and condition. Refer to Section 8-A for
ring-joint gasket recommendations.

b. Hydraulic test using the following procedure:

1) Connect closing line to preventer.

2) Set blowout preventer test tool on drill pipe below preventer.

3) Test the seals between the closing chamber and wellbore and between the
closing chamber and opening chamber by closing preventer and applying
manufacturer’s recommended closing pressure. If other chambers are located
between the wellbore and operating chamber, this seal should also be tested.

4) a) If pressure holds, refer to step 13.

b) If pressure does not hold and no fluid is running out of opening


chamber opening, the seal between the closing chamber and the
wellbore or other operating chambers is leaking. Refer to step 11.

c) If fluid is coming out of the opening chamber opening, indicating the


seal between the closing chamber and opening chamber is leaking,
proceed to step 5.

V4 Rev March 2002 7-3


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 7 : INSPECTION & TESTING

5) Release closing pressure.

6) Install plug in opening chamber opening, or if opening line is equipped


with a valve install opening line and close valve.

7) Test seals between the closing chamber, operating chambers, and wellbore
by applying manufacturer’s recommended closing pressure. Observe to see
that pressure holds.

8) Release closing pressure.

9) Remove plug in opening chamber opening and install opening line or


open valve in opening line.

10) Apply 1500 psi closing pressure.

11) Apply 1500 psi wellbore pressure.

12) Bleed closing pressure to 1000 psi.

13) To test the seal between the wellbore and the closing chamber. Close
valve on closing line and disconnect closing line from valve on closing unit
side of valve. Install pressure gauge on closing unit side of valve and open
valve. If this seal is leaking, the closing line will have pressure greater than
1000 psi. Caution: If the closing line does not have a valve installed, the closing line
should not be disconnected with pressure trapped in the closing chamber.

14) Release wellbore pressure.

15) Release closing pressure.

16) a) To test the seals between the opening chamber and the closing
chamber and between the opening chamber and the piston, apply
manufacturer’s recommended opening pressure. If pressure holds, refer
to step 21.

b) If pressure does not hold and no fluid is running out of the closing
chamber opening, the seal between the opening chamber and the piston
is leaking. Verify this visually. Refer to step 21.

c) If fluid is coming out of the closing chamber opening, indicating the


seal between the opening chamber and the closing chamber is leaking,
proceed to step 17.

17) Release opening pressure.

7-4 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 7 : INSPECTION & TESTING

18) Install closing line and block flow (close valve in closing line, if available).

19) Apply 1500 psi opening pressure. If pressure does not hold, seal between
the opening chamber and the preventer head is leaking. Verify this visually.

20) Release opening pressure and replace necessary seals. Refer to step 22.

21) Release opening pressure, replace closing line, and replace necessary
seals.

22) If closing line has a valve installed, make certain that valve is open at the
end of the test. NOTE: This procedure tests all seals except the seal between the
wellbore and the opening chamber. This seal should be tested in the bottom annular
preventer if two annular preventers are being used or if a stack is nippled up on an
annular preventer (for snubbing. etc.). It can be tested as follows:

a) To rated working pressure by running a test joint and plug, closing


an upper preventer, removing the opening line, and pressuring the
preventer stack.

b) To 1500 psi maximum, or by closing an upper preventer and the


annular preventer, removing the opening line, and pressuring up
between preventers.

PERIODIC FIELD TESTING

Blowout Preventer Operating Test

7.A.4 A preventer operating test should be performed on each round trip but not
more than once per day. The test should be conducted as follows while tripping
the drill pipe with the bit just inside casing:

a. Install drill pipe safety valve.

b. Operate the choke line valves.

c. Operate adjustable chokes. Caution: Certain chokes can be damaged if full closure
is effected.

d. Position blowout preventer equipment to check choke manifold. Open


adjustable chokes and pump through each choke manifold to ensure that it is
not plugged. If choke manifold contains brine, diesel or other fluid to prevent
freeze-up in cold weather, some other method should be devised to ensure
manifold, lines, and assembly are not plugged.

V4 Rev March 2002 7-5


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 7 : INSPECTION & TESTING

e. Close each preventer until all pipe rams in the stack have been operated.
Caution: Do not close pipe rams on open hole. If blind rams are in the stack, operate
these rams while out of the hole.

f. Return all valves and preventers to their original position and continue
normal operations. Record test results.

g. Annular preventers need not be operated on each round trip. They should,
however, be operated at an interval not to exceed seven (7) days.

Blowout Preventer Hydraulic Tests

7.A.5 The following items should be checked each time a preventer is to be


hydraulically tested:

a. Verify wellhead type and rated working pressure.

b. Check for wellhead bowl protector.

c. Verify preventer type and rated working pressure.

d. Verify drilling spool, spacer spool, and valve types and rated working
pressures.

e. Verify ram placement in preventers and pipe ram size.

f. Verify drill pipe connection size and type in use.

g. Open casing valve during test, unless pressure on the casing or hole is
intended.

h. Test pressure should not exceed the manufacturer’s rated working pressure
for the body or the seals of the assembly being tested.

i. Test pressure should not exceed the values for tensile yield, collapse and
internal pressure tabulated for the appropriate drill pipe as listed in
API RP 7G: Recommended Practice for Drill Stem Design and Operating Limits*.

j. Verify the type and pressure rating of the preventer tester to be used.

7-6 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 7 : INSPECTION & TESTING

TABLE 7-A

Test Pressure Recommendations Preventer Equipment Tested

Blowout preventer stack rated working 1. Entire blowout preventer stack.


pressure (or as specified in Notes below.) 2. All choke manifold components upstream of chokes.
3. All kelly valves, drill pipe, and tubing safety valves.
4. Drilling spools, intermediate casingheads, and side
outlet valves.

Rated working pressures of preventers or 1. Closing unit valves and manifold


3000 psi. whichever is less 2. All operating lines.

Casing test pressure 1. Any blind rams below drilling spool.


2. Primary casinghead and side outlet valves.
3. Casing string.

Fifty percent (50%) of rated working pressure 1. Choke manifold components downstream of chokes
or components

200 - 300 psi. 1. All ram type preventers


2. Annular preventers
3. Hydraulically operated valve.

Notes: 1. Initial test pressure for the blowout preventer stack, manifold, valves, etc., should be the lesser of
the rated working pressure of the preventer stack, wellhead, or upper part of the casing string.

2. Optional test - a rated working pressure test on top flange of the annular preventer. A companion
test flange will be required.

*Available from American Petroleum Institute. Production Department. 2535 One Main Place, Dallas TX 75202-3904.

7.A.6 An initial pressure test should be conducted on all preventer installations


prior to drilling the casing plug. Conduct each component pressure test for at least
three minutes. Monitor secondary seal ports and operating lines on each preventer
while testing to detect internal seal leaks.

7.A.7 Subsequent pressure tests of blowout preventer equipment should be


performed after setting a casing string, prior to entering a known pressure
transition zone, and after a preventer ram and/or any preventer stack or choke
manifold component change; but no less than once every 21 days. Equipment
should be tested to at least 70 percent of the preventer rated working pressure, but
limited to the lesser of the rated working pressure of the wellhead or 70 percent of
the minimum internal yield pressure of the upper part of the casing string:
however, in no case should these or subsequent test pressures be less than the
expected surface pressure. An exception is the annular preventer which may be
tested to 50 percent of its rated working pressure to minimise pack-off element
wear or damage. After a preventer stack or manifold component change,
hydraulically test in accordance with the provisions in Par. 7.A.6 and Table 7-A.
Precautions should be taken not to expose the casing to test pressures in excess of its rated
strength. A means should be provided to prevent pressure build up on the casing in the
event the test tool leaks.

V4 Rev March 2002 7-7


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 7 : INSPECTION & TESTING

Closing Unit Pump Capability Test

7.A.8 Refer to Par. 5.A.21 for closing unit pump capability test details.

Accumulator Tests

7.A.9 Refer to Paras. 5.A.22 and 5.A.23 for accumulator tests details.

Auxiliary Equipment Testing

7.A.10 The lower kelly valve, kelly, kelly cock, and inside blowout preventer
should be tested to the same pressure as the blow out preventer stack at the same
time the preventer assembly tests are made. This equipment should be tested with
pressure applied from below.

MAINTENANCE PROCEDURES

7.A.11 Field welding on a blowout preventer or related equipment is not


recommended.

7.A.12 The service life of annular preventer packing units can be extended by:

a. Closing on pipe rather than full closure.

b. Using closing pressures recommended by the manufacturer.

c. Utilising the type of elastomer packing unit that best suits the drilling fluid
conditions and environment expected .

d. Proper use of a regulator or accumulator when stripping tool joints. Rapid


movement of a tool joint through the preventer packing unit may cause
severe damage and early failure of the packing unit.

7.A.13 If elastomer parts are to be stored for a long time period, sealed containers
will help extend their useful life. Refer to Section 8-A for information on extending
the life of elastomers for preventers and related equipment.

7.A.14 When a blowout preventer is taken out of service, it should be completed


washed, steamed, and oiled. The rams (sealing element) should be removed and
the ram bore washed inspected, and coated with a rust inhibitor. Flanged faces
should be protected with wooden covers. Any burrs or galled spots should be
smoothed.

7-8 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 7 : INSPECTION & TESTING

TEST PLUGS AND TEST JOINTS

7.A.15 Test Plugs. Several makes of test plugs are available for testing preventer
stacks. The testing tool arrangement should provide for testing the bottom
blowout preventer flange. Test plugs generally fall into two types, hanger type and
cup type.

a. The hanger type test plug has a steel body with outer dimensions to fit the
hanger recess of corresponding types of casinghead. An O-ring pressure seal
is provided between the tester and the hanger recess (refer to Figs 7.A.1 and
7.A.2). The tester is available in various sizes depending on wellhead type
and size and is equipped with tool joint connections. These plugs should be
constructed with an upper bevel and/or bevelled groove (refer to Figs, 7.A.1
and 7.A.2) to facilitate the use of locking screws. The O-ring groove, if used,
should be machined to permit a pressure seal from above or below the plug.
Other types of seals should also be capable of holding pressure from above or
below the plug. Weep holes may be drilled in the pin end of the test joint or
may be installed in the test plug. These testers can be provided with a plug to
test blind rams with the drill string removed. The tester can be retrieved with
the drill string.

b. The cup type test plug (refer to Figs. 7.A.3 and 7.A.4) consists of a mandrel
threaded with a box on top and a pin on bottom, for a tool joint connection. A
cup type pressure element holds pressure from above. Some models (refer to
Fig. 7.A.1) contain a back pressure valve to bypass fluid when going in the
hole. Also, a set of snap plugs (usually 4) can be provided integral to the
mandrel so that the snap plugs can be broken off by dropping a bar inside
the pipe, thereby allowing the annulus to be connected with the inside of the
drill pipe to permit pulling the tool without swabbing the hole.

7.A.16 Test Joints. The test joint should be made of pipe of sufficient weight and
grade to safely withstand tensile yield, collapse or internal pressures that will be
placed on it during, testing operations Refer to API RP 7G: Recommended Practice for
Drill Stem Design and Operating Limits* for tabulated data listed by pipe size, grade,
weight, and class (condition of pipe). The test joint (refer to Fig. 7.A.5), or a box
and pin sub on top of a standard joint of drill pipe, should have a tapped or
welded connection below the box end connection equipped with a valve, gauge,
and fittings having a working pressure at least equal to the rated working pressure
of the preventer stack. Weep holes may be drilled in the pin end of the test joint or
may be installed in the test plug.

7.A.17 Casing Ram Test Sub. Fig. 7.A.6 illustrates a casing ram test sub. Casing
rams can be tested by connecting this test sub between the test joint and the test
plug so that the sub can be placed in the casing rams to be tested. A casing ram
test sub can be made by welding tool joint connections on the ends of a short
length of casing of desired diameter.

*Available from American Petroleum Institute. Production Department. 2535 One Main Place, Dallas TX 75202-3904.

V4 Rev March 2002 7-9


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 7 : INSPECTION & TESTING

LOCKING FLANGE
MUST BE REMOVED
BEFORE NEXT
SECTION OF
WELLHEAD
IS INSTALLED

Figure 7.A.1 Figure 7.A.2


HANGER TYPE TEST PLUG HELD IN HANGER TYPE TEST PLUG HELD IN
PLACE WITH LOCKING FLANGE PLACE WITH CASINGHEAD
LOCK SCREWS LOCK SCREWS

EXAMPLE OF HANGER TYPE


TEST PLUGS

MANDREL

SNAP PLUGS MANDREL


90° SPACING
RETAINING NUT
RETAINING PLATE
PRESSURE SEAL CUP
SIZE PLATE

TAPPED FOR 1"


SNAP PLUGS
90° SPACING
SUB

'O' RING
LOWER VALVE
SNAP
BAR
RETAINING SLEEVE

Figure 7.A.3 Figure 7.A.4

EXAMPLE CUP TYPE TEST PLUGS

7 - 10 V4 Rev March 2002


TOOL JOINT BOX TO

V4 Rev March 2002


STEEL PLATE MATCH TEST JOINT
(WELDED TO CASING SUB
AND TOOL JOINT BOX)

1" OR LARGER VALVE

CASING SUB OF
SUFFICIENT LENGTH TO
TEST CASING RAMS

WEEP HOLE

WEEP HOLE
STEEL PLATE
(WELDED TO CASING SUB TOOL JOINT PIN TO
AND TOOL JOINT BOX) MATCH TEST PLUG

FIG. 7.A.5 FIG. 7.A.6


EXAMPLE TEST JOINT EXAMPLE CASING RAM TEST SUB
SECTION 7 : INSPECTION & TESTING
WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team

7 - 11
WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 7 : INSPECTION & TESTING

SECTION 7-B
INSPECTION AND TESTING—SUBSEA INSTALLATIONS

SURFACE INSPECTION AND TESTING

7.B.1 Prior to delivery to an offshore drilling unit, visually inspect the preventers,
spools, high pressure connector, and kill and choke valves for condition of bodies,
machined surfaces, grooves, actuating rods, rams, seals, and gaskets. Inspect in
accordance with procedures in Para. 7.A.2.e.

7.B.2 Test each individual component of the blowout prevention system to be


utilised in test facilities under shop conditions to rated working pressure utilising
procedures outlined in Para.7.A.2.e. Following unitisation in the shop, test entire
unit for proper operation using the hydraulic closing system. Test the closing
system to 3000 psi. Pressure test each preventer and high pressure connector for
low pressure (200 psi) leaks and to rated working pressure. Record the date and
results of inspection and tests on the shipping tags.

7.B.3 After delivery to an offshore drilling unit, install the unitised blowout
prevention system on a prepared test stump. A low pressure and rated working
pressure test of each component as in the off-site procedure (Para. 7.B.2) should be
repeated and properly recorded in the well log. Test record should include
opening and closing times and hydraulic fluid volumes required for each function.
Subsequent pressure tests should be limited to 70% of the rated working pressure
of the blowout preventer stack or the anticipated surface pressure, whichever is
greater. Full rated working pressure tests should be limited to one test following
any major ram cavity repair work.

7.B.4 The blowout prevention system should be visually inspected and pressure
tested in accordance with Para. 7.B.3 before returning on a well.

SUBSEA TESTING

7.B.5 The blowout prevention system should be operated on each trip but not
more than once every 24 hours during normal operations. The annular preventers
need not be operated on each trip. They must, however, be operated in conjunction
with the required pressure tests and at an interval not to exceed seven days. The
periodic actuation test is not required for the blind or blind shear rams. These
rams need only be tested when installed and prior to drilling out after each casing
string has been set. A record of these tests should be maintained in the well log
and should include closing and opening times and pressures and volumes of
hydraulic fluid for each function.

7.B.6 Pressure tests of the subsea system should be conducted after installation,
after setting casing, and before drilling into any known or suspected high pressure
zones. Otherwise, these tests should be conducted at regular intervals but not

7 - 12 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 7 : INSPECTION & TESTING

more than once every week. On installation of the blowout preventer stack, each
component including the high pressure connectors should be individually
pressure tested at a low pressure (200 psi) and to the greater of 70 percent of rated
working pressure or the maximum pressure expected in the upper part of the
casing. Subsequent pressure tests may be limited to the lesser of 70 percent of the
rated working pressure of the blowout preventers or 70 percent of the minimum
internal yield strength rating of the upper part of the casing, provided the test
pressure equals or exceeds the maximum pressure expected inside the upper part
of the casing. An exception is the annular preventer which may be tested to 50
percent of its rated working pressure to minimise pack-off element wear or
damage. A test plug or cup type tester should be used (refer to Section 7-A).
Precautions should be taken not to expose the casing to test pressures in excess of its rated
internal yield strength. A means should be provided to prevent pressure build up on the
casing in the event the test tool seals leak. Actuation testing of pipe rams should not be
performed on moving pipe.

7.B.7 The subsea blowout prevention system is dependent on surface actuated


hydraulic, pneumatic, and electric controls. The design of this prevention system is
dependent on water depth and environmental conditions and should have an
adequate backup system to operate each critical function. It is equally important to
pressure and operationally test this system concurrently with the blowout
preventers and connectors.

V4 Rev March 2002 7 - 13


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 7 : INSPECTION & TESTING

SECTION 7-C
SEALING COMPONENTS—SURFACE INSTALLATIONS

FLANGES AND HUBS

7.C.1 The following tabular data detail sizes in use on blow out preventers

Rated Working Flange or Minimum Ring-Joint


Pressure Hub Size Vertical Bore Gaskets
psi in. in. RX BX
500 (0.5 M) 29 1/ 29 1/ - -
2 2
2,000 (2 M) 16 16 3/ 65 -
4
20 21 1/ 73 -
4
26 3/ 26 3/ - -
4 4
1
3,000 (3 M) 6 7 / 45 -
16
8 9 49 -
10 11 53 -
12 13 5/ 57 -
8
20 20 3/ 74 -
4
26 3/ 26 3/ - -
4 4
1
5,000 (5 M) 6 7 / 46 -
16
10 11 54 -
13 5 / 13 5/ - 160
8 8
16 3/ 16 3/ - 162‡
4 4
18 3/ 18 3/ - 163
4 4
21 1/ 21 3/ - 165
4 4
1 1
10,000 (10 M) 7 / 7 / - 156
16 16
9 9 - 157
11 11 - 158
13 5/ 13 5/ - 159
8 8
16 3/ 16 3/ - 162
3 4 3 4
18 / 18 / - 164
4 4
21 1/ 21 1/ - 166
4 4
15,000 (15 M) 7 1/ 7 1/ - 156
16 16
9 9 - 157
11 11 - 158
13 5/ 13 5/ - 159
8 8
20,000 (20 M) 7 1/ 7 1/ - 156
16 16

Notes:
1
* Replaces 20 /4" subsequent to January 1974.
‡ Replaces BX-161 subsequent to adoption of 5000 psi rated working pressure (10,000 psi test pressure) flange
in lieu of 5000 psi rated working pressure (7500 psi test pressure) flange in June 1969.

7 - 14 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 7 : INSPECTION & TESTING

SECTION 7-D
SEALING COMPONENTS—SUBSEA-INSTALLATIONS

GENERAL

7.D.1 Operation of the subsea blowout preventer stack and marine riser system
requires particular attention to the availability and correct usage of sealing
components which are peculiar to subsea equipment. These non-API components
are described in the following paragraphs. Manufacturers should be consulted for
specifications and spare parts recommendations. Other sealing components are
covered in Section 7-C.

WELLHEAD CONNECTOR

7.D.2 The primary seal for the wellhead connector is a pressure energised metal-
to-metal type seal. Initial seal requires that the metal seal be coined into contact
with the mating seal surfaces. These seals are not recommended for reuse. Some
wellhead connectors are equipped with resilient secondary seal which may be
energised should the primary seal leak. This seal should be utilised under
emergency conditions only.

MARINE RISER

7.D.3 The primary seal for the marine riser connector consists of resilient type
O-Ring or lip-type seals. The primary seal for choke and kill line stab subs on the
integral riser connector consists of pressure energised resilient seals or packing.
Care should be taken to carefully clean and inspect all seals prior to running the
marine riser.

7.D.4 The primary telescopic joint seal assembly consists of a hydraulic or


pneumatic pressure energised resilient packing element.

SUBSEA CONTROL SYSTEM

7.D.5 Primary hydraulic system seal between the male and female sections of the
control pods is accomplished with resilient seals of the O-ring, pressure energised,
or face sealing types.

7.D.6 The hydraulic junction boxes consist of stab subs or multiple check valve
type quick disconnect couplings. The primary seals are O-rings. These seals should
be inspected each time the junction box is disconnected.

7.D.7 The primary pod valve seals vary according to the manufacturer with both
resilient and lapped metal-to-metal type seals used.

V4 Rev March 2002 7 - 15


SECTION 8 : SURFACE BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS

Page

8.0 BOP and Control Systems 1

8A Closing Units - Surface Installations 7


8B Closing Units - Subsea Installations 21

V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 8 : SURFACE BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS

8.0 SURFACE BOP AND CONTROL SYSTEMS

Figure 8.0.1 Land Rig Operation

V4 Rev March 2002 8-1


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 8 : SURFACE BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS

TYPICAL SURFACE BOP CONTROL SYSTEM


T-SERIES

Figure 8.0.2

8-2 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 8 : SURFACE BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS

TYPICAL SURFACE BOP 17. Electric Pressure Switch - of the annular operating
CONTROL SYSTEM Automatically stops pumps pressure. Adjustable from 0 to
when accumulator pressure 1500 PSI. TR Regulator can
1. Accumulators - Precharge per reaches 3000 PSI and starts provide regulation up to 3000
label. Warning! USE pumps when pressure drops to PSI for Cameron Type D
NITROGEN ONLY-DO NOT 2700 PSI nominal. annulars and contains a manual
USE OXYGEN! Check every 30 override to prevent loss of
days. 18. Electric Motor Starter - Keep operating pressure should
starter switch in “Auto” position remote control pilot pressure be
2. Accumulator Bank Isolation except when servicing. TURN lost.
Valve -Manually operated, OFF power at main panel when
normally open. servicing. 31. Annular Pressure Gauge - 0
to 3000 PSI. (0-6000 PSI for
3. Accumulator Bank Bleed 19. Suction Valve, Triplex or Cameron D Annulars.)
Valve - Normally closed. Duplex pump. Normally open.
Close when servicing pump. 32. Annular Pressure
4. Accumulator Relief Valve - Transmitter - Hydraulic input,
Set at 3300 PSI. 20. Suction Strainer, Triplex or 3-15 PSI air output.
Duplex pump - Clean every 30
5. Air Filter - Automatic Drain. days. 33. Accumulator Pressure
Clean every 30 days. Transmitter - 0 to 6000 PSI
21. Discharge Check Valve, hydraulic input, 315 PSI air
6. Air Lubricator -Fill with SAE Duplex or Triplex Pump. output.
10 lubricating oil, set for 6 drops
per minute. Check oil level 22. High Pressure Strainer - 34. Manifold Pressure
weekly. Clean every 30 days. Transmitter - 0 to 10,000 PSI
hydraulic input,3- 15 PSI air
7. Air Pressure - Gauge - 0 to 23. Shut Off Valve - Normally output. (Transmitter converts
300PSI. close. Connection for separate hydraulic pressure to air
operating fluid pump. pressure and sends a calibrated
8. Hydro-pneumatic Pressure signal to corresponding air
Switch -Automatically stops air 24. Manifold Regulator - receiver gauges on the Driller’s
operated pumps when pressure Regulates operating pressure to air operated remote control
reaches 2900 PSI and starts ram preventers and gate valves. panel.)
pumps when pressure drops Manually adjustable from 0 to
approximately 400 PSI. 1500 PSI, TR™ Regulator 35. Air Junction Box - Used for
contains internal by-pass for connecting the air cable from the
9. Air Supply Valves -Normally pressures up to 3000 PSI or 5000 air operated remote control
open. Close when servicing air PSI. (See 39 option) panels.
operated pumps.
25. Manifold Regulator Internal 36. Reservoir - Stores operating
10. Suction Valve, Air Operated Override Valve - Normally in fluid at atmospheric pressure.
Pumps -Normally open. Close low-pressure (handle left) Fill to within 8 inches from top
when servicing pumps. position. For operating pressures with Welkic™ 10 or SAE 10 oil.
above l 500 PSI (ram preventers
11. Suction Strainer, Air and gate valves), move to high 37. Clean out man-way (T-Series
Operated Pumps - clean every pressure position (handle right). units).
30 days.
26. 5,000 PSI W.P. Sub-Plate 38. Sight glass, fluid level
12. Air Operated Pump. Mounted Four-way Control (T-Series units).
Valve - Direct the flow of
13. Discharge Check Valve, Air operating fluid pressure to the Option- Available on units with
Operated Pump. preventers and gate valves. 5000 PSI working pressure
NEVER leave in the centre manifold valves and piping.
14. Duplex or Triplex Pump - position.
Fill crankcase with SAE 20 oil for 39. By-pass Valve -
40F to 115F ambient temperature 27. Manifold Bleeder Valve. Hydro-pneumatic pressure
range. Check oil level monthly. switch.
28. Accumulator Pressure
15. Chain guard - Fill with SAE Gauge - 0 to 6000 PSI. 40. Normal Pressure Isolation
40 oil for operation above 20F Valve -Normally open. Close for
ambient temperature. Check oil 29. Manifold Pressure Gauge - 0 pressure above 3000 PSI. This
level monthly. to 10,000 PSI. feature can be used for shearing.

16. Explosion-Proof Electric 30. Annular Regulator - 41. Manifold Protector Relief
Motor. Provides independent regulation Valve - Set at 5500 PSI.

V4 Rev March 2002 8-3


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 8 : SURFACE BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS

SYSTEM DESCRIPTION

GENERAL

A Blowout Preventer (BOP) Control System is a high pressure hydraulic power


unit fitted with directional control valves to safely control kicks and prevent
blowouts during drilling operations. A typical system offers a wide variety of
equipment to meet the customer’s specific operational and economic criteria. The
following text gives a brief description of the equipment and some of its major
components.

Figure 8.0.3 ACCUMULATOR UNIT MODULE

The primary function of the accumulator unit module is to provide the


atmospheric fluid supply for the pumps and storage
of the high pressure operating fluid for control of the BOP stack. It includes
accumulators, reservoir, accumulator piping and a master skid for mounting of the
air operated pumps, electric motor driven pumps and the hydraulic control
manifold.

Accumulators

Accumulators are ASME coded pressure vessels for storage of high pressure fluid.
These accumulators are available in a variety of sizes, types, capacities and
pressure ratings. The two (2) basic types are bladder and float which are available
in cylindrical or ball styles. The accumulators can either be bottom or top loading.
Top loading means the bladder or float can be removed from the top while it is still
mounted on the accumulator unit. Bottom loading accumulators must be removed
from the accumulator unit to be serviced. Bladder and buoyant float type
accumulators can be repaired in the field without destroying their stamp of
approval.

8-4 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 8 : SURFACE BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS

Reservoir

A rectangular reservoir is provided for storage of the atmospheric fluid supply for
the high pressure pumps. It contains baffles, fill and drain ports and
troubleshooting inspection ports. For filling and cleaning procedures see the
Maintenance section. It should be able to store 2 times the capacity of the usable
fluid capacity.

Accumulator Piping

This piping connects the high pressure discharge lines of the pumps to the
accumulators and the hydraulic manifold. It is comprised of 1 or 1-1/2" Schedule
80 or 160 pipe, isolator valves and a 3300 psi relief valve to protect the
accumulators from being over pressured. Cylindrical type accumulators are
mounted on machined headers to minimise line restrictions and leaks.

AIR PUMP ASSEMBLY

The air pump assembly consists of one (1) or more air operated hydraulic pumps
connected in parallel to the accumulator piping to provide a source of high
pressure operating fluid for the BOP Control System. These pumps are available in
a variety of sizes and ratios.

Figure 8.0.4

V4 Rev March 2002 8-5


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 8 : SURFACE BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS

ELECTRIC PUMP ASSEMBLY

The electric pump assembly consists of a duplex or triplex reciprocating plunger


type pump driven by an explosion-proof electric motor. It is connected to the
accumulator piping to provide a source of high pressure operating fluid for the
BOP Control System. It is available in a variety of horsepower and voltage ranges.

Figure 8.0.5

8-6 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 8 : SURFACE BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS

SECTION 8.A
CLOSING UNITS—SURFACE INSTALLATIONS

ACCUMULATOR REQUIREMENTS

General

8.A.1 Accumulator bottles are containers which store hydraulic fluid under
pressure for use in effecting blowout preventer closure. Through use of
compressed nitrogen gas, these containers store energy which can be used to effect
rapid preventer closure. There are two types of accumulator bottles in common
usage, separator and float types. The separator type uses a flexible diaphragm to
effect positive separation of the nitrogen gas from the hydraulic fluid. The float
type utilises a floating piston to effect separation of the nitrogen gas from the
hydraulic fluid.

Volumetric Capacity

8.A.2 As a minimum requirement, all blowout preventer closing units should be


equipped with accumulator bottles with sufficient volumetric capacity to provide
the usable fluid volume (with pumps inoperative) to close one pipe ram and the
annular preventer in the stack plus the volume to open the hydraulic choke line
valve.

8.A.3 Usable fluid volume is defined as the volume of fluid recoverable from an
accumulator between the accumulator operating pressure and 200 psi above the
precharge pressure. The accumulator operating pressure is the pressure to which
accumulators are charged with hydraulic fluid.

8.A.4 The minimum recommended accumulator volume (nitrogen plus fluid)


should be determined by multiplying the accumulator size factor (refer to
Table 8-A) times the calculated volume to close the annular preventer and one
pipe ram plus the volume to open the hydraulic choke line valve.

TABLE 8. A

Minimum
Accumulator Recommended Usable Fluid Accumulator
Operating Precharge Volume* Size
Pressure Pressure (fraction of Factor*
psi psi bottle size)
1
1500 750 / 8
1 8
2000 1000 / 3
1 3
3000 1000 / 2
2

Notes: *Based on minimum discharge pressure of 1200 psi.

V4 Rev March 2002 8-7


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 8 : SURFACE BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS

Response Time

8.A.5 The closing system should be capable of closing each ram preventer within
30 seconds. Closing time should not exceed 30 seconds for annular preventers
smaller than 18 3/4 inches and 45 seconds for annular preventers 18 3/4 inches
and larger.

Operating Pressure and Precharge Requirements for Accumulators

8.A.6 No accumulator bottle should be operated at a pressure greater than its rated
working pressure.

8.A.7. The precharge pressure on each accumulator bottle should be measured


during the initial closing unit installation on each well and adjusted if necessary
(refer to Para. 8.A.4). Only nitrogen gas should be used for accumulator precharge.
The precharge pressure should be checked frequently during well drilling
operations.

Requirements for Accumulator Valves, Fittings, and Pressure Gauges

8.A.8 Multi-bottle accumulator banks should have valving for bank isolation.
An isolation valve should have a rated working pressure at least equivalent to the
designed working pressure of the system to which it is attached and must be in the
open position except when accumulators are isolated for servicing, testing, or
transporting (refer to Fig. 8.A.1). Accumulator bottles may be installed in banks of
approximately 160 gallons capacity if desired, but with a minimum of two banks.

8.A.9 The necessary valves and fittings should be provided on each accumulator
bank to allow a pressure gauge to be readily attached without having to remove
all accumulator banks from service. An accurate pressure gauge for measuring the
accumulator precharge pressure should be readily available for installation at
any time.

CLOSING UNIT PUMP REQUIREMENTS

Pump Capacity Requirements

8.A.10 Each closing unit should be equipped with sufficient number and sizes of
pumps to satisfactorily perform the operation described in this paragraph. With
the accumulator system removed from service. The pumps should be capable of
closing the annular preventer on the size drill pipe being used, plus opening the
hydraulically operated choke line valve and obtain a minimum of 200 psi pressure
above accumulator precharge pressure on the closing unit manifold within two (2)
minutes or less.

8-8 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 8 : SURFACE BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS

Pump Pressure Rating Requirements

8.A.11 Each closing unit must be equipped with pumps that will provide a
discharge pressure equivalent to the rated working pressure of the closing unit.

Pump Power Requirements

8.A.l2 Power for closing unit pumps must be available to the accumulator unit at
all times, such that the pump will automatically start when the closing unit
manifold pressure has decreased to less than 90 percent of the accumulator
operating pressure.

8.A.13 Two or three independent sources of power should be available on each


closing unit. Each independent source should be capable of operating the pumps
at a rate that will satisfy the requirement described in Para. 8.A.10. The dual
source power system recommended is an air system plus an electrical system.
Minimum recommendations for the dual air system and other acceptable but less
preferred dual power source systems are as follows:

a. A dual air/electrical system may consist of the rig air system (provided at
least one air compressor is driven independent of the rig compound) plus the
rig generator (refer to Fig. 8.A.2).

b. A dual air system may consist of the rig air system (provided at least one air
compressor is driven independent of the rig compound) plus an air storage
tank that is separated from both the rig air compressors and the rig air
storage tank by check valves. The minimum acceptable requirements for the
separate air storage tank are volume and pressure which will permit use of
only the air tank to operate the pumps at a rate that will satisfy the operation
described in the pump capacity requirements (refer to Para. 8.A.10).

c. A dual electrical system may consist of the normal rig generating system and
a separate generator (refer to Fig. 8.A.3).

d. A dual air/nitrogen system may consist of the rig air system plus bottled
nitrogen gas (refer to Fig.8.A.4).

e. A dual electrical/nitrogen system may consist of the rig generating system


and bottled nitrogen gas (refer to Fig. 8.A.5).

8.A.14 On shallow wells where the casing being drilled through is set at 500 feet or
less and where surface pressures less than 200 psi are expected, a backup source of
power for the closing unit is not essential.

V4 Rev March 2002 8-9


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 8 : SURFACE BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS

REQUIREMENTS FOR CLOSING UNIT VALVES FITTINGS, LINES, AND


MANIFOLD

Required Pressure Rating

8.A.15 All valves and fittings between the closing unit and the blowout preventer
stack should be of steel construction with a rated working pressure at least equal
to the working pressure rating of the stack up to 3000 psi. Refer to API Spec 6A:
Specification for Wellhead Equipment* for test pressure requirements. All lines
between the closing unit and blowout preventer should be of steel construction or
an equivalent flexible, fire-resistant hose and end connections with a rated
working pressure equal to the stack pressure rating up to 3000 psi.

Valves Fittings and other Components Required

8.A.16 Each installation should be equipped with the following:

a. Each closing unit manifold should be equipped with a full-opening valve


into which a separate operating fluid pump can be easily connected (refer to
Fig. 8.A.1).

b. Each closing unit should be equipped with sufficient check valves or shut-off
valves to separate both the closing unit pumps and the accumulators from
the closing unit manifold and to isolate the annular preventer regulator from
the closing unit manifold.

c. Each closing unit should be equipped with accurate pressure gauges to


indicate the operating pressure of the closing unit manifold, both upstream
and downstream of the annular preventer pressure regulating valve.

d. Each closing unit should be equipped with a pressure regulating valve to


permit manual control of the annular preventer operating pressure.

e. Each closing unit equipped with a regulating valve to control the operating
pressure on the ram type preventers should be equipped with a bypass line
and valve to allow full accumulator pressure to be placed on the closing unit
manifold, if desired.

f. Closing unit control valves must be clearly marked to indicate (1) which
preventer or choke line valve each control valve operates, and (2) the position
of the valves (i.e., open, closed, neutral). Each blowout preventer control
valve should be turned to the open position (not the neutral position) during
drilling operations. The choke line hydraulic valve should be turned to the
closed position during normal operations. The control valve that operates the
blind rams should be equipped with a cover over the manual handle to avoid
unintentional operation.

8 - 10 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 8 : SURFACE BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS

g. Each annular preventer may be equipped with a full-opening plug valve on


both the closing and opening lines. These valves should be installed
immediately adjacent to the preventer and should be in the open position at
all times except when testing the operating lines. This will permit testing of
operating lines in excess of 1500 psi without damage to the annular preventer
if desired by the user.

*Available from American Petroleum Institute. Production Department, 2535 One Main Place Dallas TX 75202-3904.

REQUIREMENTS FOR CLOSING UNIT FLUIDS AND CAPACITY

8.A.17 A suitable hydraulic fluid (hydraulic oil or fresh water containing a


lubricant) should be used as the closing unit control operating fluid. Sufficient
volume of glycol must be added to any closing unit fluid containing water if
ambient temperatures below 32 F are anticipated. The use of diesel oil, kerosene,
motor oil, chain oil. or any other similar fluid is not recommended due to the
possibility of resilient seal damage.

8.A.18 Each closing unit should have a fluid reservoir with a capacity equal to at
least twice the usable fluid capacity of the accumulator system.

CLOSING UNIT LOCATION AND REMOTE CONTROL REQUIREMENTS

8.A.19 The main pump accumulator unit should be located in a safe place which is
easily accessible to rig personnel in an emergency. It should also be located to
prevent excessive drainage or flow back from the operating lines to the reservoir.
Should the main pump accumulator be located a substantial distance below the
preventer stack, additional accumulator volume should be added to compensate
for flow back in the closing lines.

8.A.20 Each installation should be equipped with a sufficient number of control


panels such that the operation of each blowout preventer and control valve can be
controlled from a position readily accessible to the driller and also from an
accessible point at a safe distance from the rig floor.

V4 Rev March 2002 8 - 11


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 8 : SURFACE BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS

CLOSING UNIT PUMP CAPABILITY TEST

8.A.21 Prior to conducting any tests, the closing unit reservoir should be inspected
to be sure it does not contain any drilling fluid, foreign fluid, rocks, or other
debris. The closing unit pump capability test should be conducted on each well
before pressure testing the blowout preventer stack. This test can be conveniently
scheduled either immediately before or after the accumulator closing time test.
Test should be conducted according to the following procedure:

a. Position a joint of drill pipe in the blowout preventer stack.

b. Isolate the accumulators from the closing unit manifold by closing the
required valves.

c. If the accumulator pumps are powered by air, isolate the rig air system from
the pumps. A separate closing unit air storage tank or a bank of nitrogen
bottles should be used to power the pumps during this test. When a dual
power source system is used, both power supplies should be tested
separately.

d. Simultaneously turn the control valve for the annular preventer to the closing
position and turn the control valve for the hydraulically operated valve to
the opening position.

e. Record the time (in seconds) required for the closing unit pumps to close the
annular preventer plus open the hydraulically operated valve and obtain
200 psi above the precharge pressure on the closing unit manifold. It is
recommended that the time required for the closing unit pumps to
accomplish these operations not exceed two minutes.

f. Close the hydraulically operated valve and open the annular preventer.
Open the accumulator system to the closing unit and charge the accumulator
system to its designed operating pressure using the pumps.

ACCUMULATOR TESTS

Accumulator Precharge Pressure Test

8.A.22 This test should be conducted on each well prior to connecting the closing
unit to the blowout preventer stack. Test should be conducted as follows-

a. Open the bottom valve on each accumulator bottle and drain the hydraulic
fluid into the closing unit fluid reservoir.

b. Measure the nitrogen precharge pressure on each accumulator bottle, using


an accurate pressure gauge attached to the precharge measuring port, and
adjust if necessary.

8 - 12 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 8 : SURFACE BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS

Accumulator Closing Test

8.A.23 This test should be conducted on each well prior to pressure testing the
blowout preventer stack. Test should be conducted as follows:

a. Position a joint of drill pipe in the blow out preventer stack.

b. Close off the power supply to the accumulator pumps.

c. Record the initial accumulator pressure. This pressure should be the


designed operating pressure of the accumulators. Adjust the regulator to
provide 1500 psi operating pressure to the annular preventer.

d. Simultaneously turn the control valves for the annular preventer and for one
pipe ram (having the same size ram as the pipe used for testing) to the
closing position and turn the control valve for the hydraulically operated
valve to the opening position.

e. Record the time required for the accumulators to close the preventers and
open the hydraulically operated valve. Record the final accumulator pressure
(closing unit pressure). This final pressure should be at least 200 psi above
the precharge pressure.

f. After the preventers have been opened, recharge the accumulator system to
its designed operating pressure using the accumulator pumps.

V4 Rev March 2002 8 - 13


8 - 14
BLOWOUT
PREVENTER NEEDLE VALVES
TEST LINE

TEST
FLUID
LINE ACCUMULATOR
BANKS

FLUID
RESERVOIR FULL-OPENING VALVES FULL OPENING VALVE

PRESSURE REGULATOR CONNECTION FOR


PUMP (1500-3000 PSI) VALVE ANOTHER PUMP
AND RELIEF
GAUGE VALVE

CHECK
CHECK VALVE PRESSURE REGULATOR
PUMP VALVE (0-1500 PSI)
SECTION 8 : SURFACE BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS

FULL-OPENING VALVE
REGULATOR
BY-PASS LINE
CONNECTION FOR
WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team

ANOTHER PUMP VALVE AND


GAUGE

FOUR-WAY VALVES
(NOTE: SHOULD NOT CONTAIN NOTE:
CHECK VALVE AND SHOULD PLUG VALVE IN CLOSING
BE IN POWER ON POSITION) LINE ADJACENT TO ANNULAR
PREVENTER TO FACILITATE
LOCKING CLOSING PRESSURE
TO RAM TO CHOKE TO ANNULAR ON PREVENTER.
BLOWOUT LINE VALVE BLOWOUT
PREVENTERS PREVENTER

Figure 8.A.1
EXAMPLE BLOWOUT PREVENTER
CLOSING UNIT ARRANGEMENT

V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 8 : SURFACE BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS

TO RIG

CHECK VALVE

AIR
COMPRESSORS CLOSING TO CLOSING UNIT
UNIT PUMPS MANIFOLD AND
ACCUMULATORS

STORAGE TANK ELECTRICAL POWER SUPPLY


FOR RIG AIR

Figure 8.A.2
EXAMPLE REDUNDANT AIR/ELECTRIC SYSTEMS
FOR OPERATING CLOSING UNIT PUMPS

RIG GENERATOR

CLOSING TO CLOSING UNIT


UNIT PUMPS MANIFOLD AND
ACCUMULATORS

SEPARATE GENERATOR

Figure 8.A.3
EXAMPLE REDUNDANT ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS
FOR OPERATING CLOSING UNIT PUMPS

V4 Rev March 2002 8 - 15


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 8 : SURFACE BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS

TO RIG
CHECK
CHECK VALVE
VALVE CLOSING TO CLOSING UNIT
UNIT PUMPS MANIFOLD AND
ACCUMULATORS

STORAGE TANK OPTIONAL


FOR RIG AIR

NITROGEN

Figure 8.A.4
EXAMPLE REDUNDANT AIR/NITROGEN SYSTEMS
FOR OPERATING CLOSING UNIT PUMPS

RIG GENERATOR

CLOSING TO CLOSING UNIT


UNIT PUMPS MANIFOLD AND
ACCUMULATORS

OPTIONAL

NITROGEN

Figure 8.A.5
EXAMPLE REDUNDANT ELECTRIC/NITROGEN SYSTEMS
FOR OPERATING CLOSING UNIT PUMPS

8 - 16 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 8 : SURFACE BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS

Figure 8.0.6 ACCUMULATOR SIZINGS

Calculation of Accumulator Size

The volume of the accumulator system as calculated by using “Boyle’s law”:

P1V1 = P2V2

where

P1 = Maximum pressure of the accumulator when completely charged


P2 = Minimum pressure left in accumulator after use. (Recommended
minimum is1200 psi)
V = Total volume of accumulator (fluid and nitrogen)
V1 = Nitrogen gas volume in accumulator at maximum pressure P1.
V2 = Nitrogen gas volume in accumulator at minimum pressure P2.
V2 = V, plus usable fluid maximum to minimum pressure.
V2-V1 = Total usable fluid with safety factor usually 50% included.
3000 psi system precharged to 1000 psi; V = 3V1

V4 Rev March 2002 8 - 17


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 8 : SURFACE BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS

Surface Accumulators (Refer to Fig 8.0.6)

For the purpose of simplicity, the effects of temperature and nitrogen gas
compressibility will be ignored and Boyle’s gas law applied to determine the
volume of nitrogen present in the accumulator bottle when fully charged and
when usable hydraulic fluid has been expelled to operate the BOP functions.

In an 11 gallon accumulator bottle the volume of nitrogen it contains before any


fluid is pumped in will be 10 gallons (the rubber bladder occupies a volume of
1 gallon).

According to Boyle’s gas law:

P1 x V1 = P2 x V2 and also P1 x V1 = P3 x V3

where:-
P1 = nitrogen precharge pressure of 1000 psi
P2 = minimum operating pressure of 1200 psi
P3 = maximum operating pressure of 3000 psi
V1 = bladder internal volume at precharge pressure (11 gal - 1 gal)
V2 = bladder internal volume at minimum operating pressure, P2 (in gals)
V3 = bladder internal volume at maximum operating pressure, P3 (in gals)

therefore:-
1000 psi x 10 gals = 1200 psi x V2
and
1000 psi x 10 gals = 3000 psi x V3
giving
V2 = 1000 psi x 10 gals = 8.33 gals
1200 psi
and
V3 = 1000 psi x 10 gals = 3.33 gals
3000 psi

The usable volume of hydraulic fluid expelled from the bottle as the nitrogen
expands from V3 (3.33 gals) at 3000 psi to V2 (8.33 gals) at 1200 psi will be equal
to:-

V2 - V3 = 8.33 gals - 3.33 gals = 5 gals

8 - 18 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 8 : SURFACE BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS

Subsea Accumulators

The nitrogen precharge pressure must be increased in the subsea accumulator


bottles in order to account for the hydrostatic pressure of the hydraulic fluid in
the power fluid supply hose, when calculating the amount of usable fluid volume.
As an added safety factor the sea water gradient is used for this purpose,
i.e. .445 psi/ft.

If operating in 1500 ft of water, the hydrostatic pressure would be:-

1500 ft x .445 psi/ft = 667.5 or 668 psi (rounded off).

Thus the nitrogen precharge would need to be increased by 668 psi.

i.e. 1000 psi + 668 psi = 1668 psi.

therefore:-
P1 = nitrogen precharge pressure of 1668 psi (1000 psi + 668 psi)
P2 = minimum operating pressure of 1868 psi (1200 psi + 668 psi)
P3 = maximum operating pressure of 3668 psi (3000 psi + 668 psi)
V1 = bladder internal volume at precharge pressure (11 gal - 1 gal)
V2 = bladder internal volume at minimum operating pressure, P2 (in gals)
V3 = bladder internal volume at maximum operating pressure, P3 (in gals)

therefore:-
1668 psi x 10 gals = 1868 psi x V2 and 1668 psi x 10 gals = 3668 psi x V3

giving:-
V2 = 1668 psi x 10 gals = 8.93 gals and V3 = 1668 psi x 10 gals = 4.55 gals
1868 psi 3668 psi

The usable volume of hydraulic fluid per subsea bottle in 1500 ft of water would
be the difference between these two volumes.

V2 - V3 = 8.93 gals - 4.55 gals = 4.38 gals.

Application of the above calculation now makes it possible to determine the total
number of accumulator bottles required both on the surface and subsea, given the
following opening and closing volumes of hydraulic fluid for a typical 18.75 inch
subsea BOP stack

Annular preventer 44 gals to close 44 gals to open


Ram preventer 17.1 gals to close 15.6 gals to open
Failsafe valves 0.6 gals to close 0.6 gals to open

V4 Rev March 2002 8 - 19


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 8 : SURFACE BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS

Assuming that company policy is to have sufficient subsea accumulator capacity


to close:

1 annular
1 ram preventer
4 failsafe valves

then the usable volume required will be 44 gal + 17.1 gal + (4 x 0.6 gal) = 63.5 gals
and since each bottle can deliver 4.38 gals then:

63.5 gals = 14.49 or 15 bottles will be required subsea.


4.38 gal/bottle

If the BOP stack consists of:

2 annular preventers
4 ram preventers
8 failsafe valves

then the total volume of hydraulic fluid required to open and close all of the BOP
functions together will be:

CLOSE OPEN
2 x annular preventers 2 x 44 gal = 88 gal 2 x 44 gal = 88 gal
4 x ram preventers 4 x 17.1 gal = 68.4 gal 4 x 15.6 gal = 62.4 gal
8 x failsafe valves 8 x 0.6 gal = 4.8 gal 8 x 0.6 gal = 4.8 gal
–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
TOTAL 161.2 gal 155.2 gal

Including a 1.5 safety factor will give a grand total of

(161.2 gal + 155.2 gal) x 1.5 = 474.6 gals.

Since 63.5 gals are available subsea, the surface accumulators will have to supply
(474.6 gal - 63.5 gal) = 411.1 gals. As calculated above, the usable fluid from each
surface accumulator bottle is 5 gals therefore:

411.1 gals = 82.22 or 83 bottles will be required on surface.


5 gal/bottle

8 - 20 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 8 : SURFACE BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS

SECTION 8-B
CLOSING UNITS—SUBSEA INSTALLATIONS

VARIANCE FROM SURFACE INSTALLATIONS

8.B.1 Closing unit systems for subsea installations are basically the same as those
used in surface installations except more accumulator volume is normally required
and some of the accumulator bottles may be mounted on the subsea blowout
preventer stack.

ACCUMULATOR REQUIREMENTS

Volumetric Capacity

8.B.2 As a minimum requirement, closing units for subsea installations should be


equipped with accumulator bottles with sufficient volumetric capacity to provide
the usable fluid volume (with pumps inoperative) to close and open the ram
preventers and one annular preventer. Usable fluid volume is defined as the
volume of fluid recoverable from an accumulator between the accumulator
operating pressure and 200 psi above the precharge pressure.

8.B.3 In sizing subsea mounted bottles, the additional precharge pressure required
to offset the hydrostatic head of the sea-water column and the effect of subsea
temperature should be considered.

Response Time

8.B.4 The closing system should be capable of closing each ram preventer within
45 seconds. Closing time should not exceed 60 seconds for annular preventers.

Requirements for Accumulator Valves

8.B.5 Multi-bottle accumulator banks should have valving for bank isolation. The
isolation valves should have a rated working pressure at least equivalent to the
designed working pressure of the system to which they are attached. The valves
must be in the open position except when the accumulators are isolated for
servicing, testing, or transporting.

Accumulator Types

8.B.6 Both separator or float type accumulators (refer to Para. 9.A.l) may be used.

V4 Rev March 2002 8 - 21


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 8 : SURFACE BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS

HYDRAULIC FLUID CONTROL MIXING SYSTEM

8.B.7 The hydraulic fluid reservoir should be a combination of two storage


sections; one section containing mixed fluid to be used in the operation of the
blowout preventers, and the other section containing the concentrated water-
soluble hydraulic fluid to be mixed with water to form the mixed hydraulic fluid.
This mixing system should be automatically controlled so that when the mixed
fluid reservoir level drops to a certain point, the mixing system will turn on and
water and hydraulic fluid concentrate will be mixed into the mixed fluid reservoir.
The mixing system should be designed to mix at a rate equal to the total pump
output.

PUMP REQUIREMENTS

8.B.8 A subsea closing unit control system should include a combination of air and
electric pumps. A minimum of two air pumps should be in every system along
with one or two electric powered triplex pumps. The combination of air and
electric pumps should be capable of charging the entire accumulator system from
the precharge pressure to the maximum rated charge pressure in fifteen minutes or
less. The pumps should be installed so that when the accumulator pressure drops
to 90 percent of the preset level, a pressure switch is triggered and the pumps are
automatically turned on.

CENTRAL CONTROL POINT

8.B.9 A subsea closing unit control system should have a central control point. For
a hydraulic system, this should be a manifold capable of controlling all the
hydraulic functions on the blowout preventer stack. The hydraulic control system
should consist of a power section to send hydraulic fluid to subsea equipment and
a pilot section to transmit signals subsea via pilot lines. When a valve on the
control manifold is operated, a signal is sent subsea to a control valve, which when
opened allows hydraulic fluid from the power fluid section to operate the blowout
preventers. Pressure regulators on the surface control manifold send pilot signals
to subsea regulators to control the pressure of the hydraulic fluid at the preventers.
The surface control system should also include a flow meter which, by a measure
of the volume of fluid going to a particular function, will indicate if that function is
operating properly. The hydraulic manifold should be located in a safe but readily
accessible area.

8.B.10 An Electro-hydraulic system should have a central control point which


interfaces various signals electronically and sends one set of signals electrically to
the subsea solenoid valves, which direct the flow of hydraulic fluid to operate a
blowout preventer function. In this system, a flow meter should be used to
provide an indication of the proper flow of hydraulic fluid and proper operation
of the blow out preventer.

8 - 22 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 8 : SURFACE BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS

OTHER CONTROL PANELS

8.B.11 Subsea control systems should have at least one remote control panel. The
panel should have a schematic outline of the blowout preventer stack and provide
for remote panel activation. There should be a remote control panel located on the
rig floor adjacent to the driller’s station. This panel should comply with
API RP 500B: Recommended Practice for Classification of Areas for Electrical
Installations at Drilling Rigs and Production Facilities on Land and on Marine Fixed and
Mobile Platforms.* Another remote panel is sometimes located in the toolpusher’s
office. One control station should be located at least 50 feet from the centre line of
the wellbore.

HOSE AND HOSE REELS

8.B.12 A hydraulic hose bundle may consist of pilot hoses which have an inside
diameter of 3/16" or 1/8" or both, and a power hose which is one inch inside
diameter. The pilot hoses, as previously described, carry the signals to the subsea
valves on the blowout preventer stack, while the main hydraulic fluid is supplied
through a hose or rigid line to the pod and accumulators on the blowout preventer
stack. The working pressure rating of the hose bundle should equal or exceed the
working pressure rating of the control system. For an Electro-hydraulic system,
electrical cables are run subsea to the solenoid valves. The hydraulic power supply
line may be integrated into an electrical cable bundle or may be run separately.

8.B.13 The hose reels should be equipped so that some functions are operable
while running or pulling the blowout preventer stack or lower marine riser
package. Recommended functions to be operable at these times are the stack
connector, riser connector, one set of pipe rams, pod latches, and, if applicable, ram
locks.

SUBSEA CONTROL PODS

8.B.14 There should be two completely redundant control pods on the blowout
preventer stack after drilling out from under the surface casing. Each control pod
should contain all necessary valves and regulators to operate the blowout
preventer stack functions. The control pods may be retrievable or non-retrievable.
The hoses from each control pod should be connected to a shuttle valve that is
connected to the function to be operated. A shuttle valve is a slide valve with two
inlets and one outlet which prevents movement of the hydraulic fluid between the
two redundant control pods.

V4 Rev March 2002 8 - 23


SUBSEA BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS
SECTION 9 : AND MARINE RISER SYSTEMS

Page

9. 1 Subsea BOP Control Systems 1


9. 2 Marine Riser Systems 35

V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 9 : SUBSEA BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS & MARINE RISER SYSTEMS

9 .1 SUBSEA BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS


INTRODUCTION

Every component in a blowout preventer assembly is operated hydraulically by


moving a piston up and down or back and forth. Thus the function of a BOP
control system is to direct hydraulic fluid to the appropriate side of the operating
piston and to provide the means for fluid on the other side of the piston to be
expelled.

On land, jack-up or platform drilling operations the control of the BOP is easily
achieved in a conventional manner by coupling each BOP function directly to a
source of hydraulic power situated at a safe location away from the wellhead.
Operation of a particular BOP function is then accomplished by directing
hydraulic power from the control unit back and forth along two large bore lines to
the appropriate operating piston.

This system uses the minimum number of controlling valves to direct the
hydraulic fluid to the required function. It also enables the returning fluid to be
returned to the control unit for further use.

For subsea drilling operations, it is necessary to control larger, more complex BOP
assemblies which are remotely located on the sea-bed. In this instance, direct
control cannot be applied since the resulting control lines connecting the BOPs to
the surface would be prohibitively large to handle. Reaction times would also be
unacceptable due to the longer distances to the BOP functions and the consequent
pressure drop.

In order to overcome these problems indirect operating systems have been


developed. There are two types - hydraulic and multiplex electro-hydraulic of
which the indirect hydraulic system is by far the most common.

INDIRECT HYDRAULIC SYSTEM

This reduces the size of the control umbilical by splitting the hydraulic control
functions into two -

• Transmitting hydraulic power to the BOP down a large diameter line.

• Transmitting hydraulic signals down smaller lines to pilot valves which in turn
direct the operating power fluid to the appropriate BOP function.

The pilot valves are located in control pods on the BOP stack. In order to provide a
complete back-up of the subsea equipment there are two control pods - usually
referred to as the blue and the yellow pods.

No attempt is made to recover the hydraulic power fluid once it has been used to
operate a function since this would increase the number of lines required in the
umbilical. Instead the fluid is vented subsea from the control pod.

V4 Rev March 2002 9-1


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 9 : SUBSEA BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS & MARINE RISER SYSTEMS

MULTIPLEX ELECTRO-HYDRAULIC SYSTEM

As greater water depths were encountered the problems of umbilical handling and
reaction times became significant. In order to overcome them the hydraulic lines
controlling the pilot valves were replaced by separate electrical cables which
operate solenoid valves. These valves then send a hydraulic signal to the relevant
pilot valve which in turn is actuated and directs power fluid to its associated BOP
function.

The time division multiplexing system provides simultaneous execution of


commands and results in a relatively compact electrical umbilical. This typically
consists of four power conductors, five conductors for signal transmission and
additional back-up and instrumentation lines. With the armoured sheath the
umbilical has a resulting diameter of some 1.5 inches with a weight of about 3 Ib/
ft in air.

ACOUSTIC SYSTEM

In addition to either of the primary control methods mentioned above, the


subsea BOP stack can also be equipped with an acoustic emergency back-up
system. In principle this is similar to the other two systems but with the hydraulic
or electrical commands to the pilot valves being replaced with acoustic signals.
Being a purely back-up system the number of commands is limited to those which
might be required in an absolute emergency.

INDIRECT HYDRAULIC BOP CONTROL SYSTEM

The main manufacturers of control systems are Cameron Iron Works, NL Shaffer,
Koomey, and the Valvcon Division of Hydril. The NL Shaffer and Koomey systems
will be discussed in detail to illustrate the general concept since these are probably
the most common types.

9.1.1 OVERVIEW

Fig 9 .1 shows the general arrangement. Fluid used to operate the functions on the
BOP stack is delivered from the hydraulic power unit on command from the
central hydraulic control manifold. This contains the valves which direct pilot
pressure to the pilot valves in the subsea control pods and which are operated
either manually or by solenoid actuated air operators.

In this way the manifold can be controlled remotely via the actuators from the
master electric panel (usually located on the rig floor) or from an electric mini-
panel (located in a safe area). The system may include several remote mini-panels
if desired. An electric power pack with battery back-up provides an independent
supply to the panels via the central control manifold.

9-2 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 9 : SUBSEA BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS & MARINE RISER SYSTEMS

The pilot fluid is sent to the subsea control pods through individual, small
diameter hoses bundled around the larger diameter hose which delivers the power
fluid. In order to provide complete redundancy for the subsea portion of the
control system there are two independent hydraulic hose bundles and two
independent control pods.

The hydraulic hose bundles (or umbilicals) are stored on two hose reels, each of
which is equipped with a special manual control manifold so that certain stack
functions can be operated whilst the stack is being run. Hydraulic jumper hose
bundles connect the central hydraulic control manifold to the two hose reels. Each
umbilical is run over a special sheave and terminates in its control pod.

For repair purposes each pod along with its umbilical can be retrieved and run
independently of the BOP stack. In order to do this, the pod and umbilical is run
on a wireline which is usually motion compensated. In some designs of control
system, the umbilical is run attached to the riser in order to give it more support
and reduce fatigue at hose connections. The pod is still attached to a wireline for
retrieval purposes. This design has the advantage of not having to handle the
umbilicals whenever the pod is pulled but has the disadvantage of requiring more
subsea remote hydraulic connections. Guidance of the pod is provided by the
guidewires and guideframe as shown.

Fig 9.2 is a block diagram of the hydraulic flow system for a stack function. The
hydraulic fluid is prepared and stored under pressure in the accumulators. Some
accumulators (usually two) are dedicated to storing fluid for use in the pilot line
network and the remaining accumulators contain the fluid that is used to power
the various BOP functions.

V4 Rev March 2002 9-3


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 9 : SUBSEA BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS & MARINE RISER SYSTEMS

Figure 9.1

9-4 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 9 : SUBSEA BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS & MARINE RISER SYSTEMS

WATER CONCENTRATE

MIXED FLUID AIR PUMP


RESEVOIR (PILOT FLUID)

ISOLATION AIR & ELECTRIC CHECK


VALVE VALVE
PUMPS
(POWER FLUID)

ACCUMULATORS ACCUMULATORS
(POWER FLUID) (PILOT FLUID)

POD SELECT
VALVE

VENT

JUNCTION BOX JUNCTION BOX


(BLUE) (YELLOW)

HOSE REEL HOSE REEL


(BLUE) (YELLOW)

SHUTTLE
VALVE
ISOLATION
SPM VALVE SPM
PILOT PILOT

ISOLATION
VALVE

ACCUMULATORS
REGULATOR (STACK MOUNTED)

SHUTTLE
VALVE

KEY

PILOT psi
BOP STACK
ACCUMULAT OR psi

REGULATOR psi

VENT psi

Figure 9.2 SUBSEA CONTROL SYSTEM - BLOCK DIAGRAM

V4 Rev March 2002 9-5


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 9 : SUBSEA BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS & MARINE RISER SYSTEMS

The power fluid is routed to the subsea control pod selected by the pod selector
valve which is located in the central hydraulic control manifold. The line to the
non-selected pod is vented. When power fluid reaches the pod, it is combined
with fluid stored at the same pressure in subsea accumulators, located on the BOP
stack. The pressure of the combined fluid is then reduced, to that required to
operate the stack function, by a subsea regulator situated in the control pod.
Adjustment of this regulator is performed from the surface via dedicated pilot and
read-back lines in the hose bundle.

Pilot fluid is always directed to both pods at the same time. When the pilot fluid
for a particular function reaches each pod it lifts the spindle of its associated SPM
(sub plate mounted) pilot valve. In the pod to which the power fluid has been sent
this will allow the fluid to pass through the SPM valve and be routed to the stack
function via a shuttle valve.

A summary of this operating sequence is shown in Fig 9.3.

9.1.2 OPERATING SEQUENCE

A more detailed description of the sequence of events that occur when a function
is operated will now be given with reference to the flow diagram in Figs 9.3a b and
c. Each piece of equipment on the BOP stack has a corresponding pilot control
valve on the central hydraulic control manifold which actuates the appropriate
SPM valve. The control valve is a four-way, three position valve and can be
functioned manually or by an air operator.

CLOSE FUNCTION

In Fig 9.3a one of the BOP rams is being closed using the drillers master control
panel. Pushing the ‘close’ button on this panel actuates the solenoid valves on the
hydraulic manifold thus allowing air pressure to move the pilot control valve to
the ‘close’ position. The solenoid valve on the right in the diagram vents the other
side of the air cylinder.

With the pilot control valve in the ‘close’ position, pilot fluid at 3000 psi is sent
down the umbilical to the RAMS CLOSE SPM valve in the subsea control pods.
The pressure lifts the spindle in this valve so that it seals against: the upper seat,
thus blocking the vent .

At the same time power fluid at its regulated pressure is allowed past the bottom
of the spindle and into the valve block in the male and female sections of the
control pod. From the bottom of the female section, the power fluid then travels
through the shuttle valve to the ‘close’ side of the BOP ram cylinder.

Simultaneous reciprocal action in the RAMS OPEN SPM valve vents the hydraulic
fluid from the ‘open’ side of the BOP ram.

9-6 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 9 : SUBSEA BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS & MARINE RISER SYSTEMS

Figure 9.3 OPERATING SEQUENCE - GENERAL

V4 Rev March 2002 9-7


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 9 : SUBSEA BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS & MARINE RISER SYSTEMS

CONTROL
PANEL CLOSE BLOCK OPEN
PILOT FLUID POWER FLUID
ACCUMULATORS ACCUMULATORS

SOLENOID SOLENOID
VALVE VALVE MIX WATER TANK

PILOT CONTROL VALVE

AIR
OPERATOR

POD SELECT VALVE


RIG AIR

REGULATOR BLUE POD


YELLOW POD

CLOSE OPEN
SPM SPM

INACTIVE POD

SHUTTLE VALVE

SHUTTLE VALVE

BOP RAMS

KEY

PILOT psi

ACCUMULAT OR psi

REGULATOR psi

VENT psi

Figure 9.3.A OPERATING SEQUENCE - CLOSE FUNCTION

9-8 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 9 : SUBSEA BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS & MARINE RISER SYSTEMS

CONTROL
PANEL CLOSE BLOCK OPEN
PILOT FLUID POWER FLUID
ACCUMULATORS ACCUMULATORS

SOLENOID SOLENOID
VALVE VALVE MIX WATER TANK

PILOT CONTROL VALVE

AIR
OPERATOR

POD SELECT VALVE


RIG AIR

REGULATOR
YELLOW POD BLUE POD

CLOSE OPEN
SPM SPM

INACTIVE POD

SHUTTLE VALVE

SHUTTLE VALVE

BOP RAMS

KEY

PILOT psi

ACCUMULAT OR psi

REGULATOR psi

VENT psi

Figure 9.3.B OPERATING SEQUENCE - BLOCK

V4 Rev March 2002 9-9


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 9 : SUBSEA BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS & MARINE RISER SYSTEMS

CONTROL
PANEL CLOSE BLOCK OPEN
PILOT FLUID POWER FLUID
ACCUMULATORS ACCUMULATORS

SOLENOID SOLENOID
VALVE VALVE MIX WATER TANK

PILOT CONTROL VALVE

AIR
OPERATOR

POD SELECT VALVE


RIG AIR

REGULATOR
YELLOW POD BLUE POD

CLOSE OPEN
SPM SPM

INACTIVE POD

SHUTTLE VALVE

SHUTTLE VALVE

BOP RAMS

KEY

PILOT psi

ACCUMULAT OR psi

REGULATOR psi

VENT psi

Figure 9.3.C OPERATING SEQUENCE - OPEN FUNCTION

9 - 10 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 9 : SUBSEA BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS & MARINE RISER SYSTEMS

BLOCK FUNCTION

The block function is used to vent a pilot control valve. By doing this individually
on each valve a leak in the control system or the preventers can be located and
isolated. By centring and venting all the valves when the accumulator unit is first
being pressurised unintentional and inadvertent operation of the various other
positions and functions can be eliminated.

Referring to Fig 9.3b, when the ‘block’ button is pressed, both the solenoid valves
are actuated in such a way as to apply pressure to both sides of the air operator.
This causes the pilot control valve to be centred which then allows both the pilot
‘open’ and ‘close’ lines to be vented. The springs in both the SPM valves then push
the spindles down so that they seal against the bottom seats and block the flow of
any power fluid through the valves. At the same time this also vents both sides of
the BOP ram operating cylinders.

OPEN FUNCTION

This sequence is the parallel opposite of the CLOSE function. As shown in Fig 9.3c,
when the ‘open’ button is pressed, the solenoid valves on the hydraulic control
manifold are actuated and allow air pressure to move the operator on the pilot
control valve to the ‘open’ position. The solenoid valve on the left in the diagram
vents the ‘close’ side of the operating piston.

The pilot fluid can then flow down to the subsea control pod where it lifts the
spindle in the RAMS OPEN SPM valve thus blocking the vent and allowing power
fluid to flow through the valve. From the pod the power fluid travels through the
‘open’ shuttle valve to the ‘open’ sides of the BOP ram operating cylinders.
Simultaneous reciprocal action in the RAMS CLOSE SPM valve allows the fluid
from the ‘close’ side of the operating cylinders to be vented.

CONTROL FLUID CIRCUIT

In addition to the control fluid circuits used to operate stack functions such as ram
or annular preventers, the control system must also perform other functions such
as control of subsea regulators, provide readback pressures, latch/unlatch the
subsea control pods and charge the subsea accumulators.

Fig 9.4 shows a typical control fluid circuit. The hydraulic fluid is mixed,
pressurised and stored in accumulator bottles by the hydraulic power unit. A pilot
operated accumulator isolator valve is provided to allow the pumps to charge the
subsea accumulators. When control fluid is used, it passes through a totalising
flow meter in the hydraulic control manifold and then through the pod selector
valve which directs it to the chosen subsea pod.
After passing through the jumper hose and the subsea hose bundle to the control
pod, the fluid supplies the hydraulically operated subsea regulators. These reduce
the fluids pressure to that required to operate the particular BOP function desired.
The fluid is also routed to a SPM valve in the pod which is controlled by the
accumulator isolator valve on the hydraulic control manifold. In the open position
this SPM valve allows the control fluid to charge the stack mounted accumulator
bottles. Shuttle valves allow the bottles to be charged from either pod.

V4 Rev March 2002 9 - 11


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 9 : SUBSEA BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS & MARINE RISER SYSTEMS

FLUID WATER
ACCUMULATOR UNIT MIXING SYSTEM SUPPLY

ACCUMULATOR
PRECHARGED TO WATER
1000 PSI MIXED SOLUBLE
FLUID CONCENTRATE
RESERVOIR

ACCUMULATOR
ISOLATOR VALVE PRESSURE SWITCH
SET AT 3000 PSI

M TRIPLEX PUMP

ACCUMULATOR
ISOLATOR VALVE
(PILOT) FLOW METER

POD SELECTOR
PILOT VALVE
SUPPLY

HYDRAULIC
QUICK DISCONNECT MANIFOLD
JUNCTION BOX

BLUE YELLOW

TO YELLOW
HOSE REEL

QUICK DISCONNECT
JUNCTION BOX BLUE HOSE
REEE

BLUE POD HYDRAULIC REGULATORS

CONTROL
FLUID
POD MOUNTED TO
ACCUMULATOR SPM
ISOLATOR VALVES
VALVE

FROM YELLOW POD

1/4" SHUTTLE VALVE

FROM YELLOW POD


1 1/4" SHUTTLE
VALVE
STACK MOUNTED
ACCUMULATOR STACK MOUNTED
ISOLATOR ACCUMULATOR
VALVE

Figure 9.4 SUBSEA CONTROL SYSTEM - HYDRAULIC SCHEMATIC

9 - 12 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 9 : SUBSEA BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS & MARINE RISER SYSTEMS

PILOT FLUID CIRCUIT

The pilot valves in the subsea pods are controlled from the surface by means of
control valves located in the hydraulic control manifold. These control valves can
be operated either manually from the control manifold itself or remotely from an
electrical panel via pneumatic solenoid valves.

Any BOP stack function such as a failsafe valve, which requires pressure only to
open or close it is called a 2-position function. There is an ‘operate’ position and a
‘vent’ position. The latter position is used to release pressure from the operating
side of the pilot valve.

Fig 9.5 shows a typical 2-position function pilot circuit. The control valve, a 1/4',
four-way manipulator valve, can be controlled from a remote panel via the two
solenoid valves which can place the valve either in the ‘open’ or ‘vent’ positions. A
pressure switch connected to the discharge line of the control valve is activated
when a pilot signal is present and lights up the appropriate lamp on the control
panel.

In the ‘open’ position the pilot signal is transmitted to the subsea control pods
where it operates its associated pilot valve which then allows the power fluid to
flow through the selected pod to the BOP function.

A BOP stack function requiring pressure to both open and close is called a 3-
position function. The hydraulic pilot fluid circuit for a 3-position function is
shown in Fig 9.6. It requires the use of three solenoid valves, the ‘block’ solenoid
valve being used in conjunction with two shuttle valves in order to centre the
control valve.

A pressure switch is connected to each discharge line of the control valve and will
transmit a signal to the appropriate control panel lamp whenever a pilot signal is
present. The operation of the 3-position pilot circuit is as described above.

The main components of the control system and some of the other operating
sequences are now described in more detail.

V4 Rev March 2002 9 - 13


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 9 : SUBSEA BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS & MARINE RISER SYSTEMS

Solenoid
Hydraulic Pilot Supply

Open Air Supply

Vent

1/4" Manipulator Valve Or Vent


Selector Valve With 2 Position
Air cylinder
Pressure Switch

Quick Disconnect
Junction Box Hydraulic Manifold
Blue Yellow
Quick Disconnect
Junction Box
To Yellow
Hose Reel

Quick Disconnect Blue Hose Reel


Junction Box

Blue Pod
Hydraulic
SPM Valve Regulator

Control Fluid
Supply

Shuttle Valve
From
Yellow Pod

Open
Failsafe Valve Operator
Showing Spring Housing
And Gate

Figure 9.5 PILOT FLUID CIRCUIT (2-POSITION FUNCTION)

9 - 14 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 9 : SUBSEA BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS & MARINE RISER SYSTEMS

Air Supply
Hydraulic Pilot Supply Solenoid

1/4" Air Shuttle Valve


Open

Block
1/4"
Manipulator Valve

Pressure Switch Close

Vent

BLUE YELLOW

Quick Disconnect
Junction Boo To Yellow Hose Reel NOTE: - Three Solenoid Valves
Can Be Used For Critical
Functions, Such As Shear
Rams
Blue Hose Reel

Quick Disconnect
Junction Box

Control Fluid Supply

SPM Valve
Blue Pod

From Yellow Pod

Shuttle Valve
From Yellow Pod
Close
Open

Ram Type BOP

Figure 9.6 PILOT FLUID CIRCUIT (3-POSITION FUNCTION)

V4 Rev March 2002 9 - 15


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 9 : SUBSEA BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS & MARINE RISER SYSTEMS

9.13 HYDRAULIC POWER UNIT

This unit contains the mixing system, high pressure pumps and accumulator
banks as shown in Fig 9.4.

MIXING SYSTEM

The hydraulic power unit supplies hydraulic fluid to the entire control system. It
requires fresh water, soluble oil, glycol (for freeze protection), compressed air and
electrical power for operation. Two small reservoirs contain the soluble oil and
glycol which are automatically blended with fresh water to make up the hydraulic
fluid which is then stored in a large reservoir known as the mixed fluid tank.

Since the control system is an ‘open’ one in that the used hydraulic power fluid is
vented into the sea, the type of soluble oil used must be completely biodegradable.
Additives to prevent bacteria growth and to inhibit corrosion are also frequently
included in the mix water.

The soluble oil reservoir has a capacity of at least 110 gal whilst the mix fluid tank
should be capable of holding sufficient fluid to charge the system accumulators
from their pre-charge condition to their maximum operating pressure. All the
tanks are fitted with sight glasses and a low-level alarm system which activates a
warning light and horn on the control panels.

The proper mixing fluid ratio is maintained by air operated hydraulic pumps, a
water pressure regulator, a double acting motor valve and a water flow rate
indicator. A reservoir float switch is used to control operation of the mixing system
in order to maintain the correct level of fluid and to ensure a continued supply for
the control system.

Water/additive concentrations can be adjusted by setting the mixing pump to run


at the appropriate rate. A minimum rig water supply pressure of 25 psi is typically
required for the correct operation of the mixing system and to provide a fluid
supply at least equal to the rate at which mix fluid is drawn from the tank by the
high pressure pumps.

HIGH PRESSURE PUMPS

These are the pumps which take the fluid from the mix tank and transfer it to the
accumulator bottles, under pressure, where it is stored ready for use by the
system. Typically, three air powered and two electrically powered pumps are used.
During normal operation the electric pumps are used to recharge the system.
However if these cannot keep up with demand, or fail in some way, then the air
powered pumps can assist or take over completely.

The electric pump assemblies consist of a heavy duty triplex reciprocating plunger
pump with a chain and sprocket drive and powered by an explosion-proof motor.
Pump capacity should be such that they can charge the system accumulators from
their pre-charge condition to their maximum operating pressure in less than 15
minutes. See Section 9.1.4 below for calculations involving accumulator and
charging pump capacities.

9 - 16 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 9 : SUBSEA BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS & MARINE RISER SYSTEMS

SELECT 'BLOCK'

SELECT 'CLOSE' SELECT 'OPEN'

PILOT PRESSURE PILOT PRESSURE

From From
'CLOSE' 'OPEN'
SPM SPM

To From Both Lines Vented To


From
'CLOSE' 'OPEN' 'CLOSE' 'OPEN'
SPM SPM SPM SPM

Vent Vent

PV
A) SUBSEA MANIPULATOR VALVE
AB

SELECT 'BLOCK'

Power
SELECT 'CLOSE' Fluid SELECT 'OPEN'
Blocked

Power Fluid Power Fluid

From From
Close Open

To Both Lines Blocked To


From From
Close Open Close Open
Side Side Side Side

Vent Vent to Mix Tank

PV

B) SURFACE SELECTOR VALVE


AB

Figure 9.9 ROTARY SHEAR SEAL TYPE VALVES

V4 Rev March 2002 9 - 17


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 9 : SUBSEA BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS & MARINE RISER SYSTEMS

PILOT SUPPLY FROM


ACCUMULATORS POWER UNIT

TYPICAL PILOT CONTROL VALVE

VENT TO MIX
FLUID TANK MANUAL
CONTROL AIR OPERATOR
HANDLE

PRESSURE SWITCH PRESSURE SWITCH

'OPEN' PILOT LINE

'CLOSE' PILOT LINE


JUMPER
HOSES

FIGURE 9.10 PILOT CIRCUIT

REGULATOR CONTROL

Since the power fluid arrives at the subsea control pod at 3000 psi and the BOP
functions have a maximum normal operating pressure of 1500 psi, regulators are
needed in the pods - one is provided for the annular preventers and one for the ram
preventers. Fig 9.11 shows how the subsea regulator is controlled from the surface.

A 1/2" air operated pilot regulator in the control manifold transmits pilot pressure
to the subsea regulator in order to adjust its setting. The air operator can be
manipulated either manually using an air regulator on the control manifold or
remotely from another control panel. When operated from a remote panel a
solenoid valve is used to increase the air pressure by allowing rig air to flow into a
1 gallon receiver connected to the air pilot line. The receiver acts as a surge
protector for the pilot regulator. Decreasing the air pressure is achieved by using a
solenoid valve to vent the line to atmosphere.

PRESSURE READBACK

In order to ensure that the subsea regulator has set the desired operating pressure
the manifold incorporates a readback system. The output of each subsea regulator
is connected through a 1/8" hose in the umbilical back to a pressure gauge in the
control manifold. Pressure transducers transmit the readback pressures to remote
panels. A shuttle valve also in the manifold unit connects the lines from both
umbilicals and isolates the active and inactive pods.
All the electrical components are housed in separate explosion proof housings on
the control manifold unit. One housing contains the solenoid valves and another
contains the transducers and pressure switches. The pressure switches are typically
set to be activated ‘on’ when pressure in the pilot line to the ram or failsafe SPM
reaches 1000 psi and to switch ‘off, when the pressure falls to below 700 psi.

9 - 18 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 9 : SUBSEA BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS & MARINE RISER SYSTEMS

REMOTE
REGULATOR PRESSURE DECREASE INCREASE
READBACK PANEL

REGULATOR
PRESSURE

VENT DECREASE INCREASE


SOLENOID SOLENOID
AIR AIR
SUPPLY SUPPLY

1 GALLON AIR REGULATOR


RECEIVER PRESSURE

REGULATOR 1/2" AIR PILOT REGULATOR


PRESSURE PILOT
READBACK SUPPLY
PRESSURE
TRANSDUCER

HYDRAULIC
CONTROL
PRESSURE
TRANSDUCER MANIFOLD
QUICK DISCONNECT
JUNCTION BOXES
BLUE YELLOW

TO YELLOW
HOSE REEL

BLUE HOSE REEL

QUICK DISCONNECT
JUNCTION BOX

BLUE POD

REGULATED FLUID HYDRAULIC


SUPPLY TO SPM REGULATOR
VALVES
POWER FLUID SUPPLY

Figure 9.11 SUBSEA REGULATOR CONTROL CIRCUIT

V4 Rev March 2002 9 - 19


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 9 : SUBSEA BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS & MARINE RISER SYSTEMS

9.1.6 CONTROL PANELS

These panels permit the operation of the manifold unit from remote locations.
Usually two remote panels are used - a master one on the drill floor, and a mini-
panel in a relatively safe location such as a rig office. Other mini-panels can be
integrated into the system if desired.

The drillers master panel is normally explosion proofed or air-purged since it is


located in a hazardous area. It contains a set of graphically arranged push-button/
indicating lights for operation and status indication of each stack function. The
regulator pressures are controlled by increase/decrease push-buttons and there
are gauges for monitoring pilot and readback values. A digital readout of the flow
meter located on the control manifold is also provided.

Many types of drillers panel also include controls for the operation of the rig
diverter system which is controlled in a similar way to a surface BOP system.

The mini-panel is usually not required to be explosion proof. It operates in the


same way as the master panel but does not include the pressure gauges. Both
panels include ‘lamp test’ facilities to check for burnt out lamps. They also contain
alarms for low hydraulic fluid level, low accumulator pressure, low rig air
pressure and an alarm to indicate that the emergency battery pack is in use.

The remote panels contain all the necessary electrical switches to operate the
solenoid valves on the hydraulic control manifold which in turn control the air
operators of the pilot control valves. Lights on the panels (red, amber, green)
indicate the position of the 3-way valve (open, block, close) and there is a memory
system so that when a function is in block with the amber light on, the actual
position of the function (the red or green light) will also be displayed.

Fig 9.12 shows in more detail the operation of a BOP function from a remote panel.
Although the lights on the panels show the position of the BOP functions, the
control buttons are not active until a ‘push and hold’ button is depressed in order
to allow the supply of electrical power to the panel. The sequence of events that
occur is as follows -

9 - 20 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 9 : SUBSEA BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS & MARINE RISER SYSTEMS

CLOSE

1. The ‘press and hold’ button is held in to activate the panel.

2. The ‘close’ button is pressed.

3. Current flows to the ‘close ‘ solenoid valve which lifts to supply air to the
3-position air operator.

4. The air operated piston moves the pilot control valve to the ‘closes position
and pilot pressure is sent to the subsea control pod.

5. Successful pressurisation of the pilot line to the control pod actuates a


pressure switch on the control manifold.

6. Current flows through an electronic card which illuminates the lamp of the
‘close’ button indicating that the function is now closed.

7. The ‘press and hold’ button is released, the ‘close’ lamp remains illuminated.

'PUSH AND HOLD' CONTROL


BUTTON PANEL

CLOSE BLOCK OPEN


PILOT FLUID
ACCUMULATORS
ELECTRIC
SUPPLY
ELECTRONIC
CARD

SOLENOID SOLENOID
VALVE VALVE MIX WATER TANK

AIR PILOT CONTROL VALVE


RIG AIR OPERATOR

'CLOSE' PRESSURE SWITCH

'OPEN' PRESSURE SWITCH


PILOT LINES TO
SUBSEA PODS

KEY

PILOT psi

ACCUMULAT OR psi

REGULATOR psi

VENT psi

Figure 9.12A REMOTE OPERATION -CLOSE FUNCTION

V4 Rev March 2002 9 - 21


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 9 : SUBSEA BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS & MARINE RISER SYSTEMS

OPEN

1. The ‘press and hold’ button is held in to activate the panel.

2. The ‘open’ button is pressed.

3. Current flows to the ‘open ‘ solenoid valve which lifts to supply air to the
3-position air operator.

4. The air operated piston moves the pilot control valve to the ‘open’ position
and pilot pressure is sent to the subsea control pod.

5. Successful pressurisation of the pilot line to the control pod actuates a


pressure switch on the control manifold.

6. Current flows through an electronic card which illuminates the lamp of the
'open’ button and extinguishes the ‘close’ lamp indicating that the function is
now open.

7. The ‘press and hold’ button is released, the ‘open’ lamp remains illuminated.

'PUSH AND HOLD' CONTROL


BUTTON PANEL

CLOSE BLOCK OPEN


PILOT FLUID
ACCUMULATORS
ELECTRIC
SUPPLY
ELECTRONIC
CARD

SOLENOID SOLENOID
VALVE VALVE MIX WATER TANK

AIR PILOT CONTROL VALVE


RIG AIR OPERATOR

'CLOSE' PRESSURE SWITCH

'OPEN' PRESSURE SWITCH


PILOT LINES TO
SUBSEA PODS

KEY

PILOT psi

ACCUMULAT OR psi

REGULATOR psi

VENT psi

Figure 9.12B REMOTE OPERATION - OPEN FUNCTION

9 - 22 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 9 : SUBSEA BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS & MARINE RISER SYSTEMS

BLOCK

1. The ‘press and hold’ button is held in to activate the panel.

2. The ‘block’ button is pressed.

3. Current flows to both the ‘close ‘ and ‘open’ solenoid valves which lift to
supply air to both sides of the 3-position air operator piston.

4. The air operated piston moves to a central position which places the pilot
control valve in the middle ‘block’ position so that no pilot pressure is sent
down either the ‘close’ or ‘open’ pilot line.

5. Since no pilot line is pressurised, neither pressure switch is activated.

6. The electronic card senses that no pressure switch has been operated and
illuminates the ‘block’ lamp.

7. The ‘press and hold’ button is released, the ‘block’ lamp remains illuminated.

'PUSH AND HOLD' CONTROL


BUTTON PANEL

CLOSE BLOCK OPEN


PILOT FLUID
ACCUMULATORS
ELECTRIC
SUPPLY
ELECTRONIC
CARD

SOLENOID SOLENOID
VALVE VALVE MIX WATER TANK

AIR PILOT CONTROL VALVE


RIG AIR OPERATOR

'CLOSE' PRESSURE SWITCH

'OPEN' PRESSURE SWITCH


PILOT LINES TO
SUBSEA PODS

KEY

PILOT psi

ACCUMULAT OR psi

REGULATOR psi

VENT psi

Figure 9.12C REMOTE OPERATION - BLOCK FUNCTION

V4 Rev March 2002 9 - 23


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 9 : SUBSEA BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS & MARINE RISER SYSTEMS

The ‘block’ position is of use to try and locate the position of a hydraulic leak in the
system by systematically isolating the various BOP stack functions. It is also used to
depressurise the pilot lines when attaching junction boxes to the umbilical hose
reels.

Note that the illumination of a push button lamp only indicates that a pilot pressure
signal has been generated and not that a function has been successfully operated
subsea. Indications of a successful subsea function movement are -

a. The flow meter shows that the correct amount of power fluid has been used.

b. There are fluctuations in manifold and readback pressure readings.

c. There is a noticeable drop in accumulator pressure.

The BOP functions can be controlled from any panel at any time during normal
operations. If one panel or a cable to a panel is damaged, destroyed or malfunctions
then it will not interfere with the operation of the system from any other panel.

An emergency battery pack supplies the electric panels with power for a period of
up to 24 hours (depending on use) in case of failure of the rig supply. The power
pack typically consists of ten 12 volt lead-acid batteries. A battery charger is also
included to maintain the batteries in a fully charged condition ready for immediate
use. Electrical cable connects the remote panels and the battery pack to the junction
boxes on the hydraulic control manifold.

9.1.7 HOSE REELS

The hose bundles are mounted on heavy duty reels for storage and handling and are
connected to the hydraulic control manifold by jumper hoses. The reels are driven
by reversible air motors and include a disc brake system to stop the reel in forward
or reverse rotation.

When the subsea control pod is run or retrieved, the junction box for the jumper
hose is disconnected from the hose reel. However in order to keep selected functions
‘live’ during running or retrieval operations, five or six control stations are mounted
on the side of the reel. These live functions include at least the riser and stack
connectors, two pipe rams and the pod latch. Fig 9.13 is a schematic of the hydraulic
system through which the power fluid flows to the controlled functions during reel
rotation.

Once the BOP has been landed and latched on to the wellhead, the control points on
the side of the reel are shut down and isolated to prevent interference with the full
control system. The regulators on the reel which control the manifold and annular
pressures must also be isolated in case they dump pressure when the jumper hose
RBQ plate is attached.

With the supply pressure isolated the 3-position, 4-way valves are used to vent any
pressure that may remain trapped in a pilot line holding an SPM valve open. This is
necessary since the reel is fitted with a different type of valve to the control manifold
manipulator valves. These valves look similar but do not vent when placed in the
‘block’ position (see Fig 9.12b).

9 - 24 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 9 : SUBSEA BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS & MARINE RISER SYSTEMS

MANIFOLD
REGULATOR

MAIN HYDRAULIC
SUPPLY THROUGH
SWIVEL JOINT

1/4"
SELECTOR
VALVES

JUMPER HOSE FROM BLUE POD


HYDRAULIC MANIFOLD HOSE REEL
VALVE MANIFOLD
MOUNTED ON SIDE
OF HOSE REEL
HOSE
BUNDLE

BLUE POD
JUNCTION BOX

OPEN
SPM

SHUTTLE VALVE

REGULATOR

OPEN FROM
CLOSE YELLOW
SPM POD
BLUE SHUTTLE VALVE
POD

CLOSE

Figure 9.13 HOSE REEL CONTROL MANIFOLD

V4 Rev March 2002 9 - 25


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 9 : SUBSEA BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS & MARINE RISER SYSTEMS

9.1.8 UMBILICAL HOSE

The umbilical transmits all power fluid and all pilot signals from the surface to the
subsea control pods. Hydraulic pressure from the regulated side of the subsea
regulators is also transmitted through the umbilical to pressure readback gauges at
surface. The power fluid is supplied only to the umbilical of the selected active pod,
whereas pilot pressure is normally supplied to both the active and inactive pods.
The most common umbilicals contain a 1" ID supply hose for the power fluid which
is surrounded by up to sixty four 1/8" and 3/16" hoses for pilot valve activation and
readbacks. An outer polyurethane covering protects the whole bundle.

Roller sheaves are used to support the umbilical and provide smooth and safe
handling where it leaves the hose reel and goes over the moon pool area. Special
clamps are used to attach the hose bundle to the pod wireline at intervals that
correspond to the lengths of riser in use.

9.1.9 SUBSEA CONTROL PODS

The subsea control pods contain the equipment that provides the actual fluid
transfer from the hose bundle to the subsea stack. A typical pod assembly
(Fig 9.14) consists of three sections -

• a retrievable valve block

• an upper female receptacle block permanently attached to the lower marine riser package

• a lower female receptacle permanently attached to the BOP stack

Control fluid enters the pod at the junction box and is routed either direct to an
SPM valve or to one of the two regulators (one for the BOP rams and one for the
annular preventers) from where it is sent to the appropriate SPM. When a SPM
pilot valve is actuated it allows the control fluid to pass through it to one of the
exit ports on the lower part of the male stab and into the upper female receptacle
attached to the lower marine riser package.

For those functions which are part of the lower marine riser package the fluid is
then routed out of the upper female receptacle and directed via a shuttle valve to
the functions operating piston. For those functions which are part of the main BOP
stack, the fluid is routed through the upper female receptacle and into the lower
female receptacle from where it goes via a shuttle valve to the appropriate
operating piston.

Not all the functions on the BOP stack are controlled through pod mounted pilot
valves. Low volume functions such as ball joint pressure are actuated directly from
surface through 1/4" lines. These are generally referred to as straight through
functions.

9 - 26 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 9 : SUBSEA BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS & MARINE RISER SYSTEMS

Figure 9.14 KOOMEY

V4 Rev March 2002 9 - 27


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 9 : SUBSEA BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS & MARINE RISER SYSTEMS

The integrity of each fluid route between the different sections is achieved by
using a compression seal that is installed in the retrievable valve block section of
the pod. Compression between the three sections is achieved by hydraulically
locking the pod into the lower receptacle (which is spring mounted on the BOP
stack in order to facilitate easier engagement).

Locking is accomplished by hydraulically extending two dogs that locate under


the bottom of the upper female receptacle. A helical groove on the outside of the
lower skirt of the pod ensures correct alignment of the fluid ports. To retrieve the
pod independently of the lower marine riser package, the locking pressure is bled
off and the dogs are retracted mechanically when an overpull is taken on the
retrieving wire.

A more recent design utilises the same concept but consists of a cube shaped
retrievable valve block which latches over two tapered blocks mounted on a base
plate permanently attached to the lower marine riser package. A single tapered
block mounted on a spring base is permanently attached to the BOP stack. The
packer seals on the retrievable valve block are pressure balanced in a breakaway
condition so that there is no tendency for it to be blown out of the pocket if the
pod has to be released under pressure.

Besides the latching system, packer seals and piping, the principal components of
the retrievable valve blocks are the SPM pilot valves and regulators.

SPM VALVES

As described above these valves direct the regulated power fluid to the desired side of
the preventer, valve or connector operating piston and vent the fluid from the other
side of the piston to the sea. The annular preventers typically use large 1 1/2" SPM
valves in order to provide sufficient fluid flow, the ram preventers use 1" valves and
the other functions such as failsafe valves and connectors use 3/4" valves. Fig 9.15
shows a NL Shaffer 1 in SPM valve.

The valve is a poppet type in which a sliding piston seals at the top and bottom of its
travel on nylon seats. In the normally closed position a spring attached to the top of
the piston shaft keeps the piston on the bottom seat and prevents the power fluid
from passing through the valve to the exit port. Power fluid pressure, which is
permanently present, also assists in keeping the valve closed by acting on a small
piston area on the spindle. In this position fluid from the valve’s associated operating
piston is vented through the sliding piston at ambient conditions.

When pilot pressure is applied to the valve the sliding piston moves up and seals
against the upper seat which blocks the vent ports and allows regulated power fluid
to flow through the bottom section of the valve to function the BOP. Note that the
pilot fluid therefore operates in a closed system whilst the hydraulic power or control
fluid is an ‘open’ circuit with all used fluid being vented to the sea.

As illustrated in Fig 9.3 two SPM pilot valves are required to operate a BOP function.

9 - 28 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 9 : SUBSEA BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS & MARINE RISER SYSTEMS

Compressed
Spring

S.P.M. "ACTIVATED"

Sea Water
Hydrostatic
Upper Seat
Pilot Pressure
In 3000 PSI

Power Fluid
Lower Seat Vent
Power Regulated
Fluid In

Power Fluid Out

Figure 9.15 NL SHAFFER 1" SPM VALVE

REGULATORS

Each subsea control pod contains two regulators - one to regulate pressure for the
ram preventers and one to regulate the pressure for operating the annular
preventers. Some control systems incorporate a third regulator so that the
operating pressure of each annular preventer can be individually manipulated.

Typical regulators are 1 l/2" hydraulically operated, stainless steel, regulating and
reducing valves. As shown in Fig 9.11 the output line of each regulator is tapped
and the pressure roused back to a surface gauge through the umbilical. This
readback pressure is used to confirm that the subsea regulator is supplying the
power fluid at the pressure set by the pilot surface regulator.

9.1.10 REDUNDANCY

The two subsea control pods are functionally identical. When a pilot control valve
(rams close for example) is operated on the hydraulic control manifold a pilot
signal is sent down both umbilicals so that the associated SPM valve in each pod
‘fires’. If the pod selector valve is set on yellow then power fluid is sent only to this
pod and it is only through the SPM valve in this pod that the fluid will reach the
ram operating piston. The pod selection has no effect on the pilot system.

Once the yellow pod SPM valve ‘fires’, the power fluid passes through it to a
shuttle valve, the shuttle piston of which moves across and seals against the blue
pod inlet. The fluid then passes through the shuttle valve to move the ram to the
close position. Fluid from the opposite side of the operating piston is forced out
through the ‘ram open’ shuttle valve and vented through the ‘ram open’ SPM valve
and into the sea.

V4 Rev March 2002 9 - 29


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 9 : SUBSEA BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS & MARINE RISER SYSTEMS

Note that if the blue pod was now selected to open the rams; then the power fluid
would flow to the ram through the ‘open’ SPM on the blue pod but the fluid from
the ‘close’ side of the piston would be vented through the yellow pod SPM since
the ‘close’ shuttle piston would still be sealing the blue pod inlet port.

The shuttle valves should be located as near as possible to their relevant ports on
the BOP stack since the system is redundant only down as far as the shuttle valves.
Fig 9.16 shows a NL Shaffer shuttle valve.

Figure 9.16 N LN SHAFFER SHUTTLE VALVE

9.1.11 TROUBLE SHOOTING

Trying to locate a fluid leak or a malfunction of the subsea control system requires
a very thorough knowledge of the equipment and a systematic approach to tracing
the source of the problem. Subsea control systems are very complex in their detail
and there are always minor variations and modifications even between similar
models therefore trouble shooting should always be carried out with reference to
the relevant schematics.

LEAKS

A fluid leak is usually detected by watching the flow meter. If a flow is indicated
when no function is being operated or if the flow meter continues to run and does
not stop after a function has been operated then a leak in the system is implied.

9 - 30 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 9 : SUBSEA BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS & MARINE RISER SYSTEMS

Once it has been determined that there is a leak then the following steps could be
used to try and locate its source -

CHECK THE SURFACE EQUIPMENT

• examine the hydraulic control manifold for a broken line or fitting

• examine the accumulator bottles for signs of a fluid leak

• check the jumper hoses for signs of damage

• check the hose reels and junction boxes for loose connections

• examine the hose reel manifold to ensure that all the valves are centred

make certain that the shut-off valve to the reel manifold pressure supply is tightly
closed (if this is left open when the junction box is connected to the reel, it will
allow fluid pressure to be forced back through one of the surface regulators and
vent into the mix water tank thus indicating a leak)

If this fails to locate the source of the leak then return to the hydraulic control
manifold for an item-by-item check of the system -

USE THE POD SELECTOR VALVE TO OPERATE THE SYSTEM ON THE OTHER POD

• If the leak does not stop then it must be located either in the hydraulic control
manifold or downstream of the subsea control pods

• if the leak does stop then it will be known which side of the system it is in

Further checks would then be as follows -


If the Leak Stops -

• assuming conditions permit, switch back to the original pod and block each
function in turn (allow plenty of time for the function to operate and check the
flowmeter on each operation)

• if the leak stops when a particular function is set to block then the leak has been
isolated and it is somewhere in that specific function

• in this case run the subsea TV to observe the pod whilst unblocking the function

• if the leak is coming from the pod it will be seen as a white mist in the water
and a bad SPM valve or regulator can be assumed and the options are -

•pull the pod to repair the faulty component

• leave the function in block until the stack or lower marine riser package is
retrieved

V4 Rev March 2002 9 - 31


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 9 : SUBSEA BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS & MARINE RISER SYSTEMS

• If the leak is seen to be coming from below the pod then the options are -

• attempt repairs using divers

• leave the function in block until the stack is brought to surface

If the Leak Does Not Stop -

• check the return line to the mix water tank (if there is fluid flowing from this line
then there is a leaking control valve or regulator)

• check that all the control valves are in either the open closed or block position (a
partially open valve can allow fluid to leak past it)

• if the valve positions are correct then disconnect the discharge line from each
valve - one at a time (fluid flow from a discharge line indicates a faulty valve)

• if the discharge lines do not show any signs of a leak then disconnect the
discharge lines from the regulators in the same way

It can sometimes be the case that the system is operating normally until a
particular function is operated and the flowmeter continues to run after the time
normally required for that function to operate. In this case there is a leak in that
function with a likely reason being foreign material in the SPM valve not allowing
the seat to seal thus causing the system to leak hydraulic fluid.

A possible remedy is to operate the valve several times to try and wash out the
foreign material. Observe the flowmeter to see if the leak stops. If the leak still
persists then it will be a case of running the subsea TV to try and locate the leak
visually.

MALFUNCTIONS

Typical control system malfunctions are slow reaction times or no flowmeter


indication when a button is pressed to operate a function. A slow reaction time
could be due to -

• low accumulator pressure

• a bad connection between the jumper hose and hose reel

• a partially plugged pilot line

In this case the trouble shooting sequence would be -

9 - 32 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 9 : SUBSEA BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS & MARINE RISER SYSTEMS

CHECK THE PRESSURES

• verify that the gauges are indicating the correct operating pressures

• if a low pressure is indicated then verify correct operation of the high pressure
pumps and check the level of hydraulic fluid in the mix water tank

• check that the shut-off valve between the accumulators and the hydraulic
control manifold is fully open

CHECK THE HOSES

• if the pressures are good then check all the surface hose connections

• check the junction box connections (if they are not tightly seated, the flow rate
through the connection can be restricted and cause the function to operate slowly)

CHECK THE PILOT LINES

• if the above checks fail to locate the problem then the final option will be to
retrieve the pod and check the pilot line for any sludge that may have settled out
from the hydraulic fluid (disconnect each pilot line from the pod one at a time
and flush clean fluid through it

In the situation where there is no flowmeter indication when a function button is


pressed, this could be due to -

no accumulator or pilot pressure

• the control valve on the hydraulic manifold did not shift

• the flowmeter is not working properly

• there is a plugged pilot line or a faulty SPM valve

CHECK THE PRESSURES

• verify that the gauges are indicating the correct operating pressures

• if a low pressure is indicated then verify correct operation of the high pressure
pumps and check the level of hydraulic fluid in the mix water tank

• check for correct operation of the pressure switches

• check the fluid filters to make certain they are not plugged

• check the accumulator pre-charge pressures

V4 Rev March 2002 9 - 33


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 9 : SUBSEA BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS & MARINE RISER SYSTEMS

• bleed the fluid from the bottles back into the tank and check the nitrogen
pressure in each bottle

CHECK THE HYDRAULIC CONTROL MANIFOLD

• use the ‘test’ button on the control panel to make certain that the position lamps
are not burnt out

check the air and electrical supply to the hydraulic control manifold

• check the electrical circuits to the control panel and also the solenoid valves and
power relays

• if the air supply pressure is sufficient to work the control valve operator check
for an obstruction to the manual control handle

• if the valve can be easily operated manually then replace the entire valve
assembly with a valve known to be in good working order

CHECK THE FLOWMETER

• if the regulator pressure drops by 300 to 500 psi when the function is operated
and then returns to normal, the function is probably working correctly and the
flowmeter is faulty

• monitor the flowmeter on the hydraulic manifold to verify that the one on the
drillers panel is not at fault (the impulse unit that sends the flowmeter signal to
the panel could malfunction)

9 - 34 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 9 : SUBSEA BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS & MARINE RISER SYSTEMS

SECTION 9.2 MARINE RISER SYSTEMS

GENERAL

9.2.1 A marine riser system is used to provide a return fluid flow path from the
wellbore to either a floating drilling vessel (semi submersible or hull type) or a
bottom supported unit, and to guide the drill string and tools to the wellhead on
the ocean floor. Components of this system include remotely operated connectors,
flexible joints (balljoints), riser sections, telescopic joints, and tensioners. Data on
these components, together with information on care and handling of the riser, are
included in this Section, API RP 2K: Recommended Practice for Care and Use of Marine
Drilling Risers* and API RP 2Q: Recommended Practice for design and Operation of
Marine Drilling Riser Systems.*

9.2.2 For a drilling vessel, the marine riser system should have adequate strength
to withstand:

a. dynamic loads while running and pulling the blowout preventer stack;

b. lateral forces from currents and acceptable vessel displacement;

c. cyclic forces from waves and vessel movement;

d. axial loads from the riser weight, drilling fluid weight, and any free standing
pipe within the riser; and

e. axial tension from the riser tensioning system at the surface (which may be
somewhat cyclic) or from buoyancy modules attached to the exterior of the
riser.

Unless otherwise noted, internal pressure rating of the marine riser system (pipe,
connectors, and flexible joint) should be at least equal to the working pressure of
the diverter system plus the maximum difference in hydrostatic pressures of the
drilling fluid and sea water at the ocean floor. In deeper waters, riser collapse
resistance, in addition to internal pressure rating, may be a consideration if
circulation is lost or the riser is disconnected while full of drilling fluid.

9.2.3 For bottom-supported units, consideration should be given to similar forces


and loads with the exception of vessel displacement, vessel movement, and high
axial loads. Operating water depths for bottom-supported units are often shallow
enough to permit free standing risers to be used without exceeding critical
buckling limits, with only lateral support at the surface and minimal tension being
required to provide a satisfactory installation.

V4 Rev March 2002 9 - 35


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 9 : SUBSEA BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS & MARINE RISER SYSTEMS

9.2.4 Information presented in this Section applies primarily to floating drilling


vessels, since more demanding conditions normally exist for these marine riser
systems than for those installed for bottom-supported units.

*Available form American Petroleum Institute, Production Department, 2535 One Main Place, Dallas TX 75202-3904

MARINE RISER SYSTEM COMPONENTS

(NOTE: Additional details are contained in API RP 2K: Recommended Practice for Care
and Use of Marine Drilling Risers and API RP 2Q: Recommended Practice for Design and
Operation of Marine Drilling Riser Systems.)

Remotely Operated Connector

9.2.5 A remotely operated connector (hydraulically actuated) connects the riser


pipe to the blowout preventer stack and can also be used as an emergency
disconnect from the preventer stack, should conditions warrant. Connector
internal diameter should be at least equal to the internal bore of the blowout
preventer stack. Its pressure rating can be equal to either the other components of
the riser system (connectors, flexible joint, etc.) or to the rated working pressure of
the blowout preventer stack (in case special conditions require subsequent
installation of additional preventers on top of the original preventer stack).
Connectors with the lower pressure rating are designated CL while those rated at
the preventer stack working pressure are designated C . Additional factors to be
H
considered in selection of the proper connector should include ease and reliability
of engagement/disengagement, angular misalignments, and mechanical strength.

9.2.6 Engagement or disengagement of connector with the mating hub should be


an operation that can be repeatedly accomplished with ease, even for those
conditions here some degree of misalignment exists.

9.2.7 Mechanical strength of connector should be sufficient to safely resist loads


that might reasonably be anticipated during operations. This would include
tension and compression loads during installation, and tension and bending forces
during both normal operations and possible emergency situations.

Marine Riser Flexible Joint (Ball Joint)

9.2.8 A flexible joint is used in the marine riser system to minimise bending
moments, stress concentrations, and problems of misalignment engagement. The
angular freedom of a flexible joint is normally 10 degrees from vertical. A flexible
joint is always installed at the bottom of the riser system either immediately above
the remotely operated connector normally used for connecting/disconnecting the
riser from the blowout preventer stack, or above the annular preventer when the
annular preventer is placed above the remotely operated connector.

9 - 36 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
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9.2.9 For those vessels having a diverter system, a second flexible joint is
sometimes installed between the telescopic joint and the diverter to obtain
required flexibility, or some type of gimbal arrangement may also be used. For
deep water operations or unusually severe sea conditions, another flexible joint
may be installed immediately below the telescopic joint.

9.2.10 Mechanical strength requirements for flexible joints are similar to those for
the remotely operated connector. They should be capable of safely withstanding
loads that might reasonably be encountered during operations, both normal and
emergency. In addition, the angular freedom of up to approximately 10 degrees
should be accomplished with minimum resistance while the joint is under full
anticipated load. Hydraulic “pressure balancing” is recommended for ball-type
flexible joints to counteract unbalanced forces of tensile load, drilling fluid density,
and sea water density. This pressure balancing also provides lubrication for
flexible joints.

9.2.11 Technical investigations and experience have shown the importance of close
monitoring of the flexible joint angle during operations to keep it at a minimum.
One method of accomplishing this is by the use of an angle-azimuth indicator. The
flexible joint angle, vessel offset, and applied (riser) tension are indications of
stress levels in the riser section. For continuous drilling operations, the flexible
joint should be maintained as straight as possible, normally at an angle of less than
3 degrees: greater angles cause undue wear or damage to the drill string, riser,
blowout preventers, wellhead or casing. For riser survival (i.e. to prevent
overstressing) the maximum angle will vary from about 5 degrees to something
less than 11 degrees, depending upon parameters such as water depth, vessel
offset, applied tension, and environmental conditions. Drill pipe survival must
also be considered if the pipe is in use during those critical times of riser survival
conditions.

Marine Riser Sections

(Refer to API RP 2Q: Recommended Practice for Design and Operation of Marine Drilling Riser
Systems* for additional details.)

9.2.12 Specifications for riser pipe depend upon service conditions. It should be
noted, however, that drilling vessels normally encounter a wide variety of
environments during their service life; consequently, the riser should have a
minimum yield strength and fatigue characteristics well in excess of those
required not only for the present but for reasonably anticipated future conditions.

V4 Rev March 2002 9 - 37


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 9 : SUBSEA BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS & MARINE RISER SYSTEMS

9.2.13 Riser pipe steel should conform to ASTM Designation A-530: General
Requirements for Specialised Carbon and Alloy Steel Pipe† and be fabricated and
inspected in accordance with API Spec 5L: Specification for Line Pipe*. Specifications
that provide riser pipe with a reasonable service life for operation in most parts of
the world include a steel having a minimum yield strength of between 50,000 psi
and 80,000 psi. Risers with lower minimum yield strength (35,000 psi) have proven
satisfactory if used in those areas where only light to moderate service conditions
are encountered.

†Available from American Petroleum Institute. Production Department, 2535 One Main Place, Dallas TX 75202-3904.
*Available from American Society for Testing and Materials, 1916 Race St, Philadelphia Pennsylvania 19103.

9.2.14 Computer programs are available for determining riser stresses under
various operating conditions, and should be used for installations where previous
experience is limited or lacking. Permissible operating stresses are normally
expressed as a percent of minimum yield strength and depend upon the
preciseness of the data input. For any combination of service conditions (i.e.
environmental, vessel offset, drilling fluid weight riser weight, etc.). there is an
optimum riser tension for which static and dynamic riser stresses are minimum.

9.2.15 The internal diameter of the riser pipe is determined by size of the blowout
preventer stack and the wellhead, with adequate clearances being necessary for
running drilling assemblies, casing and accessories, hangers, packoff units, wear
bushings, etc.

9.2.16 Marine riser connectors should provide a joint having strength equal to or
greater than that of the riser pipe. For severe service, quench and tempering and
shotpeening the connector pin end are sometimes done. The joint, when made up
and tested under reasonable maximum anticipated service loads, should have
essentially no lateral, vertical, or rotational movement. After release of load, the,
joint should be free of deformation, galling or irregularities. Make-up practice,
including bolt- torque requirement, should be specified by the manufacturer.

9.2.17 Auxiliary drilling fluid circulation lines are sometimes required and
included as an integral part of large diameter riser systems. Drilling fluid can be
pumped into the lower section of the riser system to maintain adequate annular
velocities while drilling small diameter holes. The number of lines, size, and
pressure rating will be determined by flow rates and pressures required.

Marine Riser Telescopic Joint

9.2.18 The telescopic joint serves as a connection between the marine riser and the
drilling vessel, compensating principally for heave of the vessel. It consists of two
main sections, the outer barrel (lower member) and the inner barrel (upper
member).

9 - 38 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 9 : SUBSEA BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS & MARINE RISER SYSTEMS

9.2.19 The outer barrel (lower member), connected to the riser pipe and remaining
fixed with respect to the ocean floor, is attached to the riser tensioning system and
also provides connections for the kill and choke lines. A pneumatically or
hydraulically actuated resilient packing element contained in the upper portion of
the outer barrel provides a seal around the outside diameter of the inner barrel.

9.2.20 The inner barrel (upper member), which reciprocates within the outer
barrel, is connected to and moves with the drilling vessel and has an internal
diameter compatible with other components of the marine riser system. The top
portion of the inner barrel has either a drilling fluid return line or diverter system
attached, and is connected to the underneath side of the rig sub structure.

9.2.21 The telescopic joint, either in the extended or contracted position, should be
capable of supporting anticipated dynamic loads while running or pulling the
blowout preventer stack and should have sufficient strength to safely resist
stresses that might reasonably be anticipated during operations. Stroke length of
the inner barrel should provide a margin of safety over and above the maximum
established operating limits of heave for the vessel due to wave and tidal action.

9.2.22 Selection of a telescopic joint should include consideration of such factors as


size and stroke length, mechanical strength, packing element life, ease of packing
replacement with the telescopic joint in service, and efficiency in attachment of
appurtenances (i.e. tensioner cables, choke and kill lines, diverter systems. etc.).

Marine Riser Tensioning System

9.2.23 The marine riser tensioning system provides for maintaining positive
tension on the marine riser to compensate for vessel movement. The system
consists of the following major components:

a. tensioner cylinders and sheave assembly.

b. hydropneumatic accumulators/air pressure vessels,

c. control panel and manifolding,

d. high pressure air compressor units, and

e. stand-by air pressure vessels.

Tensioning at the top of the riser is one of the more important aspects of the riser
system, as it attempts to maintain the riser profile as nearly straight as practicable
and reduce stresses due to bending. As tension is increased, axial stress in the riser
also increases. Therefore, an optimum tension exists for a specific set of operating
conditions (water depth, current, riser weight, drilling fluid density, vessel
offset, etc.).

V4 Rev March 2002 9 - 39


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 9 : SUBSEA BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS & MARINE RISER SYSTEMS

9.2.24 Wirelines from the multiple hydraulic tensioner cylinders are connected to
the outer barrel of the telescopic joint. These cylinders are energised by high
pressure air stored in the pressure vessels. Tension on the wirelines is directly
proportioned to the pressure of stored air. In general, as the vessel heaves upward,
fluid is forced out of the hydraulic cylinders thereby compressing air. As the vessel
heaves downward pressure of the compressed air will cause the hydraulic
cylinders to stroke in the opposite direction .

9.2.25 Selection of tensioners should be based on load rating, stroke length, speed
of response, service life, maintenance costs, and ease of servicing. Maximum load
rating of individual tensioners depends on the manufacturer, typically ranging
from 45.000 to 80.000 pounds and allowing maximum vertical vessel motion of 30
to 50 feet. Design of the wireline system that supports the riser must take into
consideration the angle between the wireline and the axis of the telescopic joint
and its influence on stresses.

19.2.26 The number of tensioners required for a specific operation will depend on
such factors as riser size and length, drilling fluid density, weight of suspended
pipe inside the riser, ocean current, vessel offset, wave height and period and
vessel motion. Computer programs are available for riser analysis, including
tensioning requirements. Consideration should also be given to operating
difficulties that might occur should one of the tensioners experience wireline
failure. Recommendations for marine riser design and operation of riser
tensioning systems are contained in APl RP 2K: Recommended Practice for Care and
Use of Marine Drilling Risers and API RP 2Q: Recommended Practice for Design and
Operation of Marine Drilling Riser Systems.*

9.2.27 Periodic examination of riser tensioning system units should be made while
in service, since the system can cycle approximately 6000 times per day. Particular
care should be taken to establish a wireline slipping and replacement program
based on ton cycle life for the particular rig installation. Users should consult the
equipment manufacturer for general maintenance procedures and specifications
recommendations.

Buoyancy

9.2.28 For deeper waters, it may be impractical from an operating view point to
install sufficient units capable of providing adequate tensioning. In these cases,
some types of riser buoyancy may be the solution (flotation jackets, buoyancy
tanks, etc.) Buoyancy reduces the top tensioning requirements but loses some of its
effectiveness as a result of the increased riser diameter exposing a greater cross
sectional area to wave forces and ocean currents. Selection of the optimum method
and/or material for obtaining buoyancy requires careful consideration of a
number of factors, including water absorption, pressure integrity, maintenance
requirements, abuse resistance, and manufacturer's quality control. Several of
these factors are time and water-depth dependent. As water depth increases, these

9 - 40 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 9 : SUBSEA BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS & MARINE RISER SYSTEMS

factors become more critical. A part of any analysis for an optimum safe system
should include consideration of the consequences of buoyancy failure during
operations.

Riser Running and Handling

9.2.29 Well trained crews and close supervision are needed for maximum
efficiency and to preclude any failure from improper handling or make-up of
marine riser connectors. Some special equipment and tools for handling, running,
and make-up/break-out may also be beneficial, both in protecting the riser and
improving efficiency. These tools include a flare-end guide tube for guiding the
riser through the rotary table and a joint laydown trough installed in the V-door.
Care should also be taken in protecting riser joints stored on the vessel.

Marine Riser Inspection and Maintenance

9.2.30 As marine riser joints are removed from service, each joint and connector
should be cleaned, surfaces visually inspected for wear and damage, damaged
packing or seals replaced, and surface relubricated as required. Buoyancy material
and/or systems, if installed, should also receive close inspection. Prior to running
a riser, thorough inspection of all components may also be warranted, particularly
if the riser has been idle for some time or previous inspection procedures are
unknown. For those operations where environmental forces are severe and/or
tensioning requirements are high, consideration should be given to maintaining
records of individual riser joint placement in the riser string and periodic testing
(non-destructive) of the connector and critical weld areas to reduce failures. Refer
to APIRP2K: Recommended Practice for Care and Use of Marine Drilling Risers* for
specific information.

*Available from American Petroleum Institute, Production Dept. 2535 One Main Place, Dallas TX 75202-3904.

V4 Rev March 2002 9 - 41


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 9 : SUBSEA BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS & MARINE RISER SYSTEMS

Figure 9.18 H-4 High-Angle-Release Connector

SEAL RING
LOCK PORT
PISTON
PRIMARY
SEAL RING LOCK PORT
RETAINER
SCREW VENT PORT

CAM RING SECONDARY


RELEASE
PORT
CONNECTING
ROD
PRIMARY
RELEASE
PORT
LOCKING DOG
PIN
MANDREL
PROFILE

Vetco's H-4 High-Angle-Release Connector maintains releasing capability under


high angles of up to 15° of riser deflection. Minimum swallow of pin mandrel
assures quick separation.

9 - 42 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 9 : SUBSEA BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS & MARINE RISER SYSTEMS

EL Style BOP and Riser Connectors - General Description

EL Connectors are hydraulically actuated units which provide ease of operation,


positive sealing and field repairability. The connectors are available in a range of
sizes at working pressures of 2,000; 5,000 and 10,000 psi. They can be used as a
BOP connector, as a riser connector above the BOP, or between BOP components.

Features:-

• Metal-to-metal primary seal.

• The large number of locking dogs distribute the load evenly throughout the
body and mandrel of the connector.

• Unit can be serviced without removal from the BOP stack.

• Optional, secondary resilient seal can be incorporated. This seal is


independently energised.

• Mandrel type construction provides stable engagement before energisation.

• The 5,000 psi system is completely internally piped.

• Positive mechanical dogs ensure easy unlatching.

• Various override mechanisms available.

• As a riser connector, interchangeability of parts with the BOP connector is


possible.

• Self alignment, five inches before make-up, facilitates choke and kill line
stabs.

V4 Rev March 2002 9 - 43


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 9 : SUBSEA BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS & MARINE RISER SYSTEMS

Figure 9.20 MCK Valve

The Cameron MCK valve is designed for the rugged service requirements of
subsea choke and kill lines.

• The valve is compact and bolted sideways to the side of the BOP.

• A detachable actuator allows maintenance to be performed without


removing the valve body from the line.

• Retained seats prevent erosion of the valve.

• The MCK valve is available in a full range of pressure and bore sizes.

• Seat and body bushings have been combined into one piece, reducing the
number of cavity parts and seals.

• Balance stem design improves performance.

• Stem packing can be changed without removing the bonnet from the valve.

9 - 44 V4 Rev March 2002


WELL CONTROL for the Rig-Site Drilling Team
SECTION 9 : SUBSEA BOP CONTROL SYSTEMS & MARINE RISER SYSTEMS

Figure 9.21 Marine Riser Fill-up Valve

Riser Fill-up Valve

The Cameron riser fill-up valve is


designed to prevent the riser from
collapsing if the level of drilling fluid
drops due to intentional drive-off,
loss of circulation, or accidental
disconnection of the line.

During normal drilling operations,


the pressure head created by the
mud column inside the riser keeps
the valve's internal sleeve closed.
When riser pressure drops, ocean
pressure pushes the sleeve up,
initiating a