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Well Control

Properly trained personnel are essential for well control activities. Well control consists
of two basic components: an active component consisting of drilling fluid pressure
monitoring activities, and a passive component consisting of the Blowout Preventers
(BOPs). !ore... BOPs"
#he first line of defense in well control is to have sufficient drilling fluid pressure in the
well hole. $uring drilling, underground fluids such as gas, water, or oil under pressure
(the formation pressure) opposes the drilling fluid pressure (mud pressure). %f the
formation pressure is greater than the mud pressure, there is the possibility of a blowout.
#he activities involved in well control are:
Blowout Prevention Program
!onitoring and !aintaining !ud &ystem
%nstalling BOPs, 'ccumulator, and (ho)e !anifold
#esting BOPs 'ccumulators, and (ho)e !anifold
!aintaining &urface (ontrol &ystem
Potential *a+ard:
,eceiving in-uries caused by loss of well control.
Possible &olutions:
'ppropriate training for tas)s performed. ./ample topics include the following:

o (auses of )ic)s, including detection
o Pressure concepts and calculations
o Well control procedures
o 0as characteristics and behavior
o 1luids
o (onstant bottom hole pressure well control methods
o Well control e2uipment
o ,egulatory information
3se of appropriate well control e2uipment including:

o &pecification
o %nstallation
o !aintenance
#he mud circulatory system consists of the elements shown in 1ig.4.
.ach part of this system must function and be in good repair to maintain well control.
1or more information, see !aintenance 'ctivities"
%f the mud level increases, it may be a sign that a )ic) is in progress.
On some rigs there is a mud float level gage which sounds an automatic alarm if the mud
e/ceeds a pre5specified level.
Potential *a+ard:
6oss of well control (blowout)
Possible &olutions:
7eep the mud circulating system in good wor)ing order

(hec) and maintain the properties of the drilling fluid, including proper pit level

Properly train crew in monitoring and well control procedures.
!aintain a properly functioning surface control system
#he blowout preventer (BOP), accumulator and cho)e manifold are installed by the rig
crew after the surface casing is set and cemented. #he accumulator and cho)e manifold
have been set into place during rigging up and now need to be hoo)ed up and tested. #he
cho)e line valve is used to redirect the mud from the well bore to the cho)e manifold
during a )ic). #he )ill line valve is used to direct drilling fluid to the BOP during a )ic).
Potential *a+ards:
Being crushed by falling e2uipment if hoisting slings fail.
Being struc) by, pinched by or caught between e2uipment during installation.
Possible &olutions:
.nsure wor)ers stand clear of e2uipment being hoisted and tag lines are used
where appropriate.
(oordinate hoisting tas)s with rig crew.
%nspect the hoisting slings for wear before any hoisting operation.
.nsure all personnel wear proper PP.
#he BOPs, accumulators, and cho)e manifold should be tested and properly maintained.
Potential *a+ards:
Being hit by hoses or sprayed by hydraulic fluid if there is a seal or hydraulic line
failure during pressure testing.
Possible &olutions:
.nsure wor)ers stand clear of pressuri+ed lines during testing procedures.
Properly maintain the surface control system.
Potential *a+ards:
Protruding pipes and ob-ects
Being struc) by dropped ob-ects.
&lips, trips, and falls.
'tmospheric ha+ards
Possible &olutions:
Wear appropriate personal protective e2uipment (such as hard hats, wor) gloves,
safety shoes, and eye protection).
%mplement in-ury awareness training (such as dropped ob-ects, wor)ing from
3se appropriate fall protection.
.nsure wor)ers are aware of the slipping and falling ha+ards.
!onitor for potential ha+ards (*4&, methane, O4 deficiency).