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CAUSES AND WARNINGS

Well Control School

Define key terms in well control

Discuss the conditions that must exist for


a kick to be taken

Describe drilling actions that can lead to


an influx

Describe the common warning signs that


indicate a kick has occurred

A surface blowout is:

an uncontrolled flow of wellbore fluids at the surface


fluids can be gas, oil, mud, water or all
fire may or may not breakout
results may be serious

loss of life
damage to the environment
loss of equipment
loss of the well

A kick is:

- an unwanted influx of formation fluids into the wellbore

Maintain Sufficient Wellbore


Pressure
wellbore pressure > formation pressure
use hydrostatic pressure of the mud
provide a margin for swabbing

Use Trip Tank Continuously


keep the hole standing full
measure volumes of mud during trips

Necessary Conditions for a


Kick

Common Causes of Kicks

Warning Signs

Two Conditions Can Lead to a Kick...

1. The formation must have permeability or


contain fractures or channels, and
2. The formation pressure must be greater
than the wellbore pressure at the point of influx

The Two Conditions Together are


Necessary and Sufficient for a Kick

Hole Not Full of Mud


Surging or Swabbing During a Trip
Insufficient Mud Weight (Density)
Abnormal Pressure
Loss of Circulation
Rapidly Drilling a Gas Sand
Drilling Into an Adjacent Well

If the hole is not full of mud, then the hydrostatic


pressure at the bottom is reduced. If the mud level
drops sufficiently, then the hydrostatic pressure can be
reduced enough to allow an influx to occur.
Causes for a loss in mud level include:
1. Pulling pipe from the hole without using trip tank
2. Lost circulation (lost returns)
3. Poor mud filtration characteristics
4. High permeability formations

Drilling Actions / Conditions that


Can Cause a Kick

Hole Not Full of Mud

Surging or Swabbing During a Trip

Insufficient Mud Weight (Density)

Abnormal Pressure

Loss of Circulation

Rapidly Drilling a Gas Sand

Drilling Into an Adjacent Well

Running pipe into hole too


fast creates large bottomhole pressures that can
fracture the formation.

When drilling mud is lost to


the formation, the height of
the mud column in the
annulus drops - reduced
hydrostatic pressure

When hydrostatic pressure


decreases, formation fluids
can enter the wellbore.

Hole Not Full of Mud


Surging or Swabbing During a Trip
Insufficient Mud Weight (Density)
Abnormal Pressure
Loss of Circulation
Rapidly Drilling a Gas Sand
Drilling Into an Adjacent Well

Insufficient Mud Weight


9.2 ppg

Gas
Influx
9.7 ppg
Hydrostatic pressure from mud column
is lower than pore pressure - Influx

With well shut-in, gas migrates up the


annulus leading to increased casing
pressure.

Drilling Actions / Conditions that


Can Cause a Kick

Hole Not Full of Mud

Surging or Swabbing During a Trip

Insufficient Mud Weight (Density)

Abnormal Pressure

Loss of Circulation

Rapidly Drilling a Gas Sand

Drilling Into an Adjacent Well

Normal pressure is equivalent to the


hydrostatic pressure generated by a
column of salt water
Abnormal pressure is anything else
Rule of Thumb - Abnormal pressure
is a equivalent mud weight > 9.0 ppg
Abnormal pressure has many causes

Abnormal Pressure Indicators


D-exponent
Increased ROP
Change in shale density
Increased drill gases
Increased downhole temperature
Cuttings analysis
Increased chlorides

Aquifer Outcrop Elevation Can


Cause Abnormal Pressure

Thick zone of oil or gas above


a normally pressured aquifer
appears abnormally pressured

Drilling Actions / Conditions that


Can Cause a Kick

Hole Not Full of Mud

Surging or Swabbing During a Trip

Insufficient Mud Weight (Density)

Abnormal Pressure

Loss of Circulation

Rapidly Drilling a Gas Sand

Drilling Into an Adjacent Well

Drilling Actions / Conditions that


Can Cause a Kick

Hole Not Full of Mud

Surging or Swabbing During a Trip

Insufficient Mud Weight (Density)

Abnormal Pressure

Loss of Circulation

Rapidly Drilling a Gas Sand

Drilling Into an Adjacent Well

Question-2 (Losses)
Whilst drilling ahead, partial losses are measure at 10
bbls/hr. A total power loss occurs.
Annular capacity 0.1512 bbls/ft (with pipe).
Mud weight 10.2 ppg.
If the hole cannot be filled, what will be the reduction in
bottom hole pressure after 4 hours?
a. 250 psi.
b. 560 psi.
c. 175 psi.
d. 140 psi.

10 ppg

Depth below flow line (ft)

Equivalent Mud Weight in Annulus (ppg)

5
0
1000
2000
3000
4000
5000
6000
7000
8000
9000
10000

10

Drilling Actions / Conditions that


Can Cause a Kick

Hole Not Full of Mud

Surging or Swabbing During a Trip

Insufficient Mud Weight (Density)

Abnormal Pressure

Loss of Circulation

Rapidly Drilling a Gas Sand

Drilling Into an Adjacent Well

Yes, it can & does happen!


Platform wells most susceptible
Warning signs include:

Erratic torque
Drop in ROP
Cement in returns
Metal shavings in returns
Well kicks

Hole Not Taking Correct Amount of Mud on


a Trip

Gain in Pit Volume

Increased Flow Rate from Annulus

Drilling Break

Change in Pump Speed or Pressure

Gas Cut Mud

Chloride Increase

Loss of hydrostatic pressure if trip without


filling pipe (no trip tank)
Example

If hole doesnt take correct mud volume,


conduct flow check:
If positive - shut-in, strip to bottom
If negative - trip to bottom, circulate

Required on all tanks in


active mud system

Total
Volume

Volume
Deviations

Gages on
Console

Transmitter

Audible and visual alarms


installed in drillers
console

10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80

A recorder and dial


indicator of pit gain shall
be installed on drillers
console

Mud Pit

90
100

Schematic of
Pit Volume Totalizer

Float

Pump Rate Constant


Return Rate Increases
Input < Output
Wellbore Influx
Most Sensitive
Indicator
For critical wells,
more accurate meters
available

A simple paddle type flow


meter in the return flow line

Sudden Increase In ROP

Causes

change in formation strength or type


change in bit operating parameters
increase in pore pressure
drilling underbalanced

Influx of lighter fluids reduces hydrostatic


pressure in the annulus

Mud in drill pipe tends to U-tube - heavier


mud in drill pipe

Pump will speed up due to less resistance

Pump pressure (surface standpipe) will


decrease as mud tends to U-tube

10 ppg

Equivalent Mud Weight in Annulus (ppg)


5

Depth below flow line (ft)

0
1000
2000
3000
4000
5000
6000
7000
8000
9000
10000

10

Kicks occur when formation pressure exceeds wellbore


pressure and the formation is permeable or fractured
Common causes of kicks include hole not full, swabbing,
surging, insufficient mud weight, abnormal pressure,
charged zones, loss of circulation, and rapidly drilling a
gas sand
Warning signs for kicks include hole not taking the correct
amount of mud on a trip, gain in pit volume, increased flow
from the annulus, drilling break, change in pump speed or
pressure, gas cut mud, and chloride increase